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Catholics for Peace and Justice Newsletter

Catholics for Peace and Justice
MAY 2016 Newsletter

Greetings,

Here is something to for us to ponder. . . is it time to reconsider within the Catholic Church whether war, and violence, is ever justifiable? As an organization founded on rejection of the Iraq war, we think it is - and so do others raising their voice to Pope Francis about Catholic Just War Theory.

News and action opportunities this month include an incremental victory in state TAD funding, actions for global nutrition, healthcare and immigration. 

April may be over, but as they say, every day is earth day. See how you can participate in defending and building Wisconsin water. Check it out.

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
Pope Francis – The Holy Faithful People of God

ACTIONS AND ISSUES
Justice for Immigrants Action Alert on Anti-Refugee Bill
ROC Wisconsin Progress - Governor Signs Bill for Increase in TAD Funding
Wisconsin Council on Children and Families – Incarceration and Children
The ONE Campaign and Bread for the World Join Forces on Global Hunger
Defending Our Wisconsin Waters
The State Can Improve Healthcare by Accepting Federal Dollars
Time for an End to “Just War” Theory – Will Catholics Rewrite the Teaching?
Help Needed for English as a Second Language Students

EVENTS AND EDUCATION
Mariposa & the Saint: Solitary Confinement, A Play through Letters – Apr 28/29
10th Year Anniversary May Day March for Immigrant and Worker Rights – May 1
SEWRPC Vision 2050 Final Proposal "Open House" – May 2
A Catholic Response to Climate Change - May 3
Year of Mercy: Welcome the Stranger – May 5
Listening to the Other Side: Compassionate Speech in a Fractured Society - May 7
A Disciple’s Journey into Mercy - May 10
WAVE Milwaukee Movie Screening: Under the Gun – May 10

Year of Mercy: The Dignity of Work - May 15
Intersections of Sexuality and... Race – May 17
Gun Violence Program - Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA - May 18
Forum: Let’s Talk Poverty Solutions and Move Forward – May 22
Capuchins’ Run Walk for the Hungry – Jun 17
30th Annual Social Action Summer Institute (SASI) - Jul 17-21
Pax Christi USA 2016 National Gathering - Aug 12-14
From SOA Watch to the Border/Join Us at the U.S./Mexico Border Oct 2016

STUDY, REFLECT, PRAY
Study: The End of War: How Waging Peace Can Save Humanity, Our Planet, and Our Future by Paul K. Chappell
Reflection Mercy Is the Beating Heart of the Gospel
Prayer: “God of the Dance” by Jo Therese Fahres


GENERAL
Pope Francis – The Holy Faithful People of God
Speaking of lay people as the “Holy Faithful People of God,” Pope Francis stated that “priests must trust that the Holy Spirit is working in them" and that the Spirit "is not only the 'property' of the ecclesial hierarchy."   "On the contrary, we must remain at the side of our people, accompanying them in their work and stimulating that capable imagination of responding to current problems." Quotations from NCR, April 26, 2016 
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ACTIONS AND ISSUES
Justice for Immigrants Action Alert on Anti-Refugee Bill
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Justice for Immigrants (JFI) are urging Catholics to tell House leaders not to bring a new anti-refugee bill to a vote.  In mid-March, the House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 4731, legislation that would roll back protections for refugees seeking admission to the United States, as well as for refugees who have already been admitted to the country.  Contact your House Representative at 800-826-3688.
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ROC Wisconsin Progress - Governor Signs Bill for Increase in TAD Funding
On April 26, Governor Walker signed into law a bill that will increase funding for TAD (Treatment Alternatives and Diversions) by an additional $2 million per year!  TAD, a program that grants state money to counties for treatment alternatives to jail and prison, has been in place since 2007.  It originally set aside $1 million per year for the program.  Four years ago, a WISDOM-led movement led to the expansion of TAD to $4 million per year.  Today’s increase will bring the budget to $6 million each year.
 
WISDOM’s 2012 Health Impact Assessment regarding TAD showed that each $1 million spent on TAD each year keeps 40-50 people out of state prisons, and 300-400 out of county jails and saves taxpayers $1.96 million in incarceration and other costs.
 
Please thank your state legislators for this $2 million increase in TAD funding.  It is a step in the right direction.  Ask them to take the next step next year with another expansion, this time aimed at the communities that need it most.  You can find your legislators here. 
 
Why Mass Incarceration Doesn’t Pay New York Times Opinion April 21, 2016
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Wisconsin Council on Children and Families – Incarceration and Children
According to the new KIDS COUNT® policy report, A Shared Sentence: The Devastating Toll of Parental Incarceration on Kids, Families and Communities, 88,000 children living in Wisconsin have experienced the separation of a parent who served time in jail or prison. Nationally, more than 5 million children have a parent that has been incarcerated. The effects of incarceration, the report says, can have as much impact on children’s well-being as abuse or domestic violence. Read the Report
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The ONE Campaign and Bread for the World Join Forces on Global Hunger
God calls us to care for people who are hungry, and women and children are the most vulnerable to hunger (Isaiah 58:7). Join with The ONE Campaign and Bread for the World to act for maternal and child nutrition! 
 
0n March 10 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved the Global Fund Security Act of 2016 (S. 1252), which authorizes a U.S. foreign assistance strategy that will help developing countries improve their agricultural sectors- helping produce greater yields, higher quality food, and better access to local markets. These efforts will directly tackle global hunger and malnutrition by empowering communities with great agricultural potential, but inadequate knowledge and resources, and will help lay the foundation for more independent and prosperous economies over the long term.
 
TAKE ACTION: More co-sponsors for the House version of the bill (H.R. 1567) are needed. Call your House Representative at 800-826-3688 - Sign a Letter at Bread for the World  - Sign the Petition at ONE 
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Defending Our Wisconsin Waters
By Margaret Swedish, Center for New Creation  
“Society as a whole, and the state in particular, are obliged to defend and promote the common good.” So said Pope Francis in his encyclical, Laudato Sí: On Care for Our Common Home. And there are few things more “common,” more necessary to life for all God’s creatures, than water.
 
By now most of us know that our Wisconsin waters are under increasing threat from state government policies that are removing or limiting regulations that had made our state one of the more environmentally progressive in the nation. On April 26, Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation that changed regulations governing wetlands and navigable waters in favor of waterfront property owners. Senate Bill 459 allows more building in these areas and weakens the authority of local governments to make decisions on issues such as implementing moratoriums on certain kinds of development, or giving deference to the Department of Natural Resources “in interpreting legal cases that could restrict the rights of property owners” (Lee Berquist, Journal Sentinel, 4/27/16). This is a classic case of a conflict between private property owners and the common good.

Wisconsin’s groundwater continues to be under threat from industrial agriculture and other industrial and residential development, especially in the state’s Central Sands region. Recently, growing threats to the health of the Little Plover River have been getting a good deal of attention. One of the most endangered rivers in the country, according to American Rivers, it is suffering what many call “death by a thousand straws.” Overpumping of groundwater is one of the reasons this river is dying.
 
The state government has been favoring industry and private development these days, and it will take a determined effort on the part of citizens to shift this culture once again in favor of the “common good,” not only of humans but of these essential eco-communities. The Journal Sentinel editorial board spoke out on this issue in its April 27 editorial.   Worth a look. To stay informed and to take action, stay connected to the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters  and the Midwest Environmental Advocates
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The State Can Improve Healthcare by Accepting Federal Dollars
The following excerpt from an opinion by Carl Lock ran in the Waukesha Freeman “The justification for not accepting [Federal healthcare] money is unfounded. It is predicted that Wisconsin’s opposition to the additional funds will cost $678.6 million in state tax dollars through the 2017 fiscal year. To refuse [funding] on the basis of saying that this assistance may not be around in the future is like saying, “We should not improve public health today because we may not be able to do so in the future.” Read the entire opinion piece here and a response by Mary Krolikowski, Catholics for Peace and Justice.  Action: Contact Your Legislator with Your Opinion. 
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Time for an End to “Just War” Theory – Will Catholics Rewrite the Teaching?
By Joshua J. McElwee | NCR, Apr. 14, 2016
"The participants of a first-of-its-kind Vatican conference have bluntly rejected the Catholic church's long-held teachings on just war theory, saying they have too often been used to justify violent conflicts and the global church must reconsider Jesus' teachings on nonviolence. Members of a three-day event co-hosted by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the international Catholic peace organization Pax Christi have also strongly called on Pope Francis to consider writing an encyclical letter, or some other "major teaching document," reorienting the church's teachings on violence.” Read the article .

In 1983 the US Conference of Catholic Bishops [then NCCB] with a long history of supporting servicemen, wrote The Challenge of Peace a document that spelled out a “just war theory” for the use of violence. A reiteration of the theory with emphasis on nuclear reduction The Harvest of Justice is Sown in Peace, followed in 1993.  

What’s wrong with theory? To start we know that war is murky, that violence begets violence, and that permission to kill can be, and is, used to justify all kinds of personal and corporate desire. It’s time for the Church to re-establish “What would Jesus do?” about war and acts of violence both here and abroad.  What Constitutes the Catholic Teaching of a Just War
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Help Needed for English as a Second Language Students
St. Michael's Church Adult English-as-a-Second-Language Program needs a volunteer to assist the ESL teacher who teaches 5 men who are blind.  Specifically needed is someone to help with field trips,...picking up some of the men from home, driving them for the field trips, assisting them on the field trip, and taking them home.  Also appreciated would be ideas for low-cost field trips and teaching a lesson periodically.  The group meets on Tuesdays at 1:00.  If interested, or if you have any questions, please call Pat Roehrig 414-461-5592.
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EVENTS AND EDUCATION
Mariposa & the Saint: Solitary Confinement, A Play through Letters – Apr 28/29
Mariposa and the Saint, by Julia Steele Allen, an award-winning playwright and activist, brings to life the true story of a woman locked in solitary confinement for nearly three years, in her own words. Performances: Thursday, April 28, 3:00 pm: Calvary Presbyterian Church 935 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee.  Friday, April 29, 7:00 pm: St. Matthew's ELCA 1615 N. Wauwatosa Avenue, Wauwatosa.  For more information, visit www.rocwisconsin.org, or contact WISDOM at 414-831-2070.
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10th Year Anniversary May Day March for Immigrant and Worker Rights – May 1
The march will start at Voces de la Frontera, 1027 S. 5th St, Milwaukee and continue to the Milwaukee County Courthouse, 901 N. 9th Street. Block party from 12:00-2:00 pm. March from 2:00-2:45 PM. Buses return marchers to Voces de la Frontera. Learn more and get Spanish and English flyers here.
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SEWRPC Vision 2050 Final Proposal "Open House" – May 2
On Monday, May 2nd SEWRPC will present a Land Use and Transportation Final Proposal for the year 2050 to the public for comment.  The "Open House" will be held at Capitol Drive Lutheran church located at 5305 W. Capitol Drive. Here is the Vision 2050 web link. Participants can drop in at any time between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m, review the Final Proposed Plan, interact with others, provide comments and leave when done.. Learn more.
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A Catholic Response to Climate Change - May 3
A presentation with references to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si; the science documenting global warming; and some possible solutions. The presenter, Steve Coleman, is a lay Catholic educator from St. Denis Catholic Parish in Madison. He has spent several years studying environmental science and has given many presentations in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Florida. Tuesday evening, May 3, 6:30-8:00 PM, School Sisters of Notre Dame, 13105 Watertown Plank Road, Elm Grove, Free; Pre-Registration Required. Daytime: Sister Paul-Mary Draxler, SSND: 262-782-1450 Evenings: Mike Arney 414-771-8850 Email: milwaukeewest@citizensclimatelobby.orgFlyer.  
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Year of Mercy: Welcome the Stranger – May 5
Father Sean Carroll, S.J., Director of Kino Border Initiative, a bi-national migrant ministry in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales-Sonora, Mexico will speak at the Church of the Gesu on Thursday, May 5th at 7:00 PM. Fr. Sean will discuss how KBI is an instrument of mercy through its mission to be a humanizing presence and to foster bi-national solidarity on the issue of migration through humanitarian assistance, education and research/advocacy. The church is located at 1145 W. Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee.  Program details and parking info
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Listening to the Other Side: Compassionate Speech in a Fractured Society - May 7
At this free event, Reverend Reirin Gumbel, Milwaukee Zen Center, will present traditional Buddhist teachings on Right Speech, Mike Phillips, Labor and Employment Attorney, will discuss ways to deal with conflict, and Jean Groshek, Associate Professor, Communications and Technology Department, Alverno College, will engage in conversation about developing mindful communication. Saturday, May 7th | 9 AM – Noon. The event will take place at Washington Park Senior Center located at 4420 West Vliet Street, Milwaukee. If you would like to attend, or you have questions, please email bpfmilwaukee@gmail.com. Donations are appreciated. Sponsored by the Budhist Peace Fellowship. Flyer
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A Disciple’s Journey into Mercy - May 10
Robert O’Connor S.J., Associate Pastor, Gesu Parish, Milwaukee, A founding member of the St. Louis Jesuits, “a brotherhood of [young seminarians] joined by [their] common love for Jesus Christ, for music and for prayerful liturgy.” and the choirs of Our Lady of Lourdes and Blessed Savior Parishes. This evening of word, choral and communal song, and prayerful reflection delves into new depths of the Year of Mercy. Let us journey together in Word and song to be found by Mercy. Sponsored by the Archdiocesan Office of Evangelization and the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, the event is free and open to the public. Metered parking is free after 6:00 p.m. For information, contact Connie Bach, 414.236.5499 or connie.bach@sbcglobal.net.
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Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE) Milwaukee Movie Screening: Under the Gun – May 10
This will be a Wisconsin Premiere and is produced by Katie Couric and has won awards at Sundance and other prestigious Film Festivals. The event will be held at the Lubar Theater inside the Milwaukee Art Museum  at 700 N. Art Museum Dr., Milwaukee. Doors open at 6:45 PM and Film Screening is at 7:00 PM. Donations are appreciated. Register here.
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Year of Mercy: The Dignity of Work - May 15
Where is there great suffering in our city and what can we do to help relieve it? Come hear from four people who have been part of the transitional job program in the city that helps restore the dignity of work to those who are jobless. William Lipscomb, Assistant U.S. Attorney; Gesu Human Concerns Commission Member will be facilitating. The event is on Sunday, May 15 l 10:15 – 11:25 AM in the Lower Church - Gathering Space. The church is located at 1145 W. Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee. Street parking is available, as well as parking in Marquette University Lot J adjacent to the Parish Center, which is located on 11th St. between Wisconsin Ave. and Clybourn St., or in Marquette Lot F on 12th St. between Wisconsin Ave. and Wells St. No RSVP is necessary. Donations of non-perishable food items will be welcomed. For additional information, contact Peg Flahive, Gesu Director of Human Concerns, 414-288-7387 or margaret.flahive@marquette.edu. Learn more.  Press release.
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Intersections of Sexuality and... Race – May 17
May 17th, 6:30pm to 8:30pm (Location: Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, 2220 N Terrace Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202) This dialogue is the first of a series entitled "Intersections of Sexuality and ..." On May 17th, our first topic will be Intersections of Sexuality and Race.   Subsequent dialogues will discuss Sexuality and Faith, Sexuality and Class, and Sexuality and Politics. This series will give us an opportunity to speak about our values, our concerns, and our hopes regarding LGBTQ+ questions and concerns.  Information and registration.  
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Gun Violence Program - Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA - May 18
Peace Seekers of Washington County are sponsoring a viewing and discussion of this documentary. The event will be held at the Jack Russell Memorial Library, 100 Park Avenue, Hartford at 7 PM. For more information contact Sara/Bud Hudson @ 262-673-9725 or sbhudson@hotmail.com. Flyer
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Forum: Let’s Talk Poverty Solutions and Move Forward – May 22
Please join St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish's Social Justice Committee on Sunday May 22 between the 8:30 am and 10:45 am Masses at 12700 W. Howard Avenue in New Berlin.  Representatives of the HOPE Center, St.Vincent de Paul and Community Advocates will discuss How does your group handle poverty? What aspects of social justice vs charity are evident in your group's mission? What are some of your successes as well as challenges? What structural changes would you like to see society make in order to better serve those in need? What do you see as the biggest misconception of poverty? How can we help?  
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Capuchins’ Run Walk for the Hungry – Jun 17
June 17, 2016, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM, Polish Fest at Lakeshore Festival Park. Register for a 5K run or 1 mile walk and help feed the hungry. You can register here.  
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30th Annual Social Action Summer Institute (SASI) - Jul 17-21
St. Xavier University in Chicago. SASI 2016 offers a transformational experience of immersion sites, presentations, and sessions by national and local leaders connected with Chicago's frontline efforts in racial, social, criminal and economic justice. Cost is $500 for the full week, including tuition, room, and most meals. Daily and commuter rates are also available. You can register here. Roundtable members, please contact us at coordinator@catholicroundtable.org for the member discount code. Learn More
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Pax Christi USA 2016 National Gathering - Aug 12-14
There will be keynote speakers, break-out sessions and vendors at this event in Linthicum, Maryland. Learn more and register here.
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From SOA Watch to the Border/Join Us at the U.S./Mexico Border Oct 2016
This October 7-10, join us in Nogales, Arizona for our first bi-national convergence at the U.S./Mexico border to demand a fundamental shift in U.S. foreign policy. SOA Watch Field Organizer María Luisa Rosal and movement Founder, Father Roy Bourgeois move the popular mobilization to the U.S./Mexico border in the Fall of 2016. Learn More
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STUDY, REFLECT, PRAY
Study: The End of War: How Waging Peace Can Save Humanity, Our Planet, and Our Future by Paul K. Chappell
"Paul Chappell understands that many times in the past, people have put all their faith in waging war as the best way to defend themselves. However, in a world that every day becomes more interconnected and fragile, Paul shows how the power of waging peace gives us all a more effective and reliable way to defend ourselves."
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Reflection: Mercy Is the Beating Heart of the Gospel
Rave reviews greeted Jesus’ first hometown homily proclaiming a year of God’s mercy, but the mood turned violent when he went on to declare that God’s mercy embraces outsiders; it rejects distinctions between citizen and foreigner, acceptable and unworthy, even sinner and saint. Far from being anyone’s personal possession, God’s kingdom is open to everyone, God’s love unconditional, God’s mercy boundless. By this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis repeats Jesus’ challenge in today’s Gospel to broaden our horizons until our vision matches Jesus’ vision of every sinner as a potential saint, and each suffering stranger as our neighbor. Jesus, says Pope Francis, continually went beyond the law, keeping company with public sinners and even sharing meals with them to demonstrate that God’s mercy is “the beating heart of the Gospel” (Misericordiae Vultus, 12). To be truly Jesus’ disciples, such unconditional love and boundless mercy must also be at the center of all we say and do. 
—Peter Scagnelli, Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co., Inc.| Papal quotes Copyright © 2015, Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with permission. 
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Prayer: “God of the Dance” by Jo Therese Fahres

O, God of the Dance,
Embrace me in your arms and twirl me
round and round.

Help me to see all the beauty around me.
Keep my limited feet elevated by your strength and Spirit.
Be my Teacher,
showing me the steps I know
and those I must learn.

In the moment of healing, 
in your time,
set me down so I can dance
with your Spirit
and in your love.
Amen

From “Prayers: No Experience Necessary” by local author Jo Therese Fahres

 
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