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Breathing Space: A Spiritual Journey in the South Bronx, by Heidi B. Neumark; Beacon Press, 2004)

Book Review by Al Mascia, OFM

This outstanding memoir by the Rev. Heidi B. Neumark is a welcome testimony to hope and promise in the midst of global and local difficulties. Breathing Space is the story of the author’s relationship with a Hispanic and African-American Lutheran church in one of the most impoverished and violent inner-city U.S. neighborhoods, the South Bronx. There she served as pastor for 10 years with her husband and children, encountering every imaginable manifestation of urban blight. She painted over graffiti-ridden walls, dialogued with gang members and made her way through rat-infested tenements while creatively leading her congregation through the liturgical year.

Breathing Space incorporates the wisdom and insights of spiritual and theological giants such as John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Thomas Merton, and others, as Neumark describes the transformation of her inner city parish from a state of decline to a state of renewal.
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Bright Ideas
Smart Driving

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Resources / Links
 
 
 
 
Ethical Eating: This booklet in the “live simply” series from Franciscan Media offers facts, encouragement and practical tips for seeking simplicity in the food we eat.  It helps with choosing more wholesome foods, appreciating the land, animals and farmers that provide it, and understanding the social, economic and environmental ties between physical and spiritual nourishment.  You can order it at http://catalog.franciscanmedia.org/Product.aspx?ProductCode=B36427
Wholly Healthy: This booklet of the “live simply” series from Franciscan Media offers tips to help you live a simpler life, and to balance your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Cost is $1.99.  Order from Franciscan Media at http://catalog.franciscanmedia.org/Product.aspx?ProductCode=B36494 .
Instruments of Christ: Reflections on the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi: In this booklet, the author, Albert Haase, OFM, reflects on each phrase of the Peace Prayer of St. Francis, offering the reader ideas of what it means to truly be a peacemaker. He challenges us to look beyond ourselves and toward God and all of humanity. Published by Franciscan Media. Cost is $8.99. You can order it at http://catalog.franciscanmedia.org/Product.aspx?ProductCode=B16572 .

Catholic
The Holy See
National Catholic Conference of Bishops (NCCB) and the United States Catholic Conference (USCC)
Franciscan Media
Zenit: Catholic News from Rome
Order of Friars Minor (OFM) International Web Site
Consistent Life (formerly Seamless Garment Network)
Environmental
Earth Ministry
Secular Franciscan Order’s Ecology Commission
USCCB Environmental Justice Program
Union of Concerned Scientists
Web of Creation
St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor
Franciscan
Franciscan Action Network (FAN)
The Franciscan Center for Social Concern at St. Bonaventure University
Franciscans International at the United Nations (Geneva and New York)
Justice
Bread for the World
Center of Concern in Washington, D.C.
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Friends Committee on National Legislation
National Right to Life Committee
Network: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Peace
Catholic Peace Fellowship
Global Peace Services USA
The Institute for Peace and Justice
Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service
Pax Christi USA
1,000 Years of Peace, sponsored by St. Anthony Messenger Press
Teaching Tolerance
Los Alamos Study Group