Know Justice, Know Peace: A Jesuit Antiracism Retreat

Also available as a podcast:

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

Hi! My name is Ángel Flores Fontánez and I am with The Jesuit Post. 

Moved by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all other victims of racist police brutality in the past months, we present to you the “Know Justice, Know Peace: A Jesuit Antiracism Retreat.”

“Know Justice, Know Peace” is a four-week retreat hosted by The Jesuit Post that seeks to assist Christians in their growth as antiracist followers of Jesus. It will consist of twelve short talks published in the form of videos and podcasts on TJP’s media platforms. We hope these talks will be accompanied by inner self-reflection and prayer by those who wish to follow along. 

To Dismantle White Supremacy in Our Lives

As a Jesuit retreat, we will follow the basic structure of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, and provide varied tools to the participant along the way from the Jesuit Spiritual Tradition. Week One focuses on Sin and its consequences, in this case the sin we are examining is racism and the consequences is the oppression of Black Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC for short). Week 2 focuses on what it means to be a follower of Jesus and how antiracism is a necessary component of such discipleship. Week 3 contemplated the passion and death of Jesus and how we can see this in the unnecessary suffering and violence towards BIPOC. Finally, Week 4 focuses on the Resurrection of Jesus and thus examines where we can find hope in the struggle towards becoming an anti-racist society. 

As an “Antiracist” retreat, we consider racism as a matter of White supremacy. It invites participants to focus on their relationship to white supremacy: how they are influenced by it in different ways or contribute to it, and how they can begin eradicating its causes. Because white supremacy is mainly perpetrated by people who are white or pass for white, this retreat is directed mostly towards them. However, people of color will also find this retreat beneficial.

Structure 

Each talk will be given by a Jesuit in formation, most of them members of Bellarmine House of Studies in St. Louis. The facilitators will

First, Explain some basic elements of white supremacy and racism, through personal experience or with historical examples.

Second, provide a Christian exhortation on how to a better antiracist

And Third, Offer questions and Bible verses for daily self-reflection and prayer during the month-long experience. 

The retreat will begin on  August 3rd and it will go on for four weeks. The talks will be published 3 times a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 4 PM ET.

St. Ignatius counsels all at the beginning of a retreat to start with a sense of generosity and openness. As you embark on this retreat, we encourage you to center yourself in a love that lives in truth. Pray with those words of St Ignatius: “Love is shown more in deeds than in words.” 

“Don’t Be Afraid”

Our hope at TJP is that this retreat will serve as an instrument of personal conversion for all those who participate in it. We are well aware that being antiracist is not accomplished in a one-month retreat. It is a lifelong process. But this might be the place where you, along with your friends and family can start that journey. As Jesuit Joseph Brown says, in order to grow, we must “face the brokenness” of racism.

So please, join us! What say you?

 

Works Cited:

Diangelo, Robin. White Fragility: Why It’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, Boston Beacon, 2018.

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