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Bending the Arc references a quote by Rev. Dr. King who said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” This twice-monthly digital newsletter from the CSA Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation office showcases the work of changemakers, opportunities to learn, and opportunities for you to help “bend the arc” toward justice. Full contents of the newsletter are published on this page. 
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Archive for the "Poor & Vulnerable" Category

Mother Cabrini Inspires Even Centuries After Her Death

March 21, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

CSA Sisters and Associates celebrated Catholic Sisters Week and Women’s History Month all at once by seeing “Cabrini.”

The movie “Cabrini” chronicles the life and work of Francesca Cabrini, an Italian immigrant nun, who founded one of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She was also the first U.S. citizen to be canonized by the Catholic Church on July 7, 1946.

Cabrini opened in 2,600 theaters nationwide on Friday, March 8, which was also International Women’s Day. Several CSA Sisters and Associates enjoyed dinner and a movie outing to watch the film together. Sister Diane Bauknecht shares her thoughts on the movie:

“The Cabrini movie is a powerful testimony to the life of a sickly woman who heard and followed a call to serve those in need. The film portrays the inner strength of St. Frances Cabrini who was dauntless in her commitment to improve the lives of children, many of whom were orphaned. Her inner strength superseded the frailty of her body when she persisted against both church and civil authorities who reluctantly/grudgingly gave their approval to her enormous projects.

The only weakness I perceived in the film is that it did not seem to show what sustained Mother Cabrini’s tenacious durability. Only once, at the end, did it show Mother Cabrini in prayer. I suspect that was an oversight because she surely must have found her strength in a Power beyond herself.”  

In a March 11 article by Samantha Smith in Black Catholic Messenger, she shares two themes that stood out most in the film. “The first is how Cabrini’s story feels as true to today’s world as it did in her time. While the cultures of today’s immigrants are different, there are continued efforts from American citizens and government leadership to cast them out of the country and ignore their human dignity. However, America was founded on the idea of immigration—that no matter where you come from, you can come here and live a happy and prosperous life.

"The second is how Church leadership has not always been on the right side of progress or the needs of its community. The archbishop in the film plays the 'safe' route—determined not to stir the pot or anger the mayor. And while Pope Leo XIII eventually supports Cabrini and her mission, he didn’t start out that way in the film. As lay Catholics, we can empathize with Cabrini’s challenges to the Church, to push it closer to its mission of helping those in need. Her story serves as motivation to continue that work now.”

You can read the full article here.

If you’ve seen the movie and would like to share your experience, please add a comment to this post!


Posted in Poor & Vulnerable

UNANIMA International News

March 07, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

In her introduction to UNANIMA International (UI)'s quarterly newsletter, Executive Director, Jean Quinn, DW shares this reflection: 

“March brings us a tapestry of cultural celebrations worldwide, from the colorful Holi in India and Nepal, to the green festivities of St. Patrick’s Day, and the empowering Women's Day. These celebrations help our global community to embrace unity, diversity, and renewal through these joyful events. International Women’s Day, which serves as a powerful reminder of the ongoing struggle for women’s rights and achievements. Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias and discrimination.

UNANIMA International, with NGOs, Civil Society, the UN, and Member States can and must work together in the following key areas that need action:

Investing in women, a human rights issue

Ending Poverty and Homelessness for women and girls

Implementing gender-responsive financing

Shifting to a green economy and care society

As an organization, UNANIMA International-with 25 communities of women in over 100 countries working at the grassroots-are committed to making sure women and girls everywhere are not left behind. Throughout 2024, UI will continue to celebrate women of courage locally and internationally, who have taken the lead to sho9w the importance of the need to change and good practices.

We honor and celebrate all our UI Women at the grassroots, nationally, and internationally.



Read the newsletter online to learn the many ways UI is making a difference.

CSA is one of the 25 member congregations in UNANIMA International. Justice Coordinator, Tracy Abler, represents the congregation on the Board of Directors. The Board will be meeting in New York later this month and request your prayers for safe travels, guidance in planning, and health and energy to carry out the mission.


Posted in Poor & Vulnerable

Homelessness Publications

February 22, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

Do you know UNANIMA International (UI) has published several resources on Homelessness? Visit to download any of the free publications and use as you see fit.

As a member congregation of UI, our grassroots stories support the research needed to bring these issues to the international level.

Have a story to share? Please send to Tracy at

Posted in Poor & Vulnerable

Help for the Homeless Hygiene Drive

February 08, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

CSA is a donation site for an annual hygiene drive (February 11-March 3) which helps to ease the financial strain on homeless and crisis programs across Wisconsin.

The Family’s annual ‘Help for the Homeless’ hygiene drive partners with the community to help stock the shelves of 100+ homeless and crisis programs in 19 Wisconsin communities, including Fond du Lac. The goal of the program is to supply a year’s worth of products to each agency. Donations remain in the community they come from. Donations made in the Fond du Lac community will support EIGHT local homeless shelters and crisis programs.

The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes (CSA) will host a donation box in the Motherhouse Lobby, 320 County Road K. Supply donations can also be accepted at Festival Foods and Walgreens stores. Financial donations can also be made securely online or make checks payable to: “The Family” with “Help for the Homeless” noted in the memo line. Mail to: The Family Radio Network, ATTN: Help for the Homeless, 1909 W. Second Street, Appleton, WI 54914.

Visit the website to see the list of most needed items.

Posted in Poor & Vulnerable

2024 Civil Society Declaration

January 25, 2024
By Tracy Abler, Justice Coordinator

This is the time to rethink our whole approach to society, to accept and implement social change and transformation. Peoples’ needs are changing in response to a quickly evolving context. People want more responsive action to address the key challenges. We need leadership to establish a renewed social contract integrating social, economic, environmental and political justice at both national and international levels.

The 62nd session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD62) will take place from February 5-14, 2024 in a hybrid (in-person and digital) format in Conference Room 4 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

This year’s priority theme is: “Fostering social development and social justice through social policies to accelerate progress on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to achieve the overarching goal of poverty eradication.”

UNANIMA International Executive Director, Jean Quinn, DW, chairs the Executive Committee of CSocD. Sr. Jean is pleased to share with us the 2024 Civil Society Declaration, which calls for placing people and justice at the center of social issues. 

The declaration demands transformative change by:

  1. Establishing nationally owned, human rights-based, social protection systems and floors for all.
  2. Ensuring equal access to healthcare, education, digital technology, affordable housing and food for all.
  3. Extending debt relief for the least developed countries based on solidarity.
  4. Ensuring equal access to a healthy and safe environment for all.
  5. Ensuring that all persons are equal before the law without discrimination.

You can read the 2024 Civil Society Declaration here.

The Congregation of Sisters of St Agnes (CSA) has signed our support of the Declaration. It is now open to public signatures. You are invited to show your support by signing through this link.

The Declaration will be open for signatures/endorsements until February 2, 2024. Please share this Declaration with your networks!

All signatures received will be shared with Bureau members of this Commission, UN Member States and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the opening of the 62nd session of the Commission on February 5, 2024.


Posted in Poor & Vulnerable

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