Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
For the 9th consecutive year, Christmas celebrations will take place in a difficult climate for people in the Holy Land. Pax Christi and the World Council of Churches invite you to email Advent and Christmas 2008 wishes and prayers for justice and peace to their partners in Bethlehem.
Please e-mail your Christmas messages and prayers for peace before the 25th of December 2008 (Western Christmas) and/or the 7th of January 2009 (Eastern Christmas). Messages can be emailed to the Arab Educational Institute at the following address: email@example.com. Read all messages at http://www.aeicenter.org/. More languages at: http://www.paxchristi.net/international/xmas/eng.htm (in English, French and Spanish).
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
- DO IT YOURSELF: Make a heart telling Secretary Geithner "what'son your heart" with your own message (e.g. "drop the debt," "stop vulture funds," "debt cancellation for Haiti," etc.) Sign it with your name, address, and e-mail address and mail your heart to Jubilee USA Network/212 E. Capitol St. NE/Washington, DC 20003.
- ORDER postcards to sign and send. Order from firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-546-4470.
- SEND a message online. Go to www.jubileeusa.org.
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
This week the Dominican Motherhouse in Mosul, Iraq was hit by a e-car, TNT laden bomb which badly damaged the entire streetside of the building. The sisters were not injured, but, sadly, 27 people died in the shops across the street, which seem to have been the actual target. Please keep in prayer the Dominican sisters and those tragically affected by this latest bombing.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
If you would like to add your name to the Christian Call for Holy Land Peace today and join your fellow American Christians in supporting vigorous diplomatic efforts to secure a just and lasting two-state solution, go to the Churches for Middle East Peace website. There you will see a letter which was signed by national Christian leaders -- including the President of the LCWR -- and sent to key members of the Obama transition team and his national security team on December 1, 2008.
The final letter, signed by Christian leaders and congregants from across the nation (including you, if you so choose), will be delivered to President Obama during the time of inauguration. The last day to add your name is January 16, 2009.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Lesley-Anne Knight, Caritas secretary-general, calls the situation in Zimbabwe "poverty at its most dehumanizing." Knight further states, "The international community must maintain the pressure on Zimbabwe for an end to this crisis. We must also prepare ourselves for the implosion of the country and the catastrophe that will mean in terms of human suffering across the region. Zimbabwe's neighbors must address the xenophobia directed at Zimbabwean refugees in their own countries." For more information, and for ways to help Caritas help Zimbabwe, go to the Caritas website.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
In the words of the UN,
The honorary award is given to individuals or organizations once every five years for "outstanding achievements in the field of human rights." It represents an opportunity to give public recognition to the achievements of the awardees themselves, as well as to send a clear message to human rights' defenders the world over that the international community is grateful for, and supports, their efforts to promote human rights for all. The responsibility for the selection of the awardees is entrusted to a special committee composed of the President of the UN General Assembly, the president of the UN Economic and Social Council, the President of the Human Rights Council, the Chair of the UN Commission on the Status of Women and the Chairman of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Also, check out the interview that Pax Christi International Co-President Marie Dennis conducted with Father Sobrino. You can click here to view the video on the Pax Christi web site, or click on the video below (if the video is visible to you -- not sure if it will show up in subscribers' Inboxes). This is Part I; the second part will follow.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
In remembrance of Maura Clarke, Ita Ford, Dorothy Kazel and Jean Donovan (martyred December 2, 1980 for working for the liberation of the impoverished of El Salvador):
Loving God, we ask for mercy for the hardness of our hearts, as we encounter the truth of injustice, social violence, poverty and the death of your martyrs for the cause of your truth. We ask that our hearts may be changed from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. Creator God, we ask for mercy for the fear and denial that shields our souls from the encounter with truth, especially when it means that we must change our lives, our preconceptions and assumptions, our understanding of the world and the place of the United States in that world. We ask for the courage to open ourselves to truth and its consequences in our lives. Tender God who cries out in the hearts of the persecuted and the suffering, we ask for mercy for the times we close our hearts to our own liberation, when we refuse your loving offer of redemption, freedom and joy because we cherish security built on our own terms more than yours. We pray that we may be healed from our fear, hear the cries of your people, and allow ourselves to be set free. O God, in this Advent season make us instruments of liberation and witnesses to truth. This we ask in the names of our four sisters who gave their lives for the truth that sets free. Amen.
Monday, December 1, 2008
God of all compassion, comfort Your sons and daughters who live with AIDS. Spread over us all Your quilt of mercy, love and peace. Open our eyes to Your presence reflected in their faces. Open our ears to Your Truth echoing in their hearts. Give us the strength to weep with the grieving, to walk with the lonely, and to stand with the depressed. May our love mirror Your love for those who live in fear, who live under stress and who suffer rejection.
Mothering, Fathering God, grant rest to those who have died and hope to all who live with HIV. Give them encouragement to begin each day anew, and may every person with HIV throughout the world soon gain access to life-giving medications. Bless all doctors and nurses who devote themselves to caring for people with HIV.
God of life, help us find the cure now and help us build a world in which no one dies alone and where everyone lives accepted, wanted and loved. Amen.
(Adapted from a prayer by the Maryknoll AIDS Task Force.)
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
-Prayer service available at: http://www.archmil.org/news/userfiles/prayer.doc
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Click here for information from the USCCB website.
Click here for the "Fight FOCA" website, which includes an opportunity to sign the petition, which will be sent to members of Congress and President-Elect Obama.
FOCA is purported to guarantee "reproductive freedom" for American women by eradicating the restrictions and regulations placed on abortion over the years since the passage of Roe v. Wade. Additionally, it would have far-reaching implications on the ability of Catholic healthcare and social services to refrain from offering services contrarty to Catholic morality.
According to Cardinal George, president of the USCCB:
"FOCA would have an equally destructive effect on the freedom of conscience of doctors, nurses and health care workers whose personal convictions do not permit them to cooperate in the private killing of unborn children. It would threaten Catholic health care institutions and Catholic Charities. It would be an evil law that would further divide our country, and the Church should be intent on opposing evil … Abortion kills not only unborn children; it destroys constitutional order and the common good, which is assured only when the life of every human being is legally protected. Aggressively pro-abortion policies, legislation and executive orders will permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans, and would be seen by many as an attack on the free exercise of their religion.'"
Saturday, November 15, 2008
- Prayer service availabe at http://www.archmil.org/news/userfiles/prayer.doc
To Sisters Elizabeth, Mary Irene, Janice Boyer, Juliana, and Monica: We are with you in Spirit!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Jubilee Sunday annually provides an opportunity for communities of faith to hold a Sunday service focused on the principles of Jubilee. Join Jubilee Congregations around the United States in dedicating part or all of your time together to pray for global economic justice, deepen the communities understanding of the debt issue, take concrete action for debt cancellation for all impoverished countries, and receive a special offering to support the work of the Jubilee USA Network. Click here for more information and liturgy resources on Jubilee Sunday, December 14.
Another reminder will be posted closer to December 14, but it might be good to check out the resources now.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
The United Nations established the International Day for Abolition of Slavery in 1949. This day, observed on December 2 each year, was established as a means of commemorating efforts to abolish all forms of slavery throughout the world. We know that there are millions of people living in a state of servitude in all corners of the world today - most of whom are women and children.
The Frederick Douglass Family Foundation (FDFF) is pooling efforts among those who work against slavery today. Click here to sign up to receive e-mail updates about the work of FDFF toward observing December 2 this year.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
As we move on, the violence against Christians in India grabs our attention. The LCWR has sent information and an action alert. First, the information:
Since August 23, following the murder of Vishwa HinduParishad leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati and four of his associates, reportedly by Maoist groups in the state of Orissa, Christians have been under siege. Christian leadership has unequivocally condemned the killings and sympathized with the bereaved family members and spoken out against all violence. However, the government of Orissa has allowed some fascist and fundamentalist forces to terrorize the poor and minorities of the State. Churches and houses in Christian communities have been destroyed, shops burned, nuns raped, and many Christians have fled to the jungles for survival. Hindu radicals have targeted relief camps to shelter harassed Christians. By September 20, there were 45 killings, 4,000 destroyed homes and 56 churches, 11 schools, and 4 NGO offices destroyed, 18,000 wounded and attacks on 300 villages. Recently, a Catholic priest in Delhi wrote a letter to friends in the U.S. describing a procession on October 2 to the tomb of Mahatma Gandhi, apostle of nonviolence, led by theArchbishop of Delhi, to express solidarity with persecuted brothers and sisters in Orissa and to protest the ethnic cleansing of Christians. He also referred to a report that documents links between the India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF), a Maryland- based charity, and certain violent and sectarian Hindu supremacist organizations in India seeking to create a Hindu Rashtra (an ethnically "pure" Hindu Nation). Increased awareness and prayers are requested on our part.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
SOA Watch is a nonviolent grassroots movement that works through creative protest and resistance, legislative and media work to stand in solidarity with the people of Latin America, to close the SOA/WHINSEC and to change oppressive U.S. foreign policy that institutions like the SOA represent. We are grateful to our sisters and brothers throughout Latin America and the the Caribbean for their inspiration and the invitation to join them in their struggle for economic and social justice.
For more information, go to the web site listed above.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
From October 17-19, 2008, we are asked to STAND UP AGAINST POVERTY and FOR THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS. See the STAND UP website for more information.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
As summarized at AlterNet.org, “ Davis was convicted in 1991 of killing Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail. Authorities failed to produce a murder weapon or any physical evidence tying Davis to the crime. In addition, seven of the nine original state witnesses have since recanted or changed their initial testimonies in sworn affidavits. One of the remaining witnesses is alleged to be the actual perpetrator.”
AlterNet reporter Liliana Segura reports that, “The Supreme Court's decision this morning -- in which the judges refused to consider whether executing a potentially innocent person violates the 8th Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment -- could mean that Davis will be executed as soon as two weeks from now. He is out of legal avenues, and the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied clemency. There is no execution date scheduled yet; the Georgia DA must seek a new death warrant first.”
Additional information on this case including information on how to take part in communication efforts to get the State of Georgia to drop its petition for a death warrant in this case is available here and here .
Saturday, October 11, 2008
In an attempt to deflect public criticism and disassociate the school from its dubious reputation, the SOA was renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) in 2001. The name change was a result of a Department of Defense proposal included in the Defense Authorization Bill for Fiscal 2001, at a time when SOA opponents were poised to win a congressional vote on legislation that would have dismantled the school. The name-change measure passed when the House of Representatives defeated a bi-partisan amendment to close the SOA and conduct a congressional investigation by a narrow ten-vote margin. (See Talking Points, Critique of New School, Vote Roll Call.)
In a media interview, Georgia Senator and SOA supporter the late Paul Coverdell characterized the DOD proposal as a "cosmetic" change that would ensure that the SOA could continue its mission and operation. Critics of the SOA concur.
Friday, October 10, 2008
October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Stand in solidarity with those who continue to face poverty with hope and supportof the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Last year over 43 million people Stood Up to demand that world leaders keep their promise to end poverty and inequality. Join the global movement of people who refuse to stay seated in the face of increasing inequality and broken promises.
From October 17-19, 2008, we are asked to STAND UP AGAINST POVERTY and FOR THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS. See the STAND UP website for more information.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
From the SOAW web site (http://www.soaw.org):
About the School of the Americas / Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation
The US Army School of Americas (SOA), based in Fort Benning, Georgia, trains Latin American security personnel in combat, counter-insurgency, and counter-narcotics. SOA graduates are responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses in Latin America. In 1996 the Pentagon was forced to release training manuals used at the school that advocated torture, extortion and execution. Among the SOA's nearly 60,000 graduates are notorious dictators Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos of Panama, Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of Argentina, Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru, Guillermo Rodriguez of Ecuador, and Hugo Banzer Suarez of Bolivia. Lower-level SOA graduates have participated in human rights abuses that include the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the El Mozote Massacre of 900 civilians. (See Grads in the News).
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
2. You have to work to become informed. A Catholic must be informed both intellectually and morally. Getting one’s head around an issue means gathering information. A key
source of information is the U.S. bishops’ Web site (www.faithfulcitizenship.org), which includes the text of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political
Responsibility, by the Catholic bishops of the United States. The statement explains the teachings of the church that can help Catholics form their consciences in order to make
moral choices in public life.
Other good sources of information include the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its companion, the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults also provides updated teaching on issues such as justice and poverty. Many Catholic colleges offer programs and lectures on Catholic social thought, and church periodicals explore contemporary issues.
Principles of social justice ought to guide decision-making. Among them is the principle that people have a right to jobs that pay a living wage and a right to join a union. People have a right to affordable and accessible health care. In 1935, when the elderly were facing an economic crisis in the wake of the Depression, the government under President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized a basic right to a decent life, which led to the creation of the Social Security
system. There is a comparable need today for access to health care.
Opposition to unjust discrimination is another principle of social justice. Racial, ethnic and religious discrimination, both overt and subtle, have no place in society. Catholics are
called to defend against discrimination, whatever its roots. All are children of God, and all fellow citizens are our brothers and sisters. A society that discriminates unjustly diminishes not only the victims of discrimination but the society itself. Such discrimination seems to rise up whenever people feel economic or other pressures in society.
Our current immigration system violates those principles related to opposing discrimination, respecting the dignity of every person, defending the family and protecting the dignity and rights of workers. We need to replace a dysfunctional system with a system of immigration laws that work and can be enforced.
Being informed requires keeping up-to-date with developments in church teachings, such as what constitutes a just war or whether there is such a thing as a “legitimate preventive
strike.” Catholics must work to avoid war. People and nations have a right to defend themselves, but any response to aggression must be proportionate. If someone shoots you, you cannot annihilate his or her whole family or country to send a message. The Catechism of the Catholic
Church also points out that the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. Given the power of nuclear weapons at a nation’s disposal today, it is hard to conceive a justification for their use.
Church teaching on the death penalty also has developed in recent decades. The catechism states that the death penalty is not acceptable if there are alternative means to
keep a criminal from harming others. Penal sentences, such as life sentences without parole, protect society and make the death penalty seem to be based more on a desire for
vengeance than for justice.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
November 21-23, 2008 Vigil and Direct Action to Close the School of the Americas
Friday, September 26, 2008
ACTION NEEDED: Click on "Take Action Now" and enter your zip code to contact President Bush and your Members of Congress and:
• If Congress is going to spend $700 billion on Wall Street they can spend $50 billion of that on programs will assist low and middle-income Americans cope during these difficult economic times.
• The economic challenges facing our nation require an expedient and comprehensive response that includes both Wall Street and Main Street. This comprehensive economic recovery package is necessary to boost our economy and assist American citizens and businesses during this economic crisis.
BACKGROUND: For Catholic Charities USA's joint letter with the Catholic Health Association and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop's, click here
For more information, please contact Desmond Brown, Senior Director of Government Affairs, at email@example.com or, Joseph Devine, Policy Analyst, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
For some, Catholic Charities has been the only source of help.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Speaking on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Bishop John C. Wester, chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Migration, urged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and President Bush to reexamine the use of worksite enforcement raids as an immigration enforcement tool.
“The humanitarian costs of these raids are immeasurable and unacceptable in a civilized society,” Bishop Wester said. “While we do not question the right and duty of our government to enforce the law, we do question whether worksite enforcement raids are the most effective and humane method for performing this duty, particularly as they are presently being implemented.”
The statement, released September 10, addresses the increase in worksite enforcement raids across the nation over the last year, in which DHS has targeted employers who hire unauthorized workers by using force to enter worksites and arrest immigrant workers. During the process of these raids, U.S. citizen children have been separated from their parents, immigrants arrested have not been afforded the rights of due process, and local communities, especially relatives including legal permanent residents and U.S. citizens, have been left to cope with the aftermath.
For more information, go to USCCB's Office of Migration and Refugee Services website.
Friday, September 19, 2008
The recent publication of the guidance document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, by the Catholic Bishops of the United States, sends out a strong call to all of us to participate in public life guided by the values of our faith. In addition to our personal efforts to meet this goal, we can also engage in helping children and youth, through our educational ministries, to form faith-filled consciences that will guide their future decisions and help them become informed and engaged citizens in their daily lives.
With that privileged position in mind, we encourage you to make full use of the Faithful Citizenship website by incorporating its ideas and lesson plans into your programs and activities. The web site and its interactive, multimedia materials are helpful for:
religious education programs
elementary and secondary Catholic school classes
independent research and study projects
youth ministry programs
intergenerational family settings
Boards and Parent Associations
You will find specific suggestions for the pre-November weeks of the new school year at the following links:
Click here for Elementary lesson plans.
Click here for Junior-Senior High lesson plans.
Click here for High School lesson plans.
Click here for the "Young Catholic" link, which includes hands-on activities, a coffee discussion guide, and videos to encourage young Catholics to consider how they can make a difference.
Adult Formation Sessions are available here.
The Family Guide for Faithful Citizenship is available here.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Unfortunately, as we know too well form our campaign to close the SOA/WHINSEC, the US has a long history of US intervention in the region. Morales has called for restraint by the military, a markedly different response fromthat of Bolivia´s military dictatorships. SOA Watch founder, Fr. Roy Bourgeois was one of the many recipients of the torture and random detention which was commonplace under the dictatorship of General Hugo Banzer, an SOA graduate. Thousands of Bolivians were tortured and hundreds disappeared under the Garcia Meza dictatorship leading military command were SOA graduates. Last year PresidentMorales announced his decision that Bolivian troops would no longer train at theSOA/WHINSEC. Venezuela was the first to make this announcement in 2004, and since then a total of 5 countries have followed step.
The SOA Watch urges you to take immediate action. Please call the White House with the message to please stop interfering in Bolivia and other Latin American Democracies. Please call the capital switchboard and ask for your Senators and House Members. Ask them to immediately investigate if the White House is trying to destabilize the democraciesof Bolivia and Venezuela.
Phone numbers: White House (to reach the President): (202) 456-1414
Capitol Switchboard (to reach your Senate or House Member): (202) 224-3121
Monday, September 15, 2008
The goal is to knock on one million doors, so we need all the volunteers we can get. NETWORK has joined with other organizations - Pax Christi USA, Catholics United, Peace Action, United for Peace & Justice, and others - to sponsor this activity and help recruit volunteers.
So gather a couple of friends and sign up now at http://www.milliondoorsforpeace.org/signup.php?code=net
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Yesterday, Pax Christi USA helped to launch what promises to be the single most extraordinary effort this Fall to end the war in Iraq. We are working with USAction/True Majority, United for Peace and Justice, Win Without War, Catholics United and others to make Saturday, September 20 a national day of outreach to identify and organize the massive anti-war, pro-peace constituency in our country. This day -- Saturday, September 20 -- thousands of volunteers in every state will knock on a Million Doors for Peace.
This action, which promises to be the largest anti-war mobilization this Fall, is truly one of the most ambitious and innovative anti-war activities to date. And it has the added power of expanding the organized grassroots base of our movement at a time when we can make the issue of the war highly visible in the midst of the 2008 elections. So instead of gathering together en masse in Washington, D.C. or some other location, we are urging each one of you to help put thousands of people out into the streets in thousands of communities throughout the nation! Click here to become part of this effort now.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Remember Three Cups of Tea, this blog's recommended book from April? Nicholas Kristoff wrote an Op-Ed piece about it in Sunday's NY Times. Click here to access the piece. And -- if you haven't read the book yet, perhaps now is the time!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
What a convention! About 800 of us descended on Philadelphia for this inaugural event. On Friday we were greeted by Sister Simone Campbell, NETWORK Executive Director and Alexia Kelley, Executive Director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Senator Bob Casey, Jr. welcomed us to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with some inspiring words, reminding us (as does the prophet Micah and the hymn, "We are Called") that WE ARE CALLED TO ACT WITH JUSTICE, TO LOVE TENDERLY, TO SERVE ONE ANOTHER, AND TO WALK HUMBLY WITH GOD. The keynote speaker on Friday evening was Dr. M. Shawn Copeland of Boston College. Dr. Copeland's entire speech was inspiring, and I'm sure it will be available in other formats, so I won't repeat it here. However, here are some important points:
- Our world cannot change if we do not.
- We should cultivate the virtue of hope.
- We should draw on the theological literacy, spiritual resources, etc., that we have.
She also strong encouraged us to pray and fast for the common good to be carried out in the November elections.
More to follow . . .
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
"The number and proportion of Americans reporting going without or delaying needed medical care increased sharply between 2003 and 2007, according to findings from the Center for Studying Health System Change’s (HSC) nationally representative 2007 Health Tracking Household Survey. One in five Americans—59 million people—reported not getting or delaying needed medical care in 2007, up from one in seven—36 million people—in 2003. While access deteriorated for both insured and uninsured people, insured people experienced a larger relative increase in access problems compared with uninsured people. Moreover, access declined more for people in fair or poor health than for healthier people. In addition, unmet medical needs increased for low-income children, reversing earlier trends and widening the access gap with higher-income children. People reporting access problems increasingly cited cost as an obstacle to needed care, along with rising rates of health plan and health system barriers." Click here to read more.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
At the UN, we met with a panel at the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium. The panel was entitled, "The Spirituality of Politics: A Religious and Social View." The participants of this panel were: Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations; Elmira Nazombe, Co-Executive Secretary for Racial Justice of the Women’s Division, responsible for assisting United Methodist Women through the development of advocacy strategies and biblical and theological reflection materials on racial justice; and James Edward Jones, Associate Professor of World Religions and African Studies at Mahattanville College, Purchase, NY, whose personal and professional work has been focused on conflict resolution within families, communities, and across national and cultural boundaries. As can be seen from these wonderful people the panel was extremely interesting. Each person encouraged us to think of the common good as visioning people made in the image and likeness of God, developing the community itself, looking to provide health, food, clothing, etc., searching for peace, practicing compassion, and balancing “which allows us to negotiate the multifaceted nature of our lives without sacrificing our most cherished goals and ideals”.
A beautiful Saturday dawned with the participants convening for a panel and questioning time with Dr. Barbara Wall, PhD and Sister Pat Sieman, OP, JD. Summarizing the prior three days, all of the participants felt they were sent home in the power of the Spirit with renewed vigor, courage, hope, and fire for the kingdom of God.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The keynote for Friday, entitled "The Spiritualit of Politics: An Ecological and Legal View," was given by Dominican Sister Pat Sieman, JD. Sister Pat is the director of the Center of Earth Jurisprudence. The mission of this group is to re-envision law and governance in ways that support and protect the well-being of the entire Earth community. In her talk, Sister Pat pointed out that we are living in a time of great urgency. To describe this urgency, Sister spoke of “tipping points” which are slow, gradual changes that becomes irreversible and then proceed with gathering pace. It is derived from the example of a rigid solid object being lifted to a point where it begins to topple.
A spirituality of politics that is most needed to deal with this is one that begins with knowing oneself and the ability to let go of control of a situation, especially in the face of fear. The second practice is to develop an awareness and experience of belonging to a single, interconnected and interdependent, community of being. It is this sense of belonging to a larger reality that can be a source of great hope and creativity. We are not alone; the other members of the world community support and sustain us.
We humans have caused the climate change, build-up of toxic chemicals in the environment and their accumulate effect. We must take seriously the environmental fragility, become aware of the failing civilizations in our world, establish relations with them, and vote for quality political leadership and the social responses to challenges.
Sister Pat closed with practical solutions for religious communities, namely:
- Those communities entrusted with land should create land trusts to be protected for generations;
- We need to ask ourselves, “How much financial security do we need?” Are we supporting youth for the good of the whole – whether or not they are entering our communities?
- Spend time with the arts and nature; and
- Share Eucharist in all ways.
After a break, we boarded buses bound for the U. S. Mission connected with the UN. The US Representatives to the United Nations met with us to discuss our hopes and concerns regarding the US/UN political systems.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008, marked the beginning of a three-day conference sponsored by the NGO group called the Partnership for Global Justice held at Xavier Center on the campus of St. Elizabeth’s College in Convent Station, NJ. Religious women and men, and associates from various communities all over the country as well as Canada, Mexico, and the Philippines gathered for this examination of politics at its deepest level of serving the needs of peoples and Earth as we choose leaders for the 21st century.
After the welcome, opening prayer, and introductions, the keynote speaker, Dr. Barbara Wall, PhD from Villanova University gave a very insightful talk entitled, "The Spirituality of Politics: a Philosophical View." In this analysis she spoke of three concepts that intersect in the title of the conference: Spirituality, Politics and Common Good. With these in mind, she pointed out that the human person is integral to the community and vice versa. Integral to the human person is the understanding that s/he is understood as social (needing community) and political. Quoting from Gaudium et Spes (n. 35), she asked us to think about an evaluation of the common good by looking at the quality of life of the least among us, including the environment. We looked at the common good as “power.” Dr. Wall encouraged us to help our “world” see how to avoid the destructive use of power and domination: “Recognize that within each of us there is the possibility of being seduced by forms of destructive power; be on the watch for competition directed solely at winning and relationships that can be characterized as adversarial; turn off the chatter and artificial stimulants; develop the skill of interior silences; unmask the desire for domination, reflect on our own prejudices, biases and at times hatred of one another; and learn about issues.” She also encouraged us to “develop proficiency by: desiring to know and love the world, learning skills essential to the spiritual life, studying issues, promoting a desire for community, and practice hope.” Needless to say, all participants were challenged and encouraged to keep hope.
That evening, Dave Robinson, the executive director of Pax Christi USA, spoke about the works and philosophy of Pax Christi. Mr. Robinson encouraged everyone to have a spirituality of vulnerability by “putting our hands in the wounds”, have contact with people who are suffering, and see vulnerability with a positive attitude. Also, “We must live simply so others can simply live.”
Stay tuned for Part Two!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Ecoogler is a search engine that uses Yahoo technology and helps reforesting trees and safeguard water resources in the Amazon region, which constitute today one fourth of the fresh water reserves of our planet. For every search in Ecoogler, you contribute symbolically to reforest one leaf. For every 10,000 searches, Ecoogler and Aquaverde plant a tree in the Amazon. Check it out at www.ecoogler.com and help to plant trees!
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
The vigil will include a testimonial from a victim of human trafficking and a variety of opportunities to learn more about the problem of human trafficking in our communities.
Consider attending this vigil and help to spread the word!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
"As we pray in solidarity with the people of Myanmar , if anyone would like to make donations for the relief effort, donations gathered by GS across the world will be sent by bank transfer through the Good Shepherd Generalate directly to our sisters in the disaster zone. I have no doubt it will be used directly for basic relief of food water and shelter. We may not obtain much information however, communication being difficult in the best of times."
Donations may be sent to:
Sister Clare Nolan
211 East 43rd St. , Rm 302,
New York , NY 10017
Make checks payable to Sisters of the Good Shepherd and note that the donation is for "Myanmar Relief."
Sister Clare will send the money to the Generalate.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Based on the writings and words of Martin Luther King
1. Nonviolence offers a way of life for courageous people. It is passive physically, but
strongly active spiritually. It is no passive nonresistance to evil; it is active nonviolent
resistance to evil.
2. Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding. Nonviolence uncovers and
builds up the beloved community of humanity. As the way of God, it redeems, reconciles,
and leads us to nonviolent Kindom of God on earth.
3. Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people. It looks on evildoers as themselves
victims, rather than as evil people. Nonviolence recognizes that every human being sins,
that every human being does evil, that every human being commits violence. Active
nonviolence seeks to halt evil and to heal the human family.
4. Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform. Nonviolence struggles
actively for justice and peace, but instead of inflicting violence and death on others, it
accepts suffering without retaliation. In the nonviolent way of life, we refrain from
violence, no matter how just the cause. We never inflict violence on others or ever
advocate it, but if necessary, we suffer it with redemptive love that seeks to open the
eyes of our opponent to the truth of justice and peace. Redemptive suffering love, which
insists on justice and peace, is the doorway to conversion and transformation.
5. Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate. It resists violence of the spirit as well as of
the body. This love flows spontaneously, unselfishly, creatively, sacrificially and
unconditionally. Active nonviolent love risks a return of hostility. Such active love never
ceases to forgive but continues to insist on the beloved community of humanity.
Nonviolence recognizes that all life is interrelated, that all is one. Love, agape, is the
only cement that can hold the broken community together. When I am commanded to
love, I am commanded to restore community, to resist injustice and to meet the needs of
my brothers and sisters.
6. Nonviolence is a way of live that flows from a deep belief that the universe stands on
the side of justice. One who practices nonviolence knows that God reigns, that God is nonviolent, that God’s reign is a reign of nonviolence, and that God’s way of nonviolence
will eventually transform everyone into God’s Kindom of justice and peace. The universe itself bends toward justice. The deepest meaning in life is to side with God in God’s nonviolent transformation of the world into a Kindom of justice and peace.
“Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.” -Mohandas K. Gandhi