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Justice Alerts Blog

Nonviolence... Human trafficking... Women... The elderly... Immigrants' rights... Housing... Children... Prisoners' rights... Health care... World Hunger... Globalization, as it affects Latin America... Care of the earth... Seamless ethic of life


The mission of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation ministry is to explore CSA's distinct contribution to the ongoing, nonviolent transformation of the world towards peace, justice and ecology. This work embraces the efforts of sisters, associates, co-workers and others who share the CSA vision. We live out the mission to bring about systemic change by using the lens of nonviolence to focus on the issues of women, children, health care, globalization (especially as it affects Latin America), seamless ethic of life.

Note: The ideas and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author's and should not be ascribed to the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes or its members.


 

Justice Today - June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

Opening Prayer

God of wisdom and mercy, grant us patience to listen; compassion to be open to other views and opinions; generosity to forgive and grace to change.  As you taught us to love our dear neighbor, we pray that you give us strength to be healing instruments of unity and reconciliation.  
(borrowed from 100daysofprayer.net)

 

BIG Environmental WIN!

After years of hard work of Indigenous and climate activists fighting against the Keystone XL pipeline developer, TC Energy, cancels the project. 

Following is a statement from TC Energy’s President and Chief Executive Officer, François Poirier:

We value the strong relationships we’ve built through the development of this Project and the experience we’ve gained. We remain grateful to the many organizations that supported the Project and would have shared in its benefits, including our partners, the Government of Alberta and Natural Law Energy, our customers, pipeline building trade unions, local communities, Indigenous groups, elected officials, landowners, the Government of Canada, contractors and suppliers, industry associations and our employees.

Through the process, we developed meaningful Indigenous equity opportunities and a first-of-its-kind, industry leading plan to operate the pipeline with net-zero emissions throughout its lifecycle. We will continue to identify opportunities to apply this level of ingenuity across our business going forward, including our current evaluation of the potential to power existing U.S. assets with renewable energy.

 

Say NO to the gas chamber!

Arizona recently announced that it has refurbished its gas chamber and is prepared to use cyanide gas to execute any current death row prisoner who was sentenced to be executed prior to November, 1992.

 

Lending support to the Vamos a la Milpa Delegation to Honduras

Vamos a la Milpa is asking for our help by signing the letter below to Vice President Kamala Harris.
 
The letter is a statement of support for a SHARE-sponsored delegation of religious and community leaders traveling to Honduras July 2-12, 2021 at the invitation of Sister Rosa Maria Troches, SSND and Father Ishmael “Melo” Coto, SJ. The purpose of the delegation is twofold:

  1. To support a promising local initiative – Vamos a la Milpa – to build food security and community bonds. 
  2. To visit the families of 8 environmentalists from Guapinol unjustly incarcerated for over a year and seek their release.  

Vamos a la Milpa draws from the age-old indigenous tradition of planting vegetable gardens of corn, beans, squash, fruit trees, medicinal plants, flowers and more.  Not unlike the “victory gardens” planted during WWII in the United States, the campaign is an effort to promote local sources of food and solidarity as communities confront the devastation, dislocation and hunger caused by the recent natural disasters, the endemic violence and corruption plaguing their countries, and the recent hurricanes that further devastated the region. It also brings communities together to demand basic human rights, the rule of law, and due process.
 
They hope to gather as many signatures as possible of men and women religious by June 30th, 2021You can read the letter and sign HERE.  

 

Intersecting Systems Causing Poverty

I signed a petition on Action Network telling Congress to LAUNCH A 3RD RECONSTRUCTION.

Emerging from the pain and organizing power of the 140 million people living in poverty or with low wages in this nation, the congressional resolution for a Third Reconstruction reflects an omnibus vision for a fundamental restructuring of society that lifts from the bottom. The non-partisan resolution comes as a response to years of movement-building to create the collective resolve necessary to implement real and transformational legislative action. This resolution recognizes that in order to build a true Third Reconstruction we must simultaneously deal with the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation and the denial of health care, militarism and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism that blames the poor instead of the systems that cause poverty.

Can you join us and take action? Click here: https://3rdReconstruction.org?source=email&
 



Additionally, Please join The Wisconsin Poor People's Campaign this Sunday, June 13th, 6:00-7:00pm CST, for a State Budget Teach-In.
 
This is a virtual statewide discussion analyzing major points of Governor Evers’ proposed State Budget which we feel are most impactful in the lives of poor and working Wisconsinites. Listen to our perspective, supported by personal testimonials. Engage in the discussion. Consider joining the movement!

RSVP here to receive call-in information for the June 13th Teach-In

 

#EndChildLabor2021

2021 is the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.  Backed by a unanimously adopted resolution at the United Nations General Assembly, the International Labour Organization is leading the way.

Discover ways you can make a difference:  www.endchildlabour2021.org

 

Prayer & Self Care

Friends,
Justice work can be overwhelming.  There is so much needing our attention, but we cannot do it all.  This work is my full-time job, and I am blessed by it, but it's not for everyone. I thank you, and encourage you to continue giving yourself time and energy to those things you are feeling most called to, and trust others will do the same.  

Blessings on your weekend.  I hope you find plenty of opportunities for rest and relaxation. 

In closing, I offer this prayer:

God grant that violence be overcome by the power of love,
that opposition give way to reconciliation
and that the desire to oppress be transformed
into the desire for forgiveness, justice and peace…

May peace be in our hearts
so that they are open to the action of God’s grace…

May all members of the family community,
especially children, the elderly, the weakest,
feel the warmth of this feast,
and may it extend subsequently to all the days in the year.

Amen.

 - Pope Benedict XVI

 

Follow, Like, Tweet, Learn!

In addition to the blog on the CSA website, I will be using social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter, to share social justice information. If you haven't yet, please follow the JPIC Office in these ways:

 

Justice Today - June 9, 2021

June 09, 2021
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

Opening Prayer

God of wisdom and mercy, grant us patience to listen; compassion to be open to other views and opinions; generosity to forgive and grace to change.  As you taught us to love our dear neighbor, we pray that you give us strength to be healing instruments of unity and reconciliation.  
(borrowed from 100daysofprayer.net)

 

Environmental Justice

Sister Ruth and I are working with the Wisconsin Interfaith Peace Working Group on a postcard campaign asking Senator Tammy Baldwin to prevent F-35 Fighter Jets from coming to Wisconsin. These planes will jeopardize the health and safety of citizens and our natural environment.  They are designed to carry "useable" nuclear bombs.

You are encouraged to learn more on your own, but here is one article from WPR:  https://www.wpr.org/f-35-jets-are-coming-madison

You may request a postcard from either Ruth or myself. Please also consider registering for the Code Pink event on Thursday, June 17th at 7 pm. At this event, Code Pink will screen Jet Line: Voicemails from the Flight Path. This is a 12-minute film described as “a poetic portrait of a community plagued by war machines, documenting untenable conditions in a small city once voted one of the best places to live in America.”  The screening will include a panel discussion.  Click here to register for the event. 


Other ways to stay informed on what's happening in Wisconsin government:

 

Immigration

June is Immigrant Heritage Month!  This month provides people across the country an opportunity to explore their own heritage and celebrate the diversity that forms the unique, rich American experience.

It is vital that we urge the administration and Congress to pass a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented community members – many of whom have kept our families and communities safe and healthy as essential workers during the pandemic. It is long past time for our nation to fulfill its moral imperative to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented community members who already call the U.S. home.

CLICK HERE to urge your members of Congress to support and pass a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented neighbors.

 

Voter Protection

Legislators in Wisconsin are trying to pass bills that would restrict our freedom to vote. As voters, we must hold our elected officials accountable and ensure they create a transparent election process that all people can participate in.  Your voice is imperative to making it clear to elected representatives you expect a fair, equitable democracy.

We need your help.
Tell your legislator to oppose the anti-voter bills being voted on in the Senate.  

 

Follow, Like, Tweet, Learn!

In addition to the blog on the CSA website, I will be using social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter, to share social justice information. If you haven't yet, please follow the JPIC Office in these ways:

Justice Alert - June 3

June 03, 2021
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

Greetings!
My name is Tracy Abler.  I am the new Justice Coordinator for the Sisters of St. Agnes!  I've heard several people say I have big shoes to fill, and boy do I know it!  I have worked with Sister Ruth since she first came into this role in mutual efforts within the Fond du Lac community, particularly with the nonprofit United for Diversity (UFD).  I am the Past President of UFD, having served as president for the last eight years.  Sister Ruth has been a tremendous resource - and inspiration - to me for several years.  I am proud to follow in her footsteps as well as Sister Sally Ann Brickner's, who served on the United for Diversity board with me, before departing as Justice Coordinator.  But one of my dearest friends, and greatest role models for social justice, is Sister Stella Storch.  My first ever visit to the Motherhouse, over a decade ago, was to create posters with Stella for some downtown march or rally.  Stella was one of the first people I called when this position was offered to me and she was the first to call my office on my first day.  I treasure these women and all they bring to my life and my work.  My goal is to continue the great works of my predecessors while continuing to grow, learn, and to be guided and challenged by the Catholic Social Teachings in our work together for social justice and the dignity and integrity of all creation.

With Love & Peace,
Tracy

World Environment Day - June 5th

World Environment Day is hosted by different countries around the globe. It has a participation of over 143 countries annually. Pakistan will host World Environment Day 2021 in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

This year's theme is Reimagine. Recreate.  Restore.
Learn more here!
 

June is Pride Month

Pride Month is when the world's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves.  Most Pride events take place each year in June, although some hold their celebrations at other times of the year.  Locally, a Pride Picnic is planned at Lakeside Park on June 27th from 11 am to 7 pm. Pride events are geared toward anyone who feels like their sexual identity falls outside the mainstream -- although many straight people (allies) join in too.  The community is invited to this free, family-friendly event.

On June 1st, Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, one of the most vocal U.S. Catholic prelates in support of the LGBTQ community, offered a blessing during the virtual Catholic Pride Blessing. Click HERE to view the entire 35-minute program.  Last September, in a brief encounter with Italian parents of LGBTQ children, Pope Francis assured them that “God loves your children as they are” and “the church loves your children as they are because they are children of God."  He is an advocate for civil union that legally protect families.

Border Ministry

Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) produced a 10-minute video that tells the story of the response of women religious to the CCUSA call to help welcome migrants and asylum speakers at the US southern border.

We thank all religious who through their prayer, donations, volunteers and advocacy are helping to ease the burden of this difficult journey to the United States being undertaken by many.

The video is a poignant demonstration of how you make a difference.
Please feel free to share this video widely.

Protecting the Land & Indigenous People

This weekend, more than 300 people of faith are expected to join the Treaty People Gathering in Minnesota in solidarity with Indigenous resistance to the Line 3 pipeline.

The pipeline, now under construction, if completed would run more than 1,000 miles from the tar sands oil fields of Alberta, Canada, to Lake Superior. It is proposed to cross land protected by a treaty that is often ignored, and threatens the water supply of 18 million people and the sacred manoomin (wild rice) fields of the Anishinaabe People. Two contractors working on Line 3 have been charged with sex trafficking, heightening concerns about “man camps” posing risks to Indigenous women and girls.

You may participate in the Treaty People Gathering from home in several ways:

  • Learn more about Line 3 and Indigenous resistance in this three-minute video.
  • Pray for the Indigenous women leading the Line 3 resistance and the more than 1000 people of faith and other allies heeding their call to travel to Minnesota this weekend.
  • Attend a virtual rally on Sunday, June 6 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time (6 p.m. Central, 5 p.m. Mountain, 4 p.m. Pacific). The rally will feature activists at the gathering, including members of the multi-faith delegation.
  • Contact President Biden and ask him to halt the Line 3 pipeline. 

Thank you for participating as you are able, and inviting others to join as well.

Socially Responsible Investment WIN

A huge victory, more than 10 years the making, was won on May 26 when 55.6 percent of the ExxonMobil’s stockholders voted to pass a resolution asking the company to disclose its trade association payments used for lobbying. The resolution was led by United Steel Workers and cofilers Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica, Home Missioners of America, The Sisters of the Holy Family, Sisters of St. Agnes, School Sisters of Notre Dame Cooperative Investment Fund, Gwendolen Noyes and Oneida Tribe of Indians Trust Fund for the Elderly. The Sisters of St. Agnes have been consistent cofilers for several years.

“Shareholders face a dark money blind spot when the company fails to disclose its trade association payments used for lobbying, especially when these lobbying efforts contradict with ExxonMobil’s public position,” said Ricky Brooks, a member of USW Local 13-2001 who introduced the resolution. “Disclosure of the company’s payments to trade associations and social welfare groups that influence public policies will allow shareholders to assess the company’s management of risks.” 

Here is the LINK to the press release from United Steel Workers. A brief mention of this win and the big climate win for religious shareholder advocates can be found in this National Catholic Reporter EarthBeat article.
 

Understanding Racism

REMINDER:  Exploring Intersections: Catholic Sisters on Racism, Migration and Climate is a yearlong webinar series of panel conversations to address societal injustice.  It is not too late to sign up for the June 9th episode on Racial Justice.   https://exploringintersections.org/2021/01/15/upcoming-episode/

ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY:
The Summer Institute at Oblate School of Theology will feature Sr. Teresa Maya, CCVI, former President of LCWR.  The series of lectures and discussions will address Racism as a Soul Sickness.  This will be an online event held from June 14th – 16th. Other featured speakers will be Rev. Dr. Bryan Massingale and Dr. KimOanh Nguyen-Lam. 

REGISTER HERE.  There is a $75 registration fee.

Racism, for all its overt manifestation in our daily lives, is never a conscious thing. No one identifies himself or herself as a racist. But racism is unconsciously embedded in the DNA of most every culture and the soul of most every one of us. We aren’t always conscious of what’s ill inside of either our bodies or our souls. This series of lectures and discussions will examine the issue of racism by drawing upon the experience of Black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans.

What do you know about the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921?  Here is a great article to provide some background on this devastating U.S. tragedy.

Love & Peace, 

Tracy Abler
(she/her/hers)

920-907-2315

Updates and Actions (May 27)

May 27, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Journey Ended--Journey Begun

This is my last Justice Alert as Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Coordinator for the Sisters of St. Agnes. It has been an honor and a blessing to serve in this role for nearly four years. Like many of you, I have not ventured out for meetings, conferences, and other gatherings for many months allowing me the time to connect with you twice a week with Justice Alerts. Your great response has been heartening and humbling. Thank you!

There will be no hiatus in the work of the JPIC office with Tracy Abler taking on the role of coordinator on June 1. She comes with a rich background of social justice involvements and deep respect for the values held by the Sisters of St. Agnes. Recently she became an associate with the congregation. She will introduce herself to you in an upcoming Justice Alert.

While the current form of my justice ministry is ending, I will continue, along with you, to be an advocate for the dignity of every person, for peace and nonviolence, and for care of Earth.

Peace, 
Sister Ruth Battaglia CSA

 

 

Care of Earth

All Catholics in the U.S. who care about faithfully protecting creation are invited to attend the virtual LSUS conference:Laudato Si’ and the U.S. Catholic Church: A Conference Series on Our Common Home.” Registration is now open for the July 13-15, 2021 virtual gathering. Register Here (free).
 
The LSUS conference opens July 13th with keynote addresses by His Eminence Blase Cardinal Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, and Maureen Day, PhD, Assistant Professor of Religion and Society at the Franciscan School of Theology. Together, they will assess why the U.S. Catholic response to Laudato Si’ has not been commensurate with the urgency and gravity of the climate crisis. See full conference schedule.
On July 14-15, the conference continues, featuring interactive breakout sessions in eight areas of the U.S. Catholic Church working to more faithfully incorporate Laudato Si’:

  • Advocacy
  • Colleges/Universities
  • Communications/Media
  • Creation Care Teams (especially at parishes and dioceses)
  • Environmental Justice
  • Homiletics
  • Parochial School Education
  • Youth & Young Adults

Each ministry leadership team will share the strategies, plans, and resources being developed with members of their working group. Presentations will be followed by discussion with conference participants. 

The conference concludes July 15 with a closing address by Sister Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD, and Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University.

 

Nonviolence

Ghost guns may be the scariest and fastest growing gun safety threat in the country. They allow anyone to make an untraceable weapon in less than an hour. And to make matters worse, they have already started to show up as a weapon of choice for violent criminals, gun traffickers, dangerous extremists, and more generally, people legally prohibited from buying firearms.

The good news is that the Biden-Harris Administration has put forward a new proposed rule to end the spread of these dangerous firearms.  
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF) is asking for the public—for people like you—to weigh in on a proposed rule that would stop the spread of these ghost guns and save lives. Tell the ATF to regulate these dangerous firearms and help end gun violence. Click Here. 

 

Addressing Human Trafficking

Engaging Men in Ending Sex Trafficking

The National Faith Coalition Against Human Trafficking is hosting a panel on men's role in ending sex trafficking. They will share the kinds of action that men are uniquely qualified to do that will make a real difference in reducing sex buying. As the initiators of many organizing efforts it is important for women to attend this event as well as men. Register Here  (Free)

One Year Later

May 25, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Floyd mural

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. Not long after his death, George Floyd's 6-year-old daughter, Gianna, smiled, raised her hands and declared that her “Daddy changed the world!”  We know that that change is just beginning, but in the year since Floyd's death there has been a shift. There is a greater awareness of systemic racism and its effects on our sisters and brothers of color. Real change will come about when there is a transformation of the heart, a recognition of the rights and dignity of each person that is manifested in doing the hard work of acknowledging racism, rooting it out it in ourselves and in our institutions, and making reparation.  

Let us pray today for courage and commitment to ending racism in our nation and the world. 

A Year Later

I encourage every one to tune into this interview with Fr. Bryan Massingale, One Year Later: the fight for civil rights since George Floyd's murder. Fr. Massingale is insightful, thought-provoking and challenging. Click Here

 

George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020

This bill addresses a wide range of policies and issues regarding policing practices and law enforcement accountability. It increases accountability for law enforcement misconduct, restricts the use of certain policing practices, enhances transparency and data collection, and establishes best practices and training requirements.

The bill enhances existing enforcement mechanisms to remedy violations by law enforcement. Among other things, it does the following:

  • lowers the criminal intent standard—from willful to knowing or reckless—to convict a law enforcement officer for misconduct in a federal prosecution,
  • limits qualified immunity as a defense to liability in a private civil action against a law enforcement officer, and
  • grants administrative subpoena power to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in pattern-or-practice investigations.

It establishes a framework to prevent and remedy racial profiling by law enforcement at the federal, state, and local levels. It also limits the unnecessary use of force and restricts the use of no-knock warrants, chokeholds, and carotid holds.

The bill creates a national registry—the National Police Misconduct Registry—to compile data on complaints and records of police misconduct. It also establishes new reporting requirements, including on the use of force, officer misconduct, and routine policing practices (e.g., stops and searches).

Finally, it directs DOJ to create uniform accreditation standards for law enforcement agencies and requires law enforcement officers to complete training on racial profiling, implicit bias, and the duty to intervene when another officer uses excessive force.

The bill passed in the House. Contact your senators asking them to pass an effective bipartisan reform bill. 

 

A Reparation's Commission

From Network:

Dismantling systemic racism is our holy call today. Systemic racism is ubiquitous in our country's history and built into our systems and institutions today, putting Black people at a constant disadvantage. It's time to right the wrongs of slavery and its continued impact. Will you join advocates across the country acting for racial justice?

Last month, H.R.40, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee's bill to establish a commission on reparations, received a favorable vote from the House Judiciary Committee. This is the first time a House committee has considered the bill for recommendation to the House floor since it was first introduced in 1989 by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).

Now we have to make sure H.R.40 is passed into law to Call Your Representative Now: 888-422-4555

Tell them to pass a H.R.40 and establish a Reparations Commission!

Sample:
"Hello, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [TOWN]. I'm calling to ask Representative to pass H.R.40 to study and develop reparation proposals. We need legislation to examine the impact of chattel slavery, Black Codes, convict leasing, Jim Crow, redlining, access to fair housing, education, employment opportunities, and more. As a person of faith, I believe every person in our country should have the opportunity to live up to our country's fundamental organizing principles- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Right now, we see the devastating effect of white supremacy on Black people throughout America. Please support H.R.40, as a start to end institutional racism."

 

Immigration

From Presbyterian Office of Public Witness:
Central American Migration:  Root Causes & US Policy
Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 5 p.m. Eastern

The first workshop in this webinar series will look at the circumstances that drive people from Central America to seek safety in the U.S. Lisa Haugaard, Co-Director of the Latin American Working Group, and Rev. Santiago Flores, Reformed Calvinist Church of El Salvador (IRCES), will provide a helpful framework to understand these push factors. Considerable attention will be given to U.S. foreign policy, U.S. immigration policy, and the impact these policies have on individuals in Central America. Presenters will also offer opportunities for you to take action. Click here to register in advance for this webinar, or join us on Facebook/PCUSA Washington page.

 

Ending Human Trafficking

From USCSAHT:
In our next virtual round table, we check in with survivor leaders from around the world for an update on their advocacy and frontline service work since the global health crisis began. The panelists will evaluate their respective governments' responses to the pandemic's impact on women in the sex trade and the policy implications of their (in)action. They will also share their vision and plans to secure justice and equality for prostituted and sex trafficked women and girls worldwide.

Join us on May 27, 2021 at 11:30 p.m. CT for At the Edge of the Margins: One year later — COVID-19's impact on women in the sex trade. Register Here.

Resources/Actions (May 21)

May 21, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Care of Earth

From Friends of the Earth:

Plastic is accumulating on our beaches and in our oceans. There could be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.  

Corporations love plastic. Thanks to the fracking boom, it’s cheap for the fossil fuel industry to create. So oil and gas companies are pushing plastic consumption -- including the widespread use of one-use plastics -- to line their pockets.

But the plastic waste problem has become massive: in the United States 91% of plastic ends up being thrown away, never recycled. Some of it ultimately ends up in our oceans, where it harms or kills marine wildlife.

Call on Congress to protect our planet by supporting the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act. Sign HERE.

 

Fair Taxation

From Network:

Today, 719 billionaires in the United States hold four times more wealth than the 165 million people in the bottom half of our economic spectrum. At the same time, the racial wealth gap continues expanding. How did we get here and what does it mean for our communities? Join me for NETWORK's newest workshop: Tax Justice for All: Unveiling the Racial Inequity of the U.S. Tax Code.

This 90-minute workshop looks at the U.S. tax code and economic inequality in two parts. First, we'll explore how the tax code currently disadvantages women and people of color together. Second, you'll work with fellow justice-seekers to reimagine a new tax code to build a just and inclusive society. For more information Click Here.

 

For the People Act

The For the People Act (also known as H.R. 1) intended to expand voting rights, change campaign finance laws to reduce the influence of money in politics, limit partisan gerrymandering, and create new ethics rules for federal officeholders failed to make it out of the Senate Rules Committee. As a result, Senate Majority Leader Schumer will need to find a way to bring the bill to the floor himself, will need the entire Democratic caucus on board to bring it to a vote, and then will face the possibility of a filibuster. Polls show that a majority of rank-and-file Republicans support S.1 reforms, but it does not have the support of Republican senators.

In a spirit of hope we must continue to push for these reforms.  Please call your Senators and urge them to support the For the People Act (S.1). If they are already co-sponsors—Thank them!

Let them know where you live and that you are a Catholic sister, teacher, health care provider, a committed citizen, or other connections you have in your community. It's powerful. 

Tell them that you are a person of faith and that the democracy reforms outlined in the For the People Act (S. 1)are a moral issue for you. Ask if you can depend on them to support the bill. 

The For the People Act (S1) is a once-in-a-generation package of proven reforms that would:

  1. Expand and protect voting rights and access to the ballot;
  2. Put ordinary Americans ahead of Big Money donors;
  3. End gerrymandering so that electoral districts are fairly drawn;
  4. Hold elected officials to the highest ethical standards.

 

Capital Punishment

Good News and Bad News:

The Idaho Board of Pardon and Parole voted to grant a hearing to Gerald Pizzuto, which will be scheduled in the November session.  The State stipulated to a stay of execution to allow the clemency process to go forward.  

The May 19th killing of Quintin Phillippe Jones was the 1533rd execution since 1977.

South Carolina just passed a law to force condemned prisoners to choose between being burned to death in the electric chair or shot by a firing squad.

 

 

2022 Spring Sabbatical at Mercy by the Sea

May 19, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

If you are longing for the “something more”, are exhausted from the demands of ministry, or are looking to refocus life and refresh your relationship with God, you are invited to join Mercy by the Sea for a sacred time of renewal, rest and reflection. Trusting that God is at work in our lives and is as close to us as our hearts, this sabbatical will be self-directed with guidance from a staff mentor. There will be the time needed to listen to the voice of Another in beauty, simplicity and freedom. This sabbatical is limited to eight persons who will enjoy sweeping views of Long Island Sound from Seascape, a separate but elegant house on the grounds of Mercy by the Sea. The cost of the Sabbatical is $5,400 which includes a $300 non-refundable deposit. Applications are due on or before October 15, 2021.


Click here for full details and registration information.

 

Resources/Actions (May 18)

May 18, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Laudato Si' Week

_______________________
 

Check out EarthBeat Weekly which brings stories that examine the global climate emergency through a lens of faith and environmental justice. Sign up here to receive their newsletter in your inbox every Friday.

 

Fratelli Tutti on Economics

From  Franciscan Action Network:

We will host our third panel discussion on the topic Fratelli Tutti on Economics.  Join us Wednesday, May 26th at 6 pm CT to consider the divisions caused by our current economic system. Our speakers for this event are the author of The Vision of Catholic Social Thought: the Virtue of Solidarity and the Praxis of Human Rights, Meghan Clark and Senior Advisor at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Anthony (Tony) Annett. Read more about our speakers here. The panel discussion will be moderated by our executive director, Stephen Schneck.
RSVP to attend Fratelli Tutti on Economics by clicking here.

 

Peace and Nonviolence

On May 12, a group of scientists and Catholic leaders released a statement calling on President Biden to reduce the threat that nuclear weapons pose to the world and work with other nations toward their abolishment. The statement, signed by fourteen Catholic leaders and top scientists — including Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv, Bishop-President of Pax Christi USA and Marie Dennis, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace, urged the Biden administration to revise dated U.S. nuclear policies, reduce U.S. spending on nuclear weapons, and engage in diplomacy with Russia and other countries, including at the upcoming review conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which takes place in New York this August.

_______________________
 

From World Without War: War and the Environment an Online Course June 7- to July 18

We will cover:

  • Where wars happen and why.
  • What wars do to the earth.
  • What imperial militaries do to the earth back home.
  • What nuclear weapons have done and could do to people and the planet.
  • How this horror is hidden and maintained.
  • What can be done.

Check out all the details and register here. 

 

National Day of Prayer

Join Stella Maris USA and the Coalition of Catholic Organizations against human Trafficking (CCOHAT) for a virtual service on the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea. Three CCOAHT members will be participating - Sr. Margaret Nacke, Sr. Kathleen Coll, and Sr. Ann Schol. The program will include an intimate discussion on the plight of seafarers and fishers during the COVID pandemic.  
 
Thursday, May 20th at 7:00 pm CT.  You can register here! 

 

Ending Human Trafficking

Webinar May 25: Catholic Sisters' Impact on Helping Trafficking Survivors Thrive

Register now for a webinar on Catholic Sisters' Work with Survivors of Human Trafficking which will be held May 25th from 12pm -1pm CT. Panelists will include Theresa Flores; Jean Schafer, SDS; Kathlyn Mulcahy, OP; and Dawn Schiller. Panelists will be sharing about the many ways that USCSAHT members are working to support and empower survivors to be thrivers.  Register Here.

 

Ending Racism

From Saint Vincent de Paul's Voice of the Poor: 

Hope in the Face of Racism Series: Thursday, May 20, 2:00 PM 
Asian American Pacific Islander Vincentians Share Their Stories

Recent violence targeting Asian American and Pacific Islanders highlights the fact that systemic racism affects all people of color. Our ongoing “Hope in the Face of Racism” series will hear AAPI Vincentians share their stories and call us to solidarity with all communities who are marginalized. Register Here.

Resources/Actions (May 14)

May 14, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Care of Earth

To celebrate the end of the Laudato Si’ Special Anniversary Year, Pope Francis invites the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics to joyfully participate in Laudato Si’ Week 2021, to be held My 16-25 May. The theme for the weeklong celebration is, “for we know that things can change” (Laudato Si’ 13).

The week will feature presentations from world-renowned leaders that will showcase how they’ve transformed their communities and invite Catholics to take similar action regionally and locally.

Catholics will be uniting at a crucial time in 2021. In November, at COP26, countries must announce their plans to meet the goals of the Paris agreement. At COP15, scheduled for October in China, the world will have the opportunity to set meaningful and robust targets to protect creation. So, the dialogues will carry a special focus on advocacy efforts aimed at raising the Catholic voice ahead of COP15 and COP26.

More information can be found at laudatosiweek.org. All of the events will be streaming to the Laudato Si Week webpage, the IHD and GCCM’s YouTube Channels.

 

For the People Act Advances

The Senate on Tuesday advanced S. 1, the For the People Act, setting up a floor vote on the bill. The For the People Act is a bill in the United States Congress to expand voting rights, change campaign finance laws to reduce the influence of money in politics, limit partisan gerrymandering, and create new ethics rules for federal officeholders. Contact your Senators. Phone the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.

 

Immigration

Today, President Biden is meeting with DACA recipients in the oval office. Here is the NBC story previewing this meeting. Thank President Biden Here for meeting with DACA recipients today and ask your members of Congress to act now.

 

Capital Punishment

He's Already in Hospice - Stop the Execution of Gerald Pizzuto Jr. in Idaho. Gerald Pizzuto's attorney: "At 64, Mr. Pizzuto is a frail shell of the man he once was. He has stage 4 cancer and is approaching natural death. The idea that such a sick, feeble man presents enough of a danger to society that he must be executed is far-fetched."  Sign the petition to Idaho Governor Brad Little and Idaho Pardons and Parole Commission to stop this execution.

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On May 19, 2021, Quintin Phillippe Jones is scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas for the 1999 murder of his great-aunt, Berthena Bryant. A grassroots effort is underway to seek a commutation of his death sentence to life in prison without any possibility of parole.

Jones has accepted full responsibility for his crimes and has repeatedly expressed profound remorse and regret. He committed the crime when he was 20 years old, after a tragic childhood of violence and abuse that was as nightmarish as anyone could imagine.

In the 20-plus years he has spent on death row, he has transformed himself into a decent, compassionate, thoughtful person.

Sign a petition for clemency for Quintin and other execution petitions here, opportunities to help stop federal executions here, and a special action to call on Congress to take steps to end extra-judicial executions in the United States

Resources/Actions (May 11)

May 11, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Laudato Sí Week

Laudato Si’ Week began as a way to celebrate the anniversary of Pope Francis’ world-changing papal encyclical letter, “Laudato Si’: On Care For Our Common Home.” Pope Francis finished writing the letter on May 24, 2015.

The Global Catholic Climate Movement is observing the anniversary with a week long series of events. You can participate in particular events or all of them by clicking HERE.  Click on the days/topics that interest you and beneath the pictures of the presenters you will find a link to register. 

 

Voting Rights

The For The People Act has been introduced in both chambers as H.R. 1 in the House of Representatives and as S.1 in the Senate. In the Joint Address to Congress, President Biden voiced vocal support for the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and asked the Senate to pass them right away. With the bill just beginning its way through the Senate process now is a great time to contact your senators asking them to support the bill.

Video from John Lewis Voting Rights Day is available HERE.

 

Immigration

From Interfaith Immigration Coalition:

Attend a Bilingual Webinar (5/12) at 6:30 pm CT: May is a critical month for faith communities to stand in solidarity with directly impacted immigrants in advocating for citizenship for all. Join us this Wednesday to learn how you and your faith community can continue to take action. RSVP here

Recent Posts

6/11/21 - By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator
6/9/21 - By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator
6/3/21 - By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator
5/27/21 - By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
5/25/21 - By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

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