Copy
Catholics for Peace and Justice Newsletter

Catholics for Peace and Justice
APRIL 2016 Newsletter

Greetings,
We live in a world today that challenges our faith on every level.  In this "Year of Mercy", we appear to be on a nonstop road of turmoil, hate and fear.  Richard Rohr reflects today that "Our lack of human compassion is rather starkly revealed in most of the candidates we consider worthy of public office in the U.S."  

Is this our new normal? or will we allow God to sustain us on the continuous path of mercy, love and compassion for all people.  I choose to live the latter.  Will you?

April 22 is Earth Day.

Remember to Vote on Tuesday, April 5.

Blessings on your ministry
Debra

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
So, Is War Our New Normal? Reflecting on the Anniversary of Iraq 
Why Peace is Possible

ACTIONS AND ISSUES
VOTE April 5! Voter ID Resources
Time for a Transportation Plan that Includes Everyone! Take Action!
ONE! Take Action for Global Hunger and Self-Empowerment
WISDOM Calls Department of Corrections [DOC] to Accountability
Paul Ryan on Past Comments About the Poor: 'I Was Just Wrong'
Does the Earth Have a Vote This Year?
Our Water, Our Future: The Issue of Privatized Water
Care for Creation Resources
Faithful Citizenship Documents from the USCCB

EVENTS AND EDUCATION
Awakening the Dreamer Symposium – Apr 2
King's Last Year - Apr 3
Inside Syria – April 4
Webinar: What Difference Has Laudato Si' Made in the Faith Community? – Apr 7
Screening of the Film TRASHED – Apr 8, 20, & 26
Forum on Human Trafficking – Apr 9
Taking A New Look at Poverty Training - Apr 9
Immigration Lecture Series - Emmanuel UCC (Dousman) - Apr 10

Mass Incarceration in America: Who's Locked Up and Why – Apr 12
Vigil for Refugees from Syria and El Salvador – Apr 12
13th Annual Sustainability Summit Apr 13/14
Understanding the Real Islam – Apr 14
SOA Watch's Spring Days of Action April 14 -18, 2016 in DC
Restorative Justice: A Voice of the Poor Special Event - Apr 16
Universal Connectedness and Radical Implications - Apr 17

Praise be: Reflecting on Faith Traditions’ Statements: – Apr 19 – Jul 19
Sierra Club Great Waters Group Earth Day event – Apr 23
Climate Change at the End of Your Fork – Apr 23
Care for our Common Home Begins Right Where We Are – Apr 24
Book study: The New Jim Crow, Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Apr 26
On the Issues with Mike Gousha: Racial Inequality in America – Apr 26
Mariposa & the Saint: Solitary Confinement, A Play through Letters – Apr 28/29

A Catholic Response to Climate Change - May 3
Year of Mercy: Welcome the Stranger – May 5
A Disciple’s Journey into Mercy - May 10
Capuchins’ Run Walk for the Hungry – Jun 17
From SOA Watch to the Border/Join Us at the U.S./Mexico Border Oct 2016

STUDY, REFLECT, PRAY
Study: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City [Milwaukee] by Matthew Desmond
Reflection:  Stopping the Politics of Hate by Frank Pauc
Prayer: A Prayer for Our Earth, Pope Francis

GENERAL
So, Is War Our New Normal? Reflecting on the Anniversary of Iraq 
By Mary Krolikowki – Catholics for Peace and Justice Leadership Council
I Missed Acknowledging the Anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq on March 19 this year. In my busyness, the significance of the day was not on my radar. I was regretful when I realized my omission, but it led me to thinking. Has our constant state of war “normalized” it for me, for us? Have I become hardened to war as it goes on and on . . . ?

I look back to the founding of Catholics for Peace and Justice, when I and others were incensed that Iraq had been invaded under such flimsy pretenses. We determined that we needed to raise some kind of Catholic voice against the war, especially since our religious leaders were so deadly silent.  

The truth is that, despite the US attempting to pull all our ground troops out by 2014, the war continues, although perhaps not as obviously for us. Drones have replaced troops on the ground. US industries have huge Department of Defense contracts to produce the munitions being used there and elsewhere around the world. Civilians killed, particularly women and children, outnumber military casualties. The social fabric is torn apart, and violence permeates the whole region. 

Now I’m wondering what to do. Is it enough to raise prayers at Mass on Sunday for the victims? Is it enough to send my nickels to Peace Action and to Voices for Creative Non Violence?  Is a more personal, active response asked of me? I’m looking for a way . . . 

Send your thoughts and comments to info@catholicsforpeaceandjustice.org 
[back to top]

Why Peace is Possible
The SOPHIA [WISDOM] Prayer Breakfast on April 23 will feature peace activist Captain Paul K. Chappell, a 2002 West Point graduate, who served in Iraq.  He is an author, a national and international speaker, Leadership Director for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, who also leads workshops on peace. ‘Why Peace is Possible' will be Paul’s Keynote topic at the Prayer Breakfast. The son of a Black/Caucasian father and Korean mother, Paul has written a series of books about waging peace, ending war and what it means to be human. Tickets can be purchased here.
[back to top]

ACTIONS AND ISSUES
VOTE April 5! Voter ID Resources
Spring Election and Presidential Primary in Wisconsin When: Tuesday, April 5, 7am-8pm Find your polling place 
Voter Identification Resources
Information about voting and obtaining a free identification card, if you don’t have a valid driver license, is available from the DOT
Voter Information Center   
Wisconsin’s Voter Photo ID Law  
Obtaining an identification (ID) card    
[back to top]

 Time for a Transportation Plan that Includes Everyone! Take Action!
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is open to comments until April 15 on their plan to widen and improve I-94 between the Marquette interchange and the Zoo interchange. 

The current plan includes buying up properties adjacent to the current freeway, increasing the number of lanes of traffic, and erecting sound barrier walls. It does not include any plan to improve transportation for any other part of the city or state. 

The plan is to borrow funds to pour $ 1.1 billion into this 3-mile stretch. The benefit would be shortening commute time to and from downtown Milwaukee by about 3 ½ minutes. A negative impact would be that the DOT would have minimal funding left to allot to municipalities for maintenance of all other roads and bridges throughout the state. Another loss would be that there is no provision for alternative forms of transportation in the plan. No money would be allocated for extensions of bus systems, or initiation of even a limited rapid transit system, no improvements of bike trails, or walking paths. Repayment of the loan(s) for this project is expected to take much of the DOT’s discretionary funds for the next 8-10 years.  

Input from citizens should be directed to: 
Mr. Jason Lynch
WisDOT Project Supervison
141 NW Barstow Street
Waukesha, WI 53187
Jason.Lynch@dot.gov

View A Sample Letter Here
[back to top]

ONE! Take Action for Global Hunger and Self-Empowerment
Ask your Representative to cosponsor H.R.1567
On Thursday, March 10th, 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 and higher quality food, as well as providing better access to local markets where that food can be sold.

These efforts will directly tackle global hunger and malnutrition by empowering communities with great agricultural potential but inadequate knowledge and resources.  By improving agriculture and nutrition in the developing world, this bill will help lay the foundation for more independent and prosperous economies over the long term.  
Now, we ask you to continue the momentum by getting more cosponsors for the House version of the bill (H.R. 1567). You will find the form on the web or simply go to the ONE.org website and click on the Take Action tab.
[back to top]

WISDOM Calls Department of Corrections [DOC] to Accountability
WISDOM Leaders packed the hearing room for the confirmation of Wisconsin’s new Department of Corrections Secretary, John Litscher.  The change in leadership at the DOC offers the possibility of an increase in fairness in a system that for too long has been out of control, as well as significant savings for taxpayers. We welcome the change and look forward to working with Secretary Litscher in what we hope will be an era of transparency, responsibility and common sense. Read our Statement on the position of the Secretary of Corrections.
[back to top]

Paul Ryan on Past Comments About the Poor: 'I Was Just Wrong'
"There was a time when I would talk about a difference between 'makers' and 'takers' in our country, referring to people who accepted government benefits. But as I spent more time listening, and really learning the root causes of poverty, I realized I was wrong. 'Takers' wasn’t how to refer to a single mom stuck in a poverty trap, just trying to take care of her family. Most people don't want to be dependent. And to label a whole group of Americans that way was wrong. I shouldn’t castigate a large group of Americans to make a point.

"So I stopped thinking about it that way—and talking about it that way. But I didn’t come out and say all this to be politically correct. I was just wrong."  See more
[back to top]

Does the Earth Have a Vote This Year?
By Margaret Swedish 
One of the realities of the environmental crises facing us now is that nearly every economic activity we humans do has an impact on the eco-communities that surround us, on the biosphere and the atmosphere, on this planet teeming with life. We share this planet with billions of other living beings, and with the ecosystems – the waters, the air, the soil, the forest, the deserts – that support us all. Yet those larger communities of which we are participant, not outsider, have as much at stake right now in the political and economic directions of this nation as do we. Does the Earth have a vote? It doesn’t – unless we ourselves provide it.

In the beginning of his encyclical, Laudato Sí: On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis, in reflecting on his papal namesake, says of Francis: “He was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself. He shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace.”[10]

And so some of our work right now is to approach this troubled time in our political history with that inseparable bond in mind and heart.  Read more and Actions needed.
[back to top]

Our Water, Our Future: The Issue of Privatized Water
Over the past year The Story of Stuff Project has been working to make public the issues of privatizing water. All around the world, Nestlé has been a leader in the effort to privatize our public water, and sell it back to us in little plastic bottles. Nestlé puts millions of dollars each year into advertising, trying to convince people around the world that bottled water is good for people and our planet. A sustainable society and a healthy planet requires protecting water as a public right, NOT as a source for corporate profits!  The Story of Stuff Project has released a short 7 min film entitled “Our Water, Our Future" that address Nestle’s attempts to privatize water in Cascade Locks, OR.   

What Can I Do? Watch Our Water Our Future here. Stop buying bottled water.  By buying bottled water and other high quantity bottled beverages you are contributing the privatization of water. Inform others and ask them to do the same.
[back to top]

Care for Creation Resources
Visit the environment page of the Catholics for Peace and Justice Website
[back to top]

Faithful Citizenship Documents from the USCCB
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued an updated version of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.  In addition, the Wisconsin Catholic Conference’s resources from the 2014 are still relevant. These resources, can be found on the Archdiocesan website.   If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Rob Shelledy, Office for the Dignity of the Human Person, (414) 758-2286, shelledyr@archmil.org .
[back to top]

EVENTS AND EDUCATION
Awakening the Dreamer Symposium – Apr 2
On April 2, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Bayview Outpost will offer a repeat of "Awakening the Dreamer Symposium"; no charge. Awakening the Dreamer, is a transformative educational program that explores the challenges facing humanity at this critical moment in time and the opportunities we as a human family have to create a new future.  You'll look squarely at the state of the world—where we are and how we got here—and then explore what role you can play in bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet.  For more information contact Elizabeth Martorell elizabethmartorell@ameritech.net 
[back to top]

King's Last Year - Apr 3
April 3, 3:00 pm.  at the Milwaukee Friends Meetinghouse, 3224 N. Gordon Place. "King's Last Year", written by Julie Enslow, is based on the book "Death of a King" by Tavis Smiley. It documents the last traumatic year of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life from his famous speech on April 4, 1967 opposing the Vietnam War to his assassination exactly one year later, April 4, 1968. Flyer 
[back to top]

Inside Syria – April 4
Presenter Dr. Tarif-Bakdash, author of Inside Syria-A Physician’s Memoir:  My Life as a Child, a Student, and an MD in an Era of War, will speak about growing up in Syria and his work with refugees in Jordan. Carroll University Stackner Ballroom, Monday, April 4 at 7 pm. Contact Mckenzie Lower mlowe@pio.carrollu.edu  Flyer 
[back to top]

What Difference Has Laudato Si' Made in the Faith Community? – Apr 7
Webinar on Thursday, April 07, 2016, 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM (Eastern Time) REGISTER HERE  Has Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’ and his visit to the U.S., successfully re-framed the climate change discussion? Do more people now embrace climate change and environmental harm as a moral issue rather than a mostly scientific or political issue? In this webinar we will explore how Pope Francis’s message--that climate change impacts the world’s poor, that it is a moral issue, and that it requires an urgent and determined international response--is resonating among the U.S. public, especially among U.S. Catholics.
[back to top]

Screening of the Film TRASHED – Apr 8, 20, & 26
“TRASHED” takes Academy Award winning actor Jeremy Irons across the globe as he investigates the impacts to the land, air and sea from the trash we all generate each day. Although the environmental impacts are considerable, the film also offers viable solutions to prevent pollution, preserve resources and create jobs. Discussion and Q&A after the screenings. Screenings Apr 8, Friday, 7:00 PM Waukesha South High School. April 20, Wed, 7:00 PM. Retzer Nature Center. Apr 26, Tues, 6:30 PM, New Berlin Public Library. For location addresses and details go to www.weal.org.
[back to top]

Forum on Human Trafficking – Apr 9
Sat, Apr 9, 8:30 am to noon at Ascension Lutheran Church, 1415 Dopp Street, Waukesha. Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery - here’s the startling reality – there are documented cases of human trafficking in all 72 counties of Wisconsin!  We hope you’ll join us on the 9th to learn more about this topic. This forum will consist of several presentations combined with an opportunity to dialog with the presenters, and visit informative exhibits on the subject of Human Trafficking. Registration and visiting exhibits begins at 8:30 am, with the program opening at 9:00 am. Free of charge and open to all.  Register Here  Co-sponsored by Plowshare and Sophia.  Flyer 
[back to top]

Taking A New Look at Poverty Training - Apr 9
Saturday, April 9, 8:00 A.M. - 2:45 P.M. Continental Breakfast and Lunch Provided. St. Jerome Church, 995 S. Silver Lake Street, Oconomowoc, WI.  See poverty through a new lens, gain a better understanding of the struggle to live without resources, receive an overview of the Coming Together to Get Ahead (CTGA) Mentoring Program in Waukesha County, gain a whole new perspective and perhaps even a desire to volunteer. Register here.  The workshop is FREE but pre-registration is required.
[back to top]

Immigration Lecture Series - Emmanuel UCC (Dousman) - Apr 10
Throughout the world, waves of desperate and persecuted peoples are displaced from their homes and nations- the largest human migration in human history. What are their stories? What are the issues surrounding their migration and immigration?  On April 10, Sister J.M. Flynn will be sharing her experience of saving an immigrant family from deportation.  All lectures will be held Sunday mornings at 11:00am at Emmanuel United Church of Christ in Dousman, 36821 Sunset Dr, Oconomowoc. Register on our website or call 262-965-4022. Please see the brochure for the full roster.   All are welcome to attend.
[back to top]

Mass Incarceration in America: Who's Locked Up and Why – Apr 12
Thursday, April 21, 2016. 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Alverno College Sister Joel Read Center, Bucyrus Conference Center. 3400 S. 43rd St., Milwaukee. Come join us for a stimulating discussion on the effects of mass incarceration on America’s criminal justice system and society in general.  Who is locked up, and why?  What are the repercussions for individuals, families, communities and our democracy?  What alternatives are being explored, particularly for nonviolent offenders? Information
[back to top]

Vigil for Refugees from Syria and El Salvador – Apr 12
on April 12th, we have a really special vigil at the Islamic Center West. It's going to be a space dedicated to the stories of our refugee brothers and sisters, both from Syria and El Salvador. We'll hear from a community member at ISM west who spent time with refugees in Syria while he was in Turkey, and also from those from our community here who have worked with us. April 12 at 6:30pm at the Islamic Center West 16670 Pheasant Drive Brookfield, WI 
[back to top]

13th Annual Sustainability Summit Apr 13/14
Green enterprise in all of its many aspects will be a major component of future economic development – in Wisconsin, the nation and around the globe. Much of the world is now in the early stages of an historic transition. A transition from economies that accommodate far too much waste and inefficiency and depend too much on fossil fuels to systems that are much more conserving, efficient and sustainable. The theme of the 13th Annual Sustainability Summit and Exposition in April 2016 is: Smart is Sustainable. Information and Registration Here 
[back to top]

Understanding the Real Islam – Apr 14
Speaker Janan Najeeb, a founding member and the current President of the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition, offers her informative presentation in order to bridge the gap between the erroneous perception of Islam and Muslims in society and the actual beliefs and practices of the vast majority of the world’s Muslims. Sunday, April 10th, 4:30-6:00 at Bay Shore Lutheran Church, 1200 E. Hampton, Whitefish Bay RSVP Here 
[back to top]

SOA Watch's Spring Days of Action April 14 -18, 2016 in DC
The refugee crisis, forced migration, mass incarceration, police brutality and militarization at home & abroad, enforced disappearances - so many of the most pressing issues of our time are fueled by the senseless Drug War, yet we have largely failed to build the coalitions to help bring an end to these devastating policies. Join the School of the Americas Watch [SOA Watch] in Washington D.C. this April 14-18 for concert, advocacy training, lobbying, direct action and more, including the next step in our campaign to pressure Vice President Biden for an Executive Order to close the SOA.  Learn More 
[back to top]

Restorative Justice: A Voice of the Poor Special Event - Apr 16
St. Luke Catholic Church, 18000 W. Greenfield, Brookfield. 8:00 am registration – 12:00 noon Learn more about what Restorative Justice is & why we should care. Keynote speaker: Janine P. Geske, former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice & Dale Kooyenga, Wisconsin State Representative, 14th Assembly District (R)  Information
[back to top]

Universal Connectedness and Radical Implications - Apr 17
9:45-10:45 am at Good Shepherd Parish - N88 W17658 Christman Rd, Menomonee Falls. In the spirit of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ encyclical, Professors David Backes and Tim Ehlinger will explore spiritual, ecological and social bonds that make us one with God, the earth and each other.  David Backes, deacon and retired UW-Milwaukee professor, has written and taught about various aspects of the environment and the spiritual journey for over 30 years. Timothy Ehlinger, a professor in the Dept. of Biological Sciences, UW- Milwaukee has extensive involvement in sustainable development locally and internationally. 
[back to top]

Praise be: Reflecting on Faith Traditions’ Statements: – Apr 19 – Jul 19
On Care for Our Common Home Faith & ecology conversation series Presented by: Interfaith Earth Network. 3rd Tuesday of the Month 7:00-8:30p m at the Urban Ecology Center. April 19th- The human roots and solutions of the ecological crisis.  Preventing disaster by caring for our common home with Interfaith Highlights on Islamic, Presbyterian traditions See Flyer with list of presentations.  
[back to top]

Sierra Club Great Waters Group Earth Day event – Apr 23
Celebrating Our Urban Wilderness When: Saturday, April 23 9am-1pm Where: Urban Ecology Center, Washington Park, 1859 N. 40th Street
[back to top]

Climate Change at the End of Your Fork – Apr 23
In this day-long retreat and workshop, we'll explore the intersections of our faith, the food we eat, and the reality of climate change. Rooted in prayer and song, we'll find the strength and courage in our stories of connection to take practical steps to help solve climate change at the end of our forks. A locally sourced meal is included in the day. Saturday, Apr. 23, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Information and registration.  
[back to top]

Care for our Common Home Begins Right Where We Are – Apr 24
With Margaret Swedish. 9:45-10:45 am at Good Shepherd Parish - N88 W17658 Christman Rd, Menomonee Falls. Our 'Common Home' is a dwelling place, an eco-community in which we are embedded. What can we do, as individuals and in community, to participate in the healing of this sacred Web of Life?  Since 2006 Margaret Swedish’s work has been focused on the ecological crises now confronting humanity with special attention given to the connections between spirituality and ecology.  Her latest book is Living Beyond the ‘End of the World:’ A Spirituality of Hope.
[back to top]

Bookstudy The New Jim Crow, Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Apr 26
Tues, Apr 26 - You are invited to a book study on The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. 4th Tuesday of the Month at 7 p.m. Brookfield Public Library, 1900 N. Calhoun Rd. *Contact Mary at 262.366.8827. Flyer with details
[back to top]

On the Issues with Mike Gousha: Racial Inequality in America – Apr 26
Patrick Sharkey, Associate Professor of Sociology at New York University, author of Stuck in Place: Urban Neighborhoods and the End of Progress.  Sharkey explores the issue of racial inequality and what can be done about it.  Join us for a conversation about one of the greatest challenges facing urban America and cities like Milwaukee, when Prof. Patrick Sharkey visits Eckstein Hall. 12:15 to 1:15pm, Marquette Law School, Eckstein Hall. Reserve your complimentary spot. 
[back to top]

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.
[back to top]

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.org Flyer   
[back to top]

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. Flyer  Press Release
[back to top]

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.
[back to top]

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: www.capuchinsrunwalkforthehungry.org
[back to top]

From SOA Watch to the Border/Join Us at the U.S./Mexico Border Oct 2016

This October 7-10, join the School of America Watch [SOA] 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 
[back to top]

STUDY, REFLECT, PRAY
Study: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced  into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship. [amazon.com] NOTE: Mike Gousha will be interviewing Matthew Desmond on Monday, April 4th, at 9 p.m. on Channel 10 (non-cable TV).

Reflection:  Stopping the Politics of Hate by Frank Pauc
When I arrived at the offices of Voces de la Frontera, I picked up a sign to carry during the protest march [CNN Townhall in Milwaukee on March 29]. I found a piece of cardboard with a handwritten message that said, "Stop the politics of hate." The words appealed to me, so that sign was in my hands during the entire walk from 5th and Washington to the Riverside Theater on Wisconsin and Water. 

I don't know how many people were in then march. I do know that the crowd stretched back for a several blocks. I noticed that we had a diverse group. Most of the marchers were Latinos, but there were also blacks, whites, and Asians. The protesters chanted slogans in both English and Spanish. There were people of all ages: young folks, older men and women, families with little kids. There were people from all over the Milwaukee county, and perhaps beyond. 

It is remarkable to me that such a large number of people, many of whom were strangers to each other, would gather and then march together. It reminded me of what Pope Francis said and did last week during his Mass on Holy Thursday. The Pope washed the feet of twelve people, some of whom were not Catholic, or even Christian. Then he remarked to them that "we are all brothers". It occurred to me during the demonstration that the Pope's words were true. We are all brothers and sisters. Despite our differences in culture, language, and beliefs, we all have the same biology and we share the same destiny.

Those who practice the politics of hate always picks out the things that divide us from one another. They always try to ways to separate humanity into "us and them". They look for the aspects of "them" that scare us and ratchet up our anxiety. It is human nature to fear what we don't understand, and then to hate what we fear. Ignorance and fear are forces that give power to the politics of hate.     

How do we stop the politics of hate? We can start by focusing on the things that we all share in common. We all want peace and safety. We all want our children to have a better future. We all wrestle with our fears and doubts. We are all mortal. We all want to be loved. 

In a way, it is easy to recognize the common humanity of the people we like. It wasn't hard for me to connect with the other people at the demonstration. The challenge is to be able to see the members of the opposition as our brothers and sisters. Does it it do any good to compare Trump with Hitler? Does it do any good to mock Trump's supporters? If I really want to stop the politics of hate, I need to realize that those people with whom I strongly disagree are also part of my greater family. I have to show them respect, even if they do not reciprocate. That is the only way to stop the politics of hate.
[back to top]

Prayer: A Prayer for Our Earth
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe 
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.

O God of the poor, help us to rescue 
the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, 
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing into our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it, 
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth. 

Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, 
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united 
with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle 
for justice, love and peace.
 
~ Pope Francis, Laudato Si'
[back to top]


 

 

 
Copyright © 2016 Catholics for Peace and Justice, All rights reserved.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp