The virtue listed today is that of silence, and I have to admit that while I now have a love affair with stillness, quiet, and reflective contemplation in silence, it wasn’t always the case.

At one time, silence for me was a gateway into hell.  It was a place where the things I was most afraid of facing would gently creep up into my consciousness.  I think this is maybe a common occurrence in our society because we are constantly able to access noise:  noise through radio, through our cell phones and computers, anyone can get reach us because we are in constant connection to our mobile devices.

Where silence might creep into a moment between two people in conversation, it has been replaced with facing a screen, with texting, with any excuse not to embrace the quiet and what that quiet might represent.

Jesus throughout the New Testament Gospels is know to retreat to the garden and pray:  He is going to a place of quiet, a place conducive to silence, to reflection, to a place where engagement with the Divine is not only fostered by the environment, but easier to achieve given regular practice combined with (and this is the challenging part) an ability to embrace and release those ideas and thoughts that creep upon our minds like an ivy climbing a wall.


“But Jesus often withdrew to a lonely place and prayed.”                                                                                                            -Luke 5, 16,                                                                                                                                                 Franciscan Virtues Through the Year, 146


Silence is a precious commodity; it as a resource that we need to foster and incorporate into our lives as part of a religious and spiritual practice.  When I’m in my room and reading the Divine Office, I know that if someone else is in the house watching television or engaged in an activity that creates noise, it’s more challenging for me to focus on what I’m reading, focus on the deeper meanings of what it is I’m engaging.  In the summer, when I read the Office outside in my back yard, the birds, the breezes, the smells and sounds of bees and other insects create noise, but they somehow become part of the silence that I am engaging with.

When I practice centering prayer, often times as part of that discipline in sitting in silence the ivy of my mind creeps in, thoughts blossom, and I become engaged with whatever the image that appears in my mind:  maybe it’s a past encounter with someone that was unpleasant, or pleasant, maybe it’s an idea that I hadn’t approached in a certain way, or maybe it’s a desire to do something else or a thought related to asking myself why I’m engaging with this practice at all.

The beauty of the contemplative discipline that I and others have found is that when these ideas surface and are dealt with in the practice of silence, they are often times released unto God, often without really noticing that it has happened, and don’t seem to resurface to plague and torment throughout the day.

We need to find, embrace, and not be afraid of the silence when it approaches.  I’m familiar with at least one individual who has been confronted with silence.  It has literally been imposed upon them, and the idea of that is not only daunting, but frustrating.  But rather than being viewed as a punishment, rather than going along with the line of most people around us, silence isn’t something that we should be afraid of.  Rather, silence is a means and an opportunity to go deeper within our own psyches, to engage with the Divine in a more intimate, more personal way.

For us, religious or not, silence is as simple as going into our rooms, closing the doors, and being sill that we may know.  What we choose to know is up to us.  It can be a deeper knowledge of self, a deeper connection to the Universe, or simply a moment when our minds can be disengaged and we can become more tranquil.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Independent Catholic movement, have questions, want to simply speak to someone with a spiritual background, or maybe even have a vocational calling or question, click here!



c35155a60bb27c2051b6acb55362f052“(W)hatver you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”   Matthew 25:40

I need to apologize for going so long between blog posts.  Recently, I started a new job and the process of finding my footing there, as well as coming to terms with the feelings that came up from leaving a job in which I was working for almost 21 years have taken a bit of a toll on me–that and the season of Christmas, and a well timed case of the flu have made for a perfect storm.

When I read through this week’s reading in “Franciscan Virtues Through The Year“, something that came up were the spiritual and corporeal works of mercy.  These are 7 different acts in two distinct groups that count as works of goodness people are encouraged to undertake.  Looking back on the last month though, I come to think of only two that make sense to me:  namely, service to others as opposed to service to self.  These to branches have been called the right hand path and left hand path, have been compared to selfishness over selflessness.

In terms of service, in the past I have readily encountered service to self that has been either masked or explained as service to others.  In looking back through my own life, I know that I have for most of that life made choices that put my life in a more comfortable place, a place where I had to confront less, where I had to make difficult choices less, where I was able to be comfortable, but at the cost of giving up many of my freedoms.  I allowed myself to be enslaved in a way by my need for security.  The downside to doing this is that one lives a very sheltered life, one is exposed only to minimal people, in many cases, people who readily take advantage of the need to be sheltered and protected.  It creates a kind of symbiosis in which, in an unspoken contract, people agree to use one another for each other’s benefit.  My experience has been that often times, that benefit is usually greatly unproportionable.  No blame can be lain at anyone’s feet because it is a mutual agreement.

However, when one enters the world in a new light, a kind of selfishness that extinguishes what is selfish in order to better see the light in people, all people, an incredible thing begins to happen.  One’s eyes open, one sees that indeed, risk is necessary for growth beyond the limitations we use to exploit ourselves and others.  The service one undertakes is not one that avoids self preservation, but rather the preservation of self is only a small part of one’s actions.  Preservation of self becomes the ground, the base, in which one can venture out, like the early Franciscans, into the world to engage people that for many are repulsive, are frightening, are ‘things’ to be avoided because of the revulsion we may feel towards them.  These are the people that seek asylum, the indigenous people who wake the guilt in our hearts that produces racism to protect ourselves from recognizing the imbalance in our society, the imbalance that rests in our favour.  It is the angst, the disgust we feel at people who have learned to take advantage of a system in which their pain is used as a commodity of trade, something that can be traded for material gain, for a relief of loneliness.  It is the easy way in which we shrug off those who identify differently, especially those who identify differently within the gender and sexually diverse community, and sadly, the Christian community world wide.  Independent Catholics as well as other minority Christian denominations are marginalized by the greater Christian community because they may awaken some distant fear, some question that has been buried for ages that is only awakened when one opens ones eyes and looks at the light in full, the light that reveals our own defects reflected in those we repulse, we fear.

Service begins truthfully when we dismount the horse of our privilege, when we step away from the comfort of our ideas and our values, the ideas and values that deeply and purposely keep people separated, on different levels.  When we allow ourselves to step down from where we safely stand, we are able to engage the entire world in the way Christ taught us.  As long as we are attached to the values that protect us from the dirty, the unkept, the addicted, the sex worker, the person who identifies without gender, or identifies in a way that makes our concept of gender bend and twist, we are unable to see Christ in others, to serve others as we would serve Christ.

It’s supposed to be a challenge.  Nothing of greatness comes without effort that stems not from service to self, but service to others grounded in the value of self as a means to serve.

If you’re interested in learning more about Independent Catholicism, or about the Eucharistic Catholic Church, check out our web page here!



“(W)hat ever you did for one of he least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

-Matthew 25:40                                                                                                                                         Franciscan Virtues Throughout the Year (143)





Self Knowledge

*This is part of a series of a year long journey through the book, “Franciscan Virtues Through the Year“. If you’d like more information on Old/Independent Catholicism, or would like more information on my denomination, or feel called to a vocation, click here!

“…(F)or what man is in the sight of God, so much he is and no more.”

-Saint Francis of Assis

When I was in my twenties, I went on a journey to look for myself.  It was more a rebellion against what I had been told as truths in my childhood, a striking out to try and settle my soul and reconcile faith with who and what I was as a human being, a queer person.

In my thirties I began to feel a call home, a return to the more traditions way I had thought because up until that point, what I had believed to be true was more or less what other people had wanted me to believe, or had been what other people believe and I chose to believe to fit in for safety’s sake.  I went through periods of extreme conservative thought and thinking, the height of what I would associate with privilege now.  I experienced hardships of the heart, loneliness, grief, pain, anger, fear; in the height of my confusion and doubt, in the height of my depression, one thing rang true:  God was very real, and if God was real, that meant that subsequently other things could be real as well.

Such as God’s love for me, regardless of who or what I was.

Now that’s not to say that striving for goodness doesn’t have a place in God’s love.  What it means is that to best be receptive to God’s love requires being in a better place of accepting who we are as people.

Self knowledge is the lifelong process of peeling the onion of who we are, reaching into ourselves, stretching those parts of us that would rather remain dormant but are actually the gifts and strengths needed to fully engage with creation.  Self knowledge is knowing when we were wrong, it’s admitting to God when we were wrong, to others, it’s the ability to make amends and to know when making direct amends would be more harmful than not.

Self knowledge is knowing that sometimes making the hard choices in life are hard for a reason, that coming out on the other side of those choices ends up being the start of a new day full of promise.  It’s being able to love others without stepping into and onto their lives.  It’s knowing when something is over, you accept that it’s over and not struggle to deny that it still has potency.  It’s having the courage to stay, or having the courage to walk away.

Sometimes we’re married to certain things in our lives, joined to them in ways that seem beneficial to us only to discover that they have actually been limiting our potential.

Self knowledge is in many ways a connection to what faith means.  It is knowing who you are in the sight of God, no more and no less–and yet unique, precious, a treasure in God’s sight.


Self Knowledge


Shot.  Stabbed.  Tortured.  Beheaded.  Run over.  Drowned.  Suffocated.

Burned alive.


Every one of the people on this list, and the countless others who are not reported from countries like China and Russia, were unique sparks of light–unique in this universe.  There was no one like them before, there will be no one like them again.



15 Nov 2018 Fanny Aguiar
34 La Comercial, Montevideo Uruguay stabbed
14 Nov 2018 Raphaela Souza
32 Vitoria da Conquista, Bahia Brazil shot
9 Nov 2018 Flavia
44 Morada Nova, Ceará Brazil shot
7 Nov 2018 Elisângela
Vitoria da Conquista, Bahia Brazil shot
4 Nov 2018 Brenda Zarik Sifuentes Andrade
35 La Esperanza District, Trujillo, La Libertad Peru suffocated and stabbed
2 Nov 2018 Natacha de Oliveira
34 Reriutaba, Ceará Brazil shot
31 Oct 2018 Maria Cecília
35 Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais Brazil stabbed
29 Oct 2018 Dja Santos
Codajás, Amazonas Brazil stabbed
29 Oct 2018 Lorhany Kalarhary
29 Querência, Mato Grosso Brazil stabbed
29 Oct 2018 Sheila Brites Bodago
33 Amambai, Mato Grosso do Sul Brazil possible suicide
25 Oct 2018 B. Alves Gonçalves
21 Presidente Médici, Rondônia Brazil stabbed
25 Oct 2018 Ciano Sacchi
19 São Paulo Brazil suicide
22 Oct 2018 Karholine Mendonça da Silva
31 Santo André, São Paulo Brazil stabbed
22 Oct 2018 Robertha Welmont Moraes
24 Maringá, Paraná Brazil shot
19 Oct 2018 Laysa Fortuna
25 Aracaju, Sergipe Brazil beaten and stabbed
18 Oct 2018 Carol Machado
27 Linha Frei Plácido, Xaxim, Santa Catarina Brazil shot
16 Oct 2018 Jessica Gonzaga
São Paulo Brazil stabbed
16 Oct 2018 Name Unknown
Salvador, Bahia Brazil shot
15 Oct 2018 Marisa Sánchez (“Haitianita”)
30 Punta Cana, Higüey Dominican Republic stoned
13 Oct 2018 Pitielly Edleuza Prado
Porto Canoa, Serra, Espírito Santo Brazil stabbed
12 Oct 2018 Lorrane da Silva
Porto Real do Colégio, Alagoas Brazil shot
11 Oct 2018 Name Unknown
32 Puebla City, Puebla Mexico suicide
9 Oct 2018 Janet
31 San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora Mexico stabbed
7 Oct 2018 Biel Alves Menezes
19 Manaus, Amazonas Brazil not reported
7 Oct 2018 Itzel Aidana Ávila
33 Fresnillo, Zacatecas Mexico suicide
7 Oct 2018 Monse
35 Toluca, Estado de México Mexico shot
3 Oct 2018 Ciara Minaj Carter Frazier
31 Chicago, Illinois USA stabbed
3 Oct 2018 Danielly Ferraz
Serra, Espírito Santo Brazil stabbed
2 Oct 2018 Juliana Ferreira
22 Mandaguaçu, Paraná Brazil not reported
27 Sep 2018 Nikol Ortellado
24 Puerto Obligado Paraguay stabbed
27 Sep 2018 Paulina Hernández
Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz Mexico shot
26 Sep 2018 Dayana Letrán Leyva
34 Acayucan, Veracruz Mexico shot
26 Sep 2018 Valeria Sandoval
48 Cali, Valle del Cauca Colombia strangled
24 Sep 2018 J. Oliveira de Araújo
Martins Brazil not reported
23 Sep 2018 Carol Pérez Guerrero
38 Ciudad Bolívar, Bolívar Venezuela shot
23 Sep 2018 Name Unknown
20 Cochabamba Colombia beaten
23 Sep 2018 Débora Ramos Cordón
25 Chiquimula Guatemala beaten
23 Sep 2018 Name Unknown
40 San Giorgio, Bari Italy stabbed
22 Sep 2018 Asuani Díaz García
32 Chilapa de Álvarez, Guerrero Mexico shot
22 Sep 2018 Eli
55 Valladolid, Castilla y León Spain beaten
22 Sep 2018 Name Unknown
– United Kingdom suicide
19 Sep 2018 Name Unknown
Banderilla, Veracruz Mexico tortured
17 Sep 2018 Camilly
Belém, Pará Brazil shot
15 Sep 2018 Abya Passos Mantovanny
34 Querência, Mato Grosso Brazil stabbed
14 Sep 2018 Nikki Janelle Enriquez
28 Laredo, Texas USA shot
11 Sep 2018 Ana Corina Burgos
Ciudad de Mexico Mexico shot
11 Sep 2018 Monique Manardi Lee
São Paulo Brazil beaten
11 Sep 2018 Rafaella Rotocalco
– Italy not reported
10 Sep 2018 Allef Vieira
21 Aparecida de Goiânia, Goiás Brazil suicide
8 Sep 2018 Londonn Moore Kinard
20 Port Charlotte, Florida USA shot
8 Sep 2018 Natasha Cardoso Leite
20 Aparecida de Goiânia, Goiás Brazil industrial silicone
6 Sep 2018 Name Unknown
Sahiwal, Punjab Pakistan burnt alive
6 Sep 2018 Name Unknown
Rio de Janeiro Brazil not reported
5 Sep 2018 Shantee Tucker
31 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA shot
2 Sep 2018 Gugu Modise
Ventersdorp, North West, South Africa stabbed
1 Sep 2018 Déia Alves Maciel
36 Goiânia, Goiás Brazil stabbed
1 Sep 2018 Jhoana Hernández
Veracruz Mexico stabbed
1 Sep 2018 Maria Luíza
18 São Paulo Brazil not reported
1 Sep 2018 Rafaela de Sena
33 Xique-Xique, Bahia Brazil shot
31 Aug 2018 Yanelis Rodríguez- Argentina not reported
31 Aug 2018 Name Unknown
Cordova Colombia not reported
30 Aug 2018 Dejanay Stanton
24 Chicago, Illinois USA shot
30 Aug 2018 Raika
Praia Grande, São Paulo Brazil not reported
30 Aug 2018 Vontashia Bell
18 Shreveport, Louisiana USA shot
30 Aug 2018 Name Unknown
30 Guerrero Mexico shot
30 Aug 2018 Name Unknown
Manaus, Amazonas Brazil stabbed
29 Aug 2018 Paola dos Reis
29 Alto Paraguai, Mato Grosso Brazil stabbed
28 Aug 2018 Yessika Ruedas Gómez
29 Jalapa Guatemala stabbed
27 Aug 2018 Ada Mía Naomi Gómez Rivas
29 Paraguarí Paraguay stabbed and burned
27 Aug 2018 D. A. Sánchez Medina
32 Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico shot
25 Aug 2018 Deborah González
Catarina, Usulután El Salvador suicide
25 Aug 2018 Esra Ateş
Beyoğlu, Istanbul Turkey stabbed
25 Aug 2018 Name Unknown
20 Soyapango, San Salvador El Salvador beaten and strangled
23 Aug 2018 J. F. de Souza
54 Campo Largo, Paraná Brazil beaten
23 Aug 2018 Jamel Pierce
9 Denver, Colorado USA suicide
23 Aug 2018 Sheila dos Santos
Buriticupu, Maranhão Brazil stoned
20 Aug 2018 A. L. da Silva Bezerra
Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte Brazil shot
20 Aug 2018 D. M. Teixeira
29 Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte Brazil shot
19 Aug 2018 Begüm
45 Bursa Turkey tortured, stabbed and burnt
17 Aug 2018 Vanessa Campos
36 Bois de Boulogne, Paris France stabbed and shot
16 Aug 2018 Nasir Nazo
Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan shot and dismembered
15 Aug 2018 Lili Chirinos Carrillo
Valledupar, Cesar Colombia shot
14 Aug 2018 Name Unknown
Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua Mexico tortured
13 Aug 2018 Krispim Souza de Araujo
Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte Brazil shot
12 Aug 2018 J.C.M.
24 Santa María Atzompa, Oaxaca Mexico shot
12 Aug 2018 Renata
Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Pernanbuco Brazil shot
11 Aug 2018 Abril Natasha Quiñónez
Cali, Valle del Cauca Colombia shot
10 Aug 2018 Tania Lopes
Florianópolis, Santa Catarina Brazil shot
9 Aug 2018 Karlla da Silva Balbino
18 Caratinga, Minas Gerais Brazil strangled and shot
9 Aug 2018 Rafael Romeu de Brito
29 Lisbon Portugal suicide
8 Aug 2018 Casey Hoke
21 Pomona, California USA suicide
7 Aug 2018 Paolla Blayton (“Lelê”)
32 Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro Brazil shot
6 Aug 2018 Lucie-Anne Roux
47 Besançon, Doubs France suicide
6 Aug 2018 M.R.M.
25 Cancun, Quintana Roo Mexico shot
6 Aug 2018 Paloma Ferreira
41 Fortaleza, Ceará Brazil shot
5 Aug 2018 Lalesca d’Capory
24 Gurupi, Tocantins Brazil stabbed
4 Aug 2018 Sylva
40 Galway Ireland died in custody
3 Aug 2018 Dudu dos Santos Duarte
27 São Paulo Brazil shot
31 Jul 2018 Dalila de Oliveira
33 Udine, Friuli Venezia Giulia Italy died in custody
26 Jul 2018 Gaby Arantes
Rio de Janeiro Brazil beaten
26 Jul 2018 Louise
Barra Bonita, São Paulo Brazil suicide
26 Jul 2018 Linda
30 Estado de Mexico Mexico asphyxiation/smoke inhalation/suffocated
25 Jul 2018 Alaska Bout
25 Martinez de la Torre, Veracruz Mexico tortured
25 Jul 2018 Daiane Souza
Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul Brazil shot
23 Jul 2018 Paola Villefort
19 Araújos, Minas Gerais Brazil stabbed
22 Jul 2018 Alexa Martinez
21 Silao, Guanajuato Mexico beaten
22 Jul 2018 M. L. Brites
38 Pilar, Buenos Aires Argentina not reported
20 Jul 2018 Sania
Hafizabad, Punjab Pakistan shot
20 Jul 2018 Name Unknown
Itaperuna Brazil shot
19 Jul 2018 Sasha Garden
27 Orlando, Florida USA not reported
17 Jul 2018 Daniela Cica Duarte
24 Gurupi, Tocantins Brazil shot
16 Jul 2018 A. Sis
Salama Guatemala shot
16 Jul 2018 Lay Neves de Santana
27 Camaçari, Bahia Brazil shot
15 Jul 2018 Chanel
25 Toluca, Estado de México Mexico shot
15 Jul 2018 L. M. Cocom Guzmán
40 Yucatan Mexico not reported
13 Jul 2018 Adri Adelý Jurado
20 El Alto, Le Paz Bolivia stabbed
13 Jul 2018 Simge Avcı
24 Samsun Turkey shot
13 Jul 2018 Aisha Albuquerque
26 Curitiba, Paraná Brazil beaten
10 Jul 2018 Name Unknown
45 Estado de Mexico Mexico not reported
8 Jul 2018 Fernanda da Biz
40 Rio Brilhante, Mato Grosso do Sul Brazil stabbed and stoned
7 Jul 2018 Michele Silveira
16 Itaperuna, Rio de Janeiro Brazil shot
4 Jul 2018 Mirela
Balneário Camboriú, Santa Catarina Brazil strangled
4 Jul 2018 Shirley dos Santos
Recife, Pernambuco Brazil shot
3 Jul 2018 Deepa
Jalandhar, Punjab India beaten and stabbed
2 Jul 2018 Alexa Gutiérrez
47 Jesús Maria, Aguascalientes Mexico stabbed and beaten
2 Jul 2018 Daine Grey
22 San Francisco, California USA suicide
30 Jun 2018 Name Unknown
Chiapas Mexico not reported
30 Jun 2018 Name Unknown
Chiapas Mexico not reported
30 Jun 2018 Name Unknown
Chiapas Mexico not reported
30 Jun 2018 Name Unknown
Chiapas Mexico not reported
30 Jun 2018 Name Unknown
Chiapas Mexico not reported
30 Jun 2018 Name Unknown
Chiapas Mexico not reported
28 Jun 2018 Carla Croft
Pacajus, Ceará Brazil shot
27 Jun 2018 Dr Laura Masi
40 San Diego, California USA suicide
25 Jun 2018 Bruna da Conceição
33 Lagarto, Sergipe Brazil shot
25 Jun 2018 Índia da Silva Pellegrine
21 Salvador, Bahia Brazil shot
24 Jun 2018 Cathalina Christina James
24 Jacksonville, Florida USA shot
24 Jun 2018 Katty
Yautepec, Morelos Mexico shot
24 Jun 2018 Keisha Wells
58 Cleveland, Ohio USA shot
23 Jun 2018 Gaby Scheifer
19 Campos Gerais, Minas Gerais Brazil shot and run over
22 Jun 2018 Nikolly Silva
16 Cabo Frio, Rio de Janeiro Brazil stoned
21 Jun 2018 Thalia Costa Barboza
33 São Borja, Rio Grande do Sul Brazil beaten
20 Jun 2018 Juliana Araújo
Brasilia, Distrito Federal Brazil suicide
19 Jun 2018 Agatha Gomes
33 Belford Roxo, Rio de Janero Brazil shot
19 Jun 2018 Chloe Sagal
31 Portland, Oregon USA suicide
19 Jun 2018 Daniela Gutiérrez
49 Santiago del Estero, Santiago del Estero Argentina clinical neglect
19 Jun 2018 Nataly Briyith Sánchez
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas Mexico shot
18 Jun 2018 Diamond Stephens
39 Meridian, Mississippi USA shot
17 Jun 2018 Robertha Sousa
Campo Grande, Rio de Janeiro Brazil industrial silicone
16 Jun 2018 Name Unknown
Colima Mexico not reported
15 Jun 2018 Jessica Mattos
20 Venâncio Aires, Rio Grande do Sul Brazil asphyxiated
14 Jun 2018 J. G. Romero Ortiz
43 San Sebastián Salitrillo, Santa Ana El Salvador shot
14 Jun 2018 Name Unknown
Zamora, Michoacán de Ocampo Mexico shot
10 Jun 2018 J. Martínez Cepeda
53 Coahuila Mexico asphyxiated and beaten
10 Jun 2018 Tyfanny Montel
23-26 Boa Višta, Roraima Brazil stabbed
9 Jun 2018 Fernanda Reichert
31 São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul Brazil stabbed
7 Jun 2018 Kamylla Roberta
30 Canasvieiras, Santa Catarina Brazil beaten
6 Jun 2018 Name Unknown
Manaus, Amazonas Brazil shot
3 Jun 2018 Britney Vaz
33 Colniza, Mato Grosso Brazil shot
3 Jun 2018 Vitória
19 Salvador, Bahia Brazil shot
2 Jun 2018 Adrielly Oliveira
São Paulo Brazil industrial silicone
1 Jun 2018 Antash’a English
38 Jacksonville, Florida USA shot
31 May 2018 Nayra Matos
25 Maracanaú, Ceará Brazil shot
31 May 2018 Patrícia Pereira
49 Maracanaú, Ceará Brazil shot
30 May 2018 Marty Dragonova
20 Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom suicide
29 May 2018 I. Silva
Itaberaí, Goiás Brazil shot
29 May 2018 S. Antolli
Tapachula, Chiapas Mexico stabbed
26 May 2018 Chandraiah
52 Chandrayangutta, Hyderabad India beaten
25 May 2018 Beatriz Ribeiro
Bacabal, Maranhão Brazil stabbed
25 May 2018 Maritza Harrera
35 Igualala, Guerrero Mexico stabbed
25 May 2018 D. R. C.
29 Jundiaí, São Paulo Brazil beaten
24 May 2018 Yamileth Quintero
25 Culiacán, Sinaloa Mexico shot
21 May 2018 C. Peralta (“Pandora”)
39 Santa Rita, Rio Grande do Sul Brazil shot
21 May 2018 Gigi Pierce
28 Portland, Oregon USA shot
21 May 2018 Name Unknown
Nuevo Leon Mexico asphyxiation/smoke inhalation/suffocated
19 May 2018 Myrella Mhell
Pirapora, Minas Gerais Brazil shot
17 May 2018 Lucky Salavuki
23 Suva Fiji stoned
14 May 2018 Rosada Durán Romero
Valencia, Carabobo Venezuela shot
13 May 2018 Isabel Borja Suárez
29 Venus del Río Quevedo, Los Rios Ecuador stabbed
13 May 2018 Nino Fortson
36 Atlanta, Georgia USA shot
13 May 2018 Roxana Hernández
33 Milan, New Mexico USA died in custody
12 May 2018 Name Unknown
Dallas, Texas USA not reported

9 May 2018 Karla Patricia Flores-Pavon
18 Dallas, Texas USA strangled
8 May 2018 C. Alves
23 Vitória da Conquista, Bahia Brazil shot
7 May 2018 Manju
Khajrana India stabbed
4 May 2018 Muni
Mansehra, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan shot
4 May 2018 Thalía
17 Móstoles, Comunidad de Madrid Spain suicide
30 Apr 2018 Paulinha
27 Fortaleza, Ceará Brazil shot
30 Apr 2018 Bianca Santos Albuquerque
40-50 Araras, São Paulo Brazil shot
30 Apr 2018 Rauanna Silva Gerbelly
Niterói Brazil shot
30 Apr 2018 Name Unknown
Campo Grande Brazil shot
29 Apr 2018 Matheus Passareli
21 Piedade, Rio de Janeiro Brazil executed and burnt
28 Apr 2018 Gabriely Fancciny
37 Porto Velho, Rondônia Brazil stabbed
28 Apr 2018 Grayson
15 Columbia, South Carolina USA suicide
27 Apr 2018 Alan Bernnet
21 Recife, Pernambuco Brazil beaten and stabbed
26 Apr 2018 Arturo
30 Colonia Villa de los Belenes, Zapopan, Jalisco Mexico stoned
26 Apr 2018 Name Unknown
30 Acapulco, Guerrero Mexico shot
25 Apr 2018 Lydia Stone
Sydney, New South Wales Australia suicide
25 Apr 2018 Taliana Rodríguez Rómulo
47 Suba, Bogotá Colombia not reported
24 Apr 2018 China Colón Colón
25 Naguanagua, Carabobo Venezuela shot
23 Apr 2018 Alejandra Torres Torres
26 Solferino, Manizales Colombia stabbed
23 Apr 2018 Christina Bentley
26 Brighton, East Sussex United Kingdom suicide
23 Apr 2018 Name Unknown
Puebla Mexico stabbed
22 Apr 2018 Nycoly Souza Nardoni Bhals
26 Governador Valadares, Minas Gerais Brazil shot
22 Apr 2018 Brisa
Veracruz Mexico shot
22 Apr 2018 Chanchal
Aashiana India shot
22 Apr 2018 Sheena
Swabi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan tortured and shot
20 Apr 2018 Nati da Silva (“Ivi”)
30 Lajeado, Rio Grande do Sul Brazil shot
17 Apr 2018 Name Unknown
16 Nuevo Leon Mexico asphyxiation/smoke inhalation/suffocated
15 Apr 2018 Millany Santos Figueiredo
23 Nossa Senhora do Socorro, Sergipe Brazil beaten and suffocated
10 Apr 2018 V. Alphonze
26 Madurai, Tamil Nadu India stabbed
8 Apr 2018 Grechen Alina Lara García
40 Guadalupe, Nuevo León Mexico strangled
7 Apr 2018 Angra Alessandra Cupertino
46 Feira de Santana, Bahia Brazil stabbed
6 Apr 2018 Benjamin de Jesus Sousa
20 Vila Palitolândia, Teresina Brazil stabbed
4 Apr 2018 Yoselyn
29 Álamo, Veracruz Mexico throat cut
3 Apr 2018 Andressa Muda
Macaé, Rio de Janeiro Brazil burnt
2 Apr 2018 Elvira Costa Ferreira
28 Maranguape, Ceará Brazil beaten and stabbed
1 Apr 2018 Sasha Wall
29 Chesterfield County, South Carolina USA shot
31 Mar 2018 Chance Houle
12 Bismark, North Dakota USA suicide
31 Mar 2018 Kim Schinaider
28 Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo Brazil suicide
31 Mar 2018 Nastya Sapayev
42 Moscow Russia beaten
29 Mar 2018 Asu
Findikzade, Istanbul Turkey suicide
29 Mar 2018 Eduarda Amaro (“Martha”)
18 Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul Brazil shot
27 Mar 2018 Chutki
Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan shot
26 Mar 2018 Amia Tyrae Berryman
28 Baton Rouge, Louisiana USA shot
25 Mar 2018 Cleide Aládio Zaramarine Neto
33 Itaberaí, Goiás Brazil beaten
25 Mar 2018 Hildo de Melo Matias
31 Barbalha, Ceará Brazil shot
25 Mar 2018 Lorena Molina López
25 Montenegro Colombia shot
24 Mar 2018 Ayaka Neko
19 Anning, Kunming, Yunnan China suicide
23 Mar 2018 Daniela Santos
17 Ibicaraí, Bahia Brazil beaten
22 Mar 2018 Alanis Burgo
27 Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul Brazil strangled
22 Mar 2018 Elif
Izmir Turkey suicide
22 Mar 2018 Giorginye Dias de Siqueira
26 Aparecida de Goiânia, Goiás Brazil shot
22 Mar 2018 Name Unknown
São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul Brazil shot
21 Mar 2018 Charly (“Flor del Campo”)
25 Tehuacán, Puebla Mexico tortured, stabbed and beheaded
21 Mar 2018 D. A. P. Jiménez
28 Santa Elena, Usulután El Salvador stabbed
20 Mar 2018 Paola Oliveira
35 Luziânia, Goiás Brazil shot
19 Mar 2018 Bruna Gabriel
19 Ananindeua, Belém Brazil shot
19 Mar 2018 N. Naza
45 Ananindeua, Belém Brazil shot
18 Mar 2018 Naomi Hersi
36 Hounslow, Greater London United Kingdom stabbed
17 Mar 2018 Jacob Whelan
20 Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom suicide
17 Mar 2018 Name Unknown
Ilha do Governador, Rio de Janeiro Brazil tortured and shot
16 Mar 2018 J. Oliveira da Silva
28 Vila Velha, Espírito Santo Brazil shot
15 Mar 2018 Sheila
Tepic, Nayarit Mexico shot
14 Mar 2018 Yamilet
Iquitos Peru stabbed
13 Mar 2018 Thalita Silva
44 Barra do Garças Brazil stabbed
10 Mar 2018 Nefes
19 Ankara Turkey strangled
10 Mar 2018 Ximena Garcia
32 Nemi, Lazio Italy not reported
8 Mar 2018 Pâmela Tabete
18 Craíbas, Alagoas Brazil stoned
8 Mar 2018 Kristina
35 Beyoğlu, Istanbul Turkey not reported
8 Mar 2018 Name Unknown
Antiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad El Salvador stabbed
7 Mar 2018 Alexa Armero Sierra
22 Suba, Bogotá Colombia stabbed
7 Mar 2018 Sol Gómez
24 Santa Fe Argentina burnt
6 Mar 2018 Hope Verbeeck
17 Tampa, Florida USA suicide
6 Mar 2018 Samantha
35 Chilpancingo, Guerrero Mexico not reported
5 Mar 2018 Name Unknown
Culiacán, Sinaloa Mexico shot
4 Mar 2018 Samielly Castro (“Margrella”)
19 Cachoerinha, São Paulo Brazil beaten and shot
3 Mar 2018 Malvina Paiva
23 Libertador Municipality of Caracas Venezuela shot
3 Mar 2018 Palola
34 João Pessoa, Paraíba Brazil shot
1 Mar 2018 Alessandra da Silva Alves
50 Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul Brazil shot
1 Mar 2018 Shayene
Rio de Janeiro Brazil shot
27 Feb 2018 Fernanda Dias (“Pit”)
29 São Mateus Brazil shot
24 Feb 2018 Kimberlys Ochoa
19 Barquisimeto, Lara Venezuela beaten
23 Feb 2018 Fernanda Caetano
22 Lapa Brazil not reported
23 Feb 2018 Phylicia Mitchell
45 Cleveland, Ohio USA shot
22 Feb 2018 Bia Rocha
Recife, Pernambuco Brazil not reported
22 Feb 2018 Claudia Oliveira
26 Porto Velho, Rondônia Brazil shot
22 Feb 2018 Cynthia Moreira
San Miguel de Tucumá Argentina dismembered
20 Feb 2018 Rayana Ribeiro
João Pessoa, Paraíba Brazil shot
19 Feb 2018 Amanda Rios
23 Joao Pessoa Brazil shot
19 Feb 2018 Eduarda Brasil
19 Arraras, São Paulo Brazil not reported
19 Feb 2018 E. Carrell Ray
70 Albuquerque, New Mexico USA beaten
19 Feb 2018 Zakaria Fry
28 Albuquerque, New Mexico USA beaten
17 Feb 2018 Laysla Oliveira
18 Ribeirão Preto Brazil beaten
17 Feb 2018 Name Unknown
Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas Mexico shot
17 Feb 2018 Name Unknown
Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas Mexico shot
17 Feb 2018 Name Unknown
Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas Mexico shot
15 Feb 2018 Ekai Lersundi
16 Ondarroa, Bizkaia Spain suicide
14 Feb 2018 Paloma
Quinta Normal, Santiago Chile beaten
14 Feb 2018 Pérola
São Paulo Brazil shot
13 Feb 2018 Bruna Ferrari
17 Concordia do Pará, Pará Brazil stabbed
13 Feb 2018 K. Silva
30 Manaus Brazil tortured and shot
13 Feb 2018 C. Antuán
30 León, Guanajuato Mexico beaten and shot
12 Feb 2018 Bruna
Belém, Pará Brazil shot
12 Feb 2018 Keila
Potions, Bahia Brazil shot
12 Feb 2018 Misheel Ruidias Fernández
26 Ate, Lima Peru shot
12 Feb 2018 Name Unknown
Geisel, João Pessoa Brazil shot
11 Feb 2018 Zenith Campbell (“Zena”)
21 Wellington New Zealand strangled
11 Feb 2018 Name Unknown
25 Fortaleza Brazil shot
10 Feb 2018 Dominique
35 Uberlândia, Minas Gerais Brazil beaten and stabbed
10 Feb 2018 Nayra Wynndyston
28 Riachão, Rio Largo, Alagoas Brazil shot
10 Feb 2018 Tatiana (“Tetris”)
32-35 Santa Fe, Bogota Colombia stabbed
9 Feb 2018 Milonga F. L. Martins
47 Pacajus, Ceará Brazil shot
8 Feb 2018 Adriana Bonetto
45 San José del Rincón Argentina stabbed
8 Feb 2018 A. da Silva Silvério
18 Vitória de Santo Antão, Pernambuco Brazil shot
8 Feb 2018 Lohan
17 Vitoria, Espírito Santo Brazil beaten
6 Feb 2018 Hemilly
18 Garanhuns, Pernambuco Brazil stabbed
6 Feb 2018 Tonya Harvey (“Kita”)
35 Buffalo, New York USA shot
4 Feb 2018 Celine Walker
36 Jacksonville, Florida USA shot
1 Feb 2018 Anninha Ferreira Rochee (“Ana Carolini”)
22 Colatina, Espírito Santo Brazil beheaded
1 Feb 2018 J. A. Marín Marín
26 Soacha Colombia stabbed
1 Feb 2018 Natália Ketlyn
24 Campos Altos, Minas Gerais Brazil beaten and shot
30 Jan 2018 Ynina
Puerto Madryn Argentina not reported
29 Jan 2018 Samira de Alcantara
25 Nossa Senhora do Socorro, Aracaju, Sergipe Brazil tortured and stabbed
28 Jan 2018 Vicky Julieth Alvarado
22 El Tocuyo Venezuela beaten and stabbed
27 Jan 2018 Blanca
Los Guaricanos, La Vega Dominican Republic stabbed
27 Jan 2018 Brigith
23 Quintara Roo Mexico shot
27 Jan 2018 Raquel Cosinele
22 Recife, Pernambuco Brazil stoned
27 Jan 2018 Silvana Pineda
34 La Dorada, Caldas Colombia shot
26 Jan 2018 Name Unknown
Cancún Mexico shot
26 Jan 2018 Paola Carranco
Mexico City Mexico shot
26 Jan 2018 Rios Dayane Macklarenn
31 São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo Brazil stabbed
24 Jan 2018 Chelsy/Cristal Grisales Molina
La Virginia Colombia shot
23 Jan 2018 Lohane
Governador Newton Bello Brazil stabbed
23 Jan 2018 Tyty
22 San Pedro Sula Honduras not reported
23 Jan 2018 Name Unknown
Pasay City Philippines not reported
21 Jan 2018 Emilly Fogaça
21 Florianopolis Brazil drowned
21 Jan 2018 Julia de Arruda
37 Várzea Grande Brazil stabbed and beheaded
20 Jan 2018 Kelly
Belém, Pará Brazil shot
20 Jan 2018 Name Unknown
Concordia do Pará, Pará Brazil beaten
18 Jan 2018 Name Unknown
Chalchuapa El Salvador stabbed
18 Jan 2018 Name Unknown
Coetzala, Veracruz Mexico not reported
17 Jan 2018 Carol Alves
Tangará da Serra, Mato Grosso Brazil shot
16 Jan 2018 Jessica González
Córdoba, Veracruz Mexico not reported
15 Jan 2018 Clóvis Figueiredo
52 Recife Brazil stabbed
14 Jan 2018 Lourdes Reinoso
30 Rio Nio, Tucuman Argentina stabbed
10 Jan 2018 Viccky Gutierrez
33 Los Angeles, California USA burned
9 Jan 2018 V. Peixoto
30 Piripiri, Piauí Brazil beaten
6 Jan 2018 I. Y.
26 Gökçebey, Zonguldak Turkey shot
6 Jan 2018 Kagiso Ishmael Maema (“Ousi Kagiso”)
25 Seraleng South Africa strangled and beaten
5 Jan 2018 Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien
42 North Adams, Massachusetts USA beaten and stabbed
5 Jan 2018 C. Sobral
19 Feira de Santana, Bahia Brazil shot
5 Jan 2018 G. Carrera
48 Tamaulipas Mexico stabbed
4 Jan 2018 Name Unknown
Brasília, Federal District Brazil stabbed
3 Jan 2018 Fany Diniz
30 Belém, Pará Brazil shot


Respect of Creation


I spent a week-end in the Qu’Appelle Valley with my family; there’s something relaxing about traveling to the valley, something about the deepness of sleep that you experience and just the way you unwind and are able to put things in perspective.  In a sense, it is an aspect of respect to experience ourselves in the quiet of creation and reclaim some serenity into our lives.

I’m drawn to ideas of environmentalism–not just from the point of view of someone who is interested in advocating for the planet, but also how I interact with the nature and find comfort and peace in it.

There is a prayer that is often recited during Lauds called The Canticle of the Three Young Men.  The story goes that these three youths were, as a punishment, thrown into a furnace to be consumed by fire.  They were greeted in the fire by a glowing figure who assured them of their deliverance; the canticle was their song of praise for being rescued from the fires.

This song is a listing of all things in creation, a song of joy and gratitude.  When I read it, it often feels like I’m listing the things in creation from the smallest to the largest to those things that exist outside of creation as we understand it, yet interact with creation in ways that are spiritual.

Its also a reminder that even in the greatest moments of despair, the greatest moments when we might think we’re not worthy, or able, or capable, that we are uniquely created in the image of God:  that in the entirety of creation, a creation that spans an unknowable number of planets and galaxies.  Every human being has been, is, and will be absolutely unique.  That in itself is miraculous!

Each life, yours and mine, is a gift that has to be honoured because it is part of creation.

That respect can be in watching a bird visit a bird bath or bird feeder, or saying grace before a meal–acknowledging where all the difference food came from, or it can be simply greeting and being grateful for the day by saying a prayer when rising and when going to bed.

It can, and also should be, the acknowledgement of the Divine presence in each human being we meet.


Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord;
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord;
You heavens, bless the Lord;
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord.
All you hosts of the Lord; bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord;
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.
Every shower and dew, bless the Lord;
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord;
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord;
Frost and cold, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord;
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness bless the Lord;
Lightning and clouds, bless the Lord.
Let the earth bless the Lord;
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord;
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord;
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord;
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord;
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
You sons of men, bless the Lord;
O Israel, bless the Lord.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord;
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord;
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Ananias, Azarias, Misael, bless the Lord;
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Let us bless the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost;
Let us praise and exalt God above all forever.
Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven;
Praiseworthy and glorious forever.

Respect of Creation


“We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God.”

                                                     -Thomas Merton

Purity is something many of us have rallied against because it has been subjected upon us by individuals and groups which claim to have the ultimate authority on what purity is.  For many of us, especially those of us in the gender and sexually diverse community, purity is not something we consider working towards but rather rallying against.  Purity is something used as a heavy force behind the glove of fundamentalism and conservative thought to justify repressing, removing rights, enforcing the ideals that protect a perspective of privilege.

Purity is an adjective, not a noun.  When we understand this, we can move from it being a threat to asking ourselves what is it that we distill by our actions.  Is there a feeling in our hearts, a knowledge that rests inside our minds, of what we know to be right and wrong?

When purity is applied to ways of living that cause us consistent distress, or sleeplessness, or questioning who we are, what it is that we do, why it is we do what we do, we are not at peace with ourselves–we are not, as Father Merton says, not at peace with God.







keatingFather Thomas Keating, OCSO


  1.  Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.
  2. Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly and silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.
  3. When engaged with your thoughts, return ever-so gently to the sacred word.  Thoughts include body sensations, feelings, images, and reflections.
  4. At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.



Praise and Prayer

Praise is the ability to lift one’s self out of despair to see beauty or the potential for beauty in a situation that may be more akin to despair.  It is the ability to find gratitude in the painful, joy in the most sorrowful, riches in the deepest of poverties.

Prayer is the means by which praise is possible.  It is the foundation on which the house that is praise exists.

Without prayer, there is no praise.

Without praise, there is no prayer.

If we constantly hold our hand out to God, rather than offer God our embrace, we are not able to grow, to move past the open palm.

When we embrace God, especially in the most desperate of situations, the still and quiet  presence overtakes us.  It takes great practice because our nature is to revert to the heat and the red of the emotions, to punish, to persecute, to safeguard our own privilege, our festering safety.

A simple example is snow.  In Saskatchewan, snow comes when it wants to.  You don’t have the choice to run away from it always, and even if you do, it’s going to come back.  Last winter was one of those situations where we had a very warm fall, and were only suddenly slapped with the cold and probably one of the craziest snow storms that I can remember.  There was so much snow that I couldn’t get the car out of the street to commute to work out of town.

I spent a few moments mentioning this challenge on Facebook, frustrated by the snow and wanting to get out.  My spiritual director simply wrote, “Snow and rain, praise the Lord.”  That’s all it took.

A more complicated example is living at home with an elderly parent who believes they can, and are, more capable than they are.  The daily challenge is to try and not react to the buffer that happens at every moment, the need my parent has to assert their presence in my home in such a way that creates a real challenge in terms of boundaries.  Complicating the situation is being left high and dry by my sibling who has simply made the choice to not involve himself in what’s going on.  Because it doesn’t directly affect him, he makes no effort to make the situation better.  My parent sees my partner as a threat and is abusive towards him in a very passive aggressive way, which  makes trying to build a life together challenging.

And yet there still has to be moments of prayer, moments of praise.  Learning to detach from my father’s behavior is beyond challenging.  It’s painful.  But it’s an opportunity for praise, an opportunity to be thankful for the people who are supportive, kind, loving.  It’s an opportunity to take the silence that does happen as a moment for prayer, a moment to be still enough to recognize the storm that’s going on under my own roof as one that will one day pass, one that helps me to recognize that even if I don’t feel like I have a home here, it has helped me to recognize what it is that I need and want.

Snow sucks.  But without snow, the excitement of spring can’t happen.  The joy of summer flowers and the smell of clover can’t happen.


Praise and Prayer



“The Franciscan Virtue of Poverty means doing with as little as you need and keeping things simple. It also means being able to relinquish with an open hand whatever anyone wants or takes away. Those who have a spirit of poverty deal more patiently with loss, because they know that what they owned wasn’t really theirs in the first place–everything is a gift from God.”
                                                                                 -Franciscan Virtues Throughout the Year, 117

All of us to some greater or lesser degree have challenges that seem monstrous, overpowering; these are pains and hurts that may have occurred in the past, may have hooks and chains in our skin, and these challenges are very real.  These hurts can often be stumbling blocks, and many times, end up being walls in our way rather than stones on the pathway.

Those of us in the Franciscan community are aware of a story about how Saint Francis, upon visiting a town plagued by a vicious wolf, befriended the animal and by doing so changed the beasts temperament from a viciousness to a protective nature towards the people of the town.  The wolf became such a friend to the townspeople that they would feed and care for it.  Upon it’s death, the creature was buried as a beloved neighbour.

Each of us have wolves in our lives.  These wolves are thoughts, feelings, emotions, ideas, principles that spark us to anger, to hate, to frustration, to grief, to sadness.  They put their hooks into our flesh and hold us back.  Many of us collect these, hold them as treasured possessions.   Grudges and resentments are saved with more favour than money by many people.  But they don’t move us forward.  Instead, they keep us from persevering and growing.

When we are able to set the wolves free, we find that our attitudes can change more readily.  While there may still be disappointment and challenge that we’d rather not deal with, suddenly the anxiety around it seems not as powerful.

Perseverance, like courage, occurs subtly over time and if often noticed by others before we notice it ourselves.

Right now, our mission in Cameroon is facing one of it’s greatest challenges ever. There is a very real chance that the home in which the mission and orphanage is housed will no longer be available because Msg. Joseph is unable to upkeep the costs of the rent. And yet, I believe, he still reads Mass, still tries to find food for the children, still tries to provide a safe home for them, trusting.

Many of us in our community would like to be able to help Msg. Joseph financially, but we are unable.  We persevere in our prayers and hopes for the mission there, and in our thoughts for Msg. Joseph that he is able to find both benefactors and meaningful employment.  Should you want to help with a one time donation or monthly contribution, click here and then click the donate button on the top left hand corner of the page.