Maria McCabe Builds Bridges Through Faith

March 24, 2016 -- Partnership for Working Families

Maria McCabe is a leader within affiliate POWER and the Director of Social Justice and Campus Ministry at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration in Philadelphia, PA. With a mother from Puerto Rico and a Finnish-American father, Maria recounts struggling with a sense of belonging in juggling mixed cultures at home. But one thing that remained consistent in Maria’s household was the family’s dedication to social justice and it’s need to be addressed and spoken for. “That is what our lives are for,” Maria says, “This is what our voices and skills are meant for. Not necessarily for religious reasons but for deep spiritual reasons.” Maria views the opportunity to use her ministry as a path with which she can bring all of her experiences to the forefront. Maria speaks about the beauty and healing that she finds in her ministry and the many sources from which she draws her commitment to community and social justice work.

“In this moment what fires me up and fills me with spirit energy is the opportunity to build bridges over boundaries that have traditionally separated faith communities and the communities that they serve. It is our duty to minister to all people. We must play an active role in facilitating storytelling and story listening. I would like to model a different kind of activist energy starting with my own backyard. To some, being an activist means having an agenda, ideas, goals, and measurable outcomes; most of which is external work. But what I have personally come to understand is that the joy, glory, and spirit has to be in the journey and in the process of this work. We have to be open to what happens and willing to learn about how we are shaped by one another. This is living in divine love. Activism for me is a spiritual practice that happens within community. As someone that has never had a finite community to belong to, I have to make a community that engages all of us. This quest is what I find exciting and incredibly meaningful. My connection to the Sacred is where I learned to understand and respect my voice.”