Editor’s note: Mary Franceschini came across this beautiful litany that was written by the Center for Action and Contemplation, founded by Fr. Richard Rohr. Fr. Richard Mangini calls it “excellent, inclusive, powerfully connective.”
A Litany of Belonging (reproduced from the Center for Action and Contemplation with permission)
At many of the Center for Action and Contemplation‘s conferences, we read the following call and response with those gathered, both in person and online. We invite you to read it aloud to yourself and feel truly welcomed—all parts of you, especially those that culture or church have denigrated.
We would like to let you know that you belong:
- People on all parts of the continuum of gender identity and expression, including those who are gay, bisexual, heterosexual, transgender, cisgender, queer folks, the sexually active, the celibate, and everyone for whom those labels don’t apply. Response: I belong.
- People of African descent, of Asian descent, of European descent, of First Nations descent in this land and abroad, and people of mixed and multiple descents and of all the languages spoken here. Response: I belong.
- Bodies with all abilities and challenges. Those living with any chronic medical condition, visible or invisible, mental or physical. Response: I belong.
- People who identify as activists and those who don’t. Mystics, believers, seekers of all kinds. People of all ages. Those who support you to be here. Response: I belong.
- Your emotions: joy, fear, grief, contentment, disappointment, surprise, and all else that flows through you. Response: I belong.
- Your families, genetic and otherwise. Those dear to us who have died. Our ancestors and the future ones. The ancestors who lived in this land, in this place, where these buildings are now . . . we honor you through this work that we are undertaking. Response: I belong.
- People who feel broken, lost, struggling; who suffer from self-doubt and self-judgment. Response: I belong.
- All beings that inhabit this earth: the two-legged, the four-legged, winged and finned, those that walk, fly, and crawl, above the ground and below, in air and water. Response: I belong.
Copyright (c) Center for Action and Contemplation. All rights reserved worldwide. Used with permission.