Archive for March, 2011

Cesar Chavez…PRESENTE!!!

March 31, 2011
Alan Greth/Zuma Press (Cesar Chavez)

Today we honor the life and legacy of Cesar E. Chavez. I am inspired by how humble he lived his life. The passion that he demonstrated in the UFW Movement is a struggle that farm workers to this day are waging. Cesar Chavez work had its root in his spiritual formation. He understood the connection between spirituality and activism. It is important to understand that one should not isolate their spiritual teachings with their activism work. Our activism should have some type of spiritual foundation. When working for humanity, it automatically should be a spiritual journey. Many people when engaging in their activism fail to connect spirituality to the work they are doing. They feel that they are including religion. What people fail to understand is that spirituality is separate from religion. In fact, I often tell people that spirituality is as simple as anything that enhances ones’ spirit. I have found that spirituality is always present when trying to make this world a better place. I can’t work for the common good and not recognized the spiritual connections to the work I am doing. Spirituality and Activism are inter-connected. As a former Jesuit Volunteer, I found that this notion of spirituality and activism was best described by St. Ignatius of Loyola as being Contemplative in Action. We are all called to be Contemplatives in Action and Cesar Chavez did a great job at demonstrating that.

There is a Jesuit saying that says: ETAS or in other words, En Todo Amar y Servir (in all, Love and Serve). Cesar Chavez life was guided by ETAS. Below is Cesar Chavez famous prayer. There was a time where I used to read Cesar Chavez prayer on a daily basis before I started my day. May this prayer inspired us and continue to guide us in our quest to making this world a better place for the future generations. 

Prayer of the Farm Workers’ Struggle

Show me the suffering of the most miserable;
So I will know my people’s plight.

Free me to pray for others;
For you are present in every person.

Help me to take responsibility for my own life;
So that I can be free at last.  

Grant me courage to serve others;
For in service there is true life.

Give me honesty and patience;
So that I can work with other workers.

Bring forth song and celebration;
So that the spirit will be alive among us.

Let the spirit flourish and grow;
So we will never tire of the struggle.

Let us remember those who have died for justice;
For they have given us life.

Help us love even those who hate us;
So we can change the world.

Written by Cesar E. Chavez, UFW Founder (1927-1993)   

 Oracion del Campesino en la Lucha

Ensename el sufrimiento de los mas desafortunados;

Asi conocere el dolor de mi pueblo.

Librame a orar por los demas;
Porque estas presente en cada persona.

Ayudame a tomar responsabilidad de mi propia vida;
Solo asi sere libre al fin.

Concedeme valentia para servir al projimo;
Porque en la entrega hay vida verdadera.

Concedeme honoradez y paciencia;
Para que yo pueda trabajar junto con otros trabajadores.

Alumbranos con el canto y la celebracion;
Para que levanten el Espiritu entre nosotros.

Que el Espiritu florezca y crezca;
Para que no nos cansemos entre la lucha.

Nos acordamos de los que han caido por la justicia;
Porque a nosotros han entregado la vida.

Ayudanos a amar aun a los que nos odian;

 

Asi podremos cambiar el mundo.

Escrito por Cesar E. Chavez, Fundador de la UFW (1927-1993)

Here are some videos on Cesar E. Chavez. Enjoy.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Cesar E. Chavez: 

“Our struggle is not easy. Those who oppose our cause are rich and powerful and they have many allies in high places. We are poor… but we have something the rich do not own. We have our bodies and spirits and the justice of our cause as our weapons.”

“Because we have suffered, and we are not afraid to suffer in order to survive, we are ready to give up everything – even our lives – in our struggle for justice.” 

“People who have lost their hunger for justice are not ultimately powerful….The love for justice that is in us is not only the best part of our being but it is also the most true to our nature.”

 

“Is it so much to ask that the poorest people of the land have a measure of justice?”

“We are confident. We have ourselves. We know how to sacrifice. We know how to work. We know how to combat the forces that oppose us. But even more than that, we are true believers in the whole idea of justice. Justice is so much on our side, that that is going to see us through.”

“We shall strike. We shall organize boycotts. We shall demonstrate and have political campaigns. We shall pursue the revolution we have proposed. We are sons and daughters of the farm workers’ revolution, a revolution of the poor seeking bread and justice.” 

“Non-violence, which is the quality of the heart, cannot come by an appeal to the brain.”

 “The first principle of non-violent action is that of non-cooperation with everything humiliating.” 

 “…people think non-violence is really weak and non-militant. These are misconceptions that people have because they don’t understand what non-violence means. Non-violence takes more guts, if I can put it bluntly, than violence. Most violent acts are accomplished by getting the opponent off guard, and it doesn’t take that much character, I think, if one wants to do it.”

 “Imagine the National Guard being called against a group of peaceful people. How far can we get; how disgraceful can it become? It’s the most disgraceful, the most wicked thing I’ve seen in all my years of organizing farm labor.”

 “Non violence means people in action. People have to understand that with non-violence goes a hell of a lot of organization.”

 “Non-violence exacts a very high price from one who practices it. But once you are able to meet that demand then you can do most things.” 

“Non-violence is a very powerful weapon. Most people don’t understand the power of non-violence and tend to be amazed by the whole idea. Those who have been involved in bringing about change and see the difference between violence and non-violence are firmly committed to a lifetime of non-violence, not because it is easy or because it is cowardly, but because it is an effective and very powerful way.”

“Violence just hurts those who are already hurt…Instead of exposing the brutality of the oppressor, it justifies it.”

“We are convinced that non-violence is more powerful than violence. We are convinced that non-violence supports you if you have a just and moral cause…If you use violence, you have to sell part of yourself for that violence. Then you are no longer a master of your own struggle.” 

“When workers fall back on violence, they are lost. Oh, they might win some of their demands and might end a strike a little earlier, but they give up their imagination, their creativity, their will to work hard and to suffer for what they believe is right.” 

CESAR E. CHAVEZ…PRESENTE!!!
AHORA…Y…SIEMPRE!!!

It’s Time for DODGERS BASEBALL!!!

March 31, 2011

Today begins my relationship with the Dodgers. Any fan will tell you that our devotion to our Sports Team is like a marriage. I’ve been married to the Dodgers over 30 years and I have always been there through the good times and bad times. I know that for the next 6 months, I am going to have my highs and lows. I am going to be happy one day and sad the next. There will be days where I will be filled with joy and others where I don’t want to talk about the game. There will be days where I can’t wait to get home and listen to Vin Scully give the play by play. There is something magical when listening to his voice.

As for this upcoming season, I am optimistic like always. Opening Day is like a honeymoon. Once the honeymoon ends, the tough work lies ahead. 2011 is the 30th anniversary of Fernandomania as well as the 30th anniversary since the Dodgers won their 1st World Series in the 80s, the 2nd coming back in 1988, which happens to be the last time the Dodgers have been in the fall classic.

I hope 2011 is the year that Dodgers make it to the World Series. I have been saying this for more than 20 years. It is just part of my Opening Day remarks. I have to let those words get out of my chest.

Like always, if the Dodgers stay healthy, I have big expectations. The moves that they made over the off season were alright. I think the pitching staff is decent. If the pitchers stay healthy, I expect blow out seasons for Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley and great performances by the rest. The bullpen is going to be a big factor as the season goes along. If Jonathan Broxton shows any signs of meltdown, I say give the closer duties to K.J. or Kuo. The Dodgers should trade Broxton if he doesn’t perform at the level that he is capable.

This years team should be able a better defensive team than last year and more aggressive on the basepaths with the addition of Davey Lopes. I hope Matt Kemp and the rest have taken the techniques that Lopes has taught them and they implement those techniques in the games. Matt Kemp if he stays healthy should have at least a 30/30 season. Andre Either should be able to hit at least 25 home runs and drive in around 98 RBIs. James Loney has to be more aggressive at the plate and let his hands go. I hope he has a great season where he hits at least 20 homeruns with 110 RBIs and 42 doubles couple than with 18 stolen bases. If Juan Uribe has a little better season than last year, it will be great.

There is nothing better than starting the season facing ur hated rivals, the San Francisco Midgets. Clayton Kershaw vs Tim Lincecum should be a great pitchers’ duel. I can’t wait for today’s game and tuning in to Vin Scully. I am ready for what this season has to offer me. I hope more great memories than painful ones.

It’s time for DODGERS BASEBALL!!!

Jaime Escalante…Presente!!!

March 30, 2011

A year ago today, Jaime Escalante passed away. The way he passed away demonstrated how messed up our health care system in America is. Escalante is one of millions of victims who have had their lives cut short due to a very tragic health care system.

I don’t know anyone who was not inspired by Stand and Deliver. He introduced the world to the word, GANAS. It is through GANAS that we need to continue teaching our young, whether in the classrooms or outside. We need to carry the seed that Escalante left in us and apply his philosophy not only to the young ones but to those we encounter on a daily basis, whether its the homeless laying down on the street, our elders, or just our family members. The beauty of GANAS is that when we fully let the word take over us, we see ripples of joy, compassion, empathy, respect and understanding surrounding our inner circles but also our greater community. Let us be driven by GANAS to make this world a better place.

Here is a great article that was written couple of weeks before his death.

JAIME ESCALANTE…PRESENTE!!!
AHORA…Y…SIEMPRE!!!

Chico Che…PRESENTE!!!

March 29, 2011
jesus chico che

Hoy recordamos la vida de Francisco (Chico) Jose (Che) Hernandez Mandujano mejor conocido a nivel mundial como Chico Che quien muri?? el 29 de marzo de 1989 a los 48 a??os de edad de un infarto al miocardio.

Chico Che es uno de mis favoritos musicos. Chico Che esta sellado en la cultura Mexicana. El es uno de los grandes artistas que ha producido el pueblo Mexicano. Chico Che fue genial en componer y escribir canciones. Siempre se mantuvo fiel a su pueblo; humilde de corazon y con un estilo unico que lo llego a caracterizar por sus Overoles y sus lentes.

Chico Che se mantiene vivo atravez de sus canciones. En ellas uno puede bailar esa tristeza, dolor, soledad y transformarla en frutos de alegria, risas y espacios llenos de amor. Las canciones de Chico Che siguen tocando corazones.  Aqui les dejo mis 15 exitos favoritos de Chico Che.

De Que Chon
Tons Que Mami
El Africano
Tengo Roto El Pantalon
Quien Pompo-en Siempre en Domingo
El Sustazo del Negrazo
Mananitas de Cristal
Macorina Pon Pon
Que Culpa Tiene La Estaca
Los Nenes Con Los Nenes
Catalina Le Pego
Donde Te Agarro El Temblor
Cascarita de Banana
Huele a Gas
Cascarita de Cacao

CHICO CHE…PRESENTE!!!
AHORA…Y…SIEMPRE!!!

Bowling for Homeless Youth

March 28, 2011

It is that time for us to fundraise and come up with the money to buy the airfare tickets for L.A.’s Street Soccer Team as we get ready to represent Los Angeles in the annual Street Soccer USA Cup in Washington, DC. this June.

We are having our first fundraiser and we would be happy to have you joined us for a night of bowling.

March 30, 2011

ALL STAR LANES
4459 Eale Rock Blvd
L.A. CA 90041

$20 for 2 bowling frames (7pm-9pm)

After bowling, enjoy some great Son Jarocho-traditional music from Veracruz, Mexico-as Taller Jarocho and NO MANCHESTER CHICHARITO SON, will display the beautiful sounds of Son Jarocho.

For those who can’t make it, but would like to donate to the jovenes’ trip to Washington, DC, please make donations to:

Jovenes, Inc
***on the memo line, feel free to write L.A. Street Soccer

Jovenes, Inc
1208 Pleasant Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Archbishop Oscar Romero…PRESENTE!!!

March 24, 2011

Click on the link below to see this beautiful slideshow of Mons. Romero.
Mons. Oscar Romero

Bishop Oscar Romero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Nancy Oliphant)

 Oscar Romero picture, image, poster

Today marks the 31st anniversary of Archbishop Oscar Romero’s assassination by members of the Salvadoran Military, who 2 of the officers cited in the assassination of Romero were graduates of the School of Americas aka Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC). Mons. Oscar Romero continues to be present in the lives of Salvadorans and in the lives of millions of people from around the world. May we continue to be inspired by his message of Love.

Prophets of a Future Not Our Own:

It helps now and then to step back and take a long view.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of
saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession
brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives include everything.

This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one
day will grow. We water the seeds already planted
knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects
far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of
liberation in realizing this.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning,
a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s
grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the
difference between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not
messiahs.

We are prophets of a future not our own.


Archbishop Oscar Romero (martyred on March 24th 1980)

Monsenor, Oscar Romero…PRESENTE!!!

AHORA…Y…SIEMPRE!!!

 

Mons. Oscar Romero’s Homily

March 24, 2011
Below is Mons. Oscar Romero’s homily that he gave on March 16, 1980. Excerpts taken from The Violence of Love, pages 201-204.

March 16, 1980

At this time, when land in El Salvador is the object of conflict, let us not forget that the land is closely tied to God’s blessings and promises…There is a theological meaning in the bond between reconciliation and the land. I want to emphasize this idea because it seems to me very appropriate….The land contains much that is of God. That is why it groans when the unjust monopolize it and leave no land for others. Land reform is a theological necessity. A country’s land cannot stay in a few hands. It must be given to all, and all must share in God’s blessings on the land.

Each country has its own promised land in the territory that geography has alloted it. We must always bear in mind and never forget this theological reality: the land is a sign of justice and reconciliation. There will be no true reconciliation between our people and God as long as there is no just distribution, as long as the goods of ther earth in El Salvador are not for the benefit and happiness of all Salvadorans.

God in Christ dwells near at hand to us. Christ has given us a guideline: “I was hungry and you gave me to eat.” Where someone is hungry, there is Christ near at hand. “I was thirsty and you gave me to drink.” When someone comes to your house to ask for water, it is Christ, if you look with faith. In the sick person longing for a visit Christ tells you, “I was sick and you came to visit me.” Or in prison.

How many today are ashamed to testify for the innocent! What terror has been sown among our people that friends betray friends whom they see in trouble! If we could see that Christ is the needy one, the torture victim, the prisoner, the murder victim, and in each human figure so shamefully thrown by our roadsides could see Christ himself cast aside, we would pick him up like a medal of gold to be kissed lovingly. We would never be ashamed of him. How far are people today-especially those who torture and kill and value their investments more than human beings-from realizing that all the earth’s millions are good for nothing, are worthless, compared to a human being. The person is Christ, and in the person viewed and treated with faith we look on Christ the Lord.

To try to reveal Christ is our great pastoral task. If I speak of earthly matters or political questions, it is to guide our reflection towards Christ. I would like you to understand me well so as not to have a wrong idea of these Masses. Far from being political gatherings, they mean to draw the people toward Christ, toward God. Thus they are understood in many testimonials I receive. It gives me great comfort to know that people come to church on Sunday to look for Christ. Even in the criminal realities of our land Christ is present, rejecting all that crime. That is why we must speak of it here.

I feel more pity than anger when they insult me and slander me. I feel pity for those poor blind people who can’t see beyond the person. Let them know that I hold no animosity, no grudge. Those annonymous letters that come don’t offend me with all their raging, nor what is said through other means or lived out in the heart. It’s not a pity of superiority, but a pity of thankfulness to God and of prayer to God:
Lord, open their eyes.
Lord, let them be converted.
Lord, instead of the bitterness of hate
that they lived in their hearts,
let them live the joy of reconciliation with you.

This is the fundamental thought of my preaching: Nothing is so important to me as human life. Taking life is something so serious, so grave-more than the violation of any other human right-because it is the life of God’s children, and because such bloodshed only negates love, awakens new hatreds,
makes reconciliation and peace impossible.

Thoughts on Obama visiting Romero’s Tomb

March 24, 2011

Yesterday, Obama visited the tomb of Mons.Oscar A. Romero in El Salvador before concluding his Latin America Trip. This was clearly a Photo Op and nothing else. As someone who admires Mons. Oscar Romero, I find his visit to Romero’s tomb to be very troubling given that Obama could have used the opportunity to 1) apologized to the Salvadoran people for the U.S. role in the 12 year civil war that killed more than 75,000 people and 2) bring attention to the closure of the School of Americas. Obama stated that Romero was an “inspiration.” If Obama is “inspired” by Mons. Oscar Romero he can close the School of Americas (Assassins) aka the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC), which trained the soldiers that assassinated Mons. Oscar Romero. There is no better way for Obama to show his “inspiration” than by closing a terrorist school that continues to be financed by our tax dollars.

Here is an interesting article. Enjoy.

SHUT DOWN THE SOA
SI SE PUEDE!!!

SHUT DOWN THE SOA
SI SE PUEDE!!!

SHUT DOWN THE SOA
SI SE PUEDE!!!

For more info on the School of America’s go to www.soaw.org

Downtown Women’s Action Coalition Variety Show

March 23, 2011

For those in the Los Angeles area, I hope you can join me in participating in the 3rd annual Downtown Women’s Action Coalition (DWAC) Variety Show happening Thursday, March 24th and Friday, March 25th. Come and support the women of Downtown Los Angeles but expect to be blown away by their amazing gifts and talents.

Community Connection

March 22, 2011
The Community Connection is the bi-monthly newspaper of Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN). Read about the first city wide public housing convention, an article on knowing your rights when you get stop by police, a review of Downtown Blues: A Skid Row Reader, information on Downtown Women’s Action Coalition 3rd annual talent show, an update on L.A. CAN’s roof-top community gardern, and much more.

http://cangress.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/community-connection-39.pdf

To be updated on the great work that L.A. CAN is doing go to http://cangress.wordpress.com/