Monthly Catholics for Peace and Justice Newsletter
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Each year between September first and October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the Season of Creation is observed by a world-wide ecumenical community of organizations including the Catholic Church’s Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.  The Season of Creation 2021 theme is “A Home for All?  Renewing the Oikos of God”. (Oikos is the Greek word for “home” or “household”.) With the recent UN report Climate Change which concluded that change is widespread, rapid and intensifying, this year’s observance is even more poignant.  As people of faith we are called to educate ourselves, and take prophetic stances to the greatest challenge of our time.  A good starting point would be to (re)read Laudato Si with the question of “what concrete actions can I take to put this message into action?” in mind.  So, gather some friends or parish members and dig in!  For more on the Season of Creation, visit where you will find a wealth of resources including a daily prayer for the month.

Jim Gill, CPJ Leadership Council member

Visit us at and the Catholics for Peace and Justice Facebook page

Visit Collars on the Corner on Facebook 

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


Register Now for a virtual workshop on Immigration Law, courtesy of the Catholics for Peace and Justice Education Committee. Learn from expert immigration lawyers about the current law, the need for changes based on Catholic Social Teaching, and how you can help. Joseph M. Rivas and Edward Fallone presenting.


Learn more and print flyer


Pope Francis Quote

Visit the Catholic Ecology Center



Recurring Events
Pope Francis Quote
“The ecological conversion needed to bring about lasting change is also a community conversion.”


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Catholic Ecology Center
Come visit the new Catholic Ecology Center! Our new center sits on an amazingly diverse and beautiful 60 acres and is part of a 225 preserve. Enjoy our miles of hiking trails, boardwalk, pond, creeks and the Rubicon River. Come for a retreat, rent our facilities for your next event or join us for some of our great programs happening this fall including a celebration for the eve of St. Francis Feast Day.
More information at



Voting Process Changes Passed, may be vetoed
Recently passed legislation will significantly affect the voting process in Wisconsin. There were 10 bills proposed after the last general election to further encumber the voting process.

Here are details on 4 of them from the League of Women Voters:

SB 203 prohibits any individual from helping more than one non-family member to return their absentee ballot. There have been no charges of illegal activity related to the very American practice of helping one’s neighbor cast an absentee ballot. Current law provides many safeguards to prevent such problems. SB 203 would only limit the options voters have for obtaining and returning an absentee ballot and would not improve elections.

SB 206 places unnecessary restrictions on the ability to cast an absentee ballot and allows for no flexibility to address unforeseen personal or public circumstances such as an unexpected illness in the family or a pandemic. The bill would limit the rights of voters who currently certify as indefinitely confined and impose extreme requirements for those under the age of 65 to obtain statements signed by a doctor. This bill creates new hurdles for voters, especially those with disabilities, and makes providing assistance a felony crime.

SB 209 prohibits municipalities from having more than one drop box, and the box must be affixed to the building that houses the clerk’s office. Drop boxes helped thousands of Wisconsin voters around the state return their absentee ballots safely in a timely manner during the pandemic elections. Limiting municipalities to one ballot box does not increase accessibility by residents of various neighborhoods, and it would actually be a decrease in accessibility for those municipalities that had installed multiple drop boxes last year.

SB 212 requires clerks to return to the voter any absentee ballot that has an incomplete certificate. The clerk must also post a notification of the defect on the voter's information page in the voter registration database. While we could support legislation requiring clerks to inform voters of an incomplete certificate, this bill does nothing to assist voters to remedy the error or omission. It prohibits clerks from making common-sense corrections of a witness’s address, something we have supported since 2016. This legislation only gives reason to disqualify the ballots of eligible voters.
The action you can take right now is to write to Governor Evers requesting that he veto them,  and/or to your State Legislators to express your position on the bills. 
Redistricting is taking place now based upon the 2020 census. It will affect elections for the next 10 years. There is a bi-partisan process to submit new maps, the People's Maps Commission.  Then the legislature works on it and votes, and the Governor signs or vetoes. The last time around in 2010, districts were drawn to heavily favor one party as they controlled the Assembly, the Senate and the Governor's office. This time around there is a great opportunity to make them more fair as the Governor has the power to veto something that is too unfair, and there is not currently a super-majority to over-ride such a veto. It is a somewhat complicated process. If you want to learn more, there is a link to a two-hour webinar/training for you to submit your ideas for a new map. 
LWVWI Community Mapping Training - YouTube
Where Are Wisconsin’s Fair Maps?
A League of Women Voters of Dane County
Virtual Public Issues Forum
September 1, 2021, 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM via Zoom
Please join the League of Women Voters of Dane County on Wednesday, September 1, 2021, to examine the path to fair voting districts for all of Wisconsin. 
Webinar Registration - Zoom
Wisconsin Legislature Announces New Fair Maps Portal
Speaker Vos announced via Twitter a newly created Legislative Portal that will accept public input on suggested communities of interest from around the state. The Portal will be open for map submissions from September 1 to October 15th. If you submitted a map to the People’s Map Commission, please make sure to send it to the Legislature for their consideration. Between now and September 1st, you can use the portal to access how-to information from various free map drawing software including DistrictR, Dave’s Redistricting and District Builder. After September 1st, you will be able to submit your maps.
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State considering actions to ban teaching about race
From Rid Racism Milwaukee, Website:

Make no mistake about it: those who are passing laws banning the teaching of critical race theory in our schools are seeking to bury our nation’s history.  Those who would deny the racism that has stained our nation spirit are seeking to bring the ugly sin of censorship into our state’s classrooms.  Scenes from the famed Selma march (shown above) might be banned from the eyes of students if such laws passed.

Wisconsin's Republican-controlled legislature is poised to pass several laws that would effectively ban any teaching about systemic racism, its history and its continued impact on our nation's minorities. The proposed legislation, Senate Bills 411 and 463, would effectively ban teaching about race and sexual matters. The bill would permit suing school districts and withholding a portion of state aid to any district where there are accusations that the ban was violated.  

Many area groups fighting racism have opposed the legislation, including MICAH, the ACLU and others.

What you can do: 
•    Learn more about critical race theory debate.  See following articles:

•    Contact your State representative or State Senator to express your opposition to these bills.  Click here to learn the identity of your representatives and how to reach them.

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Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Reducing Poverty
Legislation with potential to significantly reduce poverty, broaden opportunity, and increase racial equity in the United States is being drafted in Congress.

Juvenile prisons
Wisconsin is among states with an opportunity to close youth prisons and invest the savings into community-based approaches that nurture children and young adults while building stronger communities.

Download the PDF (15pp)

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Racism in Policing – an ACLU Guided Course
"Divest." "Defund." "Abolish."

It's been over a year since the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Yet, in 2021 alone, police have still killed over 500 people so far, including Daunte Wright, 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant, and far too many others. At the same time, resounding calls to "divest," "defund," and "abolish" continue to grow across our country. Calls for transformational change and a complete re-examining of public safety that Black organizers and advocates have been pushing toward long before now.

So what does it all mean for our country? Will this moment be different in stopping the racist police practices that have terrorized Black people for centuries?

The ACLU dives into these questions and more in our inaugural email course, "Racism in Policing" – and we want you to be a part of it by signing up today.

In this four-email course, you'll receive one lesson every week delivered to your inbox from us, Paige Fernandez and Carl Takei, your course guides and ACLU experts.

We'll help you develop a deeper foundational knowledge of U.S. policing institutions, its inseparable ties to white supremacy and systemic racism, and the larger meaning behind police divestment as a solution for the safety of all communities.

By the end of our course, you'll come away with historical context, learning resources, and the insight needed to take meaningful actions on this critical issue.

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Catholic Coalition for Migrants and Refugees
The Catholic Coalition for Migrants and Refugees needs members to re-register. If you haven't already done so, please join our mailing list here.

Few times has the fate of migrants and refugees been as preeminent in the mainstream media and political conversation as now. As a human rights disaster unfolds in Afghanistan, we are reminded of the human suffering brought about by American military imperialism. Though, as a group, we are traditionally focused on many of the abuses of the migrant population at our Southern border, it is crucial to remember that the same tactics to demonize and bully one migrant population will be used on others if the People allow depredations of human dignity to be normalized.

 To be somewhat simplistic, it is time as a nation to accept the “you break it, you buy it” mentality. As a result of our military interventions in the Middle East, more than 770,000 people have died violent deaths in America’s wars, including more than 312,000 civilians. In addition, as many as 59 million people have been displaced by the United States’ post-9/11 Wars. While the mainstream media has been largely fervent in its united call that the most significant criticism of the Biden administration is its failure to maintain a forever war - after decades of choosing not to cover the US-funded abuses of Afghans during our occupation. Despite claims by armchair warmongerers that the answer is more intervention, the unfolding disaster makes it clear that more war and imperial intervention is not the answer. The Afghanistan Papers revealed that U.S. officials have long known that our occupation has been a complete failure - while selling a false history of successful nation-building. 

 Undoubtedly, the Biden, Trump, Obama, and Bush administrations all deserve their fair share of blame for the suffering of the Afghan people. However, blame will not ease the pain and suffering of the innocents. As morally bankrupt politicians such as Ron Johnson fearmonger by spreading bigoted, misleading concerns about the vetting of Afghan refugees, it is our job to fight false narratives and call on our leaders to raise the refugee cap to a bare minimum of 200,000 to ease the suffering of displaced and endangered Afghans. Additionally, there are other ways for interested people to help resettle the influx of refugees.


Alex Nikolai



In more hopeful news, the Biden Administration has proposed that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum officers, as opposed to solely DOJ Immigration Courts, would be permitted to grant eligible migrant adults and families asylum, allowing them to stay in the U.S. permanently. This plan would take years off the wait time to adjudicate worthy applications due to a backlog of over 1.3 million cases.
I believe that it would be beneficial for CCMR to have some members become subject matter experts in the details of the proposed rule and provide testimony and support for the rule. 
If interested in the proposed committee, please get in touch with Joe Bova or Mark Peters. I believe that this committee would take the place of the proposed committee to research proposals for front-end processing reforms. 
I am extremely grateful for Joe for bringing this to my attention and his dedication to pushing for front-end processing changes.
Joe Bova Contact:
Mark Peters Contact:


We need our members to ask Senator Tammy Baldwin to pressure the Biden Administration to repeal Title 42 completely. 

Call either or both of her offices:
Washington, DC Office: (202) 224-5653
Milwaukee Office: (414) 297-4451

As a huge help, Anne Schmidt took the time to write a template letter for members to use in our advocacy to Senator Baldwin. I would like to call on our members to read the letter and send a copy to the Senator’s office. Feel free to make changes and personalize the letter. The more personalized each letter is, the more likely the Baldwin office will act upon the matter. That being said, if you feel uncomfortable making changes, or lack time, even sending a nearly exact copy of the letter with your name also does help our cause.


See the flyer for the Immigration Law Reform featuring Ed Fallone and Joe Rivas via this link.

Catholics for Peace and Justice (CPJ), virtual education program on Immigration Law Reform, Monday, Sept 27 from 6:30-8:30 PM. “Hello Neighbor Fact or Fiction: There is a pathway to citizenship for US immigrants. Speakers are immigration lawyers Joseph Rivas and Edward Fallone.  You can sign up for the program at this link

Visit the CCMR facebook page here. Feel free to contact Alex at 414-736-0969  or

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Recurring Events: 

"Refuse to do Nothing" Zoom book study - Tuesdays, 8/31-9/14, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
“Refuse to Do Nothing” - Finding Your Power to Abolish Modern-Day Slavery, by Shayne Moore and Kimberly McOwen Yim. Join us in this book study, as we discover the power of everyday people to help end human slavery! Sponsored by Plowshare Fair Trade Marketplace and Education for Peace, and Stop Human Tracking Ministry - Catholic Community of Waukesha. For those unable to attend the first session on August 31, a recording will be available. Learn more, RSVP, and print flyer here.
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St. Mary Catholic Faith Community - Anti-Racism Program
  • One year "Racial Justice Working Team" with the goal of asking our parish to make a covenant to work toward becoming actively anti-racist at some point in the future
       JustFaith Programs
  • Faith and Racial Equity: September - November 2021
  • Faith and Racial Healing: January - March 2022
  • Faith and Racial Justice: April - June 2022
Learn more, and get involved, on the Parish "Exploring Anti-Racism" Website
Truth Be Told Scripture Series – Remembering Who I Am: Getting to the Heart of Isaiah - Mondays, 10/4-11/8, 9:30-11 a.m.
In this Scripture study of Isaiah, we explore our experience of and relationship with God. What does Isaiah say about living in God’s presence and discerning God’s will for me? Join us as we “enlarge the place of our tents” and embrace God as our Lover and Maker. This 6-week program encourages personal reflection and prayer. Monday mornings 9:30-11:00am in-person at First Fruits | October 4 to November 8. Pre-registration is recommended. Cost: $30 for Non-members or $15 for First Fruits members.  Presenters: Joan Carey  and Deb SchneiderRegister at First Fruits.
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Truth Be Told Scripture Series - Discipleship in Luke and Acts - Mondays, 10/4-11/8, 7-8:30 p.m.
In this series of three 6-week sessions, we explore discipleship in the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. Here we discover how Jesus continuously invites us to be his disciples in our daily lives and what it means to follow Christ in our fractured world. A perfect Scripture study for beginners as well as seasoned bible readers.  Facilitator: Debra Schneider with Joan Carey. Session One: Monday evenings 7:00-8:30pm via Zoom | October 4 to November 8. Dates for Sessions 2 and 3 TBA.  Each 6-week session stands on its own. Register for one or all three at once. Registration deadline for Session 1 is Sept 27, 2021. Cost: $30 per 6-week session or $15 for Members.  Register at First Fruits. Questions? Contact Debra at .
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Gift, Gratitude, and Joy – Finding our roots in God’s Creation – October 5 thru November 9
Join us for Gift, Gratitude, and Joy: a six-week Small Group discussion built on Franciscan spirituality and a Christian foundation for Caring for Creation. Hosted by First Fruits women’s ministry. In person program at First Fruits Apostolate in Elm Grove: Tuesdays 9:30-11am | Program via Zoom: Tuesdays 7-8:30pm. Both programs start Oct 5 and run for 6 consecutive weeks ending Nov 9. Through videos, activities, discussions, prayer, and scripture meditations, we will connect our faith with our actions and experience concrete ways we can impact the world. Register Here for either program.
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Black Lives are Sacred Public Witness Events
Public Witness Events: Each event lasts 1 hour, starting with prayer and including 8 minutes 46 seconds of kneeling in honor of George Floyd and all those affected by police violence. These events are organized by an informal group of Catholic lay people, and we warmly welcome all who want to stand up for the sacredness of Black lives. Follow Black Lives are Sacred on their Facebook page Black Lives are Sacred MKE 
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Weekly Racial Justice Reading group - Fridays, 3 p.m.
Racial Justice Reading Group meets virtually every Friday at 3:00 p.m.: Everyone is welcome to an online reading group focused on racial justice and how our faith can inform and shape us as we work towards racial reconciliation and justice in our world. For more information, and to get the link to the Zoom meeting, email Patrick Conlin at
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Siena Retreat Center Events,, 5637 Erie St., Racine, WI 53402.
For a complete description of these and other programs and retreats, visit or call 262-898-2590. Partial scholarships are available for all programs.
Peace Action Wisconsin
  • Stand for Peace: Every Saturday, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Learn more here. Updates on Facebook
    Attention! Please wear masks and keep a social distance.
    • September 4: Silver Spring and Lake Drive
    • September 11: 76th and Layton
    • September 18: Capitol and Teutonia
    • September 25: HWY 100 and Bluemound

The Peace Activist Community Reflects on the Afghanistan War - Aug 31
Join Us, Tuesday, August 31, 5:30 - 6:30 PM, on lakefront at intersection of Lincoln Memorial Drive and Lafayette Hill Road across from Colectivo Coffee at the Lakefront. Learn more.
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It Happens Here – Awareness of Sex Trafficking of Youth in Your Community - Sep 8
Learn about the true stories of sex trafficking in Wisconsin and how easy it is to be drawn into “the life.” This program will use video, presentation, and discussion to inform youth, parents and adults about the risk factors and warning signs of trafficking. Speakers Rebekah Dettmann MSW, APSW Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator Milwaukee Child Advocacy Center; Nancy Yarbrough Executive Director Fresh Start Learning, Survivor, Advocate and Author. Learn more and register here - Registration is required due to COVID protocol. Wednesday, September 8, 6:30 to 8:30 pm | St. James Catholic Church Townline Rd., Menomonee Falls
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World Refugee Day Celebrations - Sep 18
A celebration of World Refugee Day 2021 was launched on Sunday June 20 by a prayer gathering of refugee community leaders, community members, artists, and allies at Lynden Sculpture Garden. The celebration is on-going with outdoor events planned throughout the summer. The final event, Craft Day, is on Saturday, September 18
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Let's Talk Gun Safety Solutions - Sep 19
Experts and legislators will give us updates on why Wisconsin has been unable to pass legislation to help us reduce gun violence, what we can do about the situation, and how to protect ourselves personally in the meantime. Sunday, September 19, 3:00-5:30, VIA ZOOM. Learn more and register here. Print flyer.
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Our Lady of Lourdes Social Justice – Racism Program - Sep 26
Join us to learn how racism has affected the U.S. criminal justice system. View/discuss the documentary film 13th on September 26 at 11:45 a.m. in Hall C. The film provides a historical survey that directly links slavery to today’s prison-industrial complex. While the United States represents approximately 4.4% of the world’s population, it houses approximately 22%of the world’s prisoners. Register by September 22 at or call the Parish Office at (414) 545-4316. Light lunch will be provided.
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Moving Forward: Multimodal Transportation for a Strong Region - Sep 28
As we look ahead to the future of the Regional Transit Leadership Council and our region, we are excited to invite you to an in-person gathering at the Brookfield Conference Center this Fall. Please save the date and join us on September 28.September 28, 8 a.m. to Noon, Brookfield Conference Center. Learn more and watch for updates here.
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Creator of All,

We are grateful that from your communion of love you created our planet to be a home for all. By your Holy Wisdom you made the Earth to bring forth a diversity of living beings that filled the soil, water and air. Each part of creation praises you in their being, and cares for one another from our place in the web of life.

In this Season of Creation, we pray that the breath of your creative Word would move our hearts, as in the waters of our birth and baptism. Give us faith to follow Christ to our just place in the beloved community. Enlighten us with the grace to respond to your covenant and call to care for our common home. In our tilling and keeping, gladden our hearts to know that we participate with your Holy Spirit to renew the face of your Earth, and safeguard a home for all.

From Season of Creation 2021 Prayer
Become aware of God’s presence in a natural or agricultural place. . . How is God present in this place? How does all the life you see exist in God’s spirit? How do you feel knowing that the Holy Spirit has filled this place for geological ages, with every plant, animal, organism and mineral that has called this place home in the deep past, makes its home here with you now, and will live here with creatures in this place in the future? How do you feel knowing that you, earthling, belong to this place, are made of the same carbon, breathe the same air, are nurtured by the same cycles and life processes, and are enlivened by the same Spirit of the Creator?

Excerpt from Seasons of Creation, Earth Examen 

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