32 Chapters
Medium 9780929398136

4. You Feel Like Your Work Is a Ministry

Mary Beth Rogers University of North Texas Press PDF

4

You Feel Like Your Work

Is a Ministry

San Antonio, 1986

I drive for almost an hour through the suburbs and shopping centers in the rolling hills of northwest San Antonio before I find Mary and Jesse Moreno's home near the University of

Texas Medical School. Jesse has worked for almost four years to remodel the white brick and frame house with bright blue shutters that sits on two acres in the tree-filled neighborhood.

The house is spacious and comfortable for Mary and Jesse and their four children who range in age from 6 to 11. Wide windows bring in the pastoral scenes from the backyard where the children's pony grazes peacefully. While the kids watch Saturday morning cartoons in the den, Mary heats coffee in her microwave and we sit at a huge pine table in the dining room, where books and newspapers are stacked alongside children's art, school papers, and comfortable family clutter. The washing machine is humming in another room, and we hear Jesse hammering away, making repairs on the carport he recently added.

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12. A Theology That Does Not Stop

Mary Beth Rogers University of North Texas Press PDF

12

A Theology That Does Not Stop

Los Angeles, 1976

Sister Maribeth Larkin has only a small role to play today at city hall when members of a new East Los Angeles community group make their presentation to the city council. All she has to do is to translate from Spanish to English the words of the local leaders who will present the concerns of the United Neighborhoods Organization (UNO) to the council. But she is queasy.

Fear grips her stomach, and the telephone call from Ernesto

Cortes doesn't help.

"I'm testing you out," Cortes tells her. "We'll see how well you do today and then decide how we can use you." That's all the shy and slender, dear-eyed Sister of Social Service needs to lose her breakfast, even consider calling in sick. How can she possibly stand up and talk in front of the politicians and news media in the chambers of the Los Angeles City Council? Yet, how could she even consider backing out with so many people depending on her? Once again, fear and duty-the hallmarks of her life-provoke conflict within Maribeth Larkin. As usual, duty wins the battle, but the fear remains and turns to panic when she and almost 200 UNO members arrive to see that the council chambers are already full.

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Medium 9781574414363

15. We Are the Only Alternative

Mary Beth Rogers The University of Chicago Press ePub

15

We Are the Only Alternative

San Antonio, 1986

“Most people have come into our communities to destroy them . . . the Klan . . . the dope dealers . . . the developers. . . . The people have looked to their ministers to defend and protect them.”1

The speaker is the Reverend Nehemiah Davis, the distinguished black pastor of the Mount Pisgah Baptist Church in Fort Worth. The setting is the modern new Catholic chancery of the archdiocese of San Antonio. The audience is a group of about 60 Catholic priests, Protestant ministers, and Texas community leaders from eight Texas Industrial Areas Foundation organizations who are meeting to get to know each other better and determine how they can exert statewide influence as a network. Some of them have driven 13 hours from El Paso to be at the meeting, and several of the El Paso representatives speak no English. So the low rumble of simultaneous translation from English to Spanish accompanies the dialogue, which is about power and how to solidify it locally and leverage it statewide.

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14. Is COPS Coming to Your Neighborhood?

Mary Beth Rogers University of North Texas Press PDF

14

Is COPS Coming to Your Neighborhood?

New York, 1986

Texas Lieutenant Governor William P. Hobby Jr. and I share a cab to La Guardia Airport on a crisp fall afternoon. It is one of those interminable rides out of Manhattan, with the mix of high speed, quick stops, and long waits that sends most Texans in New York into orbit. But I am relatively free of anxiety because we have plenty of time before our plane departs and

Hobby is calm because . . . Hobby is always calm, sometimes even maddeningly so.

We have been in New York to see the bond rating agencies about the financial condition of the State of Texas, which has not been good since the price of oil slipped from $21 to $11 a barrel. Wall Street is wary of Texas' ability to meet its obligations, and we have been part of a delegation to reassure investment bankers and bond analysts that state officials will behave responsibly and with fiscal "prudence." No one in the state can do a better job of reassuring Wall Street than quiet, seriouseven shy-Bill Hobby, who since 1972 has stood guard against extremism in Texas government.

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Medium 9781574414363

12. A Theology That Does Not Stop

Mary Beth Rogers The University of Chicago Press ePub

12

A Theology That Does Not Stop

Los Angeles, 1976

Sister Maribeth Larkin has only a small role to play today at city hall when members of a new East Los Angeles community group make their presentation to the city council. All she has to do is to translate from Spanish to English the words of the local leaders who will present the concerns of the United Neighborhoods Organization (UNO) to the council. But she is queasy. Fear grips her stomach, and the telephone call from Ernesto Cortes doesn’t help.

“I’m testing you out,” Cortes tells her. “We’ll see how well you do today and then decide how we can use you.” That’s all the shy and slender, clear-eyed Sister of Social Service needs to lose her breakfast, even consider calling in sick. How can she possibly stand up and talk in front of the politicians and news media in the chambers of the Los Angeles City Council? Yet, how could she even consider backing out with so many people depending on her? Once again, fear and duty—the hallmarks of her life—provoke conflict within Maribeth Larkin. As usual, duty wins the battle, but the fear remains and turns to panic when she and almost 200 UNO members arrive to see that the council chambers are already full.

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