Skip Navigation

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.


 

Light Drives out Darkness

January 15, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

MLK

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that."

Lord God, You led your chosen people from slavery in Egypt to the freedom of the Promised Land.

We ask you to lead us from any enslavement to hatred, ignorance, fear, racism, injustice or anything else that prevents us from being the community of love and respect that you want us to be.

We remember with gratitude today the witness of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and we ask that you give us the courage and determination to follow his example in confronting injustice and living the Gospel of love. May his prophetic words guide our justice, peace, and integrity mission. 

Capital Punishment

Excerpt from a statement by Kelley Henry, attorney for Lisa Montgomery:

"Lisa Montgomery’s execution was far from justice. She should never have faced a death sentence in the first place, as no other woman has faced execution for a similar crime. And Lisa was much more than the tragic crime she committed, a crime for which she felt deep remorse before she lost all touch with reality in the days before her execution. Lisa was also much more than the horrors inflicted upon her, the sexual violence and abuse she endured at the hands of those who were supposed to love, nurture, and protect her.
 
Lisa was a loving mother, grandmother, and sister who adored her family. She was a devout Christian who loved Christmas and created beautiful angels for those lucky enough to receive her gifts. Lisa often became trapped in the prison of her mind, losing touch with reality for periods of time. But when not gripped by psychosis, she was a gentle and caring person whom I was honored to know and to represent."

_______________________________________________

"The Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”, and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide”. (Pope Francis' pronouncement of the change in church teaching.)

At the end of this 6 month spree of federal executions -- most likely by the end of this day 13 in number -- we mourn their deaths, lament the lack of compassion and mercy, and object to murder as form of punishment, a punishment disproportionally and unjustly meted out to people of color and those who are poor. 

Our hope did not die with these victims. The attention raised by these executions has spurred increased awareness and efforts to abolish the death penalty in the United States. Shortly, we will have a President who opposes the death penalty.  We must continue to make our voices heard. Write your Members of Congress. (Click on "not Ruth?")

 

Immigration


In October 2020, Pope Francis released his most recent encyclical, Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship, in which he commented extensively on the issue of migration. JFI has developed a series of resources highlighting his commentary on this issue, including a discussion guide you can use with your JFI and parish teams.

Check out new JFI Fratelli Tutti Resources!

__________________________________________
 

The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) and Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) invite you to an event titled "Reimagining Refugee Resettlement for a New Administration" on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 from noon -1:00 (CT). This virtual event is free to attend. To register for the event, please fill out this form.
 
See the report on what is working with resettlement. Access the report follow this link. 

For more information about the event, please visit the event page at https://rcusa.org/inauguration-week-2021/.

 

NETWORK Opportunities

You are invited to two virtual events that NETWORK is hosting over the next two weeks to provide its members and supporters with the opportunity to celebrate together, hear about the new Administration's Day One and First 100 Days priorities, and learn about advocacy efforts with the 117th Congress.   

1. Post-Inauguration Day Community Conversation 
Thursday, January 21, 7:00 PM Eastern/4:00 PM Pacific

Join Sr. Simone Campbell, Chief Lobbyist Laura Peralta-Schulte, and the Grassroots Mobilization Team for an evening of celebration, reflection, and discussion! Sr. Simone will reflect on Joe Biden's Catholic identity and its implications for our nation, and Laura Peralta-Schulte will recap his Day One accomplishments. There will also be plenty of time for small group discussion and sharing. Register here.

2. NETWORK's 2021 Legislative Agenda: New Administration, New Congress, New Year 
Thursday, January 28, 4:00 PM Eastern/1:00 PM Pacific 

During this webinar, Sr. Simone and members of the Government Relations team will discuss the Biden administration's plan for the first 100 days, provide an analysis of the make-up and priorities of the 117th Congress, and give an overview of the issues NETWORK will be working on in 2021.There will also be time for Q&A. Register here. 
Note: This webinar will be recorded, and everyone who registers will receive the recording and a copy of the PowerPoint afterwards.

 

Resource/Actions (January 12)

January 12, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Fratelli Tutti

The Best Way to Move On

244. When conflicts are not resolved but kept hidden or buried in the past, silence can lead to complicity in grave misdeeds and sins. Authentic reconciliation does not flee from conflict, but is achieved in conflict, resolving it through dialogue and open, honest and patient negotiation. Conflict between different groups “if it abstains from enmities and mutual hatred, gradually changes into an honest discussion of differences founded on a desire for justice”. 

 

Pax Christi Post

I share with you today's Pax Christi Post. It is insightful and concise. 
"Trump was the match, but other factors also contributed to the events at the U.S. Capitol" by David Atwood, Pax Christi Texas. Click here. 

 

 

Some Good News
  • Congress passed the Global Child Thrive Act and it is now law, which will help millions of children reach their God-given potential.
  • Vital poverty-reducing foreign assistance was protected in the Fiscal Year 2021 budget, meaning migrants, refugees, families impacted by hunger and other vulnerable communities will receive lifesaving support.
  • A COVID-19 emergency bill passed at the end of December and included some funding to support our nation’s global response to the pandemic. 
  • A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against the Omnibus Asylum Regulation on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. This ruling means that the final rule published by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security titled “Procedures for Asylum and Bars to Asylum Eligibility,” also known as the “Death to Asylum” regulation which was scheduled to go into effect today, has been halted nationwide.

 

Resources for Individuals/Groups

Resource on Racism

open wide our hearts—the enduring call to love is a four session process provided by The Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center. This Study Guide on the USCCB Pastoral on Racism is designed to enable faith communities to understand individual and systemic racism; to listen to the stories of our brothers and sisters and be moved to restore right relationships; to unpack white privilege; and to work to end racism. It includes a timeline on Racism Legislation & Resistance from 1452-2018.
 
If you would like a complimentary copy to preview, email us: ipjc@ipjc.org
 
To order copies of the open wide our hearts booklet, please use the Booklet order form  

____________________________________________
 

From JustFaith Ministries

Free Resources:
Tuesday, January 19 – The first of what will be a bi-monthly resource intended for a small group Zoom gathering or personal prayer/reflection will be sent via email.  This month’s resource will focus on how we might think of a “New Year’s Resolution Checklist for Justice.”  Click here if you’d like to receive it and the ones that will follow in the months to come.

Thursday, January 21 – “Acting for Justice” Zoom Presentation.  Hear Dr. Lewis Brogdon address the topic, “The Unknown King: Why You Need a Class on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Description: As racism has emerged as an issue we can no longer ignore, it is time to take Dr. King seriously as a civil rights leader and a radical intellectual leader whose ideas spurred a movement of global change. Dr. Lewis Brogdon is the Visiting Professor of Preaching and Black Church Studies and chair of the Department of Religion at Simmons College of Kentucky, a historically black college. To register, click here.

 

Capital Punishment/Lisa Montgomery

Late Monday night, a federal judge in Indiana blocked the execution of 52-year-old Lisa Montgomery — hours before she was scheduled to die by lethal injection at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Ind. Barring an immediate appeal by prosecutors, Lisa is spared today.

 

Care of the Earth - Plastics Beyond Convenience

From the Mercy Justice Team:

Increased plastic pollution is turning out to be one of the fall-outs from the coronavirus pandemic.

People who study these things date the problem of plastic pollution to the late 1950s, with a significant increase in the 1990s. Now they wonder if 2020-21 will mark another bump with the use of disposable face masks, gloves, and gowns; bottled water and hand sanitizer; and take-out containers and plastic packaging for home-delivered groceries all on the rise.

While some of this increased use of plastic may be necessary for health and safety during the pandemic, we can look for opportunities to reduce plastic waste where we can and plan for doing even more once it’s safe to do so.

Many of us are well aware of the harms of plastic pollution in our oceans. We’ve seen photos or videos of animals, fish, or birds entangled in plastic debris, and heard tragic stories of deaths by starvation as marine life mistake bits of plastic as food. We’ve learned of the huge garbage patch in the northern Pacific Ocean.

What we might not have considered is the harm to human health from the full life cycle of plastics. This starts with the extraction of fossil fuels that are the building blocks of plastics and continues through the manufacturing process, incineration of plastics and exposure through the food chain, and release of toxins in packaging. Additionally, waste pickers in poor nations risk their health during covid-19 to make a little money cleaning up other people’s trash and keeping their communities free from litter. This four-minute video from the Story of Stuff series illustrates the impacts of plastics manufacturing on small towns in Texas.  

What can we do?

  • Consider tips for plastics alternatives and re-use of plastics in our Plastics: Beyond Convenience calendar.  
  • Advocate for bans on or small fees for plastic bags, straws and plastic foam-based take-out containers in your community.  
  • Follow efforts to implement a global agreement on plastics through the United Nations Environment Assembly this year and next.

 

Resource/Actions (January 8)

January 08, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
"The Racist Attack on Our Capital" 

DC Capitol Building

After the attack on our nation's capital, I feel compelled to respond, but emotions and words are yet too jumbled. I resonate with a piece posted by Pax Christi, titled "The Racist Attack on Our Capital", written by a master of words, Fr. Bryan Massingale,  I believe that he is a prophet in our time, shining a light on uncomfortable truth. I invite you to read and reflect on his words. It may lead you to action, such as writing to your members of congress, supporting or challenging their positions regarding the election. Click Here to read the article.

We can rise from the malicious attacks on our capital and our democracy determined to preserve and strengthen our nation in justice, peace, and truth, or we can continue the downward spiral of hatred, lies, inequality, racism and violence. It is our choice to make.

 

Fratelli Tutti

232. There is no end to the building of a country’s social peace; rather, it is “an open-ended endeavour, a never-ending task that demands the commitment of everyone and challenges us to work tirelessly to build the unity of the nation. Despite obstacles, differences and varying perspectives on the way to achieve peaceful coexistence, this task summons us to persevere in the struggle to promote a ‘culture of encounter’. This requires us to place at the centre of all political, social and economic activity the human person, who enjoys the highest dignity, and respect for the common good. May this determination help us flee from the temptation for revenge and the satisfaction of short-term partisan interests”. Violent public demonstrations, on one side or the other, do not help in finding solutions. Mainly because, as the Bishops of Colombia have rightly noted, the “origins and objectives of civil demonstrations are not always clear; certain forms of political manipulation are present and in some cases they have been exploited for partisan interests”.

 

Martin Luther King Day

The Civil Rights Memorial Center invites you to a panel discussion commemorating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The event – The March Continues: Building Collective Power to Impact Policy and Dismantle Systems of Oppression in 2021 and Beyond – will take place on Jan. 15, Dr. King’s 92nd birthday.

The panel will feature activists and public servants from across the Deep South and beyond, and will include a special message by civil rights activist Sheyann Webb-Christburg, named by Dr. King as the “Smallest Freedom Fighter” and co-author of the book Selma, Lord, Selma.

During the event, panelists will reflect on Dr. King’s legacy and the example of civil disobedience he set for future generations that are continuing the fight for racial, economic and social justice. They will also discuss strategies for organizing around these issues to effect change in government and local communities.

Friday, Jan. 15; 11 a.m. Central Time; Zoom Webinar REGISTER HERE

 

 Human Trafficking 

January is Anti-Trafficking Month. January has been declared human trafficking prevention month. It is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on what steps we can take in our own lives and in our community at large to fight the evil of human trafficking.  For resources go to the anti-human trafficking toolkit.

Access a prayer calendar, January 11 - February 8, the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita and a day of prayer and awareness against human trafficking designated by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General.  
 
Reflection and Prayer to End Human Trafficking Calendar

 

Capital Punishment

Lisa Montgomery likely to be executed on January 12.

Last week, the judge ruled that the execution should be delayed again — saying the Bureau of Prisons couldn't set a new date while the case was on hold. But on Friday, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the execution can proceed.

Barring any successful last-minute appeal, the 52-year-old Montgomery will become, on Jan. 12, the first female federal inmate to be executed in nearly 70 years.

Montgomery's attorney says the crime was "the direct result of her mental illness and trauma" and says Montgomery was repeatedly raped by her stepfather and first husband and has brain damage and multiple mental illnesses. Her attorney plans to ask the full circuit court to reconsider the ruling.

Sign a petition to President Trump to keep Lisa from being executed.

 

Still Time to Act in Support of For the People Act

The aim of the For the People Act is to:

  • Drive big money out of politics;
  • Restore voting rights and offer new protections for voters;
  • End gerrymandering so that electoral districts are fairly drawn; and
  • Hold government officials accountable with new ethics standards.

 Please take these two actions to stand with the people and support the For the People Act:

  1. Sign NETWORK’s petition urging Congress to prioritize and pass the bill early in 2021 and share it with others!
  2. Call your U.S. House Representative today (Congressional Switchboard 202-224-3121) to urge her or him to support the passage of For the People Act as a first order of business in the new Congress. 

 Suggested Script for calls to your U.S. Representative:
As your constituent from (name your city or town) and a person of faith (or Catholic sister) , I am deeply concerned about the state of our democracy. Harmful Supreme Court decisions and lack of Congressional action to address them have disempowered voters and  threatened our democratic systems. The For The People Act (H.R.1) is a comprehensive reform bill that targets the corrupting dynamics that are endangering our democracy. H.R.1 would protect voters’ rights, limit the influence of money in politics, shore-up our election systems, strengthen ethics rules for government officials and end partisan gerrymandering. Passage of the For the People Act must be a first priority in 2021. Does Rep. (name of your Representative) support bold comprehensive democracy reforms and will s/he vote in favor of H.R.1 when it comes to the floor later this month?

 

Lunch and Learn -- Life After COVID

FSPA Ecospirituality in Action: Lunch & Learn Series

All are invited to experience FSPA Ecospirituality in Action and join A Revolution of Goodness through a new Lunch and Learn series, presented virtually the second Tuesday of each month, January through December in 2021.

This series is designed to explore FSPA's commitment to Relationships, Gospel Living and Unity in Diversity -- provocative movements proclaimed to stretch us to be people of encounter who stand with all suffering in our Earth Community, to transform us in love and goodness for community and mission and to challenge ourselves to unveil our white privilege -- through a lens of ecospirituality.

Each Lunch & Learn session, brought to you by the FSPA Ecospirituality Committee, will feature a new, ecospirituality-centric topic presented by experts in the field. 

Please register for our first session, share the invitation with others, grab your lunch and join us in action for ecospirituality! 

green-earth-eco-text

 

Resource/Actions (January 5)

January 05, 2021
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
The Work of Christmas

You most likely have read this piece written by Howard Thurman, but each time I read it the message challenges me. I offer it for your reflection.

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,

When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock, 
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the parishioner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among all,
To make music in the heart.

 

Ending Human Trafficking

The Stop Trafficking Newsletter for January can be found HERE. The focus is on climate change as one of the causes of poverty and forced migration that leads to human trafficking. 

 

Support For The People Act

Do you want to get big money out of politics, protect voting rights and stop the practice of politicians drawing their own districts to get re-elected? Support the For The People Act H.R. 1 / S. 949 and sweeping Democracy reform in 2021.
 
See this awesome parody of the 12 Days of Christmas calling for passage of For the People Act!!  It’s very clever and it gives a full rundown of the provisions of the bill 4 min full song or 60 second cut. Thanks to the many members of All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington, DC for helping put together the song, For the People Act.

The bill could come to a vote as early as January 7 or 8. Please sign the petition and spread the word.
 
Call your members of Congress—both Senators and Representative—wish them a Happy New Year and urge them to support the For the People Act!
 
U.S. Capitol Switchboard. (202) 224-3121.

 

Capital Punishment

Sister Helen Prejean, Krisanne Vallaincourt-Murphy, and Bishop Flores of Texas will be among the guests at an online event entitled "Killing in our Name: Federal Executions and Pro-Life Witness."  It is scheduled for 11:30-12:30 EST on Friday, January 8, 2021. Here is the link to RSVP.

  ________________________________

A new session of Congress has begun. Write to your members of Congress asking them to abolish the death penalty. Sign Here.  

 

Care of the Earth

Check our this great resource! Creation Justice Ministries 
Here is their January Action Center. Take a look at the 52 Ways to Care for Creation and make caring for creation a priority in 2021

 

Resources and Actions (Dec 29)

December 29, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

‘At a time like this, when the barque of humanity, tossed by the storm of the current crisis, struggles to advance towards a calmer and more serene horizon, the “rudder” of human dignity and the “compass” of fundamental social principles can enable us together to steer a sure course. May we work together to advance towards a new horizon of love and peace, of fraternity and solidarity, of mutual support and acceptance. May we never yield to the temptation to disregard others, especially those in greatest need, and to look the other way; instead, may we strive daily, in concrete and practical ways, “to form a community composed of brothers and sisters who accept and care for one another.’  2021 World Day of Peace message from Pope Francis

_________________________________________

Click HERE for the full text of the Pope's 2021 message for World Day of Peace

COVID-19 Vaccine for All

To stamp out COVID-19, we need to take GLOBAL action by joining World Health Organization-led global vaccine initiatives.

Sign the petition: Urge President-elect Biden to fight for global access to affordable COVID-19 vaccines in his first 100 days.

 

No Cuts to Medicaid

Tell U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

"Do not approve proposed cuts to Medicaid, which threaten access to care for people across the country. These cuts will unfairly impact women, people of color, immigrants, people turning 65, and people with disabilities—worsening existing health disparities. The proposed changes are especially concerning for people with disabilities

During the pandemic, Congress approved more money for state Medicaid programs; in return, they were prohibited from cutting health services. This proposal lets states make cuts that would be harmful to the health and well-being of our communities. We should be working to strengthen our healthcare system, not tear it down." Comment Here  (It takes several seconds to load)

 

No to Line 3 Pipeline

Canadian company Enbridge has begun construction of the dirty Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline stretching from Alberta to Wisconsin  

Construction may be underway, but opposition is stronger than ever too. Last week, 22 water protectors were arrested for resisting construction.

Joe Biden has the power to review the permits granted by Trump and can still halt construction on this destructive pipeline. But he won’t do it without an unprecedented wave of public pressure. Add your Voice.

 

Migration

Add your voice to a new regional network of more than 330 grassroots and faith-based organizations from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and the U.S. that have joined together to address the root causes of poverty, unemployment, climate change, corruption, and violence that force families to migrate north. Together we have the power to fundamentally change U.S. policy toward Central America. 

The policies that are advocated in their position are shared by the Catholic Coalition for Migrants and Refugees. You can sign on via this link.

 

Epiphany

"An epiphany that is needed by all of us is the realization that once we emerge from the menacing threat of this pandemic, we must not try to return to “normal.” Normal was a country of severe economic inequality, of racism woven into the cultural and institutional fibers of our nation. Normal was corporate power in the hands of a few and political indifference to “the cries of the poor.” It was ecological devastation for short term economic gain—and more. Once the biblical Magi realized that this particular star was different and unique, they acted; they set out on a journey that led them to the great Epiphany, the revelation of the Christ Child whom they worshipped and to whom they offered their gifts. May we act on pandemic epiphanies to assure that we do not return to “normal.” Warned in a dream, the Magi returned home “by another way.” May we have the wisdom to heed the warnings of a terrible virus in order to return to post-pandemic life determined to create “another "way,” lighted by justice, peace, mercy, and compassion for ALL."

Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF
Franciscan Action Network Associate Director

__________________________________________________

 

Christmas Blessing

December 22, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

star over bethlehem

In the Stillness of a winter night God's silenced whispers, "PEACE"

Thank you for all of your justice making efforts.
May PEACE settle in your soul and echo in your life.

                                                      Sister Ruth
 
 
Just One Urgent Action

Contact the US Department of Agriculture with this or a similar message.
Deadline, December 28


"Reject the proposed rule that would continue the rollback of healthy nutrition standards for school meals. During this time of unprecedented food insecurity and health disparities, our nation’s children need strong, evidence-based nutrition standards that support their learning, health, and well-being.

I strongly oppose this proposal to secure nutrition standards rollbacks, and support the original, evidence-based healthy school meal standards. Research has shown the positive impact of the original healthy school meal nutrition standards on school food offerings, school meal disparities, and student nutrition-related outcomes."

Sign Here

Light in the Darkness / Easy Actions

December 18, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Candles

Why are we here, a small group holding our torches?
Do we think that we can dispel the darkness of the night?
No, that would take millions of torches.
The massive problems we face will not be overcome by a few.
We need many, many more.
So why do we hold our torches here in the night?
So that there is enough light to see our companions beside us,
and reassure ourselves that we are not alone in the dark.
Because what we fear is not so much the dark, but being alone in the dark.
And from afar, others will see our small brave community,
and will feel greater courage to join.
Because it is easier for others to join a group that has already taken a stand, rather than starting by themselves.
Let us believe and imagine in our mind’s eye,
that there are other groups of people who are holding their torches in the dark.
Time will come when they will link to one another, and our lights will merge and be more powerful than the darkness. 

Fr. Edicio Torres           

 

Immigration

 ACT NOW  A bipartisan amendment proposed by Senators Sanders and Hawley to offer a second round of direct payments has been included in the COVID Relief package currently under consideration. Unlike the CARES Act, these payments would include mixed-status immigrant families in which only one spouse has a social security number, a crucial improvement. That’s very good news. Contact Congress and White House in Support of Mixed-Status Families HERE.

___________________________________________

Justice for Immigrants has published  recommendations for the incoming Biden Administration and 117th Congress. They were drafted over the past couple of months by JFI Core Group members including LCWR.
 
The document, divided into four different areas, are: 

  • Ensuring Access to Lawful Status and Citizenship  Click Here
  • Guaranteeing Just and Humane Border Policies   Click Here
  • Reforming Enforcement and Ending Mass Detention  Click Here
  • Addressing Root Causes of Migration from Central America  Click Here
Information in this document can be used in your communications with legislators. 

 

Capital Punishment

Only two human beings have the unilateral authority to stop the upcoming federal executions: The Attorney General, and the President.

Sign the new petition to acting AG Rosen.

There's not much hope that the President will show mercy. Now that Attorney General Barr has resigned effective December 23rd he will be replaced by Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. Sign the new petition.  

 

Building a Strong Democracy

In 2021, President-elect Joe Biden will have many important issues to address: from combating climate change and gun violence, to overcoming the coronavirus pandemic and dismantling systemic racism in America. But in order for the next administration to do that effectively, we need to build a stronger and more representative democracy.
 
I signed a petition calling on Biden and Congress to prioritize the For the People Act – Will you join me?  Sign Here   

 

Pipe Line 3

Pipe Line 3 is a proposed pipeline expansion to bring nearly a million barrels of tar sands per day from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin.
Line 3 isn’t about safe transportation of a necessary product, it’s about expansion of a dying tar sands industry. There will destructive spills. Tell your representative to Stop the Line.

 

Care of the Earth

Give a gift to Earth!  See how much plastic you can avoid using over the holidays. 

 

Updates and Actions

December 16, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Lord, Father of our human family,
you created all human beings equal in dignity:
pour forth into our hearts a fraternal spirit
and inspire in us a dream of renewed encounter,
dialogue, justice and peace.
Move us to create healthier societies
and a more dignified world,
a world without hunger, poverty, violence and war.

May our hearts be open
to all the peoples and nations of the earth.
May we recognize the goodness and beauty
that you have sown in each of us,
and thus forge bonds of unity, common projects,
and shared dreams. Amen.

Protect School Meal Program

The Trump Administration has proposed a rule that would continue the rollback of the healthy nutrition standards for school meals. It is time to get on the record against this damaging rule. Use our platform to quickly submit a model comment letter or send your own letter directly to USDA.

During a time of unprecedented food insecurity rates and health disparities, our nation’s children need strong, evidence-based school nutrition standards that support their learning, health, and well-being.

Yet, this last-ditch effort seeks to sustain existing rollbacks -- making permanent weaker nutrition standards for whole grains, sodium, and milk.

As part of USDA’s effort to railroad this through, there is only 30 days to comment. You need to act quickly to have your voice heard!

Comment Deadline: December 28, 2020

End Forced Labor

Write a letter for the Action Network letter campaign: Tell Senate: Support the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.

Since a brutal crackdown on civil liberties protests in 2009, the Chinese government has systematically exploited Uyghur and other Muslim ethnic minorities in a network of forced-labor camps.

In March, it came to light that Amazon, Apple and dozens of other U.S. companies have been benefiting from this horrendous system.

The House version of the bill was approved by a staggering 406-3 in September. That's why it's important we write to our Senators today and ask them to support S. 3471

Write a letter. Click here:  

Capital Punishment

Join more than 800,000+ people who have signed on to the call HERE asking to save Dustin John Higgs from the death penalty. Higgs is accused of killing three girls, but maintains his innocence, as do all witnesses to the crime including one man who himself confessed to the murders. Higgs is scheduled to be executed by the outgoing Trump administration just five days before the presidential inauguration of death-penalty opponent Joe Biden.

Immigration

Congress passed the Global Child Thrive Act
As we honor International Migrants Day this Friday, let’s celebrate that thousands of migrant and refugee children facing adversity will benefit from the passing of the Global Child Thrive Act which now awaits the final step of being signed into law. All children should be able to grow and thrive, and we are one step closer to accomplishing that vision.

____________________________________________

Webinar Notice:  Responding to Family Separation: Lessons Learned and the Way Forward 

Please join this webinar on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 2 PM CT as presenters examine the consequences of family separation on immigrant families over the last half decade and provide recommendations to prevent family separation in the future. The panelists are:

Leah Chavla, Senior Policy Advisor, Women's Refugee Commission

Carol Anne Donohue, Managing Attorney, Family Reunification Project, Al Otro Lado

Ashley Feasley, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, USCCB/MRS

Jeremy McLean, Policy & Advocacy Manager, Justice in Motion

Please join us for the webinar at Bit.ly/Family_Separation

Care of the Earth

From the Mercy Justice Team:

The clothing we wear, especially the demand for “fast fashion has an unseen price on the lives of the workers and on the environment.  In the effort to produce clothes more cheaply and quickly, companies often turn to workers in underdeveloped nations, where they are paid unfair wages and may work in slave-like conditions that contribute to the cycle of poverty. In garment factories, children may be put to work at any or all stages of the supply chain, from the production of cotton, to the yarn spinning, to the final cuts and sewing stages. The 2018 Stop Child Labor Coalition estimated that there are nearly 200 million child laborers throughout the world. Clothing production also creates a significant environmental impact, such as the massive amount of waste created as newer fashion trends push older ones into landfills.
 
The clothing industry is the second largest consumer of water in the world after agriculture. It takes about 1800 gallons of water to produced one pair of jeans. This is roughly the average amount of water used by an American in 20 days.. Dyes and harmful chemicals used in manufacturing are often toxic, not only for the workers but also for the environment, as the production waste is frequently discharged into the surrounding communities and area waterways, compromising sanitation and creating health risks to those living nearby.
 
While donating used clothing is better than putting it in the trash, most donated clothing ends up in the landfill, is sold to textile recyclers or is sent overseas. Recycling clothing for insulation, carpet padding, yarn, or paper, does reduce greenhouse emissions. But clothing sent overseas to be sold cheaply in poor countries has the effect of depressing and harming the local markets for clothing. You may read more here about what happens to your donated clothing.
 
How can we shop to promote the use of sustainable and ethical practices in the manufacturing of the clothes we wear and protect the people and places that produce them? 

  • Buy Fair Trade, Ethically Sourced, or Organic. Many companies have eco-conscious product lines and sustainability reports. Clothing made from synthetic fibers such as acrylic, nylon, polyester, coated finishes and the stretchy parts of clothing are made from oil. 
  • Buy secondhand clothing. If everyone bought one secondhand item of clothing a year instead of new clothing, this would be the equivalent of taking ½ million cars off the road.
  • Keep your clothing longer. The average American now generates 82 pounds of textile waste each year. Even keeping clothing for 9 months longer reduces the carbon footprint for that garment by 30%

We hope that the attached reflection sheet helps you further consider your use and purchasing of clothing and the impacts of "fast fashion.".   Access segments of this four-part series, or of previous series in the Mercy Earth Challenge, in the resources HERE
 

Caring for Human Rights for 70 Years

December 10, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Fratelli Tutti and dove

Pope Francis makes an appeal for peace, justice, and loving relationships "In the name of God, who has created all humans beings equal in rights, duties and dignity, and who has called them to live together as brothers and sisters to fill the earth and make known  the values of goodness, love and peace."  # 285

 

Human Rights Day - December 10

“Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter
reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and
worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women
and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom…” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Preamble)


The Declaration of Human Rights is 70 years old.  

 

Stop Oil Tunnel Project on the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are the largest source of fresh water in the world, supplying drinking water for 48 million people. Right now, oil giant Enbridge is seeking a permit for a massive fossil fuel tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac, a 4-mile-wide waterway that connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

The Canadian oil company is proposing to replace the existing Line 5 pipelines that run along the lake bottom at the Straits of Mackinac. Along the length of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, there have been more than 30 oil spills, resulting in millions of gallons of oil spilling into waterways

Send a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today to show your opposition to Enbridge’s Line 5 oil tunnel.
 

 

Protect Indigenous Women

From Franciscan Action Network:

 

Protect our American Indian and Alaska Native Women

Support reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) with strong tribal provisions

Native American women face disproportionately high rates of violence. Most of these violent acts involve non-Native Americans, and directly contribute to the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Because 96 percent of the perpetrators of sexual violence against women and girls in Indian Country are non-Native, expanding tribal jurisdiction over non-Native assailants is necessary for seeking justice for survivors and victims. It is beyond unacceptable that the vast majority of these women never see their abusers or rapists brought to justice.

Here’s what you can do. Please write to your two senators to urge them to approve a Senate VAWA reauthorization bill similar to H.R. 1585, that restores tribal jurisdiction and ensures that resources are made available to victims. The provisions in the House bill are essential to protecting our most vulnerable sisters in Native communities.

Fill out this form to send an email to your Senators urging them to approve a Senate VAWA reauthorization bill that includes strong tribal provisions. Please feel free to edit the wording to personalize the letter. Then click the "Take Action" button at the bottom.

 

COVID Vaccine for Everyone

From Public Citizen:

The people of the world are all fighting the same virus, which doesn’t know an American from a Zimbabwean. The U.S. government has the power and resources to expand the supply of vaccines everywhere — by scaling-up manufacturing, sharing technology with the World Health Organization, and teaching the world to make safe and effective vaccines. That would help shorten the pandemic, save lives, and restore jobs. And not just in America, but around the world.

Tell President-elect Biden to help expand the vaccine worldwide.

 

Care of the Earth

From the Climate Reality Project:

Food is an essential of everyday life. But today, the effects of our changing climate — warming temperatures and changing precipitation patterns — threaten crops all around the world and are making what does grow, in some instances, less nutritious.
   
We must act if we want to ensure a safe and sustainable food future for all of us. Fortunately, as several of our trained Climate Reality Leaders share in our free new e-book, Climate-Smart Cooking and the Future of Food, making a difference today is possible.
Download Here 

 

 

 Alternative Giving for Christmas

From Ignatian Solidarity Network: Education for Justice  

This Christmas, foster a culture of peace by supporting the mission of the social justice organizations and fair trade shops in this alternative giving guide  

 

Actions and Resources (Dec 8)

December 08, 2020
By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Fratelli Tutti and dove

32. True, a worldwide tragedy like the Covid-19 pandemic momentarily revived the sense that we are a global community, all in the same boat, where one person’s problems are the problems of all. Once more we realized that no one is saved alone; we can only be saved together. As I said in those days, “the storm has exposed our vulnerability and uncovered those false and superfluous certainties around which we constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities… Amid this storm, the façade of those stereotypes with which we camouflaged our egos, always worrying about appearances, has fallen away, revealing once more the ineluctable and blessed awareness that we are part of one another, that we are brothers and sisters of one another”

COVID-19 Relief

There appears to be some desire on the part of congress to come to an agreement on a relief package.  

Call Your Senators NOW: 888-496-3502
Tell them to pass a COVID-19 package before the end of the year!
Call twice to reach both of your Senators.

When you call, here's what you might say:

"Hello, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [TOWN]. I'm calling to ask the Senator to pass a COVID-19 response package before the end of the year to help families who are struggling. We need legislation to provide cash to families, extend the pandemic Unemployment Insurance and paid leave benefits, extend the eviction moratorium, and increase funding for health care during this pandemic.

As a person of faith, I believe every person in our country should have what they need to get by during this pandemic, especially during the holiday season. Right now families are facing hunger, eviction, and health emergencies. Please support people and families during this crisis."

 

Immigration

Join a Root Causes Initiative call with representatives of President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team on Thursday, December 17,  11:00 am Central  The purpose of the call is to present a policy framework to address root causes of migration in Central America to the Biden team and learn more about their priorities. Register HERE to join the call.

____________________________________


Join a Justice for Immigrants webinar on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 2 PM CT as presenters examine the consequences of family separation on immigrant families over the last half decade and provide recommendations to prevent family separation in the future. Please the webinar at Bit.ly/Family_Separation

 

Ending Human Trafficking

A webinar from US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking: Hear from a large panel of survivors about some of the root causes of human trafficking and why the Equality Model is the best model for protecting survivors of human trafficking and ensuring they aren't criminalized but rather supported with resources for healing and thriving. 

 

Peaceful and Just Elections

With control of the Senate on the line, the entire country is counting on a free and fair election in Georgia. Yet there are still significant impediments to voting in the Peach State — especially for under-represented voters.
Add your name to this petition.

 

Care of the Earth

Recently, the Trump administration moved a step closer toward developing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge when they published a "call for nominations" on parcels of the refuge that could be offered for lease to oil and gas companies. Now, a press release recently announced plans to move ahead with the sale of leased lands BEFORE the public comment period ends on December 17th. Rushing this process is an affront on the human rights of Arctic Indigenous peoples and God’s creation.  Advocate HERE in favor of the wildlife and indigenous people who call that area home.

____________________________________

The Peoples Justice Councils presents a Creation Justice Webinar—The EPA in 2021: Prioritizing Moral Accountability. Even if you can't make the webinar’s scheduled time on Wednesday, December 9th at noon CT, still sign-up, and we will send you a recording of it. Sign up HERE to join the webinar.

 

Recent Posts

1/15/21 - By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
1/12/21 - By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
1/8/21 - By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
1/5/21 - By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
12/29/20 - By Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA

Archives

Current Closure