Hold It All

Month: November, 2014

Word of the Day

Disponibilidade, noun, Portuguese

A disposition of openness
In which one is accessible
Available and willing
To be inconvenienced
By the needs or requests
Of another person or event

–adapted from Mev Puleo, The Struggle Is One: Voices and Visions of Liberation

Poems Overheard Last Night


Who needs Rumi?
We’ve got Fatima!

She’s the ultimate poem.


If Rumi had met Fatima
He would have forgotten Shams–

Just like that!

Comfort the Afflicted, Afflict the Comfortable

At this stage, we have an obligation to make those who shield Israel from criticism feel uncomfortable—not because they are Jewish, but because they are complicit in the commission of crimes against a vulnerable people who have long endured unimaginable levels of abuse.

–Richard Falk, Palestine: The Legitimacy of Hope

Share the Wealth with Hope Menninger: An Exercise in Compassion

From Hope …One of my favorite songs is “What Sarah Said” by a band named Death Cab for Cutie. Sarah’s punchline appears near the end of the song: “love is watching someone die.” After my mother’s illness and death, I was drawn to study theology, especially what God and religion have to say about human suffering and mortality. I’ve had the opportunity to study religion at Saint Louis University and Yale University. Over the past few years I have encountered death and suffering as an Emergency Medical Technician and hospital chaplain. I am working towards becoming a Physician Assistant with the purpose of continuing to be be present with and provide care for those who are sick and dying. I look forward to engaging in conversation about religion, suffering, medicine, and academia, and I will be glad to answer questions about my unique experiences!

Hope Menninger is an EMT, a chaplain at SLU Hospital, and an aspiring Physician Assistant. After completing a BA in theology from SLU and a MA in Religion at Yale Divinity School, she became a chaplain intern at SLU Hospital. Hope is originally from north Georgia and lives in St. Louis with her husband, Charlie, and border terrier, Gryphon.

Join us
Sunday 23 November
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Hope begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Savannah Sisk
4407 Forest Park Avenue Apartment E (Third floor)
Central West End 63108
Parking on Forest Park Avenue and Newstead

 Hope STW


“So her mother died from a brain tumor?
Sure, I can spend some time with her”

“You’re spending too much time on Netflix?
Let’s read Mansfield Park, 30 minutes a night, whaddaya say?”

“Your friend is going in for surgery next week?
Give her this gatha, if and when the time is right…”

“You didn’t see this quarter-life crisis coming, now here it is?
Café V at 7, I’ll tell you of the mid-life crisis I saw coming”

“You don’t know when you’ll get back to El Salvador to see her?
Come on over, we can miss the missing together”



Since she took my class in 2007
She’s read The Book of Mev  six times

It’s an annual ritual
It’s reading as rejuvenation

To instill urgency
To her flagging spirit

They Whispered So So Softly

We were on our honeymoon in Sicily
Visiting with friends from graduate school

They were both Sicilian-Americans
They had moved there to start a family

They had us out to their home in the country
The nearest neighbors were half a mile away

A delicious dinner and lively conversation
Then Mev brought up her latest idea

A photo-interview project focusing on
Members of the Church who resisted the Mafia

(Two months before we arrived in Italy
The Mafia had murdered Judge Giovanni Falcone)

Mev was keen to hear
What our friends thought of her idea

But they whispered so so softly there in their own home
We had to lean forward to hear them

Fidel on Che

He had a gift for people. He was one of those people that everyone immediately cares about—it was his naturalness, his simplicity, his sense of comradeship and all his virtues. He was a doctor; he was working at a Social Security Institute center doing some sort of research, cardiac something or other, or allergies, because he himself was allergic. 173

When we were still a very small group, whenever a volunteer was needed for some job, the first to volunteer would always be ‘el Che.’ 176

He’d be the first for any difficult mission; he was characterized by an extraordinary bravery, an absolute contempt for danger, but also, he’d sometimes propose that we do very difficult, very risky things… I’d tell him, ‘No.’  177 Read the rest of this entry »

Facing the Facts

My life is mapped out:
it is my destiny to take a bullet
by the Mafia some day.
The only thing I don’t know is when.

—Giovanni Falcone


See how the accusations against the prophets of all times are the same.
When the prophet bothers the consciences of the selfish,
or of those who are not building with God’s plans,
he is a nuisance and must be eliminated,
murdered, thrown into a pit,
persecuted, not allowed to speak the word that annoys…

–Oscar Romero

Books Can Be Subversive

Somoza’s  guards burned
the 10,000 volumes
of the Solentiname library

–from Prophets in Combat: The Nicaraguan Journal of Bishop Pedro Casaldáliga [1986]