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NOVEMBER 2021 NEWSLETTER
When the weather is warm and sunny, I’m outside in my yard or walking in my neighborhood every day. The shorter, cooler days of November mark a change of routine: more time inside, less contact with neighbors, more being on my own. Sometimes it is a lonely time.

I’m beginning to appreciate the presence of the whole host of those who have gone before me. When I go to the store, they fill the aisles, although unseen. When I walk the dog, they cluster around me. When I converse with friends, they may whisper new thoughts in my ear. When I drive, they may alert me to dangers. We bring this mystery to mind specifically with the feasts of All Saints and All Souls, but it is a reality throughout the year.

May each of us cherish all whom God provides to accompany us, whether in the flesh or on the other side.   



Visit us at www.catholicsforpeaceandjustice.org and the Catholics for Peace and Justice Facebook page

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

TABLE OF CONTENTS

GENERAL


Pope Francis Quote

Visit the Catholic Ecology Center



 

ACTIONS | ISSUES

EVENTS | EDUCATION 


Recurring Events
GENERAL
 
Pope Francis Quote
“Here we have a splendid secret that shows us how to dream and to turn our life into a wonderful adventure. No one can face life in isolation . . . We need a community that supports and helps us, in which we can help one another to keep looking ahead. How important it is to dream together . . . By ourselves, we risk seeing mirages, things that are not there. Dreams, on the other hand, are built together.”

Pope Francis, Address at the Ecumenical and Interreligious Meeting with Young People, Skopje, North Macedonia, May 7, 2019


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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 catholicecologycenter.org
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ACTIONS AND ISSUES

Racial and Ethnic Disparity in State Prisons
The highly-respected Sentencing Project recently released a report on the rate of imprisonment for African American people in the US.  You can read it here:  The Color of Justice: Racial and Ethnic Disparity in State Prisons.
 
You can read an article about the report here: Wisconsin Watch article.
 
The report shows that in our country, an African-American person is five times more likely to be incarcerated in a state prison than a white person is.  Amid this grim national picture, Wisconsin again has the highest rate of African-American incarceration of any state in the nation.  Nationally, one out of every 81 Black people is in prison; in Wisconsin, it is one out of every 36.  While only about 6% of Wisconsin residents are African-American, 42% of the state prison population is African-American.
  
In Wisconsin, we think of ourselves as fair and friendly people.  We don't imagine ourselves as the harshest, least hospitable people in the country.  Still, the results tell a different story.  Ten years ago, a national study showed Wisconsin to have the highest incarceration rate for African-American people, and this week we have learned that we still hold that reprehensible #1 position.
 
WISDOM leaders are laying out plans to respond to this report.  Check with our office to learn the latest events and opportunities to participate, office@wisdomwisconsin.org.
 
It is time for our state to recognize that significant things have to change if we want to live up to our values.  In the meantime, please take a minute to look at the report and/or read the article.  And, please share them with someone. 
 
Though it is embarrassing, we can't let this be a secret.  Our state can't solve its big problem until it acknowledges that it exists.
 
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From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Housing Assistance:
Across the country, large numbers of families who need help to afford housing sit on long waiting lists for assistance due to insufficient program funding.
Agencies administering Housing Choice Vouchers, which help households with low incomes rent a modest unit of their choice in the private market, must generally establish waitlists for applicants, many of whom must endure homelessness or overcrowding while they wait.

Because so many agencies have closed or limited waitlists — some for close to or more than a decade — millions of people experiencing housing instability and homelessness haven’t ever had the opportunity to add their names to a waitlist. And the long wait times to receive help may also discourage people from applying, even if waitlists are open.

Providing substantial, multi-year funding for new vouchers, as the House Financial Services Committee has proposed, would help more people when they first need it instead of forcing them to accept years of hardship; it should be a high priority in the emerging economic recovery (“Build Back Better”) legislation.
 

Closing the Medicaid Gap
More than 2 million adults, majorities of whom live in the South and are people of color, are uninsured and in the Medicaid “coverage gap,” meaning they have incomes below the federal poverty line but no pathway to affordable coverage because their state is one of 12 that has refused to adopt the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion.

People of color make up about 60 percent of those in the coverage gap, hig

[back to top]her than their 41 percent share of the adult, non-elderly population in non-expansion states. This reflects economic, educational, and housing injustices that lead to higher rates of poverty for people of color and over-representation in low-paid jobs that don’t offer employer coverage.

Closing the coverage gap is an important step in undoing the effects of structural racism that continue to affect people’s health and well-being.
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Gerrymandering is a hot issue in Wisconsin
A letter opposing the current Legislature's proposed redistricting was forwarded by an involved citizen. What is your position? Feel free to edit the letter to send your own thoughts to your legislators.   
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Climate Change Becomes the Urgency of Now
This morning, just before sitting down to write this, President Biden met with Pope Francis for an hour and a half, an unusually long one-on-one meeting. Reports say that one of the issues they talked about most and with urgency was climate change. As you know, as the planetary crisis worsens, the concerns of the pope also grow and his statements become more urgent. A scientist himself, he sees the reality unfolding before us now quite clearly. We are headed for a terrible – and preventable – calamity.
         
If you follow the news, you also know that taking substantive action to address the climate crisis is one of the top priorities of the Biden administration. I would love to have been the proverbial fly on the wall, to have listened in on this conversation.

Read Margaret Swedish's full article here.

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Villanova Interdisciplinary Immigration Studies Training for Advocates (VIISTA) Program
Do you want to understand immigration better? Are you looking for a way to help immigrants? Do you want to make a meaningful impact? Are you eager to become part of the solution? Check out the VIISTA Program at Villanova University.

Read more about the program as described by Carl Malischke here.

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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. Visit the CCMR facebook page here. Feel free to contact Alex at 414-736-0969  or alexandernikolai2020@u.northwestern.edu.
 
 

EVENTS AND EDUCATION 


Recurring Events: 

Racial Justice Book Discussion - Tuesdays
Book Discussion: Racial Justice and the Catholic Church by Fr. Bryan Massingale In the author's words, "We all are wounded by the sin of racism... How can we struggle together against an evil that harms us all?” Small group discussion will be held on Tuesday evenings: Oct 12, Oct 26, Nov 9, Nov 30 and Dec 14. 6:00-7:30PM SS. Peter & Paul Church Center. Contact Laura Hancock, FFP Director of Social Justice and Outreach at 414-271-6777x115 or lhancock@ffpmke.org
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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 djschneider86@gmail.com .
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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 
  • Thursday, November 4, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Waukesha Cutler Park
  • Thursday, November 11, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Dominican High School
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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 patrick.conlin87@gmail.com
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Siena Retreat Center Events, www.SienaRetreatCenter.org, 5637 Erie St., Racine, WI 53402.
For a complete description of these and other programs and retreats, visit www.SienaRetreatCenter.org 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.
     
    • November 6: King/North
    • November 13: 76th/North
    • November 20: St. Paul/Water
    • November 27: Port Washington/Silver Spring
 
November and December Events
 
Defeating Militarism and Economic War: Making Our Americas a Zone of Peace - Nov 3
Wednesday, November 3, 6 p.m. (Central). Learn more and register here.
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Journeying with the Saints: Black Catholic Holy Men and Women - Nov 9
November is Black Catholic History Month. Join Dr. C. Vanessa White and be inspired by the lives of Black Catholics on the road to sainthood.
Offered virtually via Zoom. Tuesday, Novmber 9, 2021. Learn more and register here.
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Volunteer Coordinating and Managing - Nov 10
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee Office for Human Dignity will be hosting a series of virtual trainings on Volunteer Coordinating and Managingfeaturing Jessica Brandt, Volunteer Coordinator for Catholic Charities. Final Session, Recognition, Retention & Tracking success (delegating tasks/ “promoting” volunteers), Wednesday November 10, 11 a.m. Online registration is available here.
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Love your Neighbor as Yourself - Nov 20
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, November 20, after 5 p.m. mass. Learn more and register here.
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Celebrate the life of Rosemary Huddleston, OP - Nov 21
Sr. Rosemary Huddleston, a member of the Sinsinawa Dominican community, died on July 31, and was buried at the motherhouse cemetery. Many Milwaukee Catholics committed to peace and justice will remember Sr. Rosemary “Robi” in her roles as Parish Consultant for the Archdiocese, or in the office for international missions. A remembrance and tribute to Sr. Robi for people living in the Milwaukee area will be held on Sunday November 21 at Our Lady of Lourdes parish hall from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Bring your stories and your memories to share! 
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Virtual Las Posadas - Dec 14
The welcoming community of Siena Retreat Center (Racine, WI) invites you to a Virtual Las Posadas on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 (6:30pm Central).  The bilingual Zoom gathering will include traditional and contemporary prayers, an opportunity for participants to share their prayer intentions, and a celebration with seasonal songs.  Free.  Learn more and register at https://www.sienaretreatcenter.org/events/virtual-las-posadas
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PRAY
 
God of Justice and Love
Strengthen our minds and hearts to believe in ourselves and to love you more dearly.
Remind us that in caring for your people we come to know you more deeply.
 
Provide us with the courage to seek good
for all members of our community, our nation, our world.
May we walk humbly in this journey of following your Son’s path
 of reaching out to those most in need, and working with them in righting the wrongs.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, in the love of the Holy Spirit. Amen


Author unknown



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REFLECT
It is only in loving our neighbor that we can be set on loving God all the time and everywhere. There is no meaning to human existence but this.

The more earnestly we want to surrender to God, the more determinedly we must work to love our neighbor.


Sr. Ruth Burrows, Living Love
 
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