Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Global Security Priorities Resolution


Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Dan Lungren (R-CA) reintroduced this resolution into the 111th Congress (formerly H. Res. 1045 in the110th Congress), which as been updated to reflect the new Administration and data related to infant mortality and hunger. Please urge yourRepresentative to co-sponsor the Global Security Priorities Resolution.

(The Resolution recognizes the paramount need to address the threat of international terrorism and protect the international security of theUnited States by reducing the number of and accessibility to nuclear weapons and preventing their proliferation, and directing a portion of the resulting savings towards child survival, hunger, and universal education, and calling on the President to take action to achieve these goals.)

Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Living with a Heart of Justice

On March 27-29, the Eastern Province gathers for its Spring Assembly, "Living with a Heart of Justice." Sister Clare Nolan, RGS -- an international expert on the subject of human trafficking --- is our speaker for Saturday. So many JPIC concerns contribute to the scourge of human trafficking today -- poverty, immigration, gender, globalization, economic development, human rights, . . . the list is endless. So, pray for us as we not only learn about trafficking, but also develop concrete steps to combat human trafficking.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Earth Hour March 28

On Saturday, March 28, there will be a Turn Off the Lights hour rolling across the world's time zones to bring attention to the energy crisis and climate change. The hour for Eastern United States is 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Another suggestion is to UNPLUG appliances. (Note: unplugging as many appliances as possible when not in use, and turning off lights when not is use are recommended all the time.)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

End the Trail of Resentment and Hatred

LCWR participates with other Catholic organizations in the DC area, including Pax Christi USA, which formed a Catholic Peace Group a few years ago. Participants acknowledge the complexity of dealing with the situation in Afghanistan, far more complex than Iraq. A briefing the group received from a Mennonite who has been in Afghanistan indicates that there is no popular consensus concerning removal of U.S. troops; however, there is great concern and anger that 70% of civilian deaths are from U.S. airstrikes. Depending on the section of the country, U.S. military engagement is seen as a war on Islam or a war on the Taliban or a war on terrorism. There is noconfidence in the Afghan government. The Catholic group agrees that a new framework is needed for dealing with war in Iraq, Afghanistan and war on terrorism, and that military disengagement should not mean moral and political disengagement. Given all the complexities of Afghanistan, the group supports Pax Christi's effort: It is Time to End the Trail of Resentment and Hatred: A Sign-On Statement on Afghanistan. Members agreed to promote it among our constituencies and find ways to use itwith government and Church officials. To read the statement, sign-on, and possible contribute to have it published see www.paxchristiusa.org . PLEASE CONSIDER SIGNING AND PASSING IT ON.

Monday, March 23, 2009

"They Killed Sister Dorothy"

Our second reminder:

HBO will air the film "They Killed Sister Dorothy" on March 25. Please check your local HBO schedule for time. The Ohio Province and the Amazon Connection Group have prepared a discussion guide -- click here to download. You may want to suggest that your friends, students, or family watch the HBO program together and use the discussion guide. Just download the guide, copy back to back and fold. Hard copies of the study can be obtained by sending your postal address to dotedaids@sndden.org. You will be billed for postage costs.

Just Media has agreed to allow the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur to be a distributor of the film "They Killed Sister Dorothy" after April 30. To obtain a copy of the film and discussion guide, send your postal address to dotedaids@sndden.org. The cost is $25.00 for the film plus $3.00 for mailing costs. Please allow ten days for delivery. That means that if you order before April 30 you can count on receiving a copy of the film by May 10. The film, accompanied by the discussion guide, is an effective educational resource. The film will continue to be available at dotedaids@sndden.org after April 30.

Payment for the film may be made to Sister Dorothy Stang Fund, 701 E. Columbia Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45215

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Agenda for a New Economy

More from Partnership for Global Justice:

David Korten’s new book, Agenda for a New Economy, identifies deep sources of the current economic failure. Korten stresses that Main Street, not Wall Street, creates real wealth from real resources to meet real needs. He outlines an agenda to liberate the latent entrepreneurial energies of Main Street that can bring about a new economy that is locally based, community-oriented, and devoted to creating a better life for all, not simply increasing profits. It will require courageous and imaginative changes in the ways we measure economic success, organize our financial system and create money. Korten does not offer final answers, but rather, he provokes discussion on options that can possibly return us to an economy firmly rooted in the long term health of the planet. For more information or to order his book, go to: www.davidkorten.org/NewEconomyBook.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

ND Virtual School

From the Partnership for Global Justice March 2009 alert:

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur from all over the world have created the “ND Virtual School.” Devised for the sisters to become educated and to pray for the needs of the world focused on the Millennium Development Goals, it has been adapted for students including projects and lesson plans. They offer this website and their hard work for us to share and use. You can find this information on the web at: www.ndvs.org/mdg.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The St. Francis Pledge

The Catholic Coalition on Climate Change will be launching a unique and unprecedented initiative, A Catholic Climate Covenant and the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor. This ambitious project is in response to a growing desire by the Catholic community to respond, in faith, to climate change. It will also be a demonstration of a common Catholic commitment to care for God's creation and to stand with the poor and vulnerable people in our nation and around the world who face the impacts of a changing climate. This effort will be launched during the Easter season in 2009.

At the center of the Covenant will be The St. Francis Pledge calling Catholic individuals, groups and institutions to make a serious commitment to all of the following:

PRAY and reflect on the duty to care for God's creation and for the poor and vulnerable;

LEARN about and educate others on the moral dimensions of climate change;

ASSESS our participation-as individuals and organizations-in contributing to climate change (i.e. consumption and conservation);

ACT to change our choices and behaviors contributing to climate change and;

ADVOCATE Catholic principles and priorities in climate change discussions and decisions, especially as they impact the poor and vulnerable.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Caritas Campaigning to Fight HIV in Children

From Zenit.org:

Caritas Internationalis wants a better effort to keep children from dying of AIDS, and says governments and pharmaceutical companies can do more to achieve the goal.In a statement last week the aid agency launched an appeal for young people throughout the world to write to governments and pharmaceutical companies through resources available on its Web site.The organization affirmed that governments and companies can scale up prevention of mother-to-child transmission, and eliminate the barriers that exclude women or children from diagnosis and treatment.Francesca Merico, Caritas Internationalis delegate at the U.N. offices in Geneva, said: "Without adequate treatment, as many as one third of children born with HIV will die before their first birthday, and half of them will die before they are two years old."Pediatric anti-retroviral treatment for HIV and HIV/TB co-infection in children is not considered to be profitable as the market for pediatric anti-retroviral care exists mainly in poor countries. How can we allow profits to be given priority over people? We want political leaders to tell the children of the world how they have promoted and respected the child's right to health."

Click here for more information on the Caritas campaign.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Voices from Africa

Click here to access The Oakland Institute's report, "Voices from Africa: African Farmers and Environmentalists Speak Out Against a New Green Revolution in Africa."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A New Moment for Nuclear Disarmament

In a speech given March 11, 2009 in Great Falls, Montana, Bishop Gabino Zavala formally announced Pax Christi's campaign on nuclear disarmament. Click here to access information on the campaign, including the text of Bishop Zavala's speech and a Pax Christi newsletter announcing the campaign.

Prayers for World Water Day, March 22

Church World Service supports impoverished peoples’ aspirations for a better life in over 80 countries. The deepest hopes of those women and men find powerful expression in their prayers for justice, peace, and community. "Worship with the World" gathers a sampling of their voices that we might join with them in prayerful communion and common commitment. Click here to access "Worship for the World" and its prayers for World Water Day, March 22.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


The North American Commission for Environment Cooperation (NACEC) and the University of Minnesota Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management (CINRAM) are working together with the Rainforest Alliance TREES program, Smartwood, and TransFair to Fair Trade certify palms harvested from the forests of Mexico and Guatemala for sale to Christian congregations in the United States and Europe. Click here to learn more, then tuck it away in your memory for next year, as the deadline was March 9!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Who Killed Sister Dorothy?

Last week, the PBS "Now" show aired an interview with filmmaker David Junge, whose latest film is an HBO documentary, "They Killed Sister Dorothy," about Notre Dame Sister Dorothy Stang, who was murdered in the Brazilian Amazon in 2005. Click here to access the PBS interview (about 23 minutes long).

The HBO documentary airs during the week of March 23 -- check your listings!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

U.S.-Sponsored Torture: A Call for a Commission of Inquiry

NRCAT (National Religious Coalition Against Torture) is seeking signers to a letter calling for a Commission of Inquiry into U.S.-sponsored policies and practices on torture. They hope for many signatures this week. Click here to read the text of the Call for a Commission of Inquiry and to sign the letter, should you desire to do so.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ecumenical Advocacy Days

Click here to go to the website of the Ecumenical Advocacy Days, a movement of the ecumenical Christian community, and its recognized partners and allies, grounded in biblical witness and shared traditions of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. The movement's goal, through worship, theological reflection and opportunities for learning and witness, is to strengthen its Christian voice and to mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues.

The theme of this year's conference, to be held March 13-16 in Washington, DC, is "Enough for All Creation."

Sunday, March 8, 2009

UNICEF Working Group on Girls

Please click here for the March 2009 issue of "Action for Girls," the newsletter of the NGO Committee on UNICEF Working Group on Girls (WGG) and its International Network for Girls (INFG). Click here to go to the WGG website for further information on this working group.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Way of the Cross of a Migrant

The website of Casa Juan Diego has again posted the "Way of the Cross of a Migrant," which is well worth another look (and prayer) this Lent. Click here to find it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

CSW and Trafficking

Partnership for Global Justice March Alert, 2009:

March 8 is International Women’s Day, and the 53rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meets at UN HQ in New York March 2 – 13.

When we contemplate the status of women around the world, one area of grave concern is the growth in human trafficking in recent years. Human trafficking means forced use of human persons as a form of commerce, whether as slave labor or for sexual exploitation. Victims of sexual exploitation are predominantly women and girls, but trafficking is connected to economic, political and social forces that increase the vulnerability and desperation of the poor, of refugees and immigrants. Women and children are the most vulnerable.
We must join the UN’s call for more to be done to reduce the vulnerability of victims of trafficking, to increase the risks to traffickers, and to lower demand for the goods and services of modern-day slaves.
Please send a message to the major government representatives at the Commission on the Status of Women who are members of the Bureau and your own government’s representative:

H.E. Jan Grauls (Belgium), Chair http://us.mc540.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=ann-marie.ragin@diplobel.fed.be
H.E. Julio Peralta (Paraguay), Bureau http://us.mc540.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=paraguary@un.int
H.E. Nell Stewart (Canada) http://us.mc540.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=nell.stewart@international.gc.ca
Representative to the CSW, (USA) usa@un.int

Dear _________________:
We join the call for a greater response to the shameful increase in human trafficking around the world. Women and children are most often the victims of human trafficking, and too little is done to protect those vulnerable to exploitation, to increase the risks to traffickers and to lower the demand for persons traded as commodities.

Background information:
Human trafficking is a $10 billion+ growth industry with conservative estimates ranging from 700,000 to 2 million people - primarily women and children - trafficked into prostitution and slavery annually.

Human trafficking is the third largest criminal business worldwide, after trafficking in drugs and weapons.

For traffickers it has been a high profit, low risk enterprise. Laws against trafficking in persons do not exist or are not enforced in many countries.

The most common form of human trafficking (79%) is sexual exploitation. The victims of sexual exploitation are predominantly women and girls.

In 30% of the countries which provide information on the gender of traffickers, women make up the largest proportion of traffickers. In some parts of the world, women trafficking women is the norm.

Worldwide, almost 20% of all trafficking victims are children. However, in some parts of Africa and the Mekong region, children are the majority (up to 100% in parts of West Africa ).

For more information go to:

Monday, March 2, 2009

Death Penalty Abolition Updates

From Celeste Fitzgerald:

Death penalty abolition bills are under consideration in several states - Maryland, New Mexico, Montana, Kansas, and Colorado!

We in New Jersey know what its like when a campaign is nearing the finish line and the pressure is high. Our friends and colleagues in other states came through for us during our campaign, from phone banking our supporters to sending donations, and more. They never let us down.

Now, we have a chance to return the favor. Please take a few minutes to do what you can to help the state campaigns, below. They each have different needs so please follow the actions carefully.

Thank you. New Jersey's decision to abolish the death penalty was a special moment in our nation's history. Here's hoping these states will soon make repeal of capital punishment a national trend!

The Montana Senate recently passed a death penalty abolition bill. The House is expected to take up the bill in the coming weeks. Our friends in Montana have asked for our help on another online poll. Please just take a moment to vote here: http://www.kulr8.com/ Scroll about half way down and you will see the poll on the right hand side. We are losing at the moment so please vote soon as we don't know how long this poll will be open.

Also, it is all hands on deck in Maryland! Our friends in Maryland report that the Maryland Senate will take up an abolition bill this Tuesday! They are asking for Maryland residents to take action NOW. Please think about who you know in Maryland and ask them to take just a minute to email their Senator. They can do so easily at www.mdcase.org/ They should then followup with a phone call. The General Assembly switchboard is 1-800-492-7122 (toll free in Maryland) The message to their Senator is this: "Please vote for a fair vote in the full Senate AND vote for repeal."

Our friends in New Mexico, where a death penalty repeal bill passed the House and is heading for a vote in the Senate, are asking for letters to Governor Bill Richardson. This action is for everyone, regardless of where you live in the U.S. I just wrote my personal note to Governor Richardson! I hope you will write a quick, encouraging note too. Here is the action:

Please take a few minutes RIGHT NOW to thank Governor Richardson for openly reconsidering his position on the death penalty, and urge him to support a repeal of the death penalty and enhancing support for murder victim families. Contact NM Governor Bill Richardson at:Office of the Governor490 Old Santa Fe TrailRoom 400Santa Fe, NM 87501Fax: (505)827-3026Email: gov@gov.state.nm.us.nm.us

If you know anyone in Kansas, please send them this action:

1. Contact your Kansas State Senator in Topeka. Urge him or her to support SB 208 to abolish the death penalty.
2. Contact your Kansas State Representative and urge him or her to support HB 2351 to abolish the death penalty.You can find the names of your legislators by clicking here and following links to the Senate and House rosters and legislator email. You also can find out your legislators' info via the Toll free Legislative Hotline at 1-800-432-3924. The postal address for legislators is Kansas Statehouse; Topeka KS 66612. For more information, contact Bill Lucero, Murder Victim Families for Reconciliation, 785-232-5958, mvfrks@cox.net