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Justice Alert - June 3

June 03, 2021
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

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

With Love & Peace,

World Environment Day - June 5th

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

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

June is Pride Month

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

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

Border Ministry

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

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

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

Protecting the Land & Indigenous People

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

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

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

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

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

Socially Responsible Investment WIN

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

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

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

Understanding Racism

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

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

REGISTER HERE.  There is a $75 registration fee.

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

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

Love & Peace, 

Tracy Abler


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