Joan is the Coordinator of the Family Bible Project and Co-Coordinator for Young Neighbors in Action at the Center for Ministry Development. She holds a Master's degree in Pastoral Ministry from Creighton University and a Certificate in Faith and Justice.

All Saints' Day: Oh I Want to Be in That Number!

I recently spent a day in Cartagena, Columbia, and visited the church where St. Peter Claver is buried. In the square next to the church is a beautiful sculpture of Peter with one of the enslaved persons to whom he ministered. It was so moving to see the tender gaze of Peter on a young man in obvious pain. It made me want to reach out to those who suffer from oppression and the denial of their human dignity. I wanted to take their pain away. Thank you, St. Peter Claver!

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Service Learning: Much Better than Anti-Wrinkle Cream!

Service Learning: Much Better than Anti-Wrinkle Cream!

There are times when I think I am too old to work with adolescents. My memory fails me. My back hurts and my knees creak. I don’t know how to Snapchat, and I wouldn’t know 5 Seconds of Summer from...five seconds of summer! How can someone my age relate to today’s generation of teens?

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Encouraging “God-Talk”

Encouraging “God-Talk”

My Great-Aunt Clara, who was born in 1887, experienced dementia in her 90’s. I vividly recall a summer day when we picked her up at the nursing home in town to take her for a visit to our farm. We were driving on the highway (I promise I was observing the 55-mile-an-hour speed limit) when she got very upset and started yelling, “Slow the horses down.” She was genuinely frightened, if a bit unaware of her surroundings. But then something quite wonderful happened. She started praying, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, save us. Protect us.”

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