Crossing the Great Divides
We began “Crossing the Great Divides” last spring in a time of pandemic. Now we are still in a time of pandemic and our divisions have never been sharper. In the spirit of hope and necessity, we dare to begin again, this time to lock arms and hearts and take up the task, impossible though it may seem, to make ourselves whole again.
Join celebrated public radio host Jean Feraca as she engages with three thinkers and activists from the front lines of today’s most critical issues:
Sunday November 21st 1:00 – 2:30 pm
“The Great Gender Divide” with Gigi Ross
What is it like to be a black person who doesn’t fit neatly into society’s boxes?—Abandoned at birth, Gigi Ross was a foster child at 3 days old, a graduate of an Ivy League law school who lived homeless for 6 years, and identifies as male while living in a female body. Gigi was unclassifiable until a new generation of young people made it okay to be both male and female. Anthropologists have been telling us for decades that race is just a construct. Now we’re hearing the same thing said about gender. But if gender is just a construct, does that mean we’re all on a sliding scale? Join us for this vital conversation, from the front lines of race, gender and an evolving self-definition.
Gigi Ross lives in Albuquerque and works as Living School Manager at the Center for Action and Contemplation and serves as a spiritual director. Before arriving in Albuquerque, Gigi’s last 6 years in Washington, DC were spent homeless, poor, and un(der)employed after losing a job and an apartment just before the Great Recession. Not a fan of labels, Gigi has inhabited the ambiguity of gender since learning as a child that the inner sense of one’s gender does not necessarily match the gender society wants you to live.
Sunday December 12th, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
“The Saint and the Sultan: a 13th Century Story for Our Time” with Sr. Gabriele Uhlein
In 1219, in the middle of the Fifth Crusade, Francis of Assisi dared to cross enemy lines, hoping to meet the Sultan of Egypt, fully expecting to be martyred. Instead, the two leaders met and became friends in the course of a lively exchange. When Francis returned home, he wrote prayers inspired by his exposure to Islam and re-wrote his rule. In the wake of 9/11, as we continue to navigate a prolonged pandemic, political chaos, and social turmoil, we seek to understand, to grow, and to act. Diving deeply into this story of medieval history and mystical friendship, let us recover in Francis and the Sultan, an antidote to anti/Muslim feeling and a model for our own time.
Sister Gabriele Uhlein, Partner in Mission at the Christine Center is director of the Saint Hildegard Soul-Studio for the Creative Arts. Gabe has been bringing people to a wider experience of their personal and creative selves through Intuitive Painting for many years. She also loves to develop and practice rituals to support all of life in meaningful ways. As a Spiritual Director, she guides individuals with an intuition-based approach that offers the opportunity for deep self-exploration and spiritual insight.
Sunday January 23, 2022, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
“Buddha and Jesus” A meeting of Friends with Paul Knitter
Is it possible to be both Buddhist and Catholic at the same time? Paul Knitter thinks so. After many decades of study and prayer, he now calls himself “a Buddhist Catholic” and is the co-author of Jesus and Buddha: Friends in Conversation. For many years, with numerous writings and teachings Knitter has been exploring how the religious communities of the world can cooperate in promoting human and ecological well-being.
Paul Knitter is the Emeritus Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions, and Culture at Union Theological Seminary, New York, as well as Emeritus Professor of Theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. Since at least 1985 with the publication of “No Other Name?”, Knitter has been exploring how the religious impulse can move from division to unity. He has written and co-authored a number of books, the latest being “Without Buddha, I Could Not Be a Christian”.
Session & Pricing Information:
Sunday November 21st, December 12th, and January 23rd, 2022 from 1pm to 2:30pm
We will gather using Zoom technology. The session will include a 45-minute conversation with our guest speaker and Jean Feraca, followed by large group Q&A and dialogue.
We invite all to participate in these important dialogues, as our Franciscan heritage proclaims “All are welcome.” We are requesting a payment of $25.00 per session or $60.00 for all three. If this cost is prohibitive for your situation, please do not hesitate to visit our scholarship page as we do have funds available for this purpose.
“We will not march back to what was/ But move to what shall be…”
Amanda Gorman, The Hill We Climb
The Christine Center is offering this program in keeping with our vision of “spiritual deepening for global transformation.” What we are facing right now is a spiritual crisis. A crisis of meaning. So many of us are wrestling with the existential question, “What is mine to do?” Crossing the Great Divides is designed to help us live through that question. Looked at from a positive perspective, we humans are now being offered a unique opportunity to re-think, re-group, and recover. The time is here for a revolution of love. As Amanda Gorman entreats us, let us “close the divide because we know, to put our future first, we must put our differences aside.”
In collaboration with Jean Feraca, Celebrated NPR Radio Host and Author
Jean Feraca, Wisconsin Public Radio’s Distinguished Senior Broadcaster, was host and executive producer of Here on Earth: Radio without Borders until she retired in 2012 after a celebrated thirty year career in public radio. She won an Ohio State and Gabriel Award for her Women of Spirit radio series on female leaders in the early Christian Church, and the National Telemedia Council’s Distinguished Media Award for her radio advocacy of people with mental illness, and the 2011 Gabriel Award for Inside Islam, “Muslims, Mosques, and American Identity.” A resident of Madison, Wisconsin, she is author of three collections of poetry: South from Rome: Il Mezzogiorno, Crossing the Great Divide, and Rendered into Paradise. Jean was the recipient of the Nation’s Discovery Award and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a two-time finalist for the Pushcart Prize and a National Poetry Foundation Prize. I Hear Voices: A Memoir of Love, Death, and the Radio, was selected as the 2011 winner of the Kingery/Derleth Book-Length Nonfiction Award, sponsored by the Council for Wisconsin Writers. It was also named an Outstanding Book by the American Association of School Librarians, and one of the year’s Best Books for General Audiences by the Public Library Association.
Jean is a member of the 2022 Living School Cohort of the Center for Action and Contemplation; a Benedictine oblate of Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, Wisconsin, and a member of the Prison Ministry Project. She was named a finalist for the 2021 Athena Award by the Business Forum for her mentorship and advocacy on behalf of women.