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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.


 

Pray for Peaceful & Just Elections

October 27, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

We The People

We invite you share in a simple five minutes of individual contemplative silence at whatever time you choose each Tuesday leading up to election day.

Want to take another action for peaceful and just elections? Each week, we’ll provide an action item - some will be much easier to do than others - participate in the actions as you are able.

We Pray

Lord, we rejoice today that we are citizens of Your kingdom. May that make us all the more committed To being faithful citizens on earth.

We Act

Add a Line To the Bottom of Your Emails

Many people include a standard “signature” at the bottom of their emails with their basic contact information. Use that space to add a small reminder of when your next election will be held and a link to www.ballotready.org to help the recipient learn about their candidates.

Effects of Plastics on Health

October 23, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Seven tips for avoiding harmful chemicals in common plastic products:

1. Avoid eating foods stored in plastic. When possible, buy food without plastic packaging, including whole foods or unwrapped items. If this isn't realistic, you can transfer your food into metal and glass containers when you get home.

2. Swap out plastic containers labeled with codes 3, 6 and 7. Since it may not always be possible to avoid plastic food packaging and storage containers, it can be helpful to know which plastics are worse than others. For instance, plastics labeled with recycling code 6 contain styrene, a probable carcinogen according to the National Institutes of Health. Similarly, products marked with codes 3 and 7 also contain chemicals with known health risks. 

3. Swap out plastic toys. When shopping for new children's toys, choose items made from non-plastic materials such as wood or silicone. This is especially important for infants and toddlers who are likely to put toys in their mouths.

4. Replace vinyl products. Common vinyl products in your home, such as placemats and shower curtains, can pose unnecessary health risks, as use of these products can release chemicals linked to health issues for adults and children.

5. Use a HEPA-filtered vacuum. If you can, purchase a HEPA-filtered vacuum, which can filter out tiny chemical particles (other vacuums release the chemicals in the air blown out of the back).

6. Do not heat plastics. Stop washing plastic in the dishwasher or heating it in the microwave, and avoid putting already hot foods into plastic containers. Higher temperatures increase the likelihood of chemicals leaching from the plastic. Changing this small habit will reduce the risk that harmful toxics find their way into your food and drinks.

7. Ditch the plastic wrap. Plastic wrap is known to contain phthalates, chemicals that are known endocrine disruptors. When it's time to store your leftovers, aluminum foil or parchment paper can be better options.

Resources for Elections and Care of the Earth

October 22, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
Peaceful and Just Elections

Who would have thought that in 2020 that it would be necessary to print instructions on on how to prevent an election crisis?  Pax Christi reprints an article from Sojourners Magazine providing seven tips to protect the integrity of the vote. Read them HERE

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Prayer:  A Corporal Works of Mercy Voting Lens

  • For I was hungry and you gave me food. How does this legislation/legislator provide for those who need food assistance?
  • I was thirsty and you gave me drink. How does this legislation/legislator provide for safe drinking water and holds those businesses accountable for the contamination of water supplies?
  • A stranger and you welcomed me. How does this legislation/legislator stand on just and comprehensive Immigration Reform?
  • Naked and you clothed me. Where does this legislation/legislator stand on welfare assistance for those who are truly in need and supports an increase in minimum wage?
  • Ill and you cared for me. Does this legislation/legislator support affordable health care?
  • In prison and you visited me. Where does this legislation/legislator stand on prison reform and on the death penalty?

 Adapted from A Voting Lens Prayer by Diane Smith, CSJ

Logo of Jubilee for the Earth

Care of the Earth

"Jubilee for the Earth” is a podcast mini-series about biodiversity and our sacred story produced by the Missionary Society of St. Columban. The six episodes, explore the beauty of biodiversity and the threats it faces. Learn more HERE

Episode List

• Episode 1: The Spirituality of Diversity
• Episode 2:  A New Kind of Economy
• Episode 3: Embarking on the Path of Dialogue 
• Episode 4: Nonviolence for the Earth 
• Episode 5: No Land to Live On  
• Episode 6: A New Beginning  
• Bonus Episode: The Death of Life 

Pray for Peaceful & Just Elections

October 20, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

We The People

We invite you share in a simple five minutes of individual contemplative silence at whatever time you choose each Tuesday leading up to election day.

Want to take another action for peaceful and just elections? Each week, we’ll provide an action item - some will be much easier to do than others - participate in the actions as you are able.

We Pray

We thank You for the opportunity that this election year puts before us, To exercise our solemn duty not only to vote, But to influence countless others to vote, And to vote correctly.

We Act

Use Your Social Platforms to Encourage Census Participation

Whether you are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or just prefer to send postcards, encourage your friends to participate in the 2020 census. Census results determine federal representation and accurate counts are vital to ensuring fair representation and funding for national programs.

Resource/Actions (October 16)

October 16, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
International Day of the Girl Child
11 October

On the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child, UN human rights experts have highlighted the vulnerabilities of girls in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and called on Governments to unlock young girls' potential and keep the promises made to them in Beijing, 25 years ago.
Read the statement here HERE.

 

Support from CSA

The Sisters of St. Agnes have co-signed the following statements with other people of faith, religious congregations and justice minded groups.

  • A letter was sent to both presidential candidates asking for a commitment that on day one of their presidency each would commit to use his authority to grant Deferred Enforced Departure to protect 2.2 million at-risk immigrants, including 400k+TPS holders at immediate risk of losing work permits and status. 
  • In a letter to congressional leadership CSA opposed the "Voluntary Water Partnership for Distressed Communities Act", which despite its title, would serve to coerce communities into privatizing their public water system. Along with water privatization the bill would most likely lead to poor water quality and higher rates that would disproportionately impact Black, Brown and Indigenous communities.
  • CSA signed a joint investor statement asking companies to do more to include people with disabilities in the workforce.

 

Immigration

Next Wednesday, October 21 at 1 pm CT, Ignatian Solidarity Network will broadcast the Kino Border Initiative (KBI) Children Seeking Asylum March in Nogales, Sonora. This action is part of a KBI series to bring awareness to human rights issues surrounding the U.S. Remain in México policy and the struggle asylum seekers are facing at the border. Join Here

 

Ending Human Trafficking
Rumors vs Reality 
From Polaris
 

 

Have you heard about the white vans? Or the zip ties that human traffickers are using to catch and hold their victims? We have - more than ever in the last few months. Rumors like these about secret cabals or other complex, cloak-and-dagger schemes to kidnap sex trafficking victims are nothing new. Sometimes they even have a grain of truth. There is no one way that human traffickers operate in every case so it can be hard for caring, well-meaning people to know whether to seek help.

Unfortunately, the very real tragedy of child sex trafficking has been used by some whose agendas have little do do with protecting communities and whose real aim is is to spread fear and division. The rumors they have spread are misleading countless thousands of people who want only to be good citizens.

That's the problem. These rumors take up valuable Trafficking Hotline staff time and resources that could be better spent serving actual victims and survivors.

You can help. Share this page on the Polaris website to help stop the spread of misinformation. Tell your friends and loved ones that before they believe something is true, check back on this page to see what we know about common rumors and stories related to human trafficking.

Here are a few other tips:
  • Be skeptical of organizations that claim to “rescue” survivors or set survivors “free.”
  • Avoid organizations that use sensationalistic imagery like women in ropes and chains or children being approached by total strangers.
  • Pay attention to the people you know - friends, family, colleagues. These are the people who you are in the best position to be able to help.

 

Capital Punishment

Stay updated on developments in states and the nation: Visit the website of Death Penalty Action  

 

Peaceful and Just Elections


Who We Elect in Wisconsin Matters -- from NETWORK    

Register Today for Events in Your State 

Next week the Nuns on the Bus will be "zooming" into Wisconsin and we hope you will join us! Life during the COVID-19 pandemic shows that the gaps in access to health care, housing, adequate nutrition, and more are clearer than ever for millions of families.  

Our goal is to highlight the most pressing issues in our nation through elevating the lived experiences of those facing the greatest challenges, and to help participants prepare to vote for the common good on Election Day. Nuns on the Bus will share history, stories, and data in order to communicate the moral urgency of being a multi-issue voter in the upcoming election.

We invite you to save the date and RSVP for the virtual events taking place across Wisconsin:
Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (Site Visit) 
Oct. 20 at 2:00 PM Central | RSVP
Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC) works to ensure high quality of life and access to opportunities for members of the Black community in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Dialogue Across Geographic Divides
Oct. 21 at 2:00 PM Central | RSVP
Join grassroots leaders from across Wisconsin to listen to experiences across rural communities, suburbs, and cities and to talk about policy solutions that benefit all communities.

Milwaukee/Kenosha Town Hall for Spirit-Filled Voters 
This event is co-sponsored by Racine Interfaith Coalition and CUSH Kenosha
Oct. 21 at 7:00 PM Central | RSVP
This Town Hall will focus on southeast Wisconsin specific issues and is intended for people living or working in this area.
 

Care of the Earth
World Food Day 

From Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns:

The annual meetings of the World Bank are happening this week. Groups all over the world, from grassroots organizations to the United Nations are calling on the World Bank to stop financing fossil fuels. We invite you to join your voice to this call to the World Bank to invest in a more sustainable future.  
Here are ways you can get involved:  

  1. Sign this petition in English asking the World Bank to make the “big shift” away from fossil fuel investments toward investing in renewable energy. 
  2. Today, October 16 is also World Food Day. Read this article about the intersection of fossil fuels, climate change, and food insecurity and this one about promising solutions. Watch our webinar on food security. Share what you learn with your community.   

Resource/Actions (October 14)

October 14, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
ICE and Racism

Hundreds of Black Cameroonian and Congolese immigrants are in imminent danger of being deported after speaking out about abuses and mistreatment in ICE detention centers. All of them were in Mississippi and Louisiana and then transferred to Prairieland Detention Center in Texas last week. Many of them could be killed by their own government upon return.

Help stop their deportation by reaching out to the Congressional Black Caucus at (202) 224-3121.  

Many of the Cameroonian immigrants about to be deported have indicated that ICE is intimidating them into signing documents for voluntary departure. Beatings, breaking of fingers, pepper spraying at the eyes, and choking are among the egregious acts of violence detailed by Cameroonian men detained at Adams County Correctional Facility in an 11 page civil rights complaint submitted October 7, 2020.

 

Refugee Resettlement

Support Refugee Resettlement
In a report to congress, the Administration proposed setting the refugee admissions goal  at a new all time historic low of 15,000 refugees. The administration is required by U.S. law to consult with Congress about the refugee admissions goal, also known as the “Presidential Determination”, before the start of the fiscal year. It has failed to do so.  And, it has failed to sign a refugee admissions goal for 2021, grinding the resettlement program to an indefinite halt.
 
Congress must weigh in on the President’s decision. It is critical that all legislators, especially those on the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, who are charged with the responsibility of consulting the administration, hear strong support for a robust refugee admissions goal of 95,000 in fiscal year 2021.
 
Please express your support for welcoming refugees. Send an email to your legislator through this action center and tell them you strongly condemn a low admissions goal and call for a robust refugee admissions goal of 95,000 in 2021.

Click the link Here to log in and send your message:

 

Peaceful and Just Elections

Pax Christi's USA's Executive Director Johnny Zokovitch and other faith leaders are calling for integrity, safety and fairness in the 2020 U.S. election. The letter can be read HERE.

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In what has been a contentious and hostile election season, you are invited to a virtual breathing space to ponder how we can listen to our own inner voice and spirit in the midst of all the noise and chaos. The Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and the Franciscan Spirituality Center will co-host three sessions in the series, "Listening & Loving Through the Political Storm."  Two of the sessions precede the election and one follows. Attendees will receive the Zoom link after they register. Each of the three sessions has a $5:00 fee. For details and registration information click HEREYou have to scroll down all of the offerings to find the three with the V hand sign.

Pray for Peaceful & Just Elections

October 13, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

We The People

We invite you share in a simple five minutes of individual contemplative silence at whatever time you choose each Tuesday leading up to election day.

Want to take another action for peaceful and just elections? Each week, we’ll provide an action item - some will be much easier to do than others - participate in the actions as you are able.

We Pray

Help our leaders be willing to walk alongside each other, their constituents, and especially the marginalized. Our leaders have different opinions and priorities; give them the wisdom to navigate differences and work together to strengthen our country. Remind us in this election year that You have called all to be one body.

We Act

Share Step-by-Step instructions for Voting Absentee

Election workers in 2020 are literally putting their lives on the line by working at the polls. Here is an example of how easy your instructions can be to help increase voter turnout while still reducing risk to election workers:

  1. Find your Drivers License/Photo ID
  2. Grab your smartphone*
  3. Use your phone to visit: https://myvote.wi.gov/ **
  4. Choose “Vote Absentee”
  5. Follow the prompts

* Doing it from your phone will make it easier to upload a photo of your drivers license/photo ID.
** If you're not in Wisconsin, head here and choose the correct state: https://www.usa.gov/election-office

Resource/Actions (October 9)

October 09, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
Envisioning a Different Future

New Encyclical from Pope Francis

Pope Francis’s prophetic new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, acknowledges the perils of both our divisions and isolation, urging us to build and rebuild relationships, not just in our homes and neighborhoods, but between nations all over the world. We in the United States will recognize the realities that Pope Francis addresses and we may find ourselves uncomfortable--perhaps uncomfortable enough to take to heart his message. I encourage all of you to get your own copy. Until then read the following brief commentary by Joseph Nangle, OFM with Pax Christi.  Or download Maryknoll's 6 page study guide HERE.

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As difficult as it may be right now to imagine a future that is genuinely better than our present, we have to keep trying. Another world IS possible is the sobering but uplifting message of Naomi Klein’s extraordinary new animated short film,  “A Message from the Future II: The Years of Repair.”  Watch and share this remarkable cinematic documentary to envision a better possible future for us all.

 

Immigration

Fighting Unjust Immigration Rule  

Attorneys at Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection are representing plaintiffs who are challenging the rule issued by the Department of Homeland Security that would give nearly unfettered discretion to immigration officials to deny green cards to low-income immigrants based on speculation that the person may, at some point over the course of a lifetime, temporarily receive a small amount of certain public benefits and thereby become a “public charge.” The plaintiffs are members of CASA, a D.C.-area immigration non-profit. The attorneys argue that the rule upends a century of interpretation of the term “public charge” to apply only to those non-citizens likely to become permanently and primarily dependent on the government for their basic needs.

 

Ending Human Trafficking

Trafficking in Indigenous Communities

The October issue of Stop Trafficking focuses on human trafficking in Indigenous communities. Read it Here  Two bills have passed and await the signature of the president. The Not Invisible Act establishes an advisory committee on violent crime comprised of law enforcement, tribal leaders, federal partners, service providers, and survivors to make recommendation to the Department of Interior and Department of Justice. Savannah's Act bolsters the data tracking of missing and murdered Native Americans and standardizes law enforcement and justice protocols. Action Needed: Contact your Senators asking them to renew the Violence Against Women Act. 

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One Child is a Canadian organization that is dedicated to ending the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. Their representative has made presentations at the United Nations. They are planning a tour in the US and welcome invitations to present at schools, corporations, religious or business communities, and youth organizations. For more information contact Trixie Perara at info@onechild.ca

 

Peaceful and Just Elections

Haven't Voted Yet?

  • Check Here to confirm that you are registered even if you feel that sure that you are already registered.
  • Make a plan to vote now. 
  • If you are using an absentee ballot RETURN IT EARLY by mail or take it to a drop box.
  • Help others vote.
    • For people living alone -- offer to be the witness of their voting
    • Drive someone to the polls.

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From Creighton University: Voting and Catholicism: A Critical Discussion of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship with Bishop John E. Stowe of Lexington, KY and Cathleen Kaveny, Professor of Theology and Law at Boston College. Register Here

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The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns produced two-page briefs and host 30-minute webinars to help voters prepare for the upcoming U.S. elections. All eight topics are now complete and available here on their website.

 

Care of the Earth

Recourses for Sustainable Living

Etee products are all made with 100% biodegradable, natural materials. Whether it’s the packaging on the outside or the ingredients on the inside, everything is from the earth and goes back to the earth.

Tru Earth laundry strip packs are ultra-concentrated, hypoallergenic, eco-friendly cleaning power in a tiny, pre-measured strip of liquidless laundry detergent that you just toss in the wash. Its low-sudsing formula works in all types of washing machines, including high-efficiency. Plastic bottles are eliminated and the cost of transportation is lowered. Replace dryer sheets with with their wool dryer balls. 

Resource/Actions (October 6)

October 06, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
Peaceful and Just Elections

Vote PinThe right to vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool or instrument in democratic society. We must use it.

—Congressman John Lewis

 

U.S. Census

Census Bureau Statement on Oct. 1 Court Ruling OCT. 2, 2020 – On October 2, 2020, the message below was sent to census takers working on the 2020 Census: “As a result of court orders, the October 5, 2020 target date is not operative, and data collection operations will continue through October 31, 2020. Employees should continue to work diligently and enumerate as many people as possible. Contact your supervisor with any questions.”

 

Ending Human Trafficking

US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking LogoUSSCAH has created a helpful Voter Guide to assist in your discernment of candidates, including a list of questions you can ask potential candidates related to human trafficking and its root causes.  Click HERE for the October Newsletter.

 

Hands claspingCapital Punishment
18th World Day Against the Death Penalty: Access to counsel - A matter of life or death

On 10 October 2020, the World Day Against the Death Penalty will be dedicated to the right to effective legal representation for individuals who may face a death sentence.

 

Immigrants and Refugees

The Interfaith Immigration Committee issued press release on Wednesday calling out the Trump administration’s latest attempt to end refugee resettlement in the United States. LCWR Executive Director Carol Zinn, SSJ called the president’s action unconscionable.

The Trump administration is proposing another historic low refugee admissions goal of 15,000 for FY 2021, according to the administration’s report to Congress. The administration violated U.S. law by not consulting with Congress on its refugee admissions goal before the start of the new fiscal year, and failing to sign a formal refugee admissions goal, also known as a “Presidential Determination” or PD, before the statutory deadline. This means that the resettlement program has ground to a halt, leaving refugees in harm’s way. Each day that resettlement is paused is a matter of life and death for the thousands of refugees waiting to rebuild their lives.

Pray for Peaceful & Just Elections

October 06, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

We The People

We invite you share in a simple five minutes of individual contemplative silence at whatever time you choose each Tuesday leading up to election day.

Want to take another action for peaceful and just elections? Each week, we’ll provide an action item - some will be much easier to do than others - participate in the actions as you are able.

We Pray

We ask that candidates running for election would speak out about poverty and listen to the voices of the vulnerable. Give our leaders wisdom to create solutions that empower people living in poverty to survive and thrive. Help us to answer Your call to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with You.

We Act

Call a Friend

… and ask them if they are registered to vote and know how to get their ballot – either absentee or by going to their polling place. If not, help them get what they need.

Recent Posts

10/27/20 - By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
10/23/20 - By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
10/22/20 - By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
10/20/20 - By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
10/16/20 - By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

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