This week we had a visitor from Honduras, Father Reynaldo! It was great to see him and be able to share some time with him. He also shared a reflection on the season of Easter with us, reminding us that Christ’s death and resurrection are an invitation to step into the story of God. It is an invitation to participate. We were encouraged to consider the relationship we have with God now and the relationship we long for, trying to imagine a holy friendship. A “letter from God” reminded us of how we can find God in every aspect of our lives, that He is waiting for us, longing for relationship with us, and that we are loved unconditionally.
We also spent time discussing our prayer lives, how we pray, and the struggles we all face as we long to turn our hearts to God.
Finally, Bill (Rodolfo’s host father), led us in a reflection about the gifts God has given us. Each was instructed to take a rock. Then, he showed us a small fountain that already had many rocks in it. As each of us added our rock to the fountain, we named a gift we feel God has given us to share with the world. Each rock added changed the flow of the water, just as we each have the potential to change our part of the world.
We ended in a bilingual singing of, “This is the day that the Lord has made / Este es el día que hizo el Señor”, followed by a wonderful family meal.
Thank you for your visit, Father Reynaldo!
This weekend, we had the opportunity to view the documentary MissRepresentation and have a conversation about gender, sexism, and violence against women both in the United States and other countries around the world.
The film focuses on the (US) media’s limited and often disparaging portrayal of women and girls. It is difficult to watch, but an important film for any future leader to see. We are grateful to Dr. Serena Cosgrove (Seattle University) for her hospitality and for leading us in a conversation about gender roles and violence.
From the MissRepresentation website: “In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.”.
We were challenged to engage this material critically and to continue asking questions. The students were able to share their own observations about gender and sexism in the United States and how that is similar or different than in their home countries. Over the next few weeks, the students will be able to discuss the topic further with their mentors.