Monthly Catholics for Peace and Justice Newsletter
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As we are experiencing a divisive time in our American story perhaps it would be helpful to explore the Catholic tradition of Ordinary Time.

Ordinary Time enables us to appreciate more fully the ministry and message of Jesus.  From the beginning of Advent in November through the Baptism of the Lord on January 10th, we were celebrating the Coming of Christ.  We remembered and rejoiced in Christ coming as an infant and in our daily dying’s and risings.  We continue to rejoice in Christ’s coming, even now, filling our hearts and minds with hopes and dreams, and walking with us in our anxieties and fears.

So, Ordinary Time calls us to do more than appreciate the ministry and message of Jesus We must truly LIVE IT - to become the light.  We must recognize and be aware of every moment of everyday, that we are never alone.

And so, as we prepare for Lent and the change of heart that is required of us, may we see the light of “Christ’s Coming” everywhere, in others and ourselves.  Jesus joins our journey.

Yes, Jesus is our Emmanuel and Savior – yesterday, today, and forever!
Barb and Bob Schuelke


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Looking for more social justice resources?
Visit the Social Justice Resource Center



Pope Francis Quote

Black Lives are Sacred - A Lenten Invitation

Sign up for Daily Lent and Easter Reflection Texts

Contemplative Prayer for Reconciliation and Healing of Racism




Gift, Gratitude and Joy: Finding our Sacred Roots in God's Creation

Celebrate Black Culture in Film!

Recurring Events
Pope Francis Quote
We must believe that others need peace just as much as we do. Peace will not be obtained unless it is hoped for. Let us ask the Lord for the gift of peace!

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Black Lives are Sacred—a Lenten Invitation
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The past year has been a time of great upheaval, when so many of the ugly truths of inequality in America were pushed to the surface and burst into clear view. Headlines have reminded us again and again that the sin of racism remains deeply embedded in the fabric of our society and none of our efforts thus far have been effective in casting it off.

As we approach the Lenten season, Catholics are called to reflect on not only our own sins, but those of our society. As the USCCB stated in Open Wide Our Hearts, “Despite the great blessings of liberty that this country offers, we must admit the plain truth that for many of our fellow citizens, who have done nothing wrong, interactions with the police are often fraught with fear and even danger.”

In the midst of this summer’s protests, many lay Catholics took to the streets to cry out for justice for our Black brothers and sisters. Seeing one another and thirsting for a way to bring our faith onto the street, we began gathering every week to stand in witness of the sacredness of Black lives. We have now stood on streets and corners all over the city of Milwaukee every week since July through our “Black Lives Are Sacred public witnesses.” We gather in unity, hold signs testifying to the sacredness of Black lives, and kneel in silent prayer. You can see more information and photos of our recent events at

As we enter into the sacred time of Lent, we invite you to join us. Our witnesses are spaces of prayer and reflection, where we hope to grow in our understanding of racism and find holy ways to combat it. Would you like to receive notice of our weekly events so you can include them in your bulletin during Lent? 

We would also love to have your community serve as a host for an upcoming Saturday morning witness. Hosting a witness is a very simple way to take a small action in support of racial justice and the dignity of the human person! In the past six months, Black Lives Are Sacred has been hosted by numerous Catholic parishes, including the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, as well as Catholic high schools and non-profit organizations. We would welcome the opportunity to come to your community as well.

If you would like more information, please contact us at Together, may we do our part to build up the Kingdom of God.

Peace and all good things,
The Black Lives Are Sacred leadership team
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Sign- up for Daily Lent and Easter Reflection Texts
Subscribe to receive a short daily reflection text or email from CPJ taken from Pope Francis’ latest encyclical “Fratelli Tuti” – On Fraternity and Social Friendship, curated by Jim Gill.  Interspersed will be quotes honoring a variety of religious traditions and their observances at this time of year.  To subscribe to receive texts, text the message “@sjle21” to 81010.  If you’d prefer to receive quotes as email, sign-up at using the same code.  Register as a "parent" as this app is designed primarily for schools, and this option is the easiest for our purposes.  Contact . Jim at or 414-708-4626 for more information.
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Contemplative Prayer for Reconciliation and Healing of Racism
Sign up here - - to receive a monthly prayer guide with the intention of reconciling and healing racism in our city. Monthly gatherings have been postponed due to Covid, but may resume in the fall.  Brought to you by:Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Three Holy Women, Our Lady of Divine Providence, Old St. Mary's, Saints Peter and Paul Human Concerns/Social Justice Commissions, Franciscan Peacemakers. For more information, please contact: Shelly Roder,
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In the midst of political upheaval, the urgent need to “care for our common home”
It was a different world when I was first asked to contribute short reflections for this newsletter on ecology and faith, with a focus on the planetary crises unfolding in our world –  global warming and climate change, the sixth great extinction, the toxic contamination of much of our environment due to our industrial/consumer way of life, destruction of habitats and ecosystems necessary to support the web of life, environmental injustice and racism.

These concerns, grave as they are, take place now in a new social and cultural ecology, a time of national crisis on many levels, a time of volatile and violent divides, a time when political institutions are falling apart and even the Constitution itself is being challenged. Does it still hold us together?

Environmental issues themselves can ignite passionate feelings when it comes to how some people interpret “rights,” and “freedom.” A government program to protect forests or endangered animals, or disputes over water rights in the West as the 10-year drought in California and the Southwest deepens, can bring arguing parties to the point of violent conflict. We know that something as simple as wearing face masks during the pandemic can ignite violent outbursts, even if the purpose is to protect our families and communities from a hideous disease.
Read the rest of Margaret Swedish's article here.
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Catholic Coalition for Migrants and Refugees

CCMR Weekly Update

Please take THIS 5” SURVEY
President Biden’s immigration agenda mirrors very closely what Catholic doctrine and our US Bishops teach about immigration reform. CCMR is gearing up for a big advocacy push to make sure Congress, the media, and Catholic voters hear this, and to ensure that final legislation keeps all its best elements. Other initiatives may be started around service and parish education if there is interest. See our latest update. Contact Mark Peters at or 414-630-0420 for more info or to volunteer.

Feel free to contact Alex at 414-736-0969 or

To be part of CCMR, sign up here. Visit the CCMR facebook page here.

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Supermarket Legends - Vote Spring 2021!
Please visit the Supermarket Legends site for helpful voting information - share widely!

Why Vote?
This is what is on the ballot - February16  & April 6
  • Some of the Milwaukee School Board seats
  • 1 Municipal judge
  • Circuit Court Judges for Milwaukee County
  • Court of Appeals 
Learn more and print flyers here: Spanish / English

Learn some of the most important information for voters here: Spanish / English
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February 2021 Election Information for Milwaukee  
The Spring Primary date is Tuesday February 16, 2021.

The Commission suggests you request your absentee ballot by February 8 at the latest. You must apply every year unless indefinitely confined.

The Milwaukee Election Commission has a new website for voters, Find up-to-date voting data, polling places, and voter information.  
In-Person Early Voting for the Spring Primary will be at City Hall - 200 E. Wells Street, 5th Floor - 8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Tuesday, February 2nd - Friday, February 5th
  • Monday, February 8th - Friday, February 12th
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To assure that our values are included in the 2021-23 State Budget WISDOM participate in WISDOM’s School of Democracy! Sign up for upcoming events and view presentations of past presentations at

Past Events include Telling Your Story AND Advocating for Your Position in 3 Minutes and How the State Budget Process Works.

Upcoming Presentations: Who Are Your Legislators? What Role Do They Play?; What’s in the Governor’s Budget: A Review of WISDOM’s Priorities; Planning and Practicing for Testifying at Joint Finance Committee Hearings; Prep for Madison Action Day; Final Checklists for Madison Action Day; and Madison Action Day, April 15.

Our specific budget proposals are at

We all saw the wrong way for people to make their voices heard on January 6. Here’s the right way!
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Center for Budget and Policy Priorities’ Blogs on Biden-Harris Administration Proposals and Actions
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Coalition for a Just Wisconsin Budget
The newly forming Coalition for a Just Wisconsin Budget is organizing to build a movement for a people’s budget that will fund education, healthcare, racial equity, climate action, worker safety and revenue saving and generating measures like legalizing and taxing marijuana and closing outdated and inhumane correctional facilities. 

Please take a few minutes and sign on to our “Call for a Just Wisconsin Budget
The goal is over 10,000 signers by summer, to create enough citizen pressure that Wisconsin lawmakers will have no choice but to fund justice in the next state budget.

Save the Date - Our next Public Hearing and Press Conference will be on Thursday, February 4th at 1:30pm

If you would like to testify or send a statement to be read (2 min or less), please write to us at:
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Ask your House Rep to Join the Defense Spending Reduction Caucus
Capitol Hill Switchboard  202-224-3121
"Hi, my name is ___________ and I'm calling from zip code __________ to urge you, my congress member, to join the new Defense Spending Reduction Caucus co-chaired by Reps Pocan and Lee. Our wasteful $740 billion military budget is larger than the military budgets of the next eight countries combined, consumes over 60% of our discretionary dollars and funds endless wars and weapons production. To join the new caucus, please contact Rep Pocan at 202-225-2906. Thank you."

When you are done, email a similar message to your congress member.
When you are done with that, call a friend and ask your friend to contact their rep with the same message.
Thank you!
Marcy Winograd, Coordinator,
Capitol Hill Calling Party

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Political Involvement Opportunities
Contact your government representatives about your concerns regarding policies being enacted at the Federal level. Expressing either support or opposition helps our elected officials understand the wishes of the electorate.


Gift, Gratitude and Joy: Finding Our Sacred Roots in God’s Creation
A 6 Week Small Group Series for Parishes
Gift, Gratitude, and Joy is a 6 session program that takes participants through the main themes of Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’. The series is designed for small group discussion, either in-person or virtually, and can be adapted to larger groups with breakouts into small groups for sharing. Through videos, activities, discussions and scripture meditations, participants will find not only a prayerful moment during these challenging times, but experience concrete ways they can impact the world. If interested in previewing materials, please contact Debra Schneider at . This program is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Waukesha County Creation Care Network and is free to use. 
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Celebrate Black Culture in Film!
“Mr. Soul” The documentary film, Mr. Soul! (2018) celebrates the groundbreaking PBS series SOUL! from its genesis to its eventual loss of funding, against the backdrop of a swiftly changing political and social landscape. From 1968 to 1973, the public television variety show SOUL!, guided by the enigmatic producer and host Ellis Haizlip, offered an unfiltered, uncompromising celebration of Black literature, poetry, music, and politics—voices that had few other options for national exposure, and, as a result, found the program an improbable place to call home.

The series was among the first to provide expanded images of African Americans on television, shifting the gaze from inner-city poverty and violence to the vibrancy of the Black Arts Movement.

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Recurring Events: 

Black Lives are Sacred Candlelight Vigils
The events are organized by an informal group of Catholic lay people, and we warmly welcome all who want to stand up for the sacredness of Black lives. More information is available at
  • Thursday, Feb 4, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Mayfair Road & North Avenue
  • Saturday, Feb 13, 10:00-11:00 a.m. Intersection of Howell, Lincoln & Kinnickinnic
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Racism in America: A Speaker Series
You are invited to attend one or all of eight presentations on the history and societal impact of race in America. The United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay sponsors this series offered on-line each Thursday from January 28 to March 18 @ 7 pm.

The Zoom link for upcoming presentations is  
You are encouraged but not required to register for these seminars.  You can also register by emailing the United Methodist Church of WFB.
  • Feb. 4 – “From John Brown to Jim Crow” Brady Henderson, Cream City Law, LLC
  • Feb. 11 – “Employment Barriers Faced by Diverse Communities”  Maria E. Flores, Outreach and Education Manager, EEOC
  • Feb. 18 – “The Educational Debt We Owe to All of Our Children”  Dr. Demond Means, Consultant to Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Feb. 25 – ”Restorative Health Equity and Reparations: The Intersection” Curtis Marshall, Public Health Consultant
  • March 4 – “Fair Housing: Building Inclusive Communities for Everyone” Erika L. Sanders, Director – Program Services, Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council
  • March 11 – “Race and the Criminal Justice System” Brady Henderson, Cream City Law, LLC
  • March 18 – “Christianity and Race” Rev. Dr. Matt Hadley, Sr. Pastor of United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay, and Rev. Dan Dick, Assistant to the Bishop of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church
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Catholic Social Ministry Gathering - Feb 6-9
For more than 30 years, the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering (CSMG) has brought together hundreds of participants whose faith inspires them to address pressing current domestic and global challenges affecting our most vulnerable brothers and sisters at home and around the world. Join us Feb. 6-9, 2021 at our virtual gathering of U.S. Catholic social ministry leaders organized by the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, 10 USCCB departments, and 18 national Catholic organizations!  The 2021 theme is Make justice your aim (cf. Is. 1:17): Rebuilding Together. We will pray, learn and advocate together on the disparities revealed by COVID-19 and new models of justice and solidarity.
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Gift, Gratitude, and Joy Small Group Lenten Series - Feb 18-Mar 24
Join us for Gift, Gratitude, and Joy: Finding Our Sacred Roots in God’s Creation, a six week Small Group discussion built on Franciscan spirituality and a Christian foundation for Caring for Creation. Through videos, interactive activities, discussions and scripture meditations, you will find not only a prayerful moment in these challenging times, but experience concrete ways you can impact the world.  Beginning Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021 from 6:30-8:00 through March 24, 2021 virtually over Zoom. This program is free. Presented by the Waukesha County Creation Network and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Register Here 
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Siena Retreat Center Events,, 5637 Erie St., Racine, WI 53402.
February Retreats and Programs.

For a complete description of these and other programs and retreats, visit or call 262-898-2590.  Partial scholarships are available for all programs.
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Peace Action Wisconsin
  • Stand for Peace: Every Saturday, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Learn more here. Updates on Facebook
    Attention! Please wear masks and keep a social distance, due to concerns about the Corona Virus. If necessary, Stands may be cancelled due to the Covid numbers.  Please keep checking our website for the current status.
    • ​February 6: Port Washington/Silver Spring
    • February 13: King/North
    • February 20: 92nd/North
    • February 27: Oakland/North
    • March 6:  76th/Layton
    • March 13:  King/Locust
    • March 20:  Capitol/Humboldt
    • March 27:  Chavez (16th)/Greenfield

Importance of Down Ballot Elections  - Feb 3
On February 3 at 7:00 p.m. Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice is sponsoring a webinar about the spring elections and the importance of down ballot elections.  The main speaker is Eileen Newcomer, Voter Education Coordinator with the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.  RSVP to Rabbi Bonnie Margulis at by Feb. 1 to receive the Zoom webinar link. Please share this invitation with your faith community and networks.
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Reparations, Reconciliation and HR 40 - Feb 8
On Monday, February 8, 6:30-8pm via Zoom, St. Sebs/St. Catherine’s Facing Racism Social Action Group presents:  “Reparations, Reconciliation and HR 40.” HR 40 is a legislative bill which calls for a commission to examine the institution of slavery and its impact.  The commission’s task will be to make recommendations to Congress for reparations to descendants of enslaved people. This presentation and discussion will unpack the proposed legislation, discuss what it means in light of our faith, and offer an opportunity to take action. To register, email Jon Metz at
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Ignatian Peacemaker Lecture - Feb 8
Marquette University Center For Peacemaking's Ignatian Peacemaker Lecture: MT Davila, Bearers of Hope: Encounters of Love and Justice in a Broken World.  Feb. 8, 6:30 pm. Register at
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JustFaith Ministry’s Acting for Justice Series - Feb 18
Join us on Thursday, February 18, 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, to hear Bob Hunter offer a presentation entitled, “Black Progress and Racial Backlash.” In her book, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth about the Racial Divide, Carol Anderson argues that racial unrest is often a response to black progress. This presentation by Bob Hunter will explore Anderson’s argument and consider how to intercept this cycle of black progress and white rage. Register here
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The Non-Violent Jesus - Feb 21
Author, activist, teacher and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Fr. John Dear will facilitate a discussion for the Our Lady of Lourdes formation program GIFT (Generations In Faith Together) on The Non-Violent Jesus on Sunday, February 21, at noon via Zoom. You will need to listen to two podcasts prior to Sunday, February 21, to prepare for our discussion, The Beatitudes of Nonviolence and The Nonviolent Sermon on the Mount. There is a fee for this program. Contact Steve Szymanski to register at 414-545-4316 x 127.
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The Beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image.  Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. Thomas Merton

Lord, I thank you for the unique diversity yet integral connectedness of your creation.  Help me today and every day to seek to see Your one beloved community in every person I meet. 

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“Darkness deserves gratitude.  It is the alleluia point at which we learn to understand that all growth does not take place in sunlight.”  Joan D. Chittister

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