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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.

Just and Peaceful Elections

January 21, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA


"Should things go wrong at any time, the people will set them to rights by the peaceable exercise of their elective rights.”

— Pres. Thomas Jefferson


You are invited to join in a few moments of prayer every Tuesday for peaceful and just elections. This time of approaching caucuses and primaries reminds us of the serious duty we have as US citizens to exercise our right to vote. Our prayer is that we, as a nation, will do so in a manor that is peaceful and just. 

If you would like to receive a brief email reminder to pray each Tuesday, please send an email to Sister Ruth Battaglia to be added to the list.

  

Good News On Immigration

January 16, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Another save by the courts from an anti-immigration executive order!

In November 2019 a lawsuit was filed challenging the legality of Executive Order 13888, which requires the written consent of governors and local officials in order for refugee resettlement to continue in states and communities around the country. District Judge Messitte issued a preliminary injunction in the case.

Please continue to reach out to elected officials to talk about the benefits of refugee resettlement. 

Preliminary Injunction Talking Points for Advocates

  • In November, HIAS, Church World Service (CWS), and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), represented by the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, challenging the legality of Executive Order 13888.
  • The Executive Order requires the written consent of governors and county executives in order for refugee resettlement to continue in states and communities around the country.
  • Today, U.S. District Judge Messitte issued a preliminary injunction in the case. According to the terms of the injunction, the State Department’s Notice of Funding Opportunity, which required resettlement agencies to submit consent letters as part of annual grant applications to serve resettled refugees, also cannot take effect.  
  • While the decision could be appealed, any future litigation, timing, and final outcome are unknown. For now though, refugee resettlement will continue as before, including in Texas and the small number of states and counties that have not provided consent.  
  • Should the courts ultimately not rule in our favor and the EO stands, it will be imperative that we have the necessary consents in order for resettlement to continue. Resettlement agencies are not actively soliciting consents at this time, given the injunction, but will be in touch again in order to secure consents should the EO be permitted to be implemented.
  • Refugee resettlement has always been a public-private partnership, and we greatly appreciate the overwhelming support that has been demonstrated from communities around the country. We look forward to continuing our close collaboration with state and local governments, and community stakeholders, on this important federal lifesaving program.

Justice for Immigrants

January 13, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

The work on behalf of refugees and immigrants continues into 2020. We must continue advocating for asylum seekers at the border, DACA and TPS holders, and for the protection of undocumented communities from aggressive ICE raids. This summer the Supreme Court will announce their ruling on DACA and thousands of DACA recipients could be in danger of losing their status.

I offer two resources from the Ignatian Solidarity Network and one from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for your further study, action and prayer.

  1. Taking action: http://jesuitmigrantsolidarity.org/#learn-pray-advocate
  2. Learn about: Kino Border Initiative, a bi national  organization sponsored by the U.S. and Mexican Jesuits that works in the area of migration, located in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. KBI engages migration through direct humanitarian  assistance and accompaniment with migrants; social and pastoral education with communities on both sides of the border; and participation in collaborative networks that engage in research and advocacy to  transform local, regional, and national immigration policies.
  3. Catholic teaching, resources, and services: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 

Film: Just Mercy

January 09, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

The movie Just Mercy opens in theaters on January 10th. The film based on Bryan Stevenson's bestselling and award winning book of the same name. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation. One of his first cases is that of Walter McMillian, who is sentenced to die in 1987 for the murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite evidence proving his innocence. In the years that follow, Stevenson encounters racism and legal and political maneuverings as he tirelessly fights for McMillian's life.

Watch the Trailer...

No to War in Iran

January 08, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

As members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and as community committed to the promotion of non-violence, we join with LCWR and the other communities of faith in condemning the United States’ assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the deployment of additional troops to the region, and the threat of further violent action in Iran. Together let us pray for the de-escalation of tensions and the establishment of peace.
 
You’ll find the full Faith Statement on the Peace and Nonviolence Page.

Stop the war with Iran

January 06, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

The Sisters of St. Agnes have taken a public stance against violence and therefore oppose a war with Iran. To be most effective, express your concerns as soon as possible.

Contact your Senators and Representatives. Urge them to deny funds for war with Iran. 

For a petition from Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns, click here. Go to “Take action”.

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Resources: 

1. Pax Christi USA statement with link to letter from religious leaders sign-on statement about Iran, July 2019. 

2.  Will We See Through the "Fog of War' This Time? by Rose Marie Berger

3. Iran: Break the Cycle of Violence With a Just Peace Framework by Eli S. McCarthy

4. Blocking Trump's War with Iran by the Authority of Faith and Congress by Jim Wallis

CSA Calls Mickey Mouse to Task

December 19, 2019
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

It is CSA’s commitment to “transformation of the world, the Church and ourselves through promoting systemic change for the quality of life” (Mission Statement) that has motivated the community’s many years of engagement in socially responsible investing. CSA continues this facet of its social justice ministry through active membership in Seventh Generation Interfaith Coalition for Responsible Investing. As members of SGI, CSA also collaborates with the international group, Interfaith Center of Corporate Responsibility. 

So, Mickey Mouse? Well, not exactly Mickey, but the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Agnes has filed a resolution asking Walt Disney to disclose its lobbying expenditures. While Disney has a commendable record of doing good, rationale for the resolution includes the disconnect between Disney’s public positions on issues, such as climate change, and the values and activities of groups it helps fund.

One of the eight co-filers of CSA’s resolution is Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) of England. In an article in the UK publication, Responsible Investor, Paul Hodgson of GMPF calls CSA’s resolution, “one of a range of notable early shareholder proposals” in the 2020 proxy season.  

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the work of Pat Tomiano of Zevin Asset Management who, in the past, filed similar resolutions with Disney and laid the groundwork for much of the progress that Disney has made to this date.  John Keenan of AFSCME gets the credit for crafting our responses to Disney’s efforts to keep our resolution off its 2020 proxy. And Tim Smith of Boston Trust Walden provided invaluable encouragement, support, and advice. 

CSA Joins Signatories on Responsible Sourcing of Brazilian Soy

December 03, 2019
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes is one of 84 signatories warning Brazil that imports of their soy crops could be impacted if they break a 13-year agreement to use only existing agricultural land in the Amazon for their soy production. The Amazon Soy Moratorium (ASM) has helped to reduce deforestation and has created an incentive for Brazilian soy farmers to make more efficient use of their agricultural land.

To read additional details and the full list of signatories, click here.

Stop the Execution of Rodney Reed

November 11, 2019
By Catholic Mobilizing Network

The state of Texas plans to execute Rodney Reed on Wednesday, November 20th for a crime he maintains he did not commit.

Perhaps you saw this case on last night's evening news?

Rodney Reed has spent more than 20 years on Texas' death row for a crime he maintains he did not commit. His innocence claim is substantial, yet he is slated for execution in less than two weeks.

It is rare that I reach out to inform you of an upcoming execution that urgently requires your attention, but that is the situation I currently find myself in.

It is critical that Texas Governor Greg Abbott intervene to prevent the execution of an innocent man.

Urge Gov. Abbott to STOP the Execution of Rodney Reed

Learn More about Rodney Reed's Innocence Claim

More than one million people have already raised their voices in support of Rodney Reed. I ask you to join them, along with Catholic Mobilizing Network, in speaking out against this execution. Please take action now.

In solidarity,

Emma Tacke
Associate Director of Community Engagement

P.S. For more information about Rodney Reed's innocence claim, please watch and share this brand new video.

Take Action on the Paris Climate Agreement

November 08, 2019
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

On Monday, November 4, President Trump took formal action to start the yearlong process of withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. This agreement brings together almost 200 nations to address climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation efforts, and climate finance.

As the world’s largest historical emitter of greenhouse gases, exiting the Paris Agreement is an abdication of our moral responsibility to address climate change and protect vulnerable peoples.

Call or Send a message to your members of Congress and urge them to publicly oppose the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement!

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