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Catholics for Peace and Justice Newsletter


Catholics for Peace and Justice
DECEMBER 2015 Newsletter

Greetings,

December 8 marks the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. A year that gives the social justice oriented among us the opportunity to inform and immerse ourselves and our parishes in corporal and spiritual works of mercy.   Imagine - Catholic social teaching at the front and center of your parish at the invitation and wish of Pope Francis.  Links to parish resources are provided below.  PLEASE use them. 

Discussions began this weekend at the Global Climate Conference in Paris.  We ask for continuous prayers for the leaders of nations negotiating the future of the people on this planet.  As Pope Francis said  “Climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation. When it comes to the care of our ‘common home’, we are living at a critical moment of history.”  If you are looking to take more action visit the Catholic Climate Covenant Advocacy page. 

Blessings of Advent and may the Joy of the Spirit be with you.

For ongoing updates and social justice resources visit our website at   

www.catholicsforpeaceandjustice.org 

and the Catholics for Peace and Justice Facebook page


TABLE OF CONTENTS

GENERAL
Over 840,000 Petition Signatures Delivered to Paris by GCCM

ACTIONS AND ISSUES
Wisconsin Bishops Urge Action on Syrian Refugees | Take Action
ROC Wisconsin – Beyond 11X15 for Prison Reform | Take Action
U.S. Bishops Support Sentencing Reform 
What Are You Doing for the Year of Mercy?
Year of Mercy Resources to Use in Your Parish
WCC of Bishops Supports "Safe Harbor" for Child Sex Trafficking Victims | Take Action
Green and Local Holiday Gift Ideas
Say Goodbye to Junk Mail

EVENTS AND EDUCATION
Immigration Vigil at Congregation Sinai – Dec 1
New Sanctuary Vigil in Front of ICE – Dec 3
On the Road Together: Voices in Harmony – Dec 5
Archdiocese of Milwaukee Year of Mercy Opening Mass – Dec 8
SSND Human Rights Day “Write-a-thon” and Reflection— Dec 10
Posada at Prince of Peace Church – Dec 18
Archdiocesan Respect Life Mass - Jan 22
2016 Winter Forum: 20/20 Vision to Mend the Gaps – Feb 26

STUDY, REFLECT, PRAY
Study:  What is The U.N. Global Climate Conference in Paris? Learn about COP21
Reflection: Anne Frank and Her Family Were Also Denied Entry as Refugees to the U.S.
Prayer: An Artistic Reflection for Christmas 


GENERAL

Over 840,000 Petition Signatures Delivered to Paris by GCCM
On Sunday, Cardinal Hummes delivered over 800,000 petition signatures from over 130 nations gathered by the Global Catholic Climate Movement from Catholics worldwide. Joining together with other faith groups over 1.7 million signatures in total were delivered to United Nations and French officials at the start of the U.N. Climate Change Conference [COP21] in Paris.  In the United States 20,000 signatures were delivered by the GCCM to the White House this past Saturday.  This effort speaks loudly to the impact small groups can make when they organize and band together for a single purpose. 

During the event, Cardinal Hummes stated, “I pray for political leaders to “hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” (Laudato Si # 49) and to respond to the climate justice demand from faith communities.”  Thank you to everyone who signed the petition and asked others to do the same.  We now await with prayer, news of the discussions and the outcome of the Paris Conference.  Full text of Cardinal Hummes statement to the UN plus pictures.  

Milwaukee Climate March





   Global Climate March in Milwaukee

In Paris thousands of shoes, including a pair from Pope Francis,  
were placed at the Place de la Republique to symbolize the many feet that could not march because of the ban following the terrorist attacks last week.








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ACTIONS AND ISSUES
Wisconsin Bishops Urge Action on Syrian Refugees - Take Action!
In response to the actions of some members of Congress and a number of governors, including Governor Scott Walker, the Catholic bishops of Wisconsin issued a statement on the Paris terrorist attacks and the resettlement of Syrian refugees.  "The unspeakable brutality in Paris last week has understandably raised concerns about public safety here in the United States.  However, we reaffirm our support for the resettlement of refugees from Syria and all other places where persecution, terrorism, and war have inflicted terrible suffering and forced people to flee for their lives." 
 
As decisions are being made now that could drastically affect the lives of Syrian refugees for years to come, we urge you to contact your legislators immediately to express support for resettlement. 

Please take action TODAY:
1.  Call your U.S. Representative and Senators using this switchboard number 1-866-961-4293
2.  Call Governor Scott Walker at (608) 266-1212 or email at governor@wisconsin.gov
3.  Find and contact your WI Legislators here – Enter your address in the top right hand corner search box

When you call, tell the receptionist that as a constituent, you want to help WELCOME Syrian refugees and that you're against the calls of some governors to reject Syrian refugees. Ex: “I’m a constituent from [City] and I support the resettlement of Syrian refugees. I urge the Senator / Representative / Governor to represent me and other constituents who seek to welcome Syrian refugees.”

Here are some helpful points that you should know and may want to mention, but the most important point is your story and why your community wants to welcome Syrian refugees!
•    The U.S. government handpicks the refugees who resettle here, and refugees are the most thoroughly vetted people to come to the United States. 
•    All refugees resettled in the United States undergo rigorous security screenings by the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Department of Defense and multiple intelligence agencies, including biometric checks, forensic testing, medical screenings and in-person interviews.
•    This is not an either/or situation. The United States can continue to welcome refugees while also continuing to ensure national security. We must do both.
  
More information from the USCCB Migration and Refugee Services Here
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ROC Wisconsin – Beyond 11X15 for Prison Reform | Take Action
The ROC Wisconsin workgroup for issues related to keeping people out of prison asks that WISDOM members and friends of ROC Wisconsin please call our two U.S. Senators to strongly urge them to support the  “Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015”  (U.S. Senate Bill 2123).

The phone numbers for Wisconsin's Senators are:
  Senator Ron Johnson -- (202) 224-5323
  Senator Tammy Baldwin -- (202) 224-5653

You just need to identify yourself, and say where you live, and ask the person answering the phone to tell the Senator that you want them to vote for the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, or Senate Bill 2123.

The bill deals with federal crimes and the federal corrections system, is a compromise, but, significant step forward -- one that we can hold up to our state of WI legislature as a model of how they can start doing some meaningful sentencing reform.  

Facts about the bill here.

This bill has a good chance to pass, and it already has bi-partisan support in both houses.  Our calls will let our Senators know that it needs to be a high priority.
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U.S. Bishops Support Sentencing Reform 
Read the Bishop’s letter to members of the Congressional Judiciary Committee here. 
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What Are You Doing for the Year of Mercy?
The Papal Year of Mercy offers us a profoundly unique opportunity to bring the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy to life in our parishes.  Six of the 7 Corporal Works of Mercy are found in Matthew 25, the final judgement.  

Corporal Works of Mercy
•    Feed the hungry
•    Give drink to the thirsty
•    Clothe the naked
•    Shelter the homeless
•    Visit the sick
•    Visit the imprisoned
•    Bury the dead

Spiritual Works of Mercy
•    Admonish the sinner
•    Instruct the ignorant [perhaps on the social teaching of the Church]
•    Counsel the doubtful
•    Comfort the sorrowful
•    Bear wrongs patiently
•    Forgive all injuries
•    Pray for the living and the dead  
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Year of Mercy Resources to Use in Your Parish
From Rob Shelledy Office of Human Dignity Archdiocese of Milwaukee

Bulletin Announcements you can use in Preparation for December:
Practicing Mercy during December 2015
Pope Francis has declared a Jubilee Year of Mercy to begin on December 8, 2015 and continue through November 20, 2016. Catholics throughout the archdiocese are invited to practice a different Work of Mercy each month. For December the Work of Mercy is “Instruct the Ignorant.” Take this Mercy Action: Reflect on who around you is misinformed or confused about the faith and lovingly share with them your zeal for Jesus and his Church.  

Year of Mercy Opening Mass
Please join us in prayer at the Year of Mercy Opening Mass on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 5:15 p.m., at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 812 N. Jackson St., Milwaukee. Archbishop Jerome Listecki will formally open the Year of Mercy with a proclamation and a blessing of the Cathedral “Holy Door.” The Mass will begin with a beautiful new song commissioned specifically for the Year of Mercy.

Archdiocese Jubilee Year of Mercy Resource Page  
Year of Mercy Pilgrimages  
Reflecting and Acting on the Corporal Works of Mercy  
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WCC of Bishops Supports "Safe Harbor" for Child Sex Trafficking Victims
At an October 28, 2015 public hearing before the Assembly Committee on Children and Families, the Wisconsin Catholic Conference [WCC] registered in support of Assembly Bill 267   (Rep. Jill Billings, D-La Crosse), which would prohibit the prosecution of a person under the age of 18 for prostitution.  The bill would also require the sheriff or police department to refer to an agency, and the agency to investigate, a case of child abuse in which a person who is not a caregiver of the child is suspected of permitting, allowing, or encouraging the child to engage in prostitution.  The Committee took no further action on the bill. 

Consider contacting your state legislator to ask them to support Assembly Bill 267 Safe Harbor for Child Sex Trafficking Victims
Find your legislator here – enter your address in the top right box under Find My Legislator.  
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Green and Local Holiday Gift Ideas
This list comes from the Waukesha County Green Team, but even if you don’t live in Waukesha County or can’t make the drive, it offers some great ideas for gift giving that can be found in any of our counties.  Enjoy! Green and Local Holiday Gift Ideas.     Here also is a shopping guide for those hard to find Fair Trade, Union Made or Eco friendly clothing gifts.  Shopping Guide 
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Say Goodbye to Junk Mail
Stop the clearcutting of forests to bring you catalogs you don’t want, full of products you’d never buy.  Sign up for Catalog Choice today.  Bonuses: It’s free, it’s nonprofit, and it’s now managed by The Story of Stuff Project!
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EVENTS AND EDUCATION
Immigration Vigil at Congregation Sinai – Dec 1
A group effort between the members of the synagogue and youth groups at Voces de la Frontera. We will leave from Voces de la Frontera at 6:15 to carpool there. At 7:00pm, Dec 1. There will be refreshments and kids are welcome.
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New Sanctuary Vigil in Front of ICE – Dec 3
Vigil in front of ICE immigration building on 310 East Knapp Street at 12pm - A vigil that strengthens solidarity between immigrants and allies and works to draw attention to others the injustices that happen in that building. We eat lunch afterwards.  Flyer here. 
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On the Road Together: Voices in Harmony – Dec 5
The Catholic-Jewish Conference of Milwaukee invites you to join us as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the landmark document that inaugurated historic changes in the Catholic Church’s relations with other faiths. On the Road Together: Voices in Harmony. December 5, 2015, 7:00-8:15 pm. Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 812 N. Jackson St., Milwaukee. The Jewish Community Chorale, the Archdiocesan Choir and leaders of sung prayer from the Jewish and Catholic community will celebrate in song those texts in sacred scripture that we hold in common, the Psalms and the exultant word Hallelujah – Alleluia.  Reception follows. More info 
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Archdiocese of Milwaukee Year of Mercy Opening Mass – Dec 8
Please join us in prayer at the Year of Mercy Opening Mass on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 5:15 p.m., at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 812 N. Jackson St., Milwaukee. Archbishop Jerome Listecki will formally open the Year of Mercy with a proclamation and a blessing of the Cathedral “Holy Door.” The Mass will begin with a beautiful new song commissioned specifically for the Year of Mercy.
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SSND Human Rights Day “Write-a-thon” and Reflection— December 10
Notre Dame of Elm Grove (NDEG), 13105 Watertown Plank Road, Elm Grove
Thursday, December 10 from Noon – 5 pm in the All Purpose Room (Reflection 4 pm – 4:30 pm).
 On December 10, the world celebrates the 67th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights . Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, the declaration sets out a broad range of fundamental human rights and freedoms to which all women and men, everywhere in the world are entitled.  In commemoration of International Human Rights Day, the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) are again sponsoring a human rights day “write-a-thon” at Notre Dame of Elm Grove.  Anytime between noon and 5 pm, folks are welcome to join sisters at NDEG for some Fair Trade coffee and cookies and to sign/write letters on behalf of individuals and groups imprisoned or at-risk of human rights abuses.  From 4 – 4:30 pm, we will take a break from the write-a-thon for a quiet, inspiring, Advent-themed reflection featuring prayer and poetry, symbols and song.  All are welcome!  Please consider sharing the attached FLYER
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Posada at Prince of Peace Church – Dec 18
December 18th - - A collaboration with Prince of Peace and the members there to organize a traditional Spanish style posada. Check with Andrew at New Sanctuary Movement/Voces de la Frontera for information. Andrew andrew@vdlf.org or 267-566-8658.
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Archdiocesan Respect Life Mass - Jan 22
Archdiocesan Respect Life Mass at St. Francis Borgia Parish, 1375 Covered Bridge Road, Cedarburg WI 53012 on January 22, 2016.  We will start with a rosary at 6:30, followed by Mass at 7:00  p.m. with the Archbishop, and a reception afterwards with displays from various groups from around the Archdiocese.
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2016 Winter Forum: 20/20 Vision to Mend the Gaps – Feb 26
A Pastoral & Political Challenge with Sister Simone Campbell. February 26 - 27, 2016. Bethlehem Lutheran Church W8267 Highway 33 East, Portage. Sister Simone Campbell has served as Executive Director of NETWORK since 2004. She is a religious leader, attorney and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change. In Washington, she lobbies on issues of peace-building, immigration reform, healthcare and economic justice. Around the country, she is a noted speaker and educator on these public policy issues.  More Information  
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STUDY, REFLECT, PRAY
Study:  What is The U.N. Global Climate Conference in Paris? Learn about COP21
A study guide from the Catholic Climate Covenant and the Global Catholic Climate Movement. This guide explains what the negotiations are, why they matter, and how you can make a difference.  COP21 Study Guide. 
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Reflection: Anne Frank and Her Family Were Also Denied Entry as Refugees to the U.S.
Anne Frank and her family were also denied entry as refugees to the U.S. It’s ironic that we would make a heroine of someone we left to be martyred – and then not learn from our mistakes.  Read Here. 

Emma Lazarus’ Famous Poem "The New Colossus" is graven on a tablet within the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
 
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."    Anne Frank
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Prayer: An Artistic Reflection for Christmas 

An Artistic Reflection for Christmas

"I will light candles this Christmas.
Candles of joy, despite all sadness,
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch.
Candles of courage for fears ever present,
Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days,
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens,
Candles of love to inspire all my living,
Candles that will burn all the year long."

~ Howard Thurman

From 
Education for Justice /Center of Concern
1225 Otis Street, NE
Washington, DC 20017 USA
+1 (202) 635-2757, ext.132
efj@coc.org - www.educationforjustice.org
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