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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.


 

Resources/Actions (April 13)

April 13, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Care of Creation

Care of Earth

In the book of Genesis we are to told to have "dominion" over the earth (Gen1:28) and to "till it and keep it" (Gen 2:15).  In Laudato Sí
Pope Francis tells us that we must understand these words in their Scriptural context.  " 'Tilling' refers to cultivating, ploughing or working, while "keeping" means caring, protecting, overseeing and preserving.  This implies a mutual responsibility between human beings and nature. Each community can take from the bounty of the earth whatever it needs for subsistence, but it also has a duty to protect the earth and to ensure its fruitfulness for coming generations." (# 67)

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Kiss the Ground is a new film how about how regenerating the world’s soils has the potential to rapidly stabilize Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems, and create abundant food supplies. This film explains why transitioning to regenerative agriculture could be key in rehabilitating the planet, while simultaneously invigorating a new sense of hope and inspiration in viewers. To register, view a trailer and download a free screenings kit Click Here
 
Wednesday, April 21 at 1:00 pm Interfaith Power and Light. will also host a webinar “Sacred Ground, a Message of Hope.” There will be a conversation with Kiss the Ground filmmaker, Josh Tickell, and Faith in Place’s Statewide Outreach Director, Veronica Kyle, on what congregations can do to be part of the solution to food justice and climate justice. When you register to view the film, you will also receive the Zoom link to join the webinar.

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Life Cycle of a Plastic Bottle

Watch this 1:11 minute video that shows the entire destructive lifecycle of a plastic bottle -- from the fossil fuel extraction required to make single-use plastic to the dumping grounds where these bottles inevitably wind up after disposal. 

 

 

Here I Am Production

Premiering Online in Conjunction with Emancipation Day the week of April 16, 2021

Register for the Free online event at the Eventbrite: bit.ly/HereIAm21 

“Our ancestors have waited patiently through centuries for us to come to the table of acknowledgement. Here I Am fulfills my desire to give voice to those families, including my own, and to our tenacity and strength as a people — to close the full circle where we began our American lives three centuries ago and where we are today.” –Mélisande Short-Colomb

A native of New Orleans who began her studies at Georgetown in 2017 at the age of 63, Mélisande Short-Colomb is a direct descendant of Abraham Mahoney and Mary Ellen Queen who were among the 314 members of the group known today as the GU272, enslaved people owned and sold by the Maryland Jesuits in 1838 to rescue Georgetown University from insolvency and bankruptcy.  More than an autobiographical chronicle, this ritualistic experience weaves narrative, music, and imagery, inviting the audience on an experiential journey exploring Colomb’s loving and complicated relationship with the institution that enslaved her ancestors. Interrogating uncomfortable truths, rather than offering easy answers, HERE I AM challenges participants to bear witness and to reckon with their own histories, and to imagine the future of racial justice in America.

For more information, visit the Here I Am page.

Supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by the Office of the President at Georgetown University.

Resources/Actions (April 9)

April 09, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Easter Cross

The Sisters of St. Agnes join with each of you in recognizing the Easter truth that urges us to greater hope, resilience and determination.  We honor our Christian beliefs that encompass the goodness of all of creation.

Care of Creation

Care of Earth

"Our insistence that each human being is an image of God should not make us overlook the fact that each creature has its own purpose. None is superfluous. The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God.” (Laudato Sí # 84)

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Earth Day was inspired by Vietnam war protesters.

Credit for the first Earth Day goes to Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. In 1970 he watched people protest the Vietnam War. He thought that people failed to pressure the government to fix the damage done to the planet by oil spills, pesticides, and deadly smog. He enlisted support from all sides of the political spectrum, and on April 22, 1970, Earth Day was born.

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The Ignatian Solidarity Network, Jesuit Conference of the US and Canada, Catholic Climate Covenant, Global Catholic Climate Movement and the Sisters of Mercy are sponsoring a 21-day environmental justice challenge April 23-May 16. Each day will focus on a particular topic with educational resource, prayer resource and call to action. Topics include solidarity with the resisters of Oak Flat and Line 3, the disproportionate harms of air and water pollution on Black and brown communities, heat disparities with climate change, environmental racism and factory farms, and the efforts of water protectors in Honduras and land defenders in the Amazon rainforest and Boreal forest in Canada. You may learn more and register here.  

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ACTION -- Plant Milkweed

Monarch butterflies are pollinators that play a vital role in ecosystems all over North America. But in the past year alone, monarch butterfly populations have dropped by 26%.

Planting milkweed is an important and sustainable activity for all ages to enjoy.

 

Proposed Gun Control Rule

In caring for creation, we begin with protecting human life. 
 → The Justice Department will issue a proposed rule within 30 days to “help stop the proliferation of ghost guns,” according to the White House. These untraceable guns are made from kits or 3D printers. Gun-control advocates have called for background checks on sales of these increasingly popular kits.
→ DOJ will also issue a new proposed rule that will state that “stabilizing braces” attached to pistols turn those weapons into short-barreled rifles. Short-barrel rifles are are more strictly regulated by the government.  
→ Over the next 60 days, DOJ officials will draft model “red flag” legislation for states. These laws -- also known as “extreme risk protection orders” -- allow families or law-enforcement officials to seek a court order temporarily preventing someone from access to guns if they present a danger to themselves or others.  
→ The Biden administration will put more money and resources into community violence prevention programs. The American Jobs Plan calls for $5 billion for such programs.
→ DOJ will issue a new report on illegal weapons trafficking, updating a 20-year-old federal study.
→ President Joe Biden will nominate David Chipman to run ATF. Chipman worked at ATF for 25 years, and he’s now a senior policy adviser at Giffords, the pro-gun control group started by former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.).  

Let your legislator know where you stand.

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Here is an interesting opinion form the New Your Times: "I Helped Lead the Gun Control Movement. It’s Asking the Wrong Questions." Read here. 

 

Immigration

From Georgetown University Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life:
An online Dialogue on Immigration Challenges and Choices: People, Principles, and Policies.
Thursday, April 15, 2021, 11:30 CDT.  On April 15, the day of the discussion, all who have RSVP’d will receive an email with a link and step-by-step instructions on how to join the livestream.  RSVP HERE

 

Peace and Nonviolence

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5)

"That was the question from the angels poised outside the empty tomb to the faithful women who had arrived to perform the sad but reverent ritual of giving a proper anointing to the already buried body of Jesus. How could they grasp the startling meaning of those words?"  
- Bishop Stowe

Is that a question that we must answer in our time? Read the Pax Christi message from Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., Bishop-President of Pax Christi USA, HERE

 

 

 

 

Resources/Actions (April 6)

April 06, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Easter Cross

Abundant Easter Blessings!

This Easter, as we rejoice and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, let us also remember his work of caring for for the poor and marginalized, his healing and forgiveness, his boldness to speak the truth and the unstoppable movement that changed the world because of it. When we do the same then we will truly be Easter people. 

 

Care of Creation

Care of Earth

CSA Convent -- 100% Powered by the Sun

Our solar installation on the motherhouse grounds represents our corporate commitment to future generations and is a visible response to Pope Francis’ call to the church, and the world, to take seriously the threat posed to our human dignity from the effects of climate 
change. 

When Alliant Energy announced the launch of its first community solar project in Fond du Lac, CSA leadership decided to support the endeavor by purchasing 862 solar panels (called “blocks”) of the solar farm. This investment means that the entire St. Agnes Convent, and the maintenance building, will be 100%  powered by the sun.

 

Ending Plastic Pollution

REDUCE

Reduce your own plastic waste. Start by using this plastic calculator to track how much you use — then you can take steps to reduce your use and waste.


REUSE

Always choose quality and durability over convenience. Single-use bags, cups, and other products usually cost you more in the long term — and definitely cost our planet.


RECYCLE

Find the plastics you no longer need and dispose of them properly. If you can, replace them with long-lasting options.

 

Gardening 101

From the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration - Ecospirituality Committee:

All are invited to our next Ecospirituality in Action Lunch and Learn session, “Gardening 101: What’s sprouting at Jacoba’s Greenhouse? Get started at home.” 

This session will be presented by FSPA Ecospirituality Project Outreach Coordinator Karen Stoltz on Tuesday, April 13, from noon to 1 p.m. CST.  Karen will introduce us to the basics of starting a garden indoors from seed selection and potting soil to choosing a site for transplanting your seedlings outside. Register Here. 

 

April 7 -- World Health Day

From Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns 

Join us on World Health Day, Wednesday, April 7, for a 30-minute webinar on global vaccine access. 

Global vaccine access is essential for a global, just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, but the countries least able to afford the vaccine are the last to access it. Meanwhile, the ten most wealthy countries in the world have bought up three-quarters of available vaccine doses. Join us as we unpack the Catholic Church’s position on vaccine access, why this is important, and what you and world leaders can do to ensure equitable vaccine access for all.

PRESENTER: Chloe Noel, Faith Economy Ecology Program Coordinator
WHEN: Wednesday, April 7, 1:30 - 2:00 p.m. CT
WHERE: Register here via Zoom. You will also be able to watch it live on our YouTube channel. 

Ending Human Trafficking

This month’s Stop Trafficking newsletter highlights the National Center for Sexual Exploitation annual list of entities they deem worthy to name and shame. Click here to download the April, 2021 newsletter. 

 

Nonviolence

Americans are shocked and dismayed by the rise in violent conflicts that have erupted over political differences across the country.  With a mission of active nonviolence and peacemaking, the Sisters of St. Francis are working to bridge those divides and promote peace by hosting a conversation with nonviolence advocate, author and educator, Eli McCarthy, Ph.D. 

The program, hosted by the Franciscan Peace Center, will be held on Friday, April 9 at 1:00 PM via Zoom.  The event is free, but advance registration is required at www.ClintonFranciscans.com

 

Voting Rights 

Support For the People Act (S. 1.)

When the Senate returns from recess on April 12th, one of the first orders of business will be the For The People Act (S.1)—a once-in-a-generation transformative democracy reform bill. The past months have only highlighted the urgency of reforms to repair our democracy, protect voting rights and begin restoring faith in our democratic systems. 

We know that it will be difficult to get this bill through the Senate, so it is important that your senators hear from you.
 
Join the National Call-In Day—Thursday, April 8.  Please call your Senators to urge them to support passage of S.1. 
 
The For the People Act would

  1. protect and strengthen the sacred right to vote,
  2. end the dominance of big money in politics,
  3. end partisan gerrymandering, and
  4. implement anti-corruption, pro-ethics measures to clean up government.

Resources/Actions (April 1)

April 01, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Care of Creation

Care of Earth

 Quote from Pope Francis' Laudato

 
There is a growing sensitivity to the environment and the need to protect nature, along with a growing concern, both genuine and distressing, for what is happening to our planet… Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it. (#19) 

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As you take your cloth bags to the grocery store or haul electronics to a collection site, have you ever asked, "Is this worth it?  Is this really making a difference?"  You are invited to Read this reflection from EarthBeat by Barbara Fraser.

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Here is something that you can do! 
Use Wool Dryer Balls instead of dryer sheets. 

Many dryer makers recommend you don’t use dryer sheets as they can damage your dryer over time.  You also save time, energy, and money, while helping to reduce your carbon footprint by using wool dryer balls 

Wool dryer balls help improve air flow in the dryer while absorbing moisture. This shortens drying time resulting in less energy used and a reduced power bill. The balls can be reused for more than 1000 loads and help extend the life of your clothing. And they prevent static cling. You can order wool drying balls from Tru Earth  

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Together with Global Sisters Report, EarthBeat is hosting a special environment-related Witness & Grace Conversation, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 2 p.m. Central Time. 
 
How Catholic Sisters are Helping to Save the Earth -- and You Can Too
 
Join Sr. Sheila Kinsey from Rome and Sr. Melinda Roper from Darien, Panama, with Gail DeGeorge (Editor, GSR) and Barbara Fraser (Editor, EarthBeat) for an inspirational and insightful conversation about the pressing needs of our planet, how sisters are making a difference – and you can too. Learn more and register.

 

Undoing Racism

Call To Action - Madison Area is participating in a webinar and discussion about racism and the Catholic Church, featuring Father Bryan Massingale on “How to Make Spiritual Sense of the Attack on the Capitol: Behind the Story.” This Zoom presentation will be held on Wednesday, April 14, 7-8 PM (CDT).  

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82546261555
Meeting ID: 825 4626 1555

 

Ending Human Trafficking

If you didn't see the segment of Wednesday's Today Show on catholic sisters' fight against human trafficking, here is the link to watch the recording at your convenience.  

 

Protecting Voters Rights

State legislators across the country have introduced more than 250 bills in 43 states to make it harder to vote. These bills include measures to limit the early voting options that 85 million people used to safely vote in 2020 — an election with the highest turnout in a century — and are coming on the heels of months of lies about the validity and security of the general election.

That’s why Issue One and its National Council on Election Integrity are hosting a discussion about how these various proposals would impact voting for millions of Americans and what we can do to make the electoral process even more secure and accessible — instead of making it harder for people to vote. Join this timely discussion on Tuesday, April 6th at 11:00 am CDT. RSVP Here

Resources/Actions (March 30)

March 30, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Women's History Month

Ayesha Verrall

Ayesha Jennifer Verrall MP FRACP is a New Zealand politician, infectious-diseases physician, and researcher with expertise in tuberculosis and international health. In 2020 she became a Labour Party Member of the New Zealand Parliament and a Cabinet Minister with the roles of Minister for Seniors, Minister for Food Safety, Associate Minister of Health and Associate Minister for Research, Science and Innovation. Dr. Ayesha Verrall has spent her career seeking to stop the spread of infectious diseases, and in a moment of global crisis, she used her knowledge to advocate a science-based approach to tackling COVID-19 and improving contact tracing that has helped save lives in New Zealand, especially among those most vulnerable. Ayesha has always understood, and seen firsthand, the link between infectious disease and inequality. 

 

Earth Day -- Save the Date

For the last few years LCWR 9 Legislative Network has prepared an Earth Day Prayer Service for all Region 9 sisters and associates to pray together at the same time, where possible. With our newly acquired tech savvy we will be doing the service via Zoom. We invite you to begin the day of observance by joining in prayer with region 9 members on Thursday, April 22, at 9:30 am. The service will be made available to the public and for later viewing.

 

Earth Day Resource 

Catholic Climate Covenant has announced their new 2021 Earth Day program, “Restore Our Common Home” is now available. The free one-hour educational program is intended for Earth Day (April 22), the 6th anniversary of Laudato Si’ (May 16-24), or whenever works for you. The interactive program includes prayers, readings, a short video, discussion questions, and suggested “restoration” activities.

 

Immigration

Roundtable Discussion on Unaccompanied Children at the Border.

In response to delegation visits to migrant centers, child advocates discuss need to ensure all unaccompanied children are treated humanely This was a March 25 briefing . If you missed it, you can find it HERE

 

Free Speech Dilemmas

From Marian University Social Justice Committee:

On April 13, a presentation entitled, “Free Speech Dilemmas in Social Media” featuring St. John's University Professor Kate Klonick, a leading expert on the issue will be offered from 3:00-4:15 p.m.

Registration is required for the event, which is being Zoom hosted by the Institute for Humane Studies.  People can register for the event here.  

 

Care of Earth

Recently Introduced in Congress: The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 

Contact your members of Congress to support this bill. It will address the plastic pollution crisis and protect our communities and wildlife to create a healthier, more equitable future for us all by:

  • Shifting responsibility for waste management and recycling to manufacturers and producers
  • Setting up a national beverage container refund program
  • Establishing minimum recycled content standards
  • Phasing out certain single-use plastic products that aren’t recyclable
  • Prohibit plastic waste from being exported to developing countries
  • Placing a moratorium on new and expanding plastic facilities until the Environmental Protection Agency updates and creates vital environmental and health regulations on those facilities. 

Resources/Actions (March 26)

March 26, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Women's History Month

Mónica Ramírez

Mónica Ramírez is an activist, author, civil rights attorney, social entrepreneur, and speaker. She has been specifically engaged in direct service and advocacy on behalf of farmworkers, Latinas and immigrant women.

Among her many initiatives is the creation in 2003 of the first legal project in the US focused on addressing sexual harassment and other forms of gender discrimination against farmworker women. For nearly seven years she directed The Immigrant Women's Legal Initiative of the Southern Poverty Law Center which addresses sexual assault and harassment of female farmworkers.  

As the Deputy Director and then Director of Gender Equality for the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement she developed a strategic plan for a campaign aimed at assisting and empowering Latina workers in the U.S.  Ramírez is also one of the co-founders of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas in Mexico. (the National Farmworker Women's Alliance).

In 2019 Mónica co-founded The Latinx House — a gathering space to support the Latino community and to celebrate Latino excellence in film and entertainment. The Latinx House was launched at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

 

Stop Asian Hate

TODAY, March 26, the AAPI Coalition of Wisconsin is hosting a StopAsianHate Virtual Wisconsin Day of Action and Healing and joining AAPI organizations and community leaders across the country in a StopAsianHate Virtual Day of Action and Healing. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. Register here. A day of action toolkit is available here for those who are unable to join the virtual event but who are interested in joining the conversation on social media not only today, but ongoing. 

 

Thank You, Sister Simone!


Going the Extra Mile for Justice: Celebrating Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, outgoing director of Network Watch online

TODAY Friday, March 26, 2021 at 4:00 PM Central Time

 

Virtual Caravan for Justice

From Solidarity Collective:

Join us for our Annual Caravan for Justice entitled "Climate Justice Means Justice for All!"  

Sunday, March 28 through Friday, April 2, we will be hosting events and reflection circles to highlight the incredible work of artists and activists across the Southeast and Latin America, while engaging in discussions about how to strengthen our collective movements for justice for Black folks, Indigenous people, workers, immigrants, gender and LGBTQ, the planet, and more.
 
Sunday, 3/28/2021, 5pm EDT. 5pm EDT: Performance: Art in Resistance Register to participate!
Reflection Circles: Register for all 4 here!

  • Monday, 3/29/2021, 7pm EDT: Indigenous Sovereignty and Climate Justice
  • Tuesday, 3/30/2021, 7pm EDT: Black Lives Matter and Climate Justice
  • Wednesday, 3/31/2021, 7pm EDT: Queering and Climate Justice: LGBTQ+ Resistance
  • Thursday, 4/1/2021, 7pm EDT: Immigrant Rights and Climate Justice

Friday, 4/2/2021, 12pm EDT: Ceremony: Good Friday Economic Justice Way of the Cross Register here!

 

Immigration

The Grace Act was introduced to Congress this week. Email your members of Congress asking them to protect refugees and rebuild the U.S. refugee resettlement program  To write, and for more information Click Here

 

Water Act

Take action today and urge your representatives to support the WATER Act now.  The WATER Act, if passed, would provide nearly $35 billion annually for states to allocate to publicly owned utilities for drinking water and sewer infrastructure repairs, and would also fund the replacement of lead service lines and filters for toxic compounds from drinking water. 

Not only will these efforts result in safer drinking water, they’ll also create as many as one million jobs. Take action now. 

 

Peaceful and Just Elections

Thursday, March 26, was the first Senate hearing on the For the People Act. If you saw the news coverage, you know it will be a challenge to get enough support in the Senate to pass. It is important that your senators hear from you -- often.  

Write a letter and call 1-833-497-4273  

If  For the People Act becomes law it can:

  • Protect every American’s right to vote...
  • Ensure that people, not Big Money, set the agenda...
  • End partisan and racial gerrymandering...
  • Clean up our government...
  • And make democracy work for everyone.

Care of Earth

Prepare for Earth Day -- April 22

Here some resources to help you as you prepare to observe Earth Day this year. 

 

 

Resources/Actions (March 23)

March 23, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Women's History Month

 Aurélia Nguyen.

"It’s not an exaggeration to say that the health of the world lies in the hands of Aurélia Nguyen" (Time Magazine, February 17, 2021). It is Nguyen’s job, as managing director of the COVAX Facility, to ensure that the lifesaving and pandemic-ending vaccines developed against COVID-19 reach as many people around the world as possible.  

Until her appointment with COVAX,  Aurélia served as Gavi’s Managing Director for Vaccines & Sustainability. She and her team were responsible for designing ways for Gavi’s resources to support financially sustainable vaccine programs and markets, and ultimately increase life-saving vaccines.

Prior to joining Gavi, Aurélia held a variety of posts between 1999 and 2010 within GlaxoSmithKline, where she led the development of GSK’s policies on access to medicines and vaccines in the developing world. She has also undertaken research for the World Health Organization on generic medicines policies.

 

Equitable Taxes

From Network:

Take action to raise revenue for needed investments in our future. Several bills to do this and make the tax code more have been introduced in Congress over the past month. Begin to build a just tax system by calling your Representative TODAY at 888-436-6478.

Call Your Representative Now: 888-436-6478
When you call, here's what you might say:

"Hi, my name is [NAME] and I am a constituent from [TOWN]. I am calling to encourage the Representative to support H.R. 1459 (the Wealth Tax Bill), H.R. 1785 (No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing Act), and H.R 1116 (the IRS Enhancement and Tax Gap Reduction Act) in order to make our tax code more just and equitable. Will you please ask the Representative to support these bills? Thank you."

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Become a grassroots co-signer of Elizabeth Warren's Pramila Jayapal's and Brendan Boyle's new wealth tax (H.R. 1459). Sign Here.

 

Ending Racism and Misogyny

The Leaderships Conference of Women Religious has released this statement in response to mass shooting in Atlanta. 

 

Justice Conference

From Notre Dame's Center for Social Concerns:

2021 Catholic Social Tradition Conference, March 25–27, 2021

Virtual and free due to the coronavirus.
"Action on behalf of justice and participation in the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of preaching the gospel," Justice in the World"

PANELS

Thursday, March 25, 2021
7:00–7:15 p.m. | Introduction and Award Presentation
7:15–8:45 p.m. | Racial Justice—Engaging the Structure of Oppression
Friday, March 26, 2021
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. | Creating a Global Vision of Justice
4:00–5:15 p.m. | Hearing the Gospel and Spreading Good News
7:00–8:15 p.m. | Justice in the World of Work: Global, National, Local Perspectives
Saturday, March 27, 2021
9:00–10:15 a.m. | Starting Justice at Home

Learn More and Join Events 

ADDITIONAL EVENTS

Justice in the World Virtual Art Exhibit
"The Cry of the Earth, the Cry of the Poor",  A Holy Saturday Virtual Retreat, Saturday, April 3, 2021, 9:30–11:30 a.m. Please register by March 31.

 

Earth Day 2021 Resource

From Catholic Climate Covenant: 

The new 2021 Earth Day program, Restore Our Common Homeis now available to be part of your planning. With spiritual nourishment and practical activities, the free one-hour educational program can be easily downloaded. The program is intended for Earth Day (April 22), the 6th anniversary of Laudato Si’ (May 16-24), or whenever works for you. The interactive program includes prayers, readings, a short video, discussion questions, and suggested “restoration” activities.

 

Care of Earth

World Water Day was March 22. The UN’s #ActNow campaign promotes the following changes to address water scarcity: 

  • Take five minute showers: Water scarcity affects four out of ten people. 80% of wastewater is never treated so taking shorter showers is an important step to wasting less water. 
  • Don’t throw away edible food: 1/3 of food grown globally is lost or goes to waste. Agriculture is one of the largest water consumers, and reducing your food waste also reduces water waste. 
  • Turn off tech: 90% of power generation is water intensive. Power down devices when not in use and unplug chargers to prevent “vampire energy” use as they still use energy when plugged in.
  • Shop sustainably: A typical pair of jeans takes 10,000 liters of water to produce, equal to what a person drinks in 10 years. Source your clothing from responsible companies or consider buying used clothing which reduces the consumption of water and other resources. 


Calculate your water footprint at watercalculator.org.

Prayer:

Christ, who was baptized in water of the River Jordan and lived by the sea of Galilee, guide us to reflect and act as we recognize that the crisis of climate change is so linked with water. Grace us with the thirst for the knowledge and wisdom we need so we can become part of the solution to this global challenge. Giver of life, creator of water, grant us the strength and the resolve to work to save the precious gift of Creation. In Your name, we pray. Amen.

Resources/Actions (March 18)

March 18, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Women's History Month

Mari Copeny


Mari is a 13 year old from Flint, Michigan known globally as Little Miss Flint. She first rose to the public spotlight when her letter to President Obama about the water crisis prompted him to visit the city and survey the water crisis for himself. That visit ultimately led to him approving $100 million dollars in relief for the city of Flint.  Her young age has not prevented her from making a significant impact on the dialogue around environmental racism and confronted the entire country with the reality faced by victims of state negligence. Her youthful honesty prevents political leaders from being able to ignore the consequences of neglectful leadership. She gives voice to the unheard hardships of Americans trapped by a collapsing and toxic infrastructure. 

Alluding to herself as the "future president" in her Twitter bio, she also regularly raises funds to help Flint students in need. She's eligible to be president in 2044. Keep an eye on her!

 

Forced Labor

From No Business with Genocide-- Free Uyghurs From Forced Labor in China

People belonging to ethnic, cultural, and religious groups in northwestern China, including Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and Hui, are currently the target of the largest organized detention of an ethno-religious minority the world has seen since World War II. Detainees are forced to work and their labor contributes to the production of goods for numerous multinationals. You can help.

  • Click here to tell your U.S. senators to support and co-sponsor the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. (S.45).
  • Countless Western companies profit from this system of forced labor. Thousands of you have already contacted retailer, Zara (Inditex), to demand that the company stop selling clothes made by forced Uyghur labor. This week, we are asking you to sign our new petition to Nike. Sign the petition demanding that Nike stop buying from factories in China that use forced Uyghur labor.
  • Do you want to do more to help the Uyghurs? Then please take this link to "8 things you can do to help Uyghurs in a time of genocide" by the Uyghur Human Rights Project, a coalition partner of No Business With Genocide.

Support Striking Garment Workers in Myanmar

  • Demand that Adidas, Zara, and LIDL support the workers in Myanmar who make our clothes.
  • Senator Ben Cardin and Rep. Andy Levin have introduced resolutions condemning the military coup and supporting the Civil Disobedience Movement. Please contact your U.S. House representative and urge them to sponsor House Resolution 134. Just click here  

Peace and Nonviolence

From Win Without War:

Did you know? We could cut the Pentagon budget by more than ten percent and still spend more than the next ten largest militaries — combined! Imagine the generational impact those hundreds of billions of dollars in savings would have: if instead of weapons, arms dealers, and war, we invested them in diplomacy, humanitarian aid, global public health, sustainability initiatives, and basic research. Add your name and tell your Representatives to join the Lee-Pocan-Auchincloss letter and support cutting the Pentagon budget!

 

Care of Earth

From Virtual Ecumenical Advocacy Days Conference:  
 
Join us on April 18 - 21, 2021 for the opportunity to advocate for climate justice and support the global movement centered and led by people and communities most vulnerable to climate impacts due to historic racial and colonial inequalities.

This year’s #EAD2021 conference hopes to passionately advocate and reimagine a world that lives out the values of justice, equity, and beloved community. Register before April 1st for a discount!

Here is the schedule to date, to give you an indication of the time span and for more information. There is $25 fee and a request for a donation.

Resources/Actions (March 16)

March 16, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Women's History Month

Beyoncé


Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is an American singer, songwriter, actress, director, humanitarian, and record producer. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child.

At the 63rd Grammy Awards on Sunday, Beyoncé made history as she earned her 28th win, making her the show's most-decorated female artist. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of Destiny's Child, one of the best-selling girl groups of all time.  

In April 2020, Beyoncé donated $6 million to the National Alliance in Mental Health, UCLA and local community-based organizations in order to provide mental health and personal wellness services to essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her Foundation, BeyGOOD, also teamed up with local organizations to help provide resources to communities of color, including food, water, cleaning supplies, medicines and face masks.

 

Care of Earth

From Catholic Climate Movement:

The Church invites you to take action to care for our common home. Answer the call and become a Laudato Si Animator!  Watch a video and register here for an upcoming training beginning April 14.

The Sisters of St. Agnes are generous supporters of the work of Catholic Climate Movement

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Did you know that only 9% of plastic gets recycled?  Read about and watch a brief vide here. Perhaps one week in Lent you might fast from plastic.

 

Immigration

Immigration Legislation Requires Urgent Action

This week, the House is expected to vote on the Dream and Promise Act (HR6) and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (HR1063)—both of which would provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants. However, HR6 excludes certain immigrants based on their past encounters with the U.S. criminal justice system, which disproportionately targets Black and Brown communities. This week is a critical moment to raise our voices and advocate for Congress to advance inclusive legislation that upholds the dignity of all.

  • Advocate | Urge Congressional Leaders to drop all criminalization bars in HR6
  • Call Congress | Join Faith on the Phones this Tuesday and Wednesday at 1 pm ET and Thursday at 5 pm ET to make advocacy calls on behalf of the bills
  • Petition | Demand that the House pass the Dream and Promise Act without delay
  • Toolkit | Call Congress and spread the word on social media

 

Forced Labor and the Fishing Industry

Each year, the Coalition of Catholic Organizations Against Human Trafficking (CCOAHT) launches a Campaign that begins during Lent to raise Catholic awareness of forced labor in the fishing industry. This year, due to the global pandemic, a new humanitarian crisis has emerged that is severely impacting all men and women who work at sea.

Thus in 2021, CCOAHT - together with Stella Maris and the Apostleship of the Sea of the United States of America (AOS-USA) - are urging Catholics and all people of good will to pay witness to the life of the seafarer and to leverage their voices as community members and consumers to uplift the safety and wellbeing of one of the world’s most invisible group of essential workers.
 
Click here to download some background about the Campaign and more information. 

 

Peace and Nonviolence

End the Draft.

Congress is about make a fast-track decision to expand draft registration to women -- without even a hearing.

Litigation challenging the Constitutionality of the requirement for men, but not women, to register with the Selective Service System is pending in the Supreme Court, and is forcing Congress to choose either to end draft registration or to expand it to women as well as men.

Congress Members need to hear from us that it is time to finally abolish draft registration in the United States. Click Here to email your Representative and our two Senators. 

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End Sanctions During the Pandemic

As a result of broad U.S. economic sanctions, countries such as Iran, Syria, Venezuela, North Korea, Sudan, and Zimbabwe struggle without adequate food, electricity, medicine, medical supplies, masks and respirators. Those who suffer most under sanctions include pregnant women, children, and the chronically ill. Click here to tell President Biden to lift deadly sanctions during the pandemic.

Resources/Actions (March 12)

March 12, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Women's History Month

Vanessa Nakate 
 

Vanessa Nakate is a 24 year old Ugandan climate justice activist. She grew up in Kampala and started her activism in December 2018 after becoming concerned about the unusually high temperatures in her country.  

Inspired by Greta Thunberg to start her own climate movement in Uganda, Nakate began a solitary strike against inaction on the climate crisis in January 2019. For several months she was the lone protester outside of the gates of the Parliament of Uganda. Eventually, other youth began to respond to her calls on social media for others to help draw attention to the plight of the Congolian rainforests. Nakate founded the Youth for Future Africa, the Rise Up Movement and started the Green Schools project.  

Nakate was on the list of the BBC's 100 Women in 2020 and also one of Time's 100 in 2021.

 

Immigration

The House is expected to vote on two very important bills next week. Both provide path to citizenship to millions of our neighbors, co-workers and friends.  See this letter of support for both from USCCB.

Call your US Representative and tell them to stand with immigrant youth, TPS holders, and farmworkers by supporting The Dream And Promise Act (H.R. 6 - 117th) and Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R.1537). Call 213-335-2333

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The Biden administration is expected to take executive action to increase refugee arrivals and begin restoring the resettlement program.  

Church World Service has developed letters to the Biden Administration urging the restoration and strengthening of the refugee resettlement program. You can sign on using this form.  Sign Here  All signatures are due by the close of business, March 18, 2021.

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From Church World Service:


Since February 1st, 18 deportation flights have gone to Haiti, expelling over 1,000 Haitians, including at least 270 children, under a policy of the last administration, that uses COVID-19 as an excuse to deny immigrants access to the asylum process. Thousands of other immigrants, including people from Cameroon and Mauritania, face harm upon being deported to their home country due to violent crime and political instability.  
 
It is vital that the administration re-designate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti and designate TPS for Cameroon and TPS (or Deferred Enforced Departure, DED) for Mauritania - and end ongoing deportations of our Black immigrant neighbors. TPS was created to provide protection from deportation to those already in the United States when it is unsafe for their return home – precisely the conditions Mauritania, Cameroon, and Haiti face. It is imperative that we make our voices heard to our national leaders - join us in taking action today

CONTACT YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Click here to send an email to your 2 Senators and 1 Representative!
 
Sample Script: “I’m your constituent from [CITY/TOWN] and [as a person of faith / refugee] I urge you to tell the Biden administration to re-designate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti, as well as designate TPS for Cameroon and TPS (or DED) for Mauritania. Since the beginning of February, 18 deportation flights have left the U.S., expelling over 1,000 Haitians, including at least 270 children, and other migrants, including from Cameroon and Mauritania, who face harm upon returning to their home country due to violent crime and political instability. I urge you to call upon the administration to do its part to protect our Black immigrant neighbors seeking safety by calling on the administration to take swift action for these countries. The targeting and prioritization of Black immigrants for deportation is immoral and wrong. My community welcomes Black immigrants and asylum seekers, and I urge you to do the same.”

 

Campaign Nonviolence

From Pace e Bene

Campaign Nonviolence Skillbuilding Webinar: Building Momentum 90-minute Webinar on Zoom

When: Tuesday March 23, 7-8:30 pm CST

Objective: Learn about how to grow participation, do creative outreach, and connect people to the movement. This is the first of a series of skillbuilding webinars for Pace e Bene’s Campaign Nonviolence. 

Facilitator: Rivera Sun  Cost: $20, or sign-up for Action Week and get a free pass!  Register Here.

 

Capital Punishment

There is one execution scheduled for the month of April. Lawyers for Ramiro Gonzales have raised 10 error points from his 2006 trial, including claims that his confession was not sufficiently corroborated by independent evidence. They also challenged testimony from a forensic psychiatrist who told jurors Gonzales would be a continuing threat, one of the questions a jury must decide when considering a death sentence. Read more about the case and sign the petition to save Ramiro.  

 

Another Action to Stop Pipeline 3

As a person of faith and spiritual practice, your voice is needed for this movement to stop the destructive pipelines that are threatening our water, our land, and our communities. Please sign this nationwide petition and call on President Biden to use his executive office to stop Line 3. Sign Here

Recent Posts

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