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Catholics for Peace and Justice Monthly Newsletter
Catholics for Peace and Justice

FEBRUARY 2015 Newsletter

Greetings,

Register now for our Winter Forum “Open to the Word: Empowering People through Faith and Action” on Saturday morning, February 21. The forum features Keynote speaker Bishop Richard Sklba along with 7 options for breakout sessions including advocacy, poverty, ecology, the Synod and more. Please come, invite your friends and help us spread the word.  Register and Learn more here.  Discounted registration ends on February 13.

Catholics for Peace and Justice is continuing to collaborate with the Greater Together community wide journey to address issues of segregation and racism in our community. You can be a part of this dialog by participating in a focus group on March 5 and a cross cultural Prayer Service for Unity on April 22. More information and sign up is below.

God's grace and blessings on your ministry


 
"Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each communities and every believer. Above all it is a "time of grace" (2 Cor 6:2). God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. "We love because he first has loved us" (1 Jn 4:19)."  Pope Francis’s Lenten Message “Make your hearts firm” (Jas 5:8)  Scroll down for English.


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
Open to the Word: Empowering People through Faith and Action/WINTER FORUM - Feb 21
"Greater Together” Addressing Issues of Segregation - Next Steps
    Greater Together Focus Group – March 5
    Greater Together Prayer Service for Unity – April 22
Waukesha Screening of Inequality for All – Mar 3
Building Solidarity

ACTIONS AND ISSUES 
Immigration Executive Action from Catholic Charities
11x15 for Prison Reform
Senate Votes 98-1 that Climate Change Is Real and Not a Hoax
DNR to Study Environmental Impacts of Frac Sand Mining
Wisconsin Becomes Throughway for Tar Sands Oil from Alberta
Common Ground Update
Wisconsin Catholic Conference 2015 Public Policy Positions
Wisconsin legislators Announce School Takeover Zone plan for Milwaukee
Gun Violence Legislation
Marquette and Notre Dame ROTC
Koch Brothers Plan to Spend Close to a Billion on Presidential Campaign 
The Archdiocesan Office of Social Justice Ministry Has a New Name

EVENTS AND EDUCATION 
Hispanic Presence: Challenge and Commitment – Feb 1
Marquette University Mission Week – Feb 2-6
New Sanctuary Movement Interfaith Prayer Vigil for People Facing Deportation – Feb 3
Sustainable Living Workshop – Feb 4
New Sanctuary Movement Solidarity Vigil Outside ICE – Feb 5
On the Quest for the Common Good in Milwaukee – Feb 6
Human Trafficking - Feb 7
Keep On Doing Great Things – Feb 7
Dialogue of the Heart: Islam, Interreligious Hermeneutics, and Peacemaking – Feb 11
Unsafe Passage: Treating Vulnerable Migrants in Mexico – Webcast – Feb 12
A Community Conversation & Forum on Racism, Hatred, & Intolerance – Feb 15
Water, Faith & Ecology – In Hot Water – Feb 17
Milwaukee Gospel Jubilee at the Pabst – Feb 20
Exploit No More  - An End to Human Trafficking – Feb 22
Another Way of Doing Life - Feb 27-28
Leadership Lessons for Uncertain Times – Forum on Faith and Work – Mar 26
Catholics at the Capitol 2015 – April 8

STUDY, REFLECT, PRAY
Book: Seizing the Nonviolent Moments: Reflections on the Spirituality of Nonviolence through the Lens of Scripture. BY Nancy Small
Reflection: Everything We Have Is Gift – Excerpt from a Homily by Thomas Gumbleton
Prayer: NOW is the Acceptable Time by S. Lillia Langreck


GENERAL
Open to the Word: Empowering People through Faith and Action - Feb 21
CPJ Winter Forum – Feb 21 – Details and Registration
Keynote speaker: Bishop Richard Sklba. Open to the Word: Empowering People through Faith and Action; is a participatory forum on justice, justice education, advocacy and the building of a spiritual faith foundation that supports you and your community’s ministry. Seven Breakout Sessions will be offered: Living the Joy of the Gospel; Creating Transformative Experiences for Adults; Justice and Spirituality: Partners in Transformation; Poverty in Wisconsin; The Archdiocesan Synod Priorities for Catholic Social Teaching and Diversity; Faith encounters the Ecological Crises; Initiating Advocacy in Our Parishes. DATE: Saturday, February 21, Registration and tables open at 7:30 am, Program 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. LOCATION: St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, 6060 W. Loomis Road, Greendale.  DETAILS AND REGISTRATION HERE or click here for Regisration Brochure.  Please help spread the word.
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“Greater Together” Addressing Issues of Segregation - Next Steps
In Ferguson, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has commissioned a community group  to address complex issues of poverty, lack of affordable housing and educational opportunity affecting Ferguson’s African American neighborhoods. In Milwaukee, business and community organizations have brought together a collaborative community group called “Greater Together” with the hope of addressing complex issues of segregation in OUR community. Like the community in Ferguson we need to work on solving some of Milwaukee’s long-simmering problems. Catholics for Peace and Justice continues to be a part of this effort. 

Greater Together Focus Group - Thursday March 5, 2015  6:30 -8:00 PM / Redeemer Lutheran Church, 631 N. 19th St.  (corner of 19th St . and Wisconsin Avenue)
You can be a part of continuing the dialog on segregation in Milwaukee by participating in a focus group to give feedback to the Greater Together Coalition regarding the next steps in addressing the issue of segregation in Milwaukee.  This discussion will be facilitated by the Zeidler Center for Public Discussion.  You can participate in this focus group regardless of whether or not you participated in the community dialog last fall. Sign up through this link. Sign up early as limited space is available. If you would like more information, please call Clare Peiffer at 414-702-8093. 

Greater Together Prayer Service to Heal Milwaukee’s Legacy of Segregation- Wednesday April 22, 2015  6:30-8:00 PM / Redeemer Lutheran Church, 631 N. 19th St.  (corner of 19th St . and Wisconsin Avenue)
Catholics for Peace and Justice in collaboration with the Greater Together Coalition  will be holding a prayer service to bring people together with the intention of  making positive change in our community.  As people of faith we will unite our prayers to call for increased understanding among the people of our community as well as an end to the violence, poverty and racism in our midst. People of all faiths are welcome to participate.  Signing up through the link below will help with our planning.
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Waukesha Screening of Inequality for All – Mar 3
If you missed seeing this film last fall, here is your second chance to see a passionate argument for the middle class. Tuesday, March 3, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Come. Learn. Bring a Friend. The 400 richest Americans now own more wealth than the bottom 150 million combined. Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich sees this disparity as a threat to democracy. “Inequality for All” explains why. The screening of the film will be followed by a 30 min guided group discussion. FLYER with details. FREE. Location: Ascension Lutheran Church, 1415 Dopp Street, Waukesha.  Sponsored by SOPHIA, Plowshare LPC and Catholics for Peace and Justice. Contact Deb Schneider at djschneider@wi.rr.com for more information.
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Building Solidarity
Thoughts from “Solid Foundations” by Meghan J. Clark, America, Dec 22-29, 2014 
“Building solidarity and practicing human rights requires seeing the people in front of me first.” ” My dignity is bound up in yours, and mine is attacked where yours is attacked—this challenges hard distinctions between us and them.”  “It is a challenge, however, to see persons, not poverty, as the necessary starting point.” “I cannot build a relationship of equal human dignity unless I begin from that starting point. If your pain cannot change me and my pain cannot change you, then the relationship cannot be one of solidarity, even if basic needs are being met.”
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ACTIONS AND ISSUES 
Immigration Executive Action from Catholic Charities
Catholic Charities has provided a summary of President Obama’s recent Executive Action in English and Executive Action in Spanish. Please feel free to make copies and distribute them to your congregations, students, parents, clients, patients, etc. Catholic Charities is still scheduling attorney appearances throughout the Archdiocese for January and February. If your organization would like to host an informational session about Executive Action, please contact Elizabeth Pierson at Catholic Charities (414) 643-8570. 
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11x15 for Prison Reform
 No New Conviction but Sent Back to Prison.  An article in JS Online coverage. "More than half of the nearly 8,000 people sent to Wisconsin's prisons in 2013 were locked up without a trial — and they weren't found guilty of new crimes.  Some were punished for violating probation or parole by doing things such as accepting a job without permission, using a cellphone or computer without authorization, or leaving their home county. Some were suspected of criminal activity, but not charged. Re-incarcerating people for breaking the rules costs Wisconsin taxpayers more than $100 million every year." Read the article 

Next 11x15 campaign action in Madison - Wednesday, April 29
Wisdom’s 11x15 Blueprint for Ending Mass Incarceration in Wisconsin 
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Senate Votes 98-1 that Climate Change Is Real and Not a Hoax
Known as the “hoax” amendment, Democrats used the Keystone XL pipeline debate to force votes on the politically charged issue ahead of the 2016 elections. The vote put the U.S. Senators on record on the question of whether “climate change is real and is not a hoax”
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DNR to Study Environmental Impacts of Frac Sand Mining
From Margaret Swedish
On January 28, the DNR announced that it will conduct a study of the health and environmental impacts of frac sand mining in Wisconsin's western counties. This was a long time coming and marks a significant victory for grassroots activists and those who have seen their lives turned upside down by the industry.
The unanimous vote of the Natural Resources Board came in response to a petition filed with the DNR by the Midwest Environmental Advocates  , and signed by more than 1,100 Wisconsin residents (see: DNR to take fresh look at sand mining regulations ). Wisconsin's silica sand is in high demand by the fracking industry, used to form the "mud," made of sand, water, and toxic chemical solvents, that is thrust into the horizontal pipes deep underground after the shale rock is fractured. The mud holds the cracks open and allows the gas or oil to come through the pipes to the surface. The DNR has been reluctant to regulate the industry  , even as air pollution and contamination from blowing sand have become widespread. Ancient sand hills are being stripped away, lost forever.  See also: The Price of Sand, an excellent documentary about the industry. Citizen action is needed to push back against an "Open for Business" mentality that has meant opening the state to the dirtiest industries with few protections for the land, air, and water that are the precious resources of this state.
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Wisconsin Becomes Throughway for Tar Sands Oil from Alberta
From Margaret Swedish
The Canadian pipeline company, Enbridge, continues work to expand the capacity of Line 61, which crosses the state from Superior to our southern border, for the transhipment of Alberta tar sands dilbit  and Bakken crude oil (see: The other pipeline you should worry about).  The pipeline will eventually allow 1.2 million barrels to flow through the state daily, a far larger amount than the controversial Keystone XL. Enbridge has a questionable safety record, to say the least. Using data from Enbridge’s own reports, some 804 spills occurred on the company's pipelines between 1999 and 2010, including a tar sands oil spill of more than a million gallons into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazo River in 2010. Another pipeline breach, this one involving Line 61, occurred in Adams County in 2012.  Twelve pumping stations are being constructed across the state to service the new pipeline capacity. Citizen action is needed to push back against an "Open for Business" mentality that has meant opening the state to the dirtiest industries with few protections for the land, air, and water that are the precious resources of this state.
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Common Ground [CG] Update
Next CPJ CG Core Team Meeting: Is at 6 pm on 2/10/15 at Panera 15040 W Greenfield Ave, Brookfield, just east of Moorland Rd.  The meeting's purpose is an update on Common Grounds ongoing work.  We will also have an update on Fr. Jean d'Amour of Rwanda. Location: Panera 15040 W Greenfield Ave, Brookfield, just east of Moorland Rd.   Please RSVP to me at Mary Kleist maryakleist@sbcglobal.net so I know how many chairs and tables to save.
FAIR PLAY initiative: CG is pushing Wes Edens (co-majority Bucks Owner) to meet with CG about Fair Play.  Nationstar, Wes Edens’ company, has 300 foreclosed and REO properties in the city of Milwaukee. CG turned out to in front of one of those homes on 1/29/15 to show Edens our power and commitment.   Read more about this action here.  Next Fair Play Team Meeting: Monday, February 16th, 6:00pm Briefing for new attendees, 6:30 - 8:00pm Meeting. Hope at the Well, 2401 N 25th Street, Milwaukee.
A Milestone for CG Healthcare Cooperative:  Now, a new milestone has been reached as CGHC leads the way as Wisconsin’s number one choice in the marketplace – with 27,475 enrollees Read more here 
Suburban/Rural Organizing: CG recognized the public officials and volunteers who took part in the successful campaign to support the Elmbrook Senior Taxi. Elmbrook Senior Taxi and Common Ground supporters worked to raise almost $20,000 to insure this transit service continues to provide a vital link to independent living for seniors and people with disabilities.
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Wisconsin Catholic Conference 2015 Public Policy Positions
The Wisconsin Catholic Conference has published its 2015 Public Policy Positions document, which it will share with state legislators, policy makers, and other interested parties.  The document is organized around the seven principles of Catholic social teaching.  The WCC encourages readers to share it in their parishes.  
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Wisconsin Legislators Announce School Takeover Zone Plan for Milwaukee
Wisconsin legislators have released a plan to hand over dozens of Milwaukee’s public schools to private companies, create a central city zone with no corporate taxes, and implement a “right-to-work” law only in the city of Milwaukee. Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) released their plan yesterday and say they will introduce legislation soon. MTEA members and MPS parents are mobilizing for a large community strategy session on Saturday, February 7 from 9am-12:30 at MATC downtown. Participants will get an update on all school takeover legislation and will develop skills and plans to advocate for quality public schools for all children.  Please click here to RSVP.   Click here for a more info including a flyer you can share with others in English and Spanish. Childcare and lunch are provided, and Spanish interpretation is available.
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Gun Violence Legislation
Are you concerned about gun violence? On 1/22 WAVE [The Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort] canvased all 132 Wisconsin lawmakers with more than 3,000 petitions calling for action to end gun violence.  Here is a copy of their demands to law makers.
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Marquette and Notre Dame ROTC
Nonviolence and Catholic University ROTC programs in conflict.  
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Koch Brothers Plan to Spend Close to a Billion on Presidential Campaign
Syndicated columnists David Brooks and Mark Shields respond to the question are the Koch Brothers becoming their own political party?   Brooks makes the point that some “people who are really good at raising money are really stupid about spending it.”  Four years ago when the Koch brothers spent half a billion, they lost almost all of their races. This year they are doubling that amount; however, Brooks contends that a ton of political science studies have shown that once a certain threshold has been met “you can dump a ton of money in and have little to no effect.”  At the same time think about what could be done for education and jobs with the $889 million the Koch brothers plan to raise and thrust into the campaign.  What the Koch brothers could do is drive the issues in the Republican Party by reinforcing their non-compromising style of politics which is we will give you the money, but if you compromise on our issues, next time we will give your opponent the money.  In the end, money will pervert the process.  Five years ago the Koch brothers got the Supreme Court to okay buying elections. You can learn more toward building a movement to overturn the Citizens United decision by watching Robert Greenwald’s [Brave New Films] Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition at no cost on YouTube.  
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The Archdiocesan Office of Social Justice Ministry Has a New Name
The Office of Social Justice Ministry has a new name “Dignity of the Human Person,” which comes as a direct result of the Synod outcomes. “We continue to work with parishes and the greater community to promote Respect Life and Social Justice efforts and develop leaders to promote human dignity from conception until natural death.” Find out more here.  
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EVENTS AND EDUCATION 
“Hispanic Presence: Challenge and Commitment” – Feb 1
Sunday, February 1 - 9:45-10:45 am with Eva J. Diaz, Archdiocesan Director of Intercultural Ministries, at Good Shepherd Parish, N88 W17658 Christman Rd. Menomonee Falls. Utilizing the pastoral letter of the US bishops, Hispanic Presence: Challenge and Commitment as the foundation, Eva will guide us through an interactive dialogue session on the gifts and spirituality that the Hispanic/Latino community brings to the Church, as well as some of the implications for parish life. 
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Marquette University Mission Week – Feb 2-6
Opening Keynote Address “Who Cares? Charity, Justice and the Quest for the Common Good” with Dr. Carolyn Woo, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services. Monday, February 2, 4 p.m. Address, AMU, Weasler Auditorium, 5 p.m. Public Reception, AMU, Rotunda. Join Dr. Carolyn Woo, who leads the international humanitarian agency for the Catholic church in the United States, for a discussion about how we view charity and justice in today's world and how the Marquette community can engage those who are underserved.  Information and tickets available for this event and other events taking place throughout the week at the MU Mission Week website. 
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New Sanctuary Movement Interfaith Prayer Vigil for People Facing Deportation – Feb 3
Tuesday, February 3rd, 6:30pm at Ascension Lutheran Church (1236 S. Layton Blvd, corner of 27th and Scott) - Bilingual interfaith prayer vigil - join us afterwards for a discussion about stopping collaboration between ICE and local police. 
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Sustainable Living Workshop – Feb 4
St. Sebastian Parish, 5400 W Wisconsin Blvd, Milwaukee. February 4, 2015, 7:00-9:00 PM, Multipurpose Room. Presenter/Facilitators: Suzanne Moynihan, SSND and Leah Sealey. Contact Leah Sealey for more information and to register: leahsealey@hotmail.com 
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New Sanctuary Movement Solidarity Vigil Outside ICE – Feb 5
Thursday, February 5th, 12pm at ICE (310 E. Knapp St.) Solidarity Vigil outside of ICE.
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On the Quest for the Common Good in Milwaukee – Feb 6
Milwaukee is consistently ranked among the most racially and economically segregated cities in the nation. Segregation impacts access to education and healthcare. It hinders community development and growth in entrepreneurship, and is a sign of a city divided that impacts every one of us. Marquette University and Greater Together invite community members and the Marquette campus to join in a day of moving beyond conversation - to explore innovative interventions focused on reducing segregation and its pernicious effects. Please show your care for the common good of our city and each other, by helping to build a more inclusive Milwaukee community, together. 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Alumni Memorial Union Monaghan Ballroom. 1442 West Wisconsin Avenue. Join us for the entire day OR Sign up for one of the sessions. Registration.  Register for the February 6th event and pass on to others. If you have any questions, please contact the Social Innovation Initiative  socialinovation@marquette.edu Programming is in partnership with Greater Together.
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Human Trafficking - Feb 7
Through a Global and Immigration Lens with guest speaker Simona Verona Botezatu, Catholic Charities Immigration Minister, 10 am-noon, Saturday, Feb 7th Clare Hall Sisters’ Residence: 3470 S. Illinois Ave., St. Francis. RSVP by Feb 5.   
Details Here
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Keep On Doing Great Things – Feb 7
In celebration of Black History Month. The School Sisters of St. Francis are hosting “Keep On Doing Great Things,” a Gospel music concert featuring Milwaukee vocal artist Rodney Cunningham that will be held Saturday, February 7, at 3:00 p.m. at the congregation’s St. Joseph Chapel, 1501 S. Layton Blvd. (Greenfield Ave. at 27th St.), Milwaukee.  The concert and reception are free and open to the public. Learn more here.  
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Dialogue of the Heart: Islam, Interreligious Hermeneutics, and Peacemaking – Feb 11
Wed., February 11, 12 noon, Marquette Center for Peacemaking Soup with Substance With Dr. Irfan Omar. Alumni Memorial Union - Room AMU 157
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Unsafe Passage: Treating Vulnerable Migrants in Mexico – Webcast – Feb 12
Doctors without Borders discuss how the organization is assisting Central American migrants along their dangerous route through Mexico. It’s the largest migration corridor in the world, a passageway through which some 300,000 Central Americans enter Mexico every year, many of whom try to continue onwards to the US. Journeying by boat, on foot, and on a notorious train called The Beast, they cover thousands of miles, and along the way, many find the same thing they are fleeing: violence. Join us for an in-depth discussion on the health consequences of Central American migration through Mexico, and a look at the humanitarian needs of the migrants who undertake the journey.  Thursday, February 12 - 8:00 PM EST Info and registration here.  
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A Community Conversation & Forum on Racism, Hatred, & Intolerance – Feb 15
These are not new problems but have plagued humanity since the beginning of time. Come and hear Pardeep Kaleka and Arno Michaelis and learn how they overcame hatred, anger and fear.  Pardeep is the eldest son of Satwant Singh Kaleka – the president of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, who was gunned down during the attacks of August 5th, 2012. Arno Michaelis the founding member of a racist skinhead organization and lead singer of the hate-band Centurion.  Discover how this unlikely pair joined together to create an organization called Serve2Unite. There will be a free-will donation to raise funds for the mission and services of Serve2Unite.  Come and listen and find out how you can make a difference. Sunday, Feb 15, 4 to 6:30 pm at Redeemer United Church of Christ, W220N4915 Town Line Road, Sussex. See attached flyer for more information
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Water, Faith & Ecology – In Hot Water – Feb 17
7:00-8:30PM at Urban Ecology Center, Riverside, 1500 East Park Place, Milwaukee, WI 53211, (414) 964-8505. Engage Your Mind • Stir Your Spirit. We invite persons of all faiths, spiritualties and philosophies
to “reclaim our greater connection to the sacredness of water and to become inspired, to appreciate, honor and protect the waters of the world.” (Altman, Sacred Waters) Flyer 
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Milwaukee Gospel Jubilee at the Pabst – Feb 20
A celebration of Milwaukee’s best gospel groups – benefiting Progressive Community Health Centers. Performers include: Spirit of Charms, Voices of Faith, Masonic Wonders, Independent Gospelettes, Sounds of Faith, Living Sacrifice, Pastor Rodney Cunningham and Company.  Friday, February 29 at 8 pm $20.  More info and tickets. 
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EXPLOIT NO MORE – An End to Human Trafficking – Feb 22
On Sunday, Feb 22, at 9:20 to 10:20 am, Katie Linn, the Executive Director of Exploit No More will be at St. James Catholic Church W220 N6588 Town Line Road, Sussex in the Community Center Map  following 8:15 am mass/before 10:30 am mass,  to talk about human sex trafficking and their efforts in the greater Milwaukee area – including our suburbs - to stop trafficking of minors – especially girls from 12 to 17. Katie will share the reality of human sex trafficking in our community and provide us with tools and actions for raising our awareness and other's awareness of this horrific crime.   All are welcome. Free. Sponsored by St. James Human Concerns and Adult CF.  
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Another Way of Doing Life - Feb 27-28
With Shane Claiborne in the Wisconsin Dells. Christians are meant to be radical non-conformists, interrupting the patterns of our world with prophetic imagination—a holy counterculture.  A weekend of exploration around what it means to be both disciples and church in a culture that seems increasingly at odds with the heart of the Gospel: Details Here 
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Leadership Lessons for Uncertain Times – Forum on Faith and Work – Mar 26
Thursday, March 26, 2015, 7:15-9 a.m. with Chris Lowney. People in many fields – business, health care, education, government, the church – all face a key question:  how can we elicit the leadership we need in order to be our best?  Surveys show that we do not have a lot of confidence in the ability of our current leadership to face the challenges of the future.  Chris Lowney reveals leadership principles that have guided a 450-year-old company that changed the world: the Jesuits. The Italian Community Center (Festa Ballroom), 631 East Chicago Street. $25 per person (fee includes plated breakfast), $200 per table (8-10 persons) More info and Registration Here  
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Catholics at the Capitol 2015 – April 8
On Wednesday, April 8, 2015, the Wisconsin Catholic Conference will host a day of public policy education and advocacy for Catholics. The daylong event will be held in Madison at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, 8:15am – 4:00 pm. Keynote: Dr. Jonathan J. Reyes
Executive Director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Registration and Information here  
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STUDY, REFLECT, PRAY
Book: Seizing the Nonviolent Moments: Reflections on the Spirituality of Nonviolence through the Lens of Scripture. BY Nancy Small
Written for Pax Christi readers. Life is filled with opportunities to practice nonviolence. If we kept track, we'd be surprised at how often we get to choose a violent or nonviolent response to a given situation. Seizing these moments is a spiritual practice that shapes a nonviolent heart. Many people doing this together shapes the heart of a nonviolent world. This book is a humble and accessible approach to nonviolence based on the belief that no one is perfectly nonviolent. We are all works in progress. Each chapter presents an imaginative interpretation of a scripture story about seizing a nonviolent moment that sheds new light on nonviolence and its spirituality.  Learn more.  
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Reflection: Everything We Have Is Gift – Excerpt from a Homily by Thomas Gumbleton
One of the things about following Jesus is that we have to come to terms with what it means to share the wealth of the world. We have to come to an understanding that everything we have is [a] gift. Oh yes, we worked for what we have, and yet underlying whatever we've done is all God has given to us, our very existence, and so everything that comes to us from God is a gift and is meant to be shared.

…one of the things that [St. Vincent de Paul] taught his followers, and that became the spirit of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, was to have the right attitude when you serve the poor. Because isn't it true, it's so easy if we're giving something away, we have a sense that we're superior, we're better than the person who is desperately in need.

But St. Vincent said, "No, that's not the right attitude. The attitude you must have when you give to the poor is one of asking their forgiveness." Ask their forgiveness -- and what was St. Vincent driving at? Well, [in] his day, just as in our day, so many people are poor because the structures of our economic system force them into poverty. Things work against them. They're not poor because they're lazy or indifferent to working and things like that. So often, it's the structures.

See, Pope Francis has talked about that in his first encyclical letter, the structures that cause poverty. And so that's what Vincent de Paul said: "Ask forgiveness. That's your attitude, because part of what you have maybe is taken from the poor, and so what you give really belongs to them." For many of us, that may be a hard lesson, but it's part of what it means to follow Jesus, to have that true sense of what it means to be poor.   Excerpt from NCR, Jan 22, 2015; “The way to peace is not through violence, but through love” by Thomas Gumbleton  
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Prayer
NOW is the Acceptable Time by S. Lillia Langreck
Jesus, this day
I go with you 
To the synagogue to pray.
We sit in silence
They give to you
 The scroll of Isaiah.
God’s Spirit is with you
You open it and proclaim:
“The Spirit of the Lord
Is upon me
Because God has anointed me
To bring glad tidings to the poor…”

As you pray the words
You look upon those gathered
You look down the years to our day.
You see the homeless poor
The victims of war and violence
The jobless ones, the underpaid. 
You see our black brothers and sisters
The hate and racism of our day
You feel  the oppressed ones’  pain
The slavery of the past
The slavery of now
The pain of non-acceptance
Of taking the lesser pay
Of red lining which means
Good housing is denied.

The pain of youth 
You sense their fear
Victims of violence
Even from those who pledge to protect them

You weep with mothers 
Of those who are slain. 

Jesus, let me weep with you
For these rejected ones.
Jesus, let me pray with you.
Open my eyes, my heart 
So that I, too, 
May feel the pain of the despised, the poor.
Give me light and courage
To know what I can do 
To alleviate this pain.
To help those victimized.
To help others understand
We are all God’s anointed
We are truly  sisters and brothers.
Beloved to each other

Let the time be soon
When “white privilege”
Becomes “human privilege”
Help all of us live the reality that
Real privilege is “human privilege”.
Respect and reverence
Is due to everyone.
Jesus, pray with me that 
I may truly live and proclaim 
The truth of who we really are.
Help me to live in such a way
That this now time
Becomes God’s acceptable day. 
Jesus, help us to live in such a way
That you can look at our world
And once again can say
 “This Scripture is here fulfilled this day.”
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