Monday, May 26, 2014

A Memorial Day Prayer

From Education for Justice:
On this Memorial Day
Grant peace to the souls
of all those soldiers who died in war.
We remember the tears and grief of their families,
The pain of mothers, wives, husbands and children
Who lost precious loved ones.
To build a meaningful memorial to them,
We ask God to give us all the will
To work for peace around the world
So no more sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers, nor mothers
Are slaughtered by the guns and bombs of war.
We ask Mary, who held the lifeless body of her son
And was pierced by the sorrow of his suffering and death,
To grant us the compassion and wisdom to affirm life
And honor the dead through forgiveness and peace making.
May God have mercy on the souls of the departed.
Grant them peace, O Lord.
May we have mercy on the living.
Grant us peace, O Lord.
In Your name we pray.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Human Trafficking and the World Cup

"Play in Favour of Life: Denounce Human Trafficking" is the theme of the anti-human trafficking campaign being launched by women religious to coincide with preparations for the World Cup.  To be played in 12 different Brazilian cities from June 12 to July 13, the World Cup has historically brought a rise in sexual exploitation to the areas in which it is played.  Click here for a report from the Vatican about the news conference introducing the campaign and here for an article in the Washington Post.  As frequent readers of this blog know, institutes of consecrated life have focused on the fight against human trafficking for many years. In fact, the Sisters of Christian Charity in North America join many other communities in sponsoring the Stop Trafficking! newsletter, available here. Additionally, Talitha Kum is an international network of consecrated life against trafficking in persons.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Stop Trafficking Newsletter

The May 2014 issue of the Stop Trafficking -- focusing on cultural biases and traditions leading to human trafficking-related crimes --is available here.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Last Acceptable Prejudice?

At different times in the past ten years, Mark Massa, SJ and Philip Jenkins, professors of theology at different universities, have written different books whose subtitle indicated that anti-Catholicism was the "last acceptable prejudice" in the United States.  Recent events at Harvard University seem to bear this out. Click here for the statement from the President of Harvard about the so-called "Black Mass" being held there.  In the statement, free expression is defended "although it may deeply offend us." Yes, it's "deeply regrettable" that this is permitted to occur, but it does cause one to wonder whether it would be defensible as "freedom of expression" if aimed at another religion. So we ask again:  Is anti-Catholicism the last acceptable prejudice in the United States?

(Addendum:  Since this was posted, the Black Mass was postponed indefinitely, as noted here by the Catholic News Agency..)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pray and Act: Bring Back Our Girls

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez, a blogger at, has posted "Bring Back Our Girls: Pray and Act for Nigeria (and the World)."

In this very informative post, Santiago-Rodriguez plainly presents the facts and offers suggestions for action:  "As ordinary citizens, we might not be able to do much in terms of directly helping the Nigerian government recover the kidnapped schoolgirls. As Catholics though, we can do our part by calling on the heavenly ‘forces’ and lifting up their plight in our prayers.  Pray for the girls, pray for their kidnappers (yes, they need our prayers too!), pray for those involved in rescue operations, pray for our governments to do something concrete to help countries like Nigeria. Pray for the WORLD. It may sound cliche to some, but we believe that prayer is power, and can work miracles and move mountains.

Of course, with prayer comes action too. In your own way, help spread the word about the Nigerian schoolgirls’ plight. Use the hashtag #bringbackourgirls in your social media posts about them. Support groups and organizations that fight against the discrimination and abuse of women/girls, as well as groups and organizations that seek to provide education to females of all ages and races. Offer up Masses for this specific intention, or maybe even hold prayer gatherings just to intercede for the millions of girls and women who need our prayers every day. If you have kids, teach them to pray for these intentions too.

In the end, the little we do may not seem much, but in the eyes of our Lord, it will make a difference."

Click here to read the entire post and please think about your answer to her final question:  "How else do you think we can help the victims of attacks like those that happened [in Nigeria]?"