“What does a consistent Catholic Pro-Life Ethic look like – a focus on prison reform in the United States”
Reading material for the night included 4 books: Slavery By Another Name (Blackmon), Just Mercy (Stevenson), The New Jim Crow (Alexander), and Jesus and the Disinherited (Thurman)
CMA Friends, the 2017 Hippocratic Oath Banquet featured a 40 minute talk by Jeannie Alexander (Cornell Lawyer, now Catholic Worker in Social Justice working exclusively in prison reform in Tennessee). After the talk, there are then 50 minutes of MEATY Q&A that round it all out…the Q&A is powerful and plumbs down into the depths of our role as Christians in healthcare and as leaders in society who have a voice.
As always, the Gospel in Mass just before the banquet was perfect…“Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered…
And the priest went on to talk to us all about the need for forgiveness, and he told the story of Father Ubald, from Rwanda, who ultimately forgave the man he watched kill his mom (right in front of him). And then to prove it, how he, Fr. Ubald, raised the murderer’s kids after he died. Wow…then we went to hear Jeannie talk about redemption for the prisoners, who are themselves victims.
After the talk, I got tons of emails and texts from the med students saying how much they needed this talk, and how it would shape some big decisions about their vocation. Two of those comments are here:
Didi said: “Jeannie’s answer to the final question of the night was the perfect answer!!! I was trying to think of what tangible steps I could take after this talk and that was perfect. And God and His gifts! I was with the Blessed Sacrament all morning and praying about some of the issues I had brought up with you! And then first He sends me scripture from Romans about judging others for things we are guilty of. And then boom, this talk tonight!”
Logan wrote: “That talk was really incredible…Jeannie left me mind-blown with how brilliant and commanding, but also well-informed and HOLY and loving she was. New hero/role model.”
Annmarie Hosie affirmed: “What I loved the most about this talk and her message was that Jesus was so present in Ms. Alexander. She brought Him right into the room. Her anger is just and her passion is righteous.”