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Catholics for Peace and Justice Newsletter

Catholics for Peace and Justice
AUGUST 2015 Newsletter

Greetings,
Save the date: On Saturday morning September 26 Catholics for Peace and Justice will host a presentation, reflection and discussion that leads to action on Pope Francis's encyclical Laudato Si'. Our goal is for you to leave with an understanding of Pope Francis's appeal for ecological change along with information and resources on how individuals, groups and parishes can begin to create positive change for "Our Common Home".  More information to follow soon.

Violence in our city continues to predominate the Milwaukee
 news.  On August 13 Archbishop Listecki will lead a prayer service and lantern vigil for peace in our city at St. Frances of Assisi on 4rth and Brown. Consider attending or joining the community in your own prayer. More below.

Blessings on your ministry,

 

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
“Our Common Home” An Ecology of Dignity for All

ACTIONS AND ISSUES
USCCB and Local Orgs Urge Congress to Endorse Nuclear Deal with Iran – Need Action
Federal Judge Rules Against Detention of Women and Children 
Action: USCCB Justice for Immigrants Call In Days to the White House 
JoCasta Zamarripa to Introduce Legislation for Drivers Cards
Growth in Agriculture Is the Most Effective Means to Reduce Poverty
Common Ground Update
Two Quick and Simple Actions You Can Take on Climate Change 
Is It Really Cheap? Ask the Director of Our National Park System
Share your gift of the English Language
2015 Kids Count Data on Children and Poverty in Wisconsin

EVENTS AND EDUCATION
New Sanctuary Movement Monthly Vigils – Aug 4 & 6  
Sikh Meditation and Remembrance Ceremony - Aug 5
Lanterns for Peace & Peace Benefit Concert – Aug 8
Presentations on Laudauto Si' at the Cathedral – Aug 10 & 20
Prayer for Peace in Milwaukee at St. Francis – Aug 13
Human Trafficking Awareness & Volunteer Training – Aug 13
Pope Francis’ ‘Laudato Si’: What Catholics Should Know – Aug 13
Sacred Heart public interfaith classes to help build bridges – Begins Aug 31
Plowshare’s Dialogue Initiative – Begins Sept 14
Reviving Justice – Sept 19
School of the America’s Vigil/Save the Date – Nov 20/21

STUDY, REFLECT, PRAY
Study: In Our Backyard, Human Trafficking in America by Nita Belles
Prayer: How about a Dreamy Summer Vacation, Jim Banach
Tabor Prayer: On the 70th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

GENERAL
"Laudato Si' Our Common Home” An Ecology of Dignity for All
Saint Bonaventure tells us that St. Francis would call all creatures, no matter how big or small, by the name of sister or brother, not from a sense of mere romanticism, but from an understanding and conviction about the source of all things. “His response to the world around him was so much more than intellectual appreciation or economic calculus, for to him each and every creature was a sister united to him by bonds of affection” (Laudato Si’, 11). Francis endowed all of creation with a sense of dignity because he not only saw the world as a reflection of the one Creator, but as a way to live “in harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself” (Laudato Si’, 10).  “Through the greatness and the beauty of creatures one comes to know by analogy their maker” (Wis 14.5).  

How we name things often determines the dignity we grant them. If we name the world as our property, it is ours to exploit. ”We no longer speak the language of fraternity and beauty in our relationship with the world, our attitude will be that of masters, consumers, ruthless exploiters unable to set limits on their immediate needs” (Laudato Si’, 11).  If we name it as gracious loving gift of the Creator given to all into which we are integrally connected, then as Pope Francis says “sobriety and care will well up spontaneously”.  It is our responsibility as receivers of this wonderful gift of creation to understand that we are all integrally and ecologically connected in a web of life. Our actions whether taken in love, calculated selfishness, ignorance or simple carelessness affect the web to which all our sisters and brothers, creatures large and small are connected. Let us awaken to choose a path of love and gratitude toward the one Father and Mother of us all. 
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ACTIONS
USCCB and Local Orgs Urge Congress to Endorse Nuclear Deal with Iran – Need Action
The “momentous agreement” reached between the United States and its partners with Iran over Iran’s nuclear program is a “significant achievement” that Congress should support”, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops [USCCB] stated in a July 14 letter to Congress. “It is no small achievement that the United States, the United Kingdom, the Russian Federation, China, Germany and France have reached this agreement with Iran.” 

The deal aims to curb Iran’s development of nuclear weapons while allowing the country to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.  

“The United States and its international partners have taken a remarkable step with Iran in reaching this agreement,” wrote Bishop Cantú on behalf of the USCCB. “We encourage Congress to support these efforts to build bridges that foster peace and greater understanding. In the words of Pope Francis, may the negotiated framework ‘be a definitive step toward a more secure and fraternal world,’ a goal we all share.” Text of letter 

ACTION NEEDED NOW: This week we received a call from Julie Enslow at Peace Action Wisconsin alerting us to the fact that both Gwen Moore and Tammy Baldwin are being lobbied heavily by those who want Congress to reject the Iran Nuclear deal.  Many of us have been assuming that at minimum the Democratic contingent in Congress would support the deal, but that is not the case.  We are now hearing that for them to support the Iran Nuclear Deal they need to hear from their constituents who support the Iran Nuclear Deal.  
Call or email ALL three of your legislators today. 
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Federal Judge Rules Against Detention of Women and Children 
In her decision July 24, Judge Dolly Gee of the United States District Court in the Central District of California said that the Obama administration’s current family detention policy “materially breached” the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement forbidding the detention of minors in unlicensed, lock-down facilities. She gave attorneys until Aug. 3 to respond to her decision and 90 days to comply. ACTION: See JFI Call in Days to the White House.  Read more here.  

Action: USCCB Justice for Immigrants Call In Days to the White House 
Please call the White House over the next few days to urge the Administration NOT to appeal the July 24th decision in the Federal District Court of California to release immigrants in family detention, and to end the practice of family detention. Please call between July 30th and August 3rd (Yes, including this weekend). Callers should leave a message if they are unable to reach a White House operator. Please call the White House today at 1-855-589-5698 and give this message: “Please do not appeal the July 24th federal district court ruling to release families in detention and please end the government’s practice of family detention of immigrants.”
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Jo Casta Zamarripa to Introduce Legislation for Drivers Cards
State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa will formally announce her introduction of legislation for Drivers' Cards for the Undocumented next week with a press event. Attend the Press Release to show support. Wednesday, August 5. 10:00 a.m. State Building, 819 N. 6th Street, Milwaukee. 
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE:
• Ask your state legislator to co-sponsor the bill: find the contact information here.
• Tell your auto insurance agent about this and suggest s/he support as well.
Drivers' Cards for the undocumented is important for all of us!  Learn more about this issue  .
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Growth in Agriculture Is the Most Effective Means to Reduce Poverty
According to ONE.org, growth in agriculture is twice as effective in reducing poverty as growth in other sectors.  Sub-Saharan African agriculture could, and should, be thriving. According to the World Bank, the region has the right conditions to feed itself: enough fertile farmland, enough water and enough favorable climates. Also, according to the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), the Africa Progress Panel and others, Africa has the potential not only to feed itself, but also to become a major food supplier for the rest of the world.  

805 million people around the world are hungry today, down 100 million over the last decade and 209 million lower than in 1990.  In sub-Saharan Africa, growth in agriculture was found to be 11x more powerful at reducing poverty than others sectors such as mining, utilities, and services.  Additionally, two thirds of people in sub-Saharan Africa are employed in agriculture.   
Read more  Some organizations that assist families in starting supportive agriculture are Catholic Relief Services, Heifer International, Samaritan’s Purse.
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Common Ground Update
Join us for the first Common Ground Southside Leader Public Action!
Fighting for safer streets for our children!  Common Ground and Liga Juvenil Garcia are hosting a street soccer tournament and public action calling attention to the fact:  Our children need better school bus safety, safer places to play & safer streets! Sunday, August 2nd - 1:00 PM Gatherm 1:30 - 2:30 PM Action. 10th Street & Lincoln Avenue. (Bordering Kosciuszko Park on S 10th Street - block will not be accessible by car, park one block north on S. 10th Street or on Grant Street). Come enjoy a day of summer street soccer & Action for the common good! Flyer 
FAIR PLAY TEAM Meeting: Monday, August 17th, 6:00pm Briefing for new Attendees, 6:30 - 8:00pm Meeting. 0Hope at the Well (across from Hopewell MBC), 2401 N 25th Street, Milwaukee
SOUTHSIDE TEAM Meeting: Thursday, August 20th, 6:00 PM Arrive, 6:30 PM Meeting.  Guadalupe Murfuia II/Centro Hispano
1645 S 36th Street, Milwaukee
DO NOT STAND IDLY BY TEAM Meeting: Thursday, September 3rd. Time:  TBA. Location:  TBA. Don’t want to stand idly by? Attend this meeting if you are interested in learning more about this Campaign or want to organize to make a difference in Milwaukee’s gun market.
Questions about Common Ground?  Contact Mary Kleist at maryakleist@sbcglobal.net or go to the Common Ground website.
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Two Quick and Simple Actions You Can Take on Climate Change 
Sign the Catholic Climate Petition
In late November 2015, world leaders will meet in the U.N. Climate Summit at Paris to sign a treaty to tackle climate change. After decades of failed negotiations, we need to increase the pressure on our governments for them to be more ambitious to solve the climate crisis. Pope Francis endorsed this petition and is ready for climate action. Catholics for Peace and Justice has signed on as an organization.  What about you? Sign the petition: 

Send a Message to Congress - Catholics Confront Global Poverty
Follow Pope Francis’s Call to Take Action on Climate Change!  Urge Congress to Protect Poor and Vulnerable People from the Devastating Effects of Our Changing Global Climate.  Send a message to congress through Catholics Confront Global Poverty the advocacy arm of CRS and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. 
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Is It Really Cheap? Ask the Director of Our National Park System
The Washington Post reports that “The National Park Service thought it had a good strategy for reining in the discarded water bottles that clog the trash cans and waste stream of the national parks: stop selling disposable bottles and let visitors refill reusable ones with public drinking water. But Big Water [which did $13 billion in sales last year] has stepped in to block the parks from banning the plastic pollutants — and the industry found an ally on Capitol Hill to add a little-noticed amendment to a House spending bill that would kill the policy.”

According to Park Service Director John Jarvis who suggested eliminating sales of disposable plastic water bottles at the 408 parks, monuments and historical sites, the bottles were clogging the waste stream, eating up recycling budgets. “We must be a visible exemplar of sustainability,” Jarvis wrote. “When considered on a life-cycle basis, the use of disposable plastic water bottles has significant environmental impact compared to the use of local tap water and refillable bottles.” 

Why should we care?  It is we the tax payers who pay for the national park system, for waste removal, recycling, and land-filling the waste. And once again, who gets the short end of the deal? The poor and the environment in the form of rising park admission costs that eliminate those without means, rising costs to support our national park system that are increasingly being questioned, and the use of tax dollars to handle waste that could be redirected to help those in need.  There is a name for this in sustainability parlance. It is called externalizing the cost of a product.  The $1 you pay for a convenient bottle of water is being paid for by the community who supplied the public water to fill it, the community who provided up to 3 times the content of the bottle in water to manufacture  and label the plastic bottle, the community or national park [taxpayers] that is footing the bill for waste disposal and recycling.  

Let’s use our noggins and our buying power to care for “Our Common Home” and the poor among us.
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Share your gift of the English Language
Participate in this wonderful volunteer opportunity at St. Michael’s Parish, 1445 N. 24th Street.    We are looking for tutors to help the adult refugees from Myanmar in learning English. Tutoring would be on a one-on-one basis for one hour once a week.  Easy to follow materials are provided. You would be able to meet with the ESL Coordinator before starting your teaching.  If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Pat Roehrig, at 414-461-5592.  
Currently we need a teacher for: -Thursday mornings at 9:00; -Tuesdays at 1:00 primarily to pick up and take home the visually impaired and to accompany the group on field trips; -Fridays at 11:00
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2015 Kids Count Data on Children and Poverty in Wisconsin
 Foundation has released the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book that shows Wisconsin's children rank 13th overall on their selected measures of child well-being.  At the same time, “the rate of growth of children in poverty in Wisconsin is greater than the rate of growth nationally. In fact, children of color in Wisconsin are falling further and further behind their white peers - and disparities between white and black children are greater than anywhere in the nation.  Check out the Kids Count Data Center for more information about a host of measures of how children and families are doing in our state and in your area.   
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EVENTS
New Sanctuary Movement Monthly Vigils – Aug 4 & 6  
We hope that you will join us next week for our monthly vigils as we gather to pray for those in detention, proceedings and recently deported and their families. At the Tuesday Aug 4 vigil we will be saying farewell to Sam Singleton-Freeman as his CapCorps term with New Sanctuary Movement will officially end this week and will be transitioning into an organizer staff role with Voces. Please join us: Tuesday, August 4th, 6:30pm at Ascension Lutheran Church (1236 S. Layton Blvd, corner of 27th and Scott) *Bilingual interfaith prayer vigil led by Good Shepherd Parish* and Thursday, August 6th, 12pm at ICE (310 E. Knapp St.) Solidarity Vigil outside of ICE.
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Sikh Meditation and Remembrance Ceremony - Aug 5
Meditation 6 to 8 pm. Remembrance ceremony at 8 pm.  See the this flyer for details.
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Lanterns for Peace & Peace Benefit Concert – Aug 8
Join us on Saturday, August 8th for Peace Action WI's Annual Lanterns for Peace & Peace Benefit Concert! Lanterns for Peace is the annual international commemoration of the atomic bombs being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII featuring food, live music, family activities and the floating of illuminated lanterns at dusk.  Developing the atomic bomb took enormous public investment and the dedication of the world's greatest scientific minds. On this anniversary we join together to do this once more, but this time for the preservation of life, not the destruction of it. We need a renewable energy revolution. Our future depends on confronting climate change, protecting our environment and putting an end to the conflicts that arise out of competition for fossil fuels. RSVP and details here.  
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Presentations on Laudauto Si' at the Cathedral – Aug 10 & 20
July and Aug - Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Atrium, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.in the cathedral atrium. Laudato Si, will be discussed in segments: More info contact Rachel @ 414.276.9814 x 308. Paragraphs #101-162 - Monday August 10th / #163-246 - Thursday August 20th. [Paragraphs #1=100 were presented in July].
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Prayer for Peace in Milwaukee at St. Francis – Aug 13
On Thursday, Aug 13 Archbishop Listecki will preside at a Mass for peace in our city, at 6:30 p.m., at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, 1927 N. 4th St., Milwaukee (4th and Brown St.). Following Mass, there will be a candlelight vigil outside the church, inviting the entire community to stand with us and pray for peace. 
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Human Trafficking Awareness & Volunteer Training – Aug 13
Thursday, August 13, 2015 from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM. Human trafficking is a hidden crime that can also be described as modern day slavery.  It happens in all 72 counties of Wisconsin.  We believe awareness leads to prevention, intervention and restoration. What is domestic human trafficking? Who is being trafficked? * Why do the victims not run away? Why do they need special attention?  Can we help them find a job?  What is Redeem and Restore Center doing about this? Come to learn, ask questions, and decide if you want to partner with us in this fight. Sponsored by and Please RSVP at Redeem and Restore   
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Pope Francis’ ‘Laudato Si’: What Catholics Should Know – Aug 13
Thursday, August 13, 6:30-8:00 p.m at Fr. Herian Hall, Gesu Parish Center, 1210 W. Michigan St., Milwaukee. Please join us this evening as we listen to Dr. Jame Schaefer, Ph.D. share her insights into “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home,” the first papal encyclical dedicated to the relationship between the earth and humanity.  This event is free, however reservations are needed. To reserve a seat or for questions, contact Mike Heimbach at either michael.heimbach@marquette.edu  or 414-288-7101 by August 10.  See this flyer for details.
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Sacred Heart public interfaith classes to help build bridges – Begins Aug 31
Two courses: Life of Holiness: Introduction to Judaism and World Religions: Diversity and Dialogue. This is an opportunity for people in the greater Milwaukee community to take advantage of two powerful classes taught by a couple of very gifted, energetic teachers,” “Whether it helps you reduce fear to build bridges with people of other faiths, or dig deeper into the roots of your own faith, these classes will help you grow,” he said, adding, “As Catholics, we are called upon to be part of the solution.,’ “these classes will help any person of faith do his or her part to bring the world together in a spirit of friendship and tolerance.” Go here for details. 
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Plowshare’s Dialogue Initiative – Begins Sept 14
The Plowshare Center is pleased to announce The Dialogue Initiative, a 12 week program designed to explore how to live more fully through self-reflection and experiences of collaboration and tolerance.  This is achieved through:
•    Accessing and reflecting on our personal assumptions, of ourselves, others, and the world
•    Recognizing how our actions can create conflict within ourselves and others
•    Experiencing how conditioned approaches to problems often prevent us from gaining wider perspectives
•    Approaching difficult situations in ways that open us to visionary and creative lives
Meetings will begin on Monday, September 14th, 6:30-8:30 pm at the United Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 506 N. Washington Avenue, Waukesha.  Two opportunities are planned to give further information about the Dialogue Initiative:  Monday, August 31 and Saturday, September 12 See flyer for details and registration information.
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Reviving Justice – Sept 19
A Day of Inspiration, Education and Action for Change. Saturday, September 19, Plymouth Church UCC, Milwaukee. $15 for youth, $40 adults (early bird $30 thru 7/31). Reviving Justice offers a re-commitment to Justice Work through deeper learning, music-filled worship, and unique opportunities to build new connections here at home and on a national level. Part of our goal is to re-ignite action need to address inequalities in our communities. For many, our faith calls us to this work - to be a Good Samaritan, to feed the poor, to be the change we want to see.  Information.
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School of the America’s Vigil/Save the Date – Nov 20/21
"Save the Date" for the School of the America's Vigil.  The Vigil will be held the 3rd weekend in November (20th - 21st) in Columbus, Ga.
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Study: In Our Backyard, Human Trafficking in America by Nita Belles
Modern slavery is  happening all around you and you can be part of the solution. Human trafficking is not just something that happens in other countries. Neither is it something that just happens to "other people" such as runaways or the disenfranchised. Even kids in your own neighborhood can fall victim. Through true stories and expertise from her many years of boots-on-the-ground experience, Nita Belles teaches about trafficking in the U.S., identifying risk factors, recognizing trafficking around you, and keeping loved ones and neighbors safe. Each chapter touches on a different form of trafficking and ends with a series of discussion questions making this book a good resource for small group discussion.
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Prayer: How about a Dreamy Summer Vacation
By J. Banach
Lord, wouldn’t it be nice to take a Real Summer Vacation
One with Long Quiet Walks
Ice Cream Cones and Lemonade
Stopping to Chat with Neighbors
Running in Sprinklers
Hearing Giggles and Chirping Birds

Lord, wouldn’t it be nice to take a Real Summer Vacation
Without Crime Scene Tape
Without Gangs and Heroin
Without Racism and Hate
Without Screaming of Names
No need for Drones or Isolation Cells

Lord, wouldn’t it be nice to take a Real Summer Vacation
With Family and Friends
Instead of “Those People”
With Caring and Compassion
Instead of Judgment and Discrimination
With Peace and Hope
Instead of Brokenness and Hurt

Lord, wouldn’t it be nice to take a Real Summer Vacation
But then, who would do the work of
“Thy Kingdom Come”
Help us These Days Lord
With Courage and Compassion
So that Summer Vacation Becomes
An Everyday Truth and Not a Dreamy Wish
Amen

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A Tabor Prayer: On the 70th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
By Sister Lillia Langreck, SSND

Yahweh God, 
I ascend your mount – so ablaze with Tabor light.
I come empty and scared
Yet, bursting with longing.
Let your aura of light
Be reflected in me

I come crying for peace!
Calling out in anguished pain
Calling out for those
Who suffer want and hunger
For those who suffer 
From the fiery rain of our nation’s bombs.

O God, we so long for PEACE / SALAAM / SHALOM!
For ourselves – For all people.
Ignite our hearts with the fire of your love
Let your fires burn within
So that we can be transformed.
By this aura of light 
Help us to find ways 
To transform our world 
So that all may live in peace.

Yes, help us bring our whole world –
To  know PEACE / SALAAM / SHALOM!
Help us to save our Mother Earth
And make it a sanctuary 
A home – for the poor, the sick, 
The suffering, the oppressed
Those victimized by war!
All touched by you, O compassionate God --
All your people and all your creatures of earth!

O God, yes, let us ascend your mount.
Let your love surround us.
Immerse us in the your flood of light 
So that each of us can be 
A spark, a ray, a shaft of your love-light
Until we become  a mighty conflagration 
Of compassionate love
Transforming all – 
Right here – right now  
And down through the years that are yet to be!
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