Called to Act
We work actively, especially in our local situations, to eliminate the root causes of injustice in order to realize a world of peace, justice, and love.”
You Are Sent, Constitution of the School Sisters of NOtre DAme
Our SSND Shalom - Justice, Peace, & Integrity of Creation staff invite you to join them in their latest calls for action.
Urge U.S. to Maintain Commitment to Address Climate Change
President-elect Donald Trump has said he will withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement - a commitment by 193 countries to solve the climate crisis. Catholic Climate Covenant has prepared a petition to be delivered to the president shortly after the inauguration that calls upon our next president to honor our international commitments and to act to solve the climate crisis. (Click here to learn more.) As Catholics, we recognize our responsibility to advocate on behalf of creation and the poor. Our advocacy is now more important than ever. Share this electronic link with friends and family, on social media, and in your parish bulletin. Use the paper version to collect signatures after Mass or during other church or school events. For more ideas about how to promote the petition download this toolkit.
SOA Watch Border Convergence
School Sisters of Notre Dame who live at the border in Douglas, Arizona, will join a group of local residents participating this weekend in the SOA Watch Border Convergence. The border is an important issue, and as advocates for justice, the sisters and others participating in the event hope to speak out for immigration reform and awareness around the tragedy of too many deaths in the desert. They are asking for fundamental changes in U.S. policy. The Convergence on the US/Mexico Border, October 7-10, will include vigils, protests and workshops at the Eloy Detention Center, in Tucson, and in Nogales, Arizona/Sonora at the border wall.
SSNDs have participated in the SOA Watch demonstration at Fort Benning, Georgia, almost since its beginning in 1990. Originally a protest over human rights’ abuses committed by some graduates of the School of the Americas or under their leadership, the annual gathering has moved to Nogales, Arizona, this year. Here the focus will highlight U.S. intervention in Latin America as one of the root causes of migration. A creative, prayerful and artistic program will call for support of refugees, an end to migrant incarceration and awareness of our militarized border. For the full schedule of events, visit the SOA Watch website.
Education for All Scheduled for Vote
As early as today, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Education for All Act, bipartisan legislation which would build on current U.S. efforts to ensure equal access to quality education for children throughout the world, including those impacted by crisis and conflict. The long-term goal is to reach the 124 million children and youth who remain out of school and ensure all children and youth receive a quality education. This legislation is seen as a major improvement for U.S. foreign policy and would put the world one step closer to achieving Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education.
September 8 Update: Thank you to everyone who took action! Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Education for All Act, which will help ensure that all children, regardless of where they were born, have access to a quality basic education.
"Refugees are people like anyone else, like you and me. They led ordinary lives before becoming displaced, and their biggest dream is to be able to live normally again. On this World Refugee Day, let us recall our common humanity, celebrate tolerance and diversity and open our hearts to refugees everywhere." - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
|Sisters Marie Denise Murphy and Leonora Tucker, SSND, tutor a young Syrian friend.|
The United Nations’ World Refugee Day commemorates the millions of refugees throughout the world, honoring their strength, courage, and resilience. This year, that day will have special meaning for the School Sisters of Notre Dame living in Wilton, Connecticut. This year, they are privileged to have living on their campus a Muslim, Arabic-speaking family of six who fled the violence and death in their homeland, the war-torn country of Syria. For the sisters, “refugee” is no longer just a word; it is real people living among them. The School Sisters of Notre Dame invite you to respond, with us, to this crisis:
- Read Sister Leonora Tucker’s reflection, “No Longer Strangers: SSNDs and Partners Welcome a Syrian Refugee Family”
- Learn more about the Syrian Refugee Crisis
- Learn more about Syrian Refugee children working to survive
- Take Action and tell Congress to “Open your Arms to Syrian Refugees “
On June 18, 2015, Pope Francis released his historic encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home. How will you commemorate this anniversary? The Global Catholic Climate Movement is launching Laudato Si' Week, June 12-19. Laudato Si’ Week will be a major international celebration to reflect on the Laudato Si’ message and take action to bring it to life. The encyclical has produced far reaching universal interest among scientists, business groups, economists, and a variety of religious persons, and it reinforces the contemplative and prophetic themes of dialogue, conversion, education and action contained in Love Cannot Wait, the SSND directional statement. Read more about the SSND understanding of Laudato Si'.
Sign-on to Letter to Women of U.S. Senate
Earlier this month, we asked those of you in the United States to call our women senators telling them that you appreciate the Senate women's priority of human trafficking and that co-sponsoring S.1968 would give concrete expression to that priority.
Today, we are encouraging sisters, associates, colleagues, and friends to sign on to a letter that will be delivered to all 20 women Senators urging them to co-sponsor S. 1968, the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act.
This letter is open to endorsement by Catholic sisters, associates, colleagues, co-workers, friends, family members, students and allied organizations.
The deadline for endorsement is the close of business on Friday, May 27.
To learn more about the bill and the U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking Campaign (USCSAHT), visit the Women of the Senate Campaign web page. The USCSAHT Legislative Advocacy Work Group includes Sister Ann Scholz, SSND, who is the chair.
Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking
The legislative working group of U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT) has initiated a campaign to build support among women senators for Senate bill S1968, the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act. Beginning on May 9, they are asking Catholic Sisters and their Associate members, colleagues, and friends to make phone calls to all of the women of the Senate. We know that the women of the Senate have identified human trafficking as a legislative priority for the 114th Congress. Yet to date, only Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has co-sponsored S.1968. Where are the other 19? From May 9-16, we are asking you to call our women senators telling them that you appreciate the Senate women’s priority of human trafficking and that co- sponsoring S.1968 would give concrete expression to that priority.
Take Action – Make the Call
If you are represented by a woman senator (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin), please use script #1 below. If you are not a constituent of one of the woman senators, please use script #2 to call as many of the women senators as possible. (If you live in New York state, please call Senator Kirsten Gillebrand and thank her for co-sponsoring S. 1968.)
Use this link to find their phone numbers. Additional talking points can be found here.
Script #1 (for those calling their senators)
Hello, may I speak with the staffer who handles legislation about human trafficking.
When connected with the staffer:
Hello I am ___________ a constituent of the Senator. I live in ______________. I am calling to ask Senator ____________ to co-sponsor S. 1968, the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act, because I believe that as a woman in the Senate, she would want to co-sponsor a law which could significantly improve the lives of other women and of children. Human trafficking and the use of slave labor are repugnant to me. As a consumer, I want to avoid any product made with forced labor or child labor. To do this, I need Congress to require that businesses publicly disclose their efforts to eliminate forced or child labor from their supply chains. Senate bill 1968 would do exactly that. I know that the issue of human trafficking is a legislative priority for the women of the Senate. Will Senator_____________ act on that priority by co-sponsoring S.1968? Thank you.
Script #2 (for those calling someone who is not their senator)
Hello, may I speak with the staffer who handles legislation about human trafficking.
When connected with the staffer:
Hello, I am calling to ask Senator __________ to co-sponsor S. 1968, the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act. While I am not a constituent of the Senator, I am calling because I believe that as a woman in the Senate, she would want to co-sponsor a bill which could significantly improve the lives of other women and of children. Human trafficking and the use of slave labor are repugnant to me. As a consumer, I want to avoid any product made with forced labor or child labor. To do this, I need Congress to require that businesses publicly disclose their efforts to eliminate forced or child labor from their supply chains. Senate bill 1968 would do exactly that. I know that the issue of human trafficking is a legislative priority for the women of the Senate. Will Senator_____________ act on that priority by co-sponsoring S.1968? Thank you.
Celebrating Earth Day
Started in 1970, Earth Day is currently celebrated in 192 countries, making it the largest civic observance in the world. As Pope Francis reminds us in Laudato Si', we have a responsibility to "till and keep the garden of the world," which implies a "relationship of mutual responsibility between human beings and nature." Catholics are called to respect God’s creation and deal with environmental issues, particularly as they affect the poor. Vatican and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ statements have highlighted the moral imperative for Catholics to care for God’s creation and its impact on those least able to respond.
Learn more about how you can celebrate Earth Day on April 22 or visit the following websites for information and resources which can be used personally or with community, parish or other groups: Catholic Climate Movement and Catholic Climate Covenant and Education for Earth Justice.
Nonviolence and Just Peace
The Vatican is hosting a first of its kind conference, which opens April 11, to reexamine the Catholic church's long-held teachings on just war theory. Sister Ann Scholz, SSND, associate director for social mission for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, was one of the conference planners and is one of the participants in this important conference in Rome. Sister Cathy Arata, SSND, also is an invited participant. Please keep them and all the participants in your prayers as they work on developing themes and practices of nonviolent conflict transformation and just peace. Pax Christi has posted a flyer with a prayer written especially for the conference by Austrian nonviolence activist and theologian Hildegard Goss-Mayr, as well as prayers from Archbishop Stephen Fumio Hamao and Pope St. John Paul II. The National Catholic Reporter has published an article, which provides more information.
Between January 11 (U.S. Human Trafficking Awareness Day) and February 8 (International Day of Prayer and Awareness on Human Trafficking) the School Sisters of Notre Dame invite you to take action to help end modern-day slavery. The School Sisters of Notre Dame of the Atlantic-Midwest Province have taken a public, Corporate Stance Against Human Trafficking. Resources for reflection and action on this subject are available from the U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. Please also consider adding the Prayer for an End to Human Trafficking by Sister Gen Cassani, SSND, to your daily prayer during this time.
Human Trafficking is a form of modern slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others. There are 27 million slaves today which is more than in any other time in our history. High profits and low risks motivate traffickers to lure and ensnare people into forced labor and sex trafficking by manipulating and exploiting their vulnerabilities. It is easy to be unaware of the victims in our midst. Check out this animated documentary. To learn more about the hidden slaves that work for you visit Slavery Footprint. You can also visit Free2work for information on forced labor and the products you purchase. Additional resources for reflection and action.
January is Poverty Awareness Month. Join Catholics across the United States in taking up Pope Francis' challenge to live in solidarity with those "trapped in the cycle of poverty" (Address to Congress, Sept. 24, 2015). The printable calendar (en Español) is perfect to hang on a wall or door, while longer daily reflections (en Español) provide food for prayer and action for each day of the month. Sign up for daily emails during Poverty Awareness Month here.
With the beginning of the new year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has begun executing raids to deport Central American children and adults who entered the United States seeking asylum and have had a final order of removal since January 1, 2014. This includes children and families who lost their asylum cases because they were unable to find adequate legal counsel, as well as individuals who were given deportation orders in absentia or through "rocket dockets" that are meant to expedite trials but in reality deny due process. We invite you to learn more by reading this article in the New York Times. And we ask you to consider taking action by calling the White House and asking President Obama to immediately stop plans to deport Central American children and families.
January 3-9, 2016
National Migration Week
The U.S. Catholic Bishops have named National Migration Week 2016 to take place January 3-9. The theme, "A Stranger and You Welcomed Me," reminds us that the call to welcome the stranger plays an important role in the lives of faithful Christians and is a particularly central place for those of us who work in the migration field. You will find resources that can help with ideas on how you can participate on the USCCB website.
Pope Francis' theme for his 2016 World Day of Peace message is "Overcome Indifference and Win Peace." The Pope urges us to replace isolation with community, and indifference with solidarity. He challenges families, schools, and other institutions to foster awareness and avenues for response to problems such as intolerance, religious persecution, slavery, war, and the plight of refugees. The USCCB has prepared this two-page resource (también en Español) to help us commemorate the day.