Posted October 15, 2015
Book: Beyond Empowerment: A Pilgrimage with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development
Author: Jeffry Odell Korgen
Orbis Books. Maryknoll, NY. 2015. Pp. 181
An Excerpt from the Jacket:
Beyond Empowerment tells stories
that take us to the world of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and
gives us glimpses of the triumphs and joys experienced when people come together
in common purpose and strive to reach beyond their circumstances to make things
Each chapter focuses on a particular dimension of community
organizing and economic development. All across the United States, the voices of
CCHD employs, organizers, and friends articulate their struggles and insights,
their challenges and triumphs. These interviews, profiles, and case studies
provide readers with wisdom and inspiration – and the hope that come through
An Excerpt from the Book:
"Today . . .masses of people find themselves excluded and
marginalized; without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.
Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then
discarded. . . it is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but
something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be part of
the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society's underside
or its fringes or its disenfranchised --- they are no longer even a part of it.
The excluded are not "exploited" but the outcast, the "leftovers."
meeting with journalists immediately after his elevation to the papacy, Pope
Francis stated, "Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and a Church for the poor."
At the time, many of us thought we knew what he meant. We didn't.
that press conference in 2013, Francis has consistently challenged us to
understand the meaning of "a poor Church for the poor." Through his travels and
in his speeches and writings, he has always guided us to the poorest of the poor
among the poorest of the poor: "the excluded."
Who are the excluded among
us in the United States? Some are hidden, some hidden in plain sight. Maybe they
are disabled; maybe they live in a Native American Indian nations. Perhaps they
were raised in a "no-parent" family, or they are unauthorized migrants or
ex-prisoners. Pope Francis calls us to be a church of and for these excluded
people. Isn't it time we got to know them better?
Table of Contents:
1. A place at the table: cafe reconcile and Bayou interfaith
2. Meet the Lideresas: women's justice circles
3. Voices of solidarity: workers centers and social enterprises
4. "Who's got the tickets?" Progress center for independent living
5. The power of Himdag: Tohono O'odham Community action
6. Jobs not jails: ex-prisoners and prisoners organizing for community advancement
Afterword: the end of the pilgrimage