There are some places in our world so evil, that the very ground you walk upon can drain you of hope. Places where cruelty is the norm, where persons are transformed into numbers, and where good people say nothing.
Auschwitz-Birkenau is one of those places. While the deceptive grass now hides the crimes committed in the name of the nation, you don’t have to dig too deep before you find the ashes. Continue reading →
A review of Frank Anthony Spina’s The Faith of the Outsider: Exclusion and Inclusion in the Biblical Story, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Erdmans Publishing Co., 2005, 206 pages.
It is expected that on June 29th, Bill C-31, the so called Protecting Canada’s Immigration Act, will be signed into law, paving the way for the deportation of those it designates as unwanted outsiders, including victims of persecution and torture. As Mary Jo Leddy, theologian and founder of Romero House claims, “this may very well become the civil rights issue of our times.” If Leddy is correct, it follows that no theological theme could be more important for churches in Canada to reflect upon then the relation between the insider and the outside in the biblical witness. Thankfully, Frank Anthony Spina’s book, The Faith of the Outsider: Exclusion and Inclusion in the Biblical Story, does just that. Continue reading →
Mary Jo Leddy, The Other Face of God: When the Stranger Calls Us Home (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2011).
Reviewed by Ashely Cole
“If you looked me in the eyes and challenged us both about our impossible dreams for justice and peace, I would say yes dream on for there is a little street called Wanda Road where strangers sometimes become neighbors.”
-Mary Jo Leddy
Every year the Canadian population increases by 250,000 people. Many of those newcomers arrive as refugees and spend the next year to three years navigating the sometimes treacherous seas of immigration. More often than not, the faces we see on the bus and in the work force look less and less like us. Immigration is becoming the face of Canada, and how we deal with and understand Canadian immigration is to, in essence, understand a part of Canadian identity.
If one of these newcomers showed up on your front step with nothing but their suitcase and their child, what would you do? Call the police? Send them somewhere else? Or would you open your door and invite them in? Well this is exactly what Mary Jo Leddy did twenty years ago when she began what has become known as Romero House, a transitional housing and settlement office located in the west bend of Toronto. Not only did she open her door, she began a movement, modeled after this practice of creating space to allow a stranger to become a good neighbor. Continue reading →