Call to Action (CTA) is a well established organization of progressive Catholics that seeks to uphold and further the liberalizing spirit of Vatican II.  Their slogan is “Catholics Working Together for Justice and Equality.”  The organization holds annual conventions in Milwaukee, and the upcoming gathering begins on November 6, 2009.  Here is the link to the Day One Agenda, and here is the link to the Day Two Agenda.  Sunday, November 8th marks the conclusion of the three day event, and here is the Day Three Agenda.

Plenary Session in Ballroom: 8:45 AM

2009 Call To Action Leadership Award: SNAP Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

The board of Call To Action is honored to recognize Barbara Blaine, David Clohessy and SNAP with the 2009 Call To Action Leadership Award for giving voice to the survivors of clergy sexual abuse. SNAP’s work to demand accountability in church structures and among church personnel has helped nurture a culture where Catholics are better able to question Church leaders about the closed, patriarchal structures that put children at risk. SNAP has also opened a dialogue among parishioners to help them understand their own role in Blaine / Clohessyperpetuating destructive church structures. Beyond their work as public advocates for accountability, Barbara and David share a generosity of spirit that allows them to gently minister to survivors of abuse. Their determined pursuit of justice for survivors, their families, and the entire Church, has been a powerful model for every Catholic.

Barbara Blaine is founder and president of SNAP. Since 1988, Blaine has reached out to help survivors and expose wrongdoers. Previously, Blaine worked in Jamaica with the Sisters of Mercy, was co-chair of Call To Action’s Catholics for Peace, worked with homeless families at a Catholic Worker house, and then represented abused and neglected children in juvenile court. Blaine holds graduate degrees in Law and Social Work as well as a Masters of Divinity. David Clohessy has been national director of SNAP since 1991, setting up dozens of support groups and doing thousands of interviews (including Oprah, Sixty Minutes, the Phil Donahue Show, Good Morning America). He’s been a community organizer in poor neighborhoods, and done political and public relations consulting. He’s married and has two sons.

Keynote – DR. Clarissa Pinkola Estés “The Thunderous Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Gentle Ones: Did You Think Creator was Kidding?”

The Old Believers are a wild lot, wild as in natural, following cycles of sowing and harvest down by the river, even in the strongest cross-winds of our times. When did we last protect and sow the wild seeds of the Holy Ghost? And when did we last carry in the harvest by boldly ‘living out loud’ the legacy we were granted at Christening and at Confirmation? Did we think Creator was not serious when we were given the profound gifts of the Holy Spirit then? Have we forgotten? Or been misled? Or become too shy? Or told that’s only for saints? We all were given the charisms of hands-on healing, given an unquenchable taste for Espirito Santo, welded so that we might stand bravely right in the center of the flame of the Inspiratus, blowing past the rote, and instead, speaking in ways that cleanse and re-root the weary mind back into the ever-glowing rhizome — the Igneus Christi. For us, the Holy Ghost is friendly, but never tame.

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, activist poet, psychoanalyst, cantadora (keeper of the old Pinkola Estesstories), Dr. Estés has practiced clinically as a post-trauma specialist since 1970. She served teachers and children after the massacre at Columbine High School and survivor families of the 9/11 tragedy. She is an Associate with the Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas. Her teaching “spirit in healing” to young doctors at a Catholic hospital coincides with her board appointment at Maya Angelou Minority Health Foundation, Wake Forest University Medical School. A former welfare mother, she testifies before state and federal legislatures on issues of mercy. Of Mestizo-Mexican heritage, adopted by immigrant Hungarians as an older child, Dr. Estés is a visiting diversity lecturer at universities and a Founder of La Sociedad de Guadalupe for adult literacy. As a grandmother from the Rocky Mountains and a disciple of nature, Dr. Estés holds that the largest endangered species on earth is the human soul.

Closing Liturgy: 10:45 AM – 12:15 PM