Wednesday, September 28, 2011

International Day of Peace Celebrated at ACS

Here's a slideshow from the celebration of the International Day of Peace celebration at Assumption College for Sisters, Mendham, NJ. For an explanation of the photos, see our September 19 blog post. E-mail subscribers: If you do not see a slide show, please click here to go to the blog to view it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The poorest city in the U.S. . . .

According to the 2010 census, the city in the United States with the largest percentage of its residents living in poverty is Reading, PA. Click here for the article from the NY Times.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


At our gathering on Saturday, September 24, the Sisters of the province extended many blessings. Here you see the Sisters blessing Sister Mary Joan Smith and Sister Ruthann McGoldrick (holding the banner bearing the signatures of all Sisters of the province), who will represent us at Fort Benning this year. The next photo shows most of the Sisters who have represented us at Fort Benning over the years. As you know, the Sisters of the Eastern Province join with the Sisters of the Western Province each year to attend the Vigil and Nonviolent Action to close the SOA/WHINSEC (held this year from November 18-20). The School of the Americas (SOA) is a U.S. Army training school that trains soldiers and military personnel from Latin American countries in subjects like counter-insurgency, military intelligence and counter-narcotics operations. Under Department of Defense jurisdiction, this school is funded by U.S. taxpayer money, all of the training is conducted in Spanish, and most of the classes are taught by Latin American instructors. According to the SOA itself, more than 60,000 members of Latin American militaries have attended the SOA since its inception in 1946. We promise to accompany Sisters Mary Joan, Ruthann, Janice, and Juliana with our prayers.

On Saturday, the Sisters also extended their blessing to Sister Celice Marie Gonzalez, who is being missioned to Chile in January. Pictured with Sister Celice Marie are Sister Adalberta Mette, Superior General, Sister María Jesús, Treasurer of the Chilean province, and Sister Joan Daniel Healy, Provincial Superior of the North American Eastern Province.

E-mail subscribers, click here if you do not see photos.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Making a Difference: Death Penalty

When we are faced with tragedy such as the state-sponsored execution of a human being whose guilt was in doubt (or the state-sponsored execution of ANY human being for that matter), we wonder, "I'm only one person. What can I do?"

Here are some organizations that are trying to make a difference with the death penalty in the U.S.:

The Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Use of the Death Penalty – CMN proclaims the Church's unconditional pro-life teaching and its application to capital punishment and restorative justice. CMN works in close collaboration with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to prepare Catholics for informed involvement in campaigns to repeal state death penalty laws and expand or inaugurate restorative justice programs.

People of Faith Against the Death Penalty - PFADP educates and mobilizes faith communities to act to abolish the death penalty in the United States. They are headquartered in North Carolina.

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty - NCADP is the nation's oldest organization dedicated to the abolition of the death penalty. They are comprised of an extensive network representing more than 100 state and national affiliate organizations and thousands of advocates and volunteers. Their members include families of murder victims, persons from all points on the political and religious spectrums, past and present law enforcement officials and prominent civil and racial justice organizations working to end the death penalty forever.

"The struggle for justice doesn't end with me . . ."

These were the words of Troy Davis yesterday prior to his execution by the State of Georgia:
"The struggle for justice doesn't end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all the ones who will come after me. I'm in good spirits and I'm prayerful and at peace."

After a delay of more than four hours, the State of Georgia killed Troy Davis for a crime he may not have committed. Yes, there was doubt and they might have executed the wrong man. However, let's use Troy's words to redouble our efforts to abolish the death penalty so that no state can choose to execute any man.

Amnesty International is asking for signers to the "Not in my Name" pledge. Amnesty will also host a call at 7 pm this Friday to discuss Troy Davis and what our work means for the death penaly abolition movement, and what we can do next.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Troy Davis Clemency Denied

It would have been appropriate to post some important information about the International Day of Peace, but today's news is not very peace-filled. On Tuesday, the Georgia Board of Pardons denied clemency to Troy Davis. This means that there is a possibility that Georgia will execute a potentially innocent man on Wednesday, September 21 at 7 pm. Click here to call on the Board to do the right thing today.

Monday, September 19, 2011

International Day of Peace to be Celebrated at Assumption College for Sisters

A press release from Assumption College for Sisters:

On the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Peace (Wednesday, Sept. 21), a group at Assumption College for Sisters (ACS), consisting of sister-students, aspiring religious, lay students, and members of the school’s staff, will mark the occasion with a liturgical service in the college’s chapel of Mary Immaculate.

The public is invited to attend and take an active role in parts of the liturgy. Anyone wishing to do so, however, should first contact the college at 973 543-6528, Extension 230.

Sister of Christian Charity Joseph Spring, president of ACS, explained that the International Day of Peace was created by the United Nations in 1981 –“and is celebrated annually to foster world peace, alleviate tensions and recognize causes of conflict.” Additional goals, she continued, are to inspire ceasefires for at least one day wherever wars are being waged as well as encourage nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

According to Sister Spring, participants in the college’s religious service, which begins at 11:15 a.m. and concludes at noontime, will process up the chapel’s main aisle, two at a time, and enter the sanctuary. There six sister-students will follow one another in reciting a prayer aloud that offers reflections on peace inspired by world renowned figures, past and present: Blessed Pope John Paul 11, Blessed Pope John XX111, Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Saint Francis of Assisi, Maya Angelou, the American writer, poet and civil rights activist, and Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of the best-seller on the problems of evil, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.”

The ceremony’s first prayer leader, Sister Mary Sabina Ndunge, CPS, of Kenya, East Africa, will offer a prayer that is inspired by Blessed Pope John Paul II.

“O God, Creator of the universe, who extends your paternal concern over every creature and guides the events of history to the goal of salvation, we acknowledge your fatherly love when you break the resistance of mankind and, in a world torn by strife and discord, you make us ready for reconciliation. Renew for us the wonders of your mercy; send forth your spirit that he may work in the in the intimacy of hearts, that enemies may begin to dialogue, that adversaries may begin to shake hands and people may encounter one another in harmony…”

While Sister Ndunge prays, Ms. Tam Le from Viet Nam, a discerner for the Sisters of Christian Charity, will hold a globe aloft to symbolize God’s universe; at the conclusion of Sister Sabina’s prayer (and the prayers of each of the five remaining teams) the college’s chapel bell will toll in unison with the United Nation’s Peace Bell in New York. The entire group, along with worshippers in the pew, will then join in the supplication, “Long live absolute world peace.”
The remaining teams will be Sister Mary Do, FMSR, of Viet Nam and Carla Murphy, an American lay student at ACS; Sister M. Joyce Mwanisenga, OSB, of Tanzania and Sister Elfie Del Rosario, FMA, from the Philippines ; Sister Mary Grace Harazim,SCC, from the U.S. and Sister Mary Joseph Thuoc Le, LHC of Viet Nam; Sister Alaina Zachman, FMA, of the U.S. and Sister Anna Duong, LHC, from Viet Nam; Ms. Katie De Lucy, an American postulant for the SCC’s and Sister M. Donatha Gunda, OSB, from Tanzania.

The ceremony closes with all of the congregants singing the recessional whose opening lyric is “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

Sunday, September 18, 2011

International Day of Peace

How will you observe the International Day of Peace on September 21? Click here for some suggestions and materials. Interested in "Pinwheels for Peace"? Click here. The National Council of Churches has a Litany of Light for Peace. You are welcome to pray an Evening Prayer for September 21 available at the SCC Generalate website or the SCC Eastern Province website. A Morning and Evening Remembrance can be found on the SCC Western Province website (from Septebmer 11, but still appropriate).

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11: Let There Be Peace on Earth

On this 10th anniversary, let's pray ever more ardently for peace on earth. Play this You Tube video of Vince and Jenny Gill singing "Let There Be Peace on Earth." Watch it all the way through. Read the quotations. (E-mail subscribers click here if you do not see a video below.) Let there be peace . . .

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Troy Davis Execution Date Set

As long-time followers of this blog know, Troy Davis has been on death row in Georgia since 1991.

A message from Death Penalty Focus:
Mr. Davis is most likely an innocent man. Despite weak and inconsistent witness testimony and a lack of physical evidence against him at trial, Mr. Davis was convicted and sentenced to death. Since his conviction, seven of the nine witnesses who testified against him have either changed or recanted their testimony.

The case against Mr. Davis is cloaked in serious doubt. The same judge that rejected Mr. Davis' claim of innocence even stated that the case is "not ironclad". The state of Georgia, however, continues to turn a blind eye. An execution date is now set for Mr. Davis for Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 7pm (EDT).

Mr. Davis has come within two hours of execution before. Without a public outcry, we may not be able to stop the clock on his execution again.

The situation is dire. Mr. Davis has exhausted all his appeals, and his life is in the hands of the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles. They are due to hear his plea for clemency on Monday, September 19, 2011.

PLEASE ACT NOW and tell the Georgia Parole Board that it must protect the innocent from execution and stop the execution of Troy Davis. On Friday, September 16, there will be a Global Day of Solidarity for Troy Davis. Organize your own event, hold vigils, retweet #toomuchdoubt messages, or fax in additional letters to the Parole Board at 1-404-651-8502. In Georgia, a march will begin in downtown Atlanta at Woodruff Park at 6pm, ending at the Ebenezer Baptist Church for an interfaith service at 7pm.

(You can also click here to sign the Amnesty International petition that will be delivered to the Georgia Parole Board next week.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Aid Appeal for Drought and Famine Victims in Somalia and East Africa

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) are reaching out to Catholics to request financial support for relief efforts in Somalia and the Horn of Africa. Click here for the USCCB article, which includes a link to donate to CRS online.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Global Economics Webcast

The Partnership for Global Justice wants us to be aware of Global Economics webcasts this Saturday, September 10 and Saturday, October 8, from 9 am to 4 pm. Here are the details, courtesy of Lucianne Siers, OP, Executive Director of the Partnership for Global Justice:

Global Economics Workshop
Webcasts: September 10, 2011 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
and October 8, 2011 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

This program will address the current economic crisis through the lens of Christian ethics and principles.

These principles will then be applied to issues that are being discussed as part of the economic agenda including trade, debt, multinational corporations, development and subsidies.

There will be an emphasis on bridging the gap between those who live in plenty and those who live in poverty.

As we come to understand our commitment to justice, we realize that there is an economic component tied to each issue. Therefore we need to understand economic principles as we live out our Christian vocation in the modern world and as we enter into dialogue with corporations and government leaders as well as with those who are unemployed and homeless.

September 10

Speakers: Marci Rossell, PhD A market economist, Dr. Rossell is the former chief economist for CNBC. She began her career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and is currently a popular speaker on the economy, financial issues and globalization.

Ana Martinez de Luco, CCV works with the homeless population of New York City. Being homeless herself, she enters into the community of the homeless and shares the experience of being marginalized.

Facilitator: Lucianne Siers, OP, DMin is the Executive Director of the Partnership for Global Justice and Co-Promoter of Justice for the Dominicans of North America. She serves as an NGO to the United Nations and organizes education programs that relate to the issues that emerge at the United Nations.

Overview of topics:
-A Brief History of Modern Economics
--Basic Principles and Definitions of Economics
-Domestic and International Economics including
Bretton Woods Institutions (IMF/World Bank)
and World Trade Organization
-International and Domestic Investments
-Homelessness and the Marginalized

October 8

Speaker: Amata Miller, IHM, PhD,An economist specializing in economics of development, economic history and problems of the economically disadvantaged. Amata Miller is currently Professor of Economics at St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN and also teaches the economics courses in the M.A. in Social Justice program at Marygrove College, Detroit, MI.
Facilitator: Ruthmary Powers, HM, PhD is currently the chair of the Board of Directors for the Partnership for Global Justice. She has served as President of her congregation, the Sisters of the Humility of Mary, and in various education ministries including superintendent of schools, principal and teacher.

Overview of topics:
-Economic systems today - a brief review -Principles of economic justice -Economic globalization and its differential effects -Evidences of economic alternatives underway -Action roles for social transformation
-Economic Issues in Light of Social Justice Ethics

Registration information for the webcast:

Cost to connect to the webcast is $20 per session/$40 total. Go to:

Cost is $20 per person for attending webcast.

If you have any difficulty in registration, contact: Martin de Porres Center, Dominican Sisters of Peace at 614-416-1910, or email:

This program is sponsored by the Partnership for Global Justice through a grant from the Hilton Fund for Sisters. The program is hosted by the Martin de Porres Center a ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Columbus, OH.

September 11: 10th Anniversary

We are reminded that the SCCs have committed to fasting and prayer on the 11th of each month. Because September 11 has such a tragic significance for our country, here are some prayer resources:

The NCEA has prepared a prayer service to commemorate the 10th anniversary of "9/11." Click here to access the prayer service.

Click here for other resources at "The Text this Week."

The SCC North American Western Province (Wilmette, IL) has resources available for the 11th of each month on its site, accessible by clicking here and scrolling down.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Famine in East Africa

As we continue to respond to the needs of the flood victims at home, we are asked to remember the famine victims in East Africa. Partnership for Global Justice has issued the following action alert:

Support life‐saving poverty‐focused international assistance and protect 12 million East Africans from hunger now

More than 12 million of our brothers and sisters in East Africa—more than the entire population of the state of Ohio—face malnutrition and starvation in the midst of the region's worst drought in decades. In our legislatures right now, there are some proposals drastically cutting international and domestic assistance to people in dire need such as those in East Africa.

As Christians, we are called to protect people who are hungry, thirsty, seeking refuge and care. Life‐saving poverty‐focused international assistance that fights hunger, disease and makes drought‐prone communities more resilient to hunger crises is less than 1% of our budgets.

Contact your representatives of Congress or Parliament now and urge them to preserve life‐saving, poverty‐focused international assistance

Send email or postcard to: your local or national representatives

Sample email:

Dear ___

I urge you to preserve funding for poverty focused international assistance. It is important to pay attention to those who do not have basic essentials of food, clothing and shelter. While budgets are being cut, we must pay attention to the common good and not build budgets that disproportionately cut essential services to those in need.

The crisis unfolding in East Africa where more than 12 million people face malnutrition and starvation in the midst of a drought illustrates the urgent need to protect poverty-focused international assistance.

The International Disaster Assistance account provides lifesaving services to people in Kenya and Ethiopia who are in dire need of nutrition, health services, water and sanitation. The Emergency Refugee and Migration account is helping people who have fled famine in Somalia to survive.

During this time of austerity and fiscal restraints, I urge you to give priority to programs that help the most vulnerable people in our world.


For More Information

Canadian Catholic Bishops Conference: go: to Emergency aid for Horn of Africa

Catholic Relief Services: and

US Catholic Bishops Conference:

Friday, September 2, 2011

More Hurricane Relief

From Father Ed Lambro, for Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Paterson, NJ:

To all our Catholic Charities donors and friends:
The recent hurricane has dealt a devastating blow to our friends and neighbors. Many folks have called asking if we are accepting donations to help those in need. The answer is “yes.” There are several ways you can donate.

You can go to our website and click the DONATE button. All donations received in this manner in the next two weeks will be set aside for hurricane relief.

You can send donations directly to Catholic Charities at 777 Valley Road, Clifton, NJ 07013 – marked “hurricane."

All parishes in the Diocese of Paterson will be taking a collection on the weekend of September 10-11. You can make a contribution there.

These are our brothers and sisters in need. Please be generous.