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Catholics for Peace and Justice MAY 2015 Newsletter

Catholics for Peace and Justice
MAY 2015 Newsletter

Greetings,
In the presence of God we find hope.  In a church filled with sisters and brothers of all creeds and races, we find hope. Marching on the steps of the Capitol, we find hope.  In the words of Pope Francis, we find hope. 

Literally hundreds upon hundreds of people took faith to action in April to change the playing field for the poor and marginalized, to stand up for immigrants, to fight for treatment and release for the imprisoned, to break down walls and speak up for the dignity of all people. If you missed the rush, there is still, and always, time to participate.  Follow up on these actions is as important as the action itself.  Find out how below.

Some items of note:
The April 22 Prayer Service to Heal the Legacy of Segregation was a spiritual gift of awakening, but divides cannot be healed in a single evening. We must be unfailing in our struggle to bridge the chasm of segregation and racism in our community. We ask you to commit to this process of healing by attending monthly services at various churches throughout our community. Your next opportunity is on May 17 at Community Grace Baptist Church.  Details below. Bring a friend. 

If you have not yet seen Inequality for All, May 19 is your date. Join us at the UU Church West in Brookfield.

You have told us that both local and global poverty are important issues.  With that in mind, we will bring you information and opportunities for advocating with the ONE campaign. Learn more about ONE below.

Francis steps up the heat on global climate change deniers with a call for a “moral awakening”

And, finally Catholic Relief Services is on the ground in Nepal.  Donations are being accepted on line or by phone with credit card at 877-435-7277.


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
Ongoing Prayer Services to Heal the Legacy of Segregation 
The ONE Campaign – Advocating Against Global Poverty

ACTIONS AND ISSUES
News from Faith at ONE: Poverty is Sexist!
Faith Leaders Call for End to Detaining Immigrant Families
People of Faith United on 11x15, Drug Testing the Poor, Driver ID Cards and More 
Catholics at the Capitol Follow Up on Issues
Vatican's Climate Change Summit calls for "moral awakening" on global warming
Pope Francis Believes in Climate Change, Does Your Legislator?
Oppose Sweeping cuts to DNR Science Bureau
Bill Introduced to Oppose Fracking on Public Lands
Common Ground Update

EVENTS AND EDUCATION
May Day Solidarity March – May 1
Is Islam a Religion of Violence? – May 2
Why Do We Pray? An Exploration of the Purpose and Benefits of Prayer – May 3
Press Conference and Law Suit for Documentation - May 6
Barking to the Choir: Now Entering the Kinship of God - May 7
Memorial Service for the Homeless – May 7
Peace Action Annual Mother's Day Brunch! – May 10
20th anniversary celebration of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - May 13
"Inequality for All" Film Screening and Discussion – May 19
We the Taxpayer Training – May 19
Wisconsin’s Truth in Sentencing Law – May 19
Water: Faith and Ecology Conversations – May 19
Poverty in the Milwaukee Metro Area and What You Can Do About It – May 21
Million Mom’s March – May 30
Wisconsin Lantern Walk – May 30
Life, Earth and the Common Good: Social Action Summer Institute – July 19-23
The Capuchins' Run Walk for the Hungry – July 24

STUDY, REFLECT, PRAY
Book: Just Mercy, A Story of Justice and Redemption By Bryan Stevenson
Reflection: Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Prayer: In Gratitude for Your Creation



GENERAL
Ongoing Prayer Services to Heal the Legacy of Segregation 
Sunday, May 17.   10 AM.   Community Grace Baptist Church, 1809 W. Atkinson Ave., Milwaukee  Over 90 people attended the Greater Together Coalition Prayer Service to Heal the Legacy of Segregation on April 22, BUT our divides cannot be healed in a single evening. We must continue to sit together, ongoing and often, in prayer in the presence of our Creator to learn trust, to learn confidence in one another and to learn true non-judgement.  With this commitment, as people of faith, each month we will continue to sit side by side. We will continue to unite our prayers in a call for increased understanding among the people of our community and to bring an end to the violence, poverty and racism in our midst. People of all faiths are welcome to participate.   Join us at Community Grace Baptist Church at 10 am on May 17.  All are invited. Please share this invitation widely
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The ONE Campaign – Advocating Against Global Poverty
What is the ONE Campaign?   It is an international, nonpartisan, non-profit, advocacy organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, by raising public awareness and pressuring political leaders to support effective policies and programs that are saving lives and improving futures.  It is backed by a movement of nearly six million members around the world. 

ONE was originally founded by a coalition of 11 non-profit humanitarian and advocacy organizations, including DATA, World Vision, Oxfam America, and Bread for the World, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The name ONE was inspired by the belief that one voice, coming together with many others — the political left and right, business leaders, activists, faith leaders and students — can change the world for the better.
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ACTIONS AND ISSUES
News from Faith at ONE: Poverty is Sexist!
It's no secret that extreme poverty hits women and girls the hardest.  But ensuring girls and women access healthcare, education, and their full potential doesn't just help them--it helps all of society.  If women had access to the healthcare that the World Health Organization recommends, maternal deaths could be cut by 67%.  And if women farmers had equal access to capital, up to 150 million more people could be fed.  That's why we want to fight for them.  Take action and tell leaders that poverty is sexist and we want this fact to change.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hosting a meeting of the world's most powerful leaders this June. She gets to decide what is talked about and what gets acted on.  Learn more and sign the petition
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Faith Leaders Call for End to Detaining Immigrant Families
National Catholic Reporter, Nuri Vallbona, Mar. 30, 2015 
Faith leaders from around the country decried the detention of immigrant families seeking asylum, calling it inhumane, shocking and a violation of human rights, and in a letter called upon President Barack Obama to end the practice. "It is clear there is no humane way to detain families," said Linda Hartke, president and chief executive officer of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. "Children, many of whom are babies and toddlers, do not belong in jails, nor do their mothers, who've acted only to protect and save the lives of their children.” Read more..  
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People of Faith United on 11x15, Drug Testing the Poor, Driver ID Cards and More
On Wednesday, April 29 over 800 people of faith from 8 organizations and 10 WISDOM affiliates converged on Madison to claim justice for the imprisoned, a safety net for the poor and marginalized, driver cards for the immigrant, and maintenance of funds for those who are in need of public transit in our communities.  

You can reinforce the People of Faith United for Justice points of advocacy by calling or emailing your Wisconsin legislators to establish your position and share your personal story of how these changes in our state will affect you, your family and your neighbors.  
•    Oppose drug testing requirements for accessing public assistance 
•    Support driver ID cards for immigrants 
•    Remove changes to the budget for Family Care, IRIS, and Aging and Disability Resource Centers from the budget
•    Increase TAD [Treatment Alternatives and Diversions] to $20 million
•    Provide alternatives to crimeless revocation [sending parolees back to prison for technical violations of parole] and move savings to TAD
•    Parole eligible “old law” prisoners and move savings to TAD
•    Move 17 year olds back to juvenile court where they belong. 
•    Maintain transit funding within the transportation fund 
•    Restore the cut to public transit.

Read position papers on the above issues here.  Then contact your Wisconsin state legislators.   
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Catholics at the Capitol Follow Up on Issues
The Wisconsin Catholic Conference urges Catholics to follow up on these issues raised with legislators at Catholics at the Capitol.  

Included in these issues is drug testing applicants for public assistance. The Wisconsin Catholic Conference (WCC) and eight other religious organizations sent a letter   to members of the Wisconsin Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance, asking that the governor's proposals to drug test applicants for some public assistance programs be removed from the budget.  The letter  states, "It is likely . . . that many persons who are jobless or in poverty would be simply punished, rather than helped."

WCC's five Issue Briefs, the 2015 Public Policy Positions, and the legislative directory are available on the WCC's website at www.wisconsincatholic.org .  Videos of the keynote speech and several of the breakout sessions will also be made available on the website.
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Vatican's Climate Change Summit calls for "moral awakening" on global warming
From Margaret Swedish Center for New Creation
On April 28 religious leaders and scientists gathered at the Vatican for a summit on climate change, sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Social Sciences. The summit was a next significant step in Pope Francis's campaign to make the Catholic Church a moral presence in the global debate leading up to the United Nations Climate Conference set for December in Paris. As expected, the gathering received plenty of international press. You can read more about it at these links: Vatican Official Calls For Moral Awakening on Global Warming, Pope Francis Steps up Campaign on Climate Change, to Conservatives' Alarm, Scientists and Religious Leaders Discuss Climate Change at Vatican, Catholics, encyclical, could make powerful impact on climate change

Participants released a declaration at the summit's end. "In this core moral space, the world’s religions play a very vital role. These traditions all affirm the inherent dignity of every individual linked to the common good of all humanity. They affirm the beauty, wonder, and inherent goodness of the natural world, and appreciate that it is a precious gift entrusted to our common care, making it our moral duty to respect rather than ravage the garden that is our home..." Read the entire declaration here. This event gives strong indication of what the Pope will emphasize in his encyclical on ecology, which will be released in June or July. 

This is one of the most significant moments the Catholic world has ever had to address the crisis of global warming. The pope has called on Catholics to engage their communities in education, dialogue, advocacy, and action throughout this year. CPJ will be collaborating with other groups to foster programs in parishes and among grassroots faith communities in the Greater Milwaukee area. We can all be a part of this.
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Pope Francis Believes in Climate Change, Does Your Legislator?
Although 97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is real and man-made, and affecting communities in every part of the country some of our legislators are still climate deniers. Click here to find out if your legislators are climate deniers.  
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Oppose Sweeping cuts to DNR Science Bureau
From Margaret Swedish, Center for New Creation
Governor Walker's biennial budget includes steep cuts to the Department of Natural Resources. These cuts include eliminating 66 positions, many of them in the Bureau of Science Services [57 DNR employees began receiving layoff notices on Earth Day]. Some Republicans in the legislature support eliminating the bureau altogether. Many environmental advocates believe this is payback for the bureau's studies of the proposed GTAC iron ore mine site in the Penokee Hills. The bureau's studies revealed the potential for vast destruction to waterways, wetlands, and forests. GTAC has pulled its lease and says it no longer intends to develop the mine. The bureau provides the science behind many of the DNR's policies and practices and these cuts have attracted broad opposition, from hunters and fisher-people to environmental advocates. It is important to weigh in right now with state legislators   to oppose the cuts and ensure that the bureau can continue its mission. For more info: Wisconsin DNR Mulls Dissolving Science Bureau.
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Bill Introduced to Oppose Fracking on Public Lands
On Earth Day, U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), members of the Safe Climate Caucus, introduced the Protect Our Public Lands Act, H.R. 1902. The legislation is the strongest anti-fracking bill introduced in Congress to date and would ban fracking on public lands. “Our national parks, forests and public lands are some of our most treasured places and need to be protected for future generations,” said Rep. Mark Pocan. “It is clear fracking has a detrimental impact on the environment and there are serious safety concerns associated with these type of wells.  Learn more here.  Ask your representative to support this bill. 
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Common Ground Update
Common Ground Spring Delegates Assembly was held Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at Mt Mary University.  Here is an update on some current and new Common Ground campaigns.  If you are interested in working on any of these campaigns contact Mary Kleist at maryakleist@sbcglobal.net For full information on Common Ground campaigns go to Common Ground web site 
Watershed Campaign: One of the new issue campaigns presented at the Delegates’ Assembly is the Water Team.  CG is looking for people who are interested in environmental issues and who want to get involved at the outset of this campaign. Issue ideas include changing the water rate structure to encourage conservation or reducing the amount of pharmaceuticals going into Lake Michigan.  In the short term, we are planning for a door-to-door campaign on June 6 to tell people what they can do to reduce the pollution that results from large storms.  
Do Not Stand Idly By Campaign: Gun violence is reaching epidemic proportions in our city and around the nation. Want to take action, change the gun industry, and save lives? Then Do Not Stand Idly By... Do Not Stand Idly By is a national IAF campaign, which focuses on gun safety and changing the gun market. 
Fair Play Campaign: Business leaders and elected officials have been discussing using our tax dollars to build a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, Common Ground leaders have had the courage to say that building an arena for the Bucks is not an appropriate use of public money. Tenacious Common Ground leaders continue to work to get funding for Fair Play.
Workforce Transportation Campaign: The Common Ground Transportation Group has come off a successful joint funding campaign with Elmbrook Senior Taxi, to address another issue; Workforce Transportation. Transportation ties together potential employees with employers seeking new hires.
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EVENTS
May Day Solidarity March – May 1
March to defend Administrative Relief for immigrants, immigration reform with a path to citizenship for all, freedom to organize in the workplace, a living wage, and defend our public schools.  May 1st at 11:00 AM beginning at 1027 South 5th Street, Milwaukee. Sponsored by Voces de la Frontera and YES [Youth Empowered by the Struggle]. FLYER
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Is Islam a Religion of Violence? – May 2
A seminar by women and for women addressing the state of Islam hosted by the Milwaukee chapter of Lajna Imaillahthe women’s auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. 1:00 pm Saturday, May 2nd, in the Community Room at the Central Library, 814 West Wisconsin Ave. FLYER 
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Why Do We Pray? An Exploration of the Purpose and Benefits of Prayer – May 3
Representatives of a dozen faiths will give brief, personal presentations on prayer, followed by lively small-group discussions from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 3, at the new mosque in Brookfield, 16670 W. Pheasant Dr. There will be free Middle Eastern snacks and mosque tours from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. No advance registration needed, but arrive early to ensure a seat. Sponsored by the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee and the Brookfield-Elm Grove Interfaith Network. FLYER with details.
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Press Conference and Law Suit for Documentation May 6
Voces de la Frontera filed a request for information on immigrants who have been jailed and who were consequently turned over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation proceedings.  Some documentation was given but not all that was requested.  As a result, Attorney Peter Earle filed a law suit against the Sheriff's Department requesting all the documentation.  There will be a hearing on May 6th at 1:30 p.m. at the County Courthouse with a press conference beforehand on the south side of the courthouse.  Voces invites you to attend the press conference and the court hearing.  Contact jo.lange@att.net or 414-702-8622 for information.
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Barking to the Choir: Now Entering the Kinship of God - May 7
May 7, 7 pm at Church of the Gesu, 1145 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee.  Fr. Boyle is the founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the U.S. that employs and trains more than 300 former gang-members every year in seven social enterprises.  More info Flyer
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Memorial Service for the Homeless – May 7
A memorial service for the homeless individuals who died in the last 12 months will be held at St. Benedict the Moor Parish, 924 W. State Street, Milwaukee. The names will be read with a candle being lit for each name. Those who knew the individual will share a memory. Everyone is welcome! Thursday, May 7, 3 PM at St. Benedict the Moor Parish, 924 W. State Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233  
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Peace Action Annual Mother's Day Brunch! – May 10
Sunday, May 10th at 12:30pm at Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center, 1500 E. Park Pl., Milwaukee. Peace Action Wisconsin's formal luncheon is the perfect way to celebrate your motherhood or the contributions of the mothers in your life. Enjoy a catered brunch, program and music celebrating womens' leadership in the movement for global peace and justice.  Registration and information here.  
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20th anniversary celebration of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - May 13
Keynote speaker Barbara Lawton, former lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, and Dale Schultz, former Republican leader of the Wisconsin state senate, discuss the future of campaign finance reform—and how we can get democracy back in our once-proud state. The event will be held at the Lussier Family Heritage Center, 3101 Lake Farm Rd, in rural southeast Madison (south of South Towne Mall), starting at 5:30 p.m. We’ll provide appetizers and beverages in a gorgeous setting, with great company. The event doubles as our annual meeting, which is always a good time, and this year, it’s going to be especially fun and illuminating. Event details are available on our event registration form.  
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"Inequality for All" Film Screening and Discussion – May 19
A passionate argument for the middle class. 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. Tuesday, May 19, 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Unitarian Universalist Church West, 13001 North Ave., Brookfield.  The screening of the film will be followed by a 30 min guided group discussion. Sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Church West Social Action and Adult Enrichment Committees and Catholics for Peace and Justice. Contact: Maria O'Connor at mariao@uucw.org or 262-782-3535 X11  Flyer for the Event
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We the Taxpayer Training – May 19
Wealth inequality didn’t just fall out to the sky. Learn how tax policy helped create economic disparity, what Catholic Social Teaching tells about injustice, and what we can do to mend the wealth gap. Tuesday, May 19, 4 to 7 pm. Marquette University Alumni Memorial Union, Henke Lounge. Trainer: Colin Christopher education coordinator for NETWORK Lobby.  RSVP by May 15 to cchristpher@networklobby.org  FLYER
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Wisconsin’s Truth in Sentencing Law – May 19
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s law enforcement investigative reporter Gina Barton will speak on Wisconsin’s Truth in Sentencing law on Tuesday, May 19th in the Atrium of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 831 N Van Buren, Milwaukee. Time: 6 PM with a light supper prior to the presentation.  RSVP: Deacon Tom at thunt51@sbcglobal.net  or (414) 961.0332  Prior to May 17th. Sponsored by Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Jail and Prison Ministry.  FLYER
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Water: Faith and Ecology Conversations – May 19
We invite persons of all faiths, spiritualties and philosophies to reclaim our greater connection to the sacredness of water. Discussion on May 19: Water Spring into Life, a consideration of water as essential to physical, spiritual and emotional life. 7 to 8:30 pm at the Urban Ecology Center, Riverside, 1500 East Park Place, Milwaukee.  414.964.8505. Sponsored by the Interfaith Earth Network.  FLYER  
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Poverty in the Milwaukee Metro Area and What You Can Do About It – May 21
Learn more about what can be done to abate poverty in our area with panel members Conor Williams, Economic Policy Analyst for the “Working Our Way Out of Poverty” Project at Community Advocates; Trace Matabele, Educator at the Hunger Task Force in Milwaukee, and Ralph Zick Executive Director of Hope Center in Waukesha. Date: Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm (doors open at 6:00 pm).  Location: Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, 3722 S. 58th Street, Milwaukee (corner of 58th Street & Forest Home Avenue), Halls A & B. Free-will donation. Snacks and beverages will be available. Sponsored by members of the Southeastern Wisconsin Social Justice Committee.  More Info Flyer
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Million Mom’s March – May 30
Maria Hamilton and other Milwaukee mothers will be standing up for a press conference on Monday, March 30th at 5 pm in front of the War Memorial in downtown Milwaukee. March 30th marks the eleven month anniversary of Dontre's death. The mothers will declare their personal war on finding justice for their lost sons and daughters as they prepare for the march on Washington.  What: Million Moms March Announcement Press Conference, Who: Maria Hamilton, Milwaukee Mothers, and Mothers For Justice United, Where: War Memorial (750 N Lincoln Memorial, Milwaukee, WI 53202), When: Monday, March 30th at 5:00PM.  Mothers for Justice United is an organization of mothers whose unarmed black children have been killed by police officers and white vigilantes. Mothers For Justice United was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton, in the wake of Dontre’s death in April 2014. Press Release  Million Mom's Flyer
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Wisconsin Lantern Walk – May 30
Saturday, May 30 at 6:30 pm. Shining the light of truth about sex trafficking in Wisconsin and mobilizing our communities into prevention, intervention and restoration for survivors of sex trafficking. The Lantern Walk is a collaboration with 5-stones and Redeem and Restore Center. All proceeds support the work of Redeem and Restore Center* to provide a safe place for women survivors of sex trafficking. Information and registration. 
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Life, Earth and the Common Good: Social Action Summer Institute – July 19-23
The Catholic Church: Caring For Creation Before It Was Cool. Catholic social teaching is the church's best-kept secret.  Before Pope Francis, there was Pope Benedict XVI (the "Green Pope") and Saint John Paul II, each who wrote on Care for God's Creation. Catholic social teaching: Life and Human Dignity, Priority for the Poor and Vulnerable, and Care for God's Creation.  Learn more about the Social Action Summer Institute here  
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The Capuchins' Run Walk for the Hungry – July 24
Save the date of Friday, July 24, 2015 for this year's Capuchins' Run Walk for the Hungry to Germanfest. Held at the Summerfest grounds. Online registration opens on May 1.  
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Study: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption By Bryan Stevenson
Review by Chris Byrd . NCR,  Apr. 29, 2015.  In his affecting new memoir, Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson recalls one night in the mid-1980s sitting in his car outside his Atlanta apartment as he listened to one of his favorite groups, Sly and the Family Stone, on the radio. The African-American attorney and recent Harvard Law School graduate then noticed a police car pull up. When two officers emerged from their car and approached his, Stevenson got out, and a white officer pointed a gun at Stevenson and said, "Move and I'll blow your head off!". Recent events in Ferguson, Cleveland and New York starkly remind us that black males in the Unites States are born suspects, and Stevenson's Harvard Law degree doesn't exempt him from this reality. Stevenson's experience informs his pursuit of racial justice as director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., and makes him an empathetic and highly effective advocate for his clients.
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Reflection: Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
We live in a world, of course, where every day, I think almost, we're confronted with a reality that our world doesn't conform to what Jesus proclaimed as the reign of God. The terrible disparity between the extremely wealthy and the desperate poor in our world keeps getting worse and worse. The injustice is overwhelming, but also the violence, the killing, and the wars. Do we really have the mind, the heart, and the attitude of Jesus? [National Catholic Reporter, April 24]
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Prayer: In Gratitude for Your Creation
Gracious God, we have taken the fruits of your creation and your merciful abundance for granted. We have uttered prayers of thanksgiving without true gratitude. Meanwhile, we have failed to recognize the suffering of the earth and of the people who have produced our food. Ignoring our connection to the rest of your creation as we reap nourishment, we move further away from your vision of your beloved community. Forgive us, O God, and transform us. Open us to the richness and beauty in connecting our food—at the Lord’s Table and at our individual tables—to all the natural and human resources who have brought it to those tables. Help us to give thanks not just for our food but for all those who have brought it before us and to work that they might also flourish. Encourage us to work for justice for all, so that all may give you thanks and be fed. In Christ Jesus we pray, amen.

From Creation Justice Ministries 

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