Monthly Catholics for Peace and Justice Newsletter
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During these very trying times, I thought I would share Parker Palmer’s thoughts on hope:

Of all the virtues, “hope” is one of the most-needed in our time. When people ask me how I stay hopeful in an era of widespread darkness, I answer simply: “Hope keeps me alive and creatively engaged with the world.”

When privileged people like me choose hopelessness over hope, it’s not a reflection of the state of the world. It’s a reflection of the state of our souls.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes on the nature of hope by a fine writer named Victoria Safford.

by Victoria Safford
Our mission is to plant ourselves at the gates of hope — not the prudent gates of Optimism, which are somewhat narrower; nor the stalwart, boring gates of Common Sense; nor the strident gates of self-righteousness, which creak on shrill and angry hinges; nor the cheerful, flimsy garden gate of “Everything is gonna be all right,” but a very different, sometimes very lonely place, the place of truth-telling, about your own soul first of all and its condition, the place of resistance and defiance, the piece of ground from which you see the world both as it is and as it could be, as it might be, as it will be; the place from which you glimpse not only struggle, but joy in the struggle — and we stand there, beckoning and calling, telling people what we are seeing, asking people what they see.

Bob Schuelke

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Visit the Social Justice Resource Center



Pope Francis Quote

Contemplative Prayer for Reconciliation and Healing of Racism



Recurring Events

Gift, Gratitude and Joy - Oct 2-4

Truth Be Told: Discipleship in the Gospel of Luke - Begins Oct 12

Spotlight on the Remarkable United Nations at 75 Years - Oct 18



Pray: Prayer for a Pandemic

Reflect: The Arc of the Universe Bends Toward Justice
Pope Francis Quote
Working together to practice hospitality, especially towards those whose lives are most vulnerable, will make us better human beings, better disciples, and a more united Christian people.
Pope Francis

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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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Economic Impacts of Federal Policies
A couple of issues impacting the basic well-being of lower income families are of concern as we enter October.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) alleviated some of the early distress of the COVID pandemic by allowing states more leeway in their supplemental food programs. All 50 states took advantage, reducing some of the potential hunger due to job loss, school closings and other pandemic associated factors. Nevertheless, the number of families reporting hunger within the past 30 days jumped to 3 times its pre-pandemic level. Now at the end of September this USDA policy will be terminating. Legislation is urgently needed to increase support for families lacking adequate resources to purchase the food they need every day. 

November 10 the Supreme Court will hear arguments seeking to terminate the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Termination would affect millions of Americans currently receiving health care coverage through Medicaid, as well as millions more who have purchased coverage through the ACA’s exchanges. If the ACA is terminated by the Court, new health policy will need to be created urgently to support people with pre-existing conditions, people without employer-provided insurance, young adults, low income people who have qualified and received Medicaid coverage, and others.
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Promote Voting
Supermarket Legends:
For City of Milwaukee residents, the most comprehensive resource for voter information and the promotion of voting is Supermarket Legends ( Go to the Legends’ “Virtual Garage” for handouts, for sample ballots, for instructions on voter registration, ballot drop-off sites, etc.

Volunteer opportunities:
  • Assist at voter registration events such as food pantries, civic events, etc. See the website for volunteer training and contacts.
  • Hand out information to potential voters outside selected local businesses like supermarkets. Also, Save the dates of Saturday, October 17 and Sunday, October 18 to distribute early voting flyers at suggested Milwaukee locations, called Blitz Milwaukee Weekend.
  • Make phone calls to social service agencies, shelters, clinics, etc., to offer them voter information. To volunteer contact Linea: 
  • Use phone calls, email or even snail mail to encourage voting as part of a Relational Voter Program 
  • Become a poll worker (this is a paid position). For the City of Milwaukee apply online at, email the Commission at, or call 414-286-3491.
Common Ground:
For the entire Southeast Wisconsin area, Common Ground is working to promote voter registration and voting. They are organizing groups to make Voter Turnout Phone Calls and their handout, 3 ways to Vote in Wisconsin is very helpful basic information for all voters. Website: | Email:   | Phone: 414-751-0755
Pray for Our Elections

Few national elections have had as much at stake as the upcoming November 2020 election. Our nation stands in crisis, divided in seemingly endless ways, and at a significant crossroad. WISDOM invites you to join our statewide network, and others across the nation, in the Gamaliel Religious Leaders' Causus' 40 Days of Prayer and Reflection on Our Journey to the Polls.

To receive these daily reflections going forward, sign up for the 40 Days of Prayer & Reflection mailing list HERE  If you do sign up for the mailing list, you will receive the daily common prayer and a reflection from a different faith perspective each day from now through November 3.

The sign-up asks you to indicate your local WISDOM affiliate: MICAH for Milwaukee, SOPHIA for Waukesha Co. Or choose another if you prefer.
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Ecological Conversion
 “A certain way of understanding human life and activity has gone awry, to the serious detriment of the world around us.” ~ Pope Francis, Laudato Sí, 101

In this year of raging fires, floods, drought, heat, pandemic, and more, could anything be more obvious? Inexorably, over generations, an industrial economy built upon the consumption of resources and the dumping of waste to service it has led us to the ecological crisis we now face. Despite calls from popes over the past five decades to face this threat to our survival, and the calls for “ecological conversion,” this message has yet to penetrate down to the core of how this industrial growth economy operates, and to its most basic logic.

In early September, Pope Francis met with a group of French environmental activists and spoke spontaneously about his own ecological conversion, what led him to write his brilliant encyclical, Laudato Sí, On Care for Our Common Home.” [see: Gerard O’Connell, “Pope Francis on the ‘Ecological Conversion’ that Led Him to Laudato Si,” in America, Sept 3, 2020]. As for many of us, he did not start in the place of deep awareness of the crisis or its causes, could not understand what the crisis of the Earth had to do with evangelization. “I underwent a journey of conversion, of conversion of the ecological problem. Before that I didn’t understand anything.” That was in 2007. Between that year and 2015, he traveled a long road from not understanding at all to becoming one of the world’s leading religious voices on the crisis.
Read Margaret Swedish's full article here.
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Catholic Coalition for Migrants and Refugees

Changes to CCMR
  • Alex Nikolai will be taking over for Mark Peters and sending out updates as he is able (probably not weekly but at least monthly). His goal is to bring more young adults into the group, and appeal to them by including more "social" elements, more local service projects, more collaboration with groups like Voces de la Frontera, and perhaps also a more overtly political focus (endorsing candidates, etc.),  if that is what these new members want. He's also going to attempt to bring in more Latinx Catholics, and Eloisa Gomez has offered to assist in that.
  • Mark Peters will focus solely on continuing advocacy efforts, with an eye to what we can do after the November election to impact any new legislation at the national level, which could come as early as the first six months of 2021. Mark needs to know who is willing to engage in their own House District (Moore, Steil, Sensenbrenner or Grothman), and will work directly with them to organize other Catholics in those districts. The work of the CCMR  Senate Team will continue, and we welcome new members to join us.

Latest News and Commentary
Lives Will Be Upended: Bishops Respond to Court Decision Allowing An End to Temporary Protected Status for Over 200,000 People

8,800 Unaccompanied Children Expelled Under COVID-19 Policy

Biden Pledges to Undo Trump's Sweeping Immigration Changes - But Can He?

AP: Federal court ensures undocumented immigrants are counted in 2020 census
  Frustrated asylum seekers lit fires this week in protest over lockdowns that worsened cramped and squalid conditions on Lesbos. Now 12,000 migrants are homeless.

America's War on Terror is the True Cause of Europe's Refugee Crisis

It’s all connected!  👉 Militarization + police + immigration

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

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Recurring Events: 

Black Lives are Sacred
Join us for a public witness in support of racial justice and the dignity of the human person. This is a peaceful, family-friendly event. Sidewalk chalk and extra signs will be available.

This event is 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.

Public Witness Events; Thursday Evenings, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
October 1 | Alverno College | 43rd St. and Morgan Ave., Milwaukee
October 8 | St. John Cathedral |  Jackson St. and Wells St., Milwaukee

Check for future dates and locations at and sign up for email communications here.
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Siena Retreat Center - Explore the programs
  • Well-Being Wednesdays / Oct. 7 & Nov 4, 9:00am – 3:00pm, Gretchen Baumgardt
  • Let’s Talk about Truth: Drawing on the Wisdom of Dominican Spirituality for Our Challenging Time / Saturday, Oct. 10, 10:00am-12:00pm, Ann Garrido
  • Well-Being and Self-Compassion: Caring for Ourselves to Care for Others / Thursday, Oct. 15, 9:00am-4:00pm, Anne Kertz Kernion
  • Breath and Mindfulness: Basic Practices that Nurture Our Bodies, Brains, and Spiritual Journeys, / Friday, Oct. 16, 6:30-8:30pm, Anne Kertz Kernion
  • Thea Bowman: Active Contemplative and Mystic / Monday, Oct. 19, presented twice: 10:00-11:15am and 6:30-7:45pm, C. Vanessa White
  • Second Half of Life / Saturday, Oct. 24, 9:00am – 3:30pm, Miriam Brown, OP
  • Christian Spirituality and Contemplative Yoga / Saturday, Oct. 31, 9:00am-3:00pm, Gretchen Baumgardt
  • Encompassing Culture: Reclaiming Indigenous Space through StoryMap / Thursday, Nov. 5, 6:30-8:30pm, Patty Loew
  • Resting in the Dark…Emerging in the Light- Grief Retreat / Sunday, Nov. 8, 9:00am-5:00pm, Grief team
  • Charting Your Soul’s Compass: Women’s Writing Retreat / Nov. 20-22, 7:00pm Fri – 12:30pm Sun, Diane Douiyssi
  • A Weekend for Veterans, Nov. 20-22, 6pm Fri – 12:30pm Sun
Read more details on these events here.
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Peace Action Wisconsin
  • End the Wars Coalition meetings3rd Wednesday of the month, 7 p.m. Peace Action Center, 1001 E Keefe Ave, Milwaukee 414-269-9525,
  • Stand for Peace: Every Saturday, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Learn more here. Updates on Facebook
    Peace Action of Wisconsin has restarted the Stand for Peace with directives advised by the Milwaukee Health Commissioner. Stand for Peace participants will obey social distancing guidelines, and we will wear masks. Shared signs and flags will be sanitized after each Stand. 
    • October 3: Hawley/Bluemound
    • October 10: Michigan/Lincoln Memorial
    • October 17: 92nd/North
    • October 24: King/North
    • October 31: 76th/Layton
    • November 7: Capitol/Oakland
    • November 14: Howell/Howard
    • November 21: Sherman/North
    • November 28: Port Washington/Silver Spring
Gift, Gratitude and Joy: An “At Home” Retreat  - Oct 2-4
Gift, Gratitude, and Joy: Finding Our Sacred Roots in God’s Creation is a retreat for people searching for a deeper understanding of Franciscan spirituality, a Christian foundation for Caring for Creation, or just a prayerful moment in these challenging times. The virtual retreat begins online the evening of Fri, Oct 2 and continues through Sun, Oct 4.  You can participate at your own pace and in as much of the retreat as is convenient for you. Register at  Sponsored by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Waukesha County Creation Care Network.   

Truth Be Told: Discipleship in the Gospel of Luke - Begins Oct 12
Firstfruits is excited to announce our new scripture study entitled Truth Be Told. In this series of three 6-week sessions, we will study the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. We will focus on the person of Jesus and our invitation to be his disciples, and what it means to follow Christ in our fractured world. This is a perfect Catholic bible study for beginners as well as more seasoned bible readers.

This series is offered on Mondays from 10:30-12:00pm in three 6-week series (Fall, Winter, and Spring).  Each six week series stands on its own so you don’t have to register for all three at once. 
More info and registration here 
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Spotlight on the Remarkable United Nations at 75 years - Oct 18
A Virtual “GoToMeeting” Event on October 18th, 2020 from 1:00 – 2:30 PM. Free & Open to the Public. Please join this GoToMeeting with your computer, smartphone, or tablet by clicking on: You can also join by using your phone (for audio only) by dialing +1 (872) 240-3412 and then entering in the Access Code: 603-461-973. If you are new to GoToMeeting, download the app now and be ready when the meeting starts: For further information: Contact Annette Robertson at 414.332.3303 or annettejoanrobertson@gmail.comLearn more.
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Prayer for a Pandemic

by Joan Chittister

God of light
and God of mystery,
give us the faith to see you
in the grey dimness
of this time.
Give us the heart to hear,
in the silence of the sick,
the call to care for those
in pain.
Give us the courage
to find you
where you do not now
appear to be.
Give us the trust it takes
to make our way
through this uncertainty,
this fear,
this seemingly irredeemable sense of limitless loss
to the recognition
of the relentless hope
that each seasonal cycle
of life
confirms in us.
You who made all things
for our good and our growth
show us, too, now
the power of darkness
so that we might see newly—
beyond the ephemeral—
to what are really
the gloriously important things
in life.

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The killing of George Floyd reminds us that cries for justice and equity continue today; awakened hearts and active bodies are needed to join the cause. We affirm new, creative approaches today in the Movement for Black Lives and other groups led by young people, women, and people of color.  We believe that “the arc of the universe bends toward justice”, (1) but it depends upon our participation. What is your work to do today to bend the universe a little more towards justice?

(1)Martin Luther King, Jr., Barbara A. Holmes, Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church
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