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Catholics for Peace and Justice Newsletter

Catholics for Peace and Justice
July 2016 Newsletter

Summer Greetings,

How about a summer book read?  Social Justice may not be your first pick for easy summer reading, but we think we have something close.  Evicted by Matthew Desmond comes very close to combining our need to learn more about the lives of those we serve AND an easy summer read written as the story of 8 families living in Milwaukee.  

Join the "club".  Read the book.  Discuss it in September. More below. 

We also ask for your prayers and action for the inmates in Waupun and other facilities in Wisconsin, who are right now engaging in food refusal [hunger strike] to protest the torture of extended Solitary Confinement.  Read their story below.

Blessings on your ministry and your summer.
  

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
"Evicted" Read with Us This Summer.  Discuss with Us in September
Faithful Citizenship Reflecting on Election 2016 through the Eyes of Faith

ACTIONS AND ISSUES
Family Immigration Programs Deadlocked by Supreme Court – Now What?
Wisconsin DOC Force Feeding Prisoners in Solitary Confinement
Take Action to Pressure the DNR to Protect Wisconsin’s Waters

EVENTS AND EDUCATION
New Sanctuary Movement Monthly Vigil - Jul 5
'Dream On' Movie Screening- Jul 11
Global Compassion Summit - Jul 13-14
Going Whole Hog Fundraiser for the Farm Fresh Atlas of SE Wisconsin - Jul 16
Parade and Paddle at Convergence at the Confluence - Jul 17
30th Annual Social Action Summer Institute (SASI) - Jul 17-21
Praise be: Reflecting on Faith Traditions’ Statements: – Jul 19
New Sanctuary Movement Monthly Vigil - Aug 2
Pax Christi USA 2016 National Gathering - Aug 12-14
'Sex + Money' Movie - Exploit No More  - Sep 14
Wisconsin Interfaith Power & Light Conference - Sep 18
From SOA Watch to the Border/Join Us at the U.S./Mexico Border Oct 2016

STUDY, REFLECT, PRAY
Study: US Conference of Catholic Bishops Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship
Reflect: "Urgent Need for a Bold Cultural Revolution" from Margaret Swedish 
Pray: Fill Me with the Fruits of Your Spirit Lord

GENERAL
"Evicted" Read with Us This Summer.  Discuss with Us in September
Last month and in April we featured the book "Evicted" by Matthew Desmond.  This month we are inviting you to join us in reading "Evicted" as a summer "book club read".  Then in September join other CPJ readers in a single meeting of discussion.  The book is available from many vendors.  Here is an Amazon link to identify the book.  

Evicted is a must read for anyone working in the areas of social justice or direct service in the city of Milwaukee.  In his book, Desmond tells the stories of eight families living in poverty in Milwaukee and their struggle to remain in housing.  It also tells the stories of two landlords and how they manage their properties.  Desmond did embedded research, living for a time on both the north and south sides of Milwaukee.  Through these stories the reader is given a window into the world of the urban poor--decision making processes, stumbling blocks to stability, personal and economic challenges and substance abuse are all woven through the interesting and very readable narrative.   Get reading!
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Faithful Citizenship Reflecting on Election 2016 through the Eyes of Faith
In September and October Catholics for Peace and Justice along with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will be sponsoring a 2 evening program to reflect on the election through the eyes of faith. On the first evening, Fr. Chuck Schramm will discuss the spiritual foundation of forming our conscience in these tough political times. On the second evening facilitators will lead small group discussions on issues facing the electorate. Learn skills for civil dialogue, share your views with and listen to other members of our faith community in a safe environment. 

The program will be held at three times at three different locations across the archdiocese. SO... Pick a location and save the dates: Sept 8/15 at Our Lady of Lourdes; Sept 21/28 St James Menomonee Falls; Oct 6/13 St John Cathedral.  More info to come.

As Christians we are called by Christ to vote for candidates that respect the dignity of all stages of human life. Come together to find calm amidst the chaos. 
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ACTIONS AND ISSUES
Family Immigration Programs Deadlocked by Supreme Court – Now What?
The chairman of the Committee on Migration of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops expressed disappointment on the June 23 deadlocked 4-4 tie ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of United States v. Texas, which challenged immigration guidelines issued by the Secretary of Homeland Security for Deferred [deportation] Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and Deferred [deportation] Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs [deportation of children who were brought to the US by their parents]. The program would have protected as many as five million undocumented immigrants from deportation.
 
This “no ruling” means that the programs designed to keep families together will remain blocked nationwide from going into effect, and the matter will return to the federal trial court for further proceedings. The original DACA program is not affected by the injunction.
 
Prior to the decision, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and 24 other U.S. faith-based organizations, who advocate or provide aid and resources to recent immigrants and their families, filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court. The brief stressed the public interest and humanitarian arguments for supporting the guidelines, explaining that the guidelines facilitate family stability and community participation.  The full statement from Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle can be found here
 
This “no ruling” further emphasizes the need to push our legislators toward creating comprehensive immigration reform and insuring reform is an issue of the upcoming election.
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Wisconsin DOC Force Feeding Prisoners in Solitary Confinement
On June 10 Wisconsin prisoners held in long term solitary confinement at Waupun Correctional Institution started a “Food Refusal Campaign” in an effort to bring the horror of this practice to the public’s attention and end this torturous practice. Solitary confinement [also called Administrative Confinement or A.C.] for more than 15 days has been deemed “torture” by the United Nations, but WI Department of Corrections [DOC] has held many prisoners in isolation for decades.   
 
As of June 24 “We have confirmed at least two of the perhaps dozens of prisoners who have been refusing food since the week of June 10th are being force fed by WI DOC officials. Using a practice which has been condemned by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Red Cross as a form of torture and “never ethically acceptable,” Wisconsin DOC personnel have been forcing a feeding tube through the nose and down the throat of their restrained and struggling captives three times a day since last weekend.” (Support Prisoner Resistance)
 
What you can do: Call the Department of Corrections [DOC] Director Jon Litscher at 608-240-5000 or docweb@wi.gov and Governor Scott Walker at (608) 266-1212 or govgeneral@wisconsin.gov. You should simply demand that the DOC meet and negotiate with the prisoners refusing food. You will likely be referred to Tristan Cook, and are welcome to contact him as well at 608-240-5060 or docpublicinformationoffice@wisconsin.gov. Writing letters to the editor of newspapers, or contacting non-profit and human rights organizations are also helpful ways to support.
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Take Action to Pressure the DNR to Protect Wisconsin’s Waters
from Margaret Swedish Center for New Creation
Wisconsin has long been known for its strong culture of environmentalism. It is a commitment that has crossed partisan divides over generations. Now that culture is under threat, and none more serious than the threat to our waters. The current state government has gutted many environmental regulations protecting groundwater, wetlands, and rivers, and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has become by its own admission a “permitting” agency for industries like frac sand mining and Concentrated Agriculture Feedlot Operations (CAFOs). Manure runoff from CAFOs has contaminated more than 30% of the wells tested in Kewaunee County, where 76,000 cows produce about 1.5 million tons of manure per year.

Elizabeth Ward, conservation programs coordinator for the John Muir chapter of the Sierra Club, has described Wisconsin’s water problems as “vast and deep as our lakes, rivers, and groundwater aquifers.” (see her recent op-ed in the Journal Sentinel ). The Sierra Club and others are calling on the federal Environmental Protection Agency to review the DNR’s inability, or lack of commitment, to enforce federal law under the Clean Water Act, as it is required to do.

Last October, the Midwest Environmental Advocates (MEA) filed a Petition for Corrective Action on behalf of 16 petitioners with the EPA. That investigation has begun and will continue for the next few months. How can you support this action? Visit this action page on the MEA website for information on what you can do to participate in this important effort to defend our right to clean water in the State of Wisconsin.
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EDUCATION AND EVENTS
New Sanctuary Movement Monthly Vigil - Jul 5
Tuesday, July 5, 6:30 PM,  Ascension Lutheran Church, 1236 S Layton Blvd. 
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'Dream On' Movie Screening- Jul 11
Join the Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative for a free showing of DREAM ON, a documentary that explores both the roots of the American Dream and the reality of our country's ever-increasing income inequality today. A discussion will follow. Monday, July 11th, 5:30-8:00 PM at the Greenfield Public Library Community Room, 5310 W. Layton Ave. Flyer. Learn More and RSVP here.
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Global Compassion Summit - Jul 13-14
The Global Compassion Summit is a no-cost online event produced by The Shift Network in partnership with The Center for Compassion Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University as part of the 5th annual Summer of Peace — the largest online peace event on the planet! For more information and for free registration, click here.
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Going Whole Hog Fundraiser for the Farm Fresh Atlas of SE Wisconsin  - Jul 16
Get connected to our local food movement - the Farm Fresh Atlas™ of Southeastern Wisconsin is having a summer pig roast and fundraiser with live music, games and hayrides. July 16, 1:00 - 6:00 PM, Brightonwoods Orchard in Burlington. Learn more and purchase tickets here.
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Parade and Paddle at Convergence at the Confluence - Jul 17
Keep our water clean. Get explosive oil trains off the tracks and bridges. Parade, paddle, celebrate, socialize and strategize at the Milwaukee River Walk at E. Chicago St. in the Third Ward, 3:00-5:00 PM. Learn More.  
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30th Annual Social Action Summer Institute (SASI) - Jul 17-21
St. Xavier University in Chicago. SASI 2016 offers a transformational experience of immersion sites, presentations, and sessions by national and local leaders connected with Chicago's frontline efforts in racial, social, criminal and economic justice. Cost is $500 for the full week, including tuition, room, and most meals. Daily and commuter rates are also available. You can register here. Roundtable members, please contact us at coordinator@catholicroundtable.org for the member discount code. Learn More
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Praise be: Reflecting on Faith Traditions’ Statements: – Jul 19
On care for our common home faith & ecology conversation series Presented by: Interfaith Earth Network. 3rd Tuesday of the Month 7:00-8:30p m at the Urban Ecology Center. July 19th –   Ecological education and spirituality: The path to change is environmental education and spirituality. See Flyer with list of presentations.   
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New Sanctuary Movement Monthly Vigil - Aug 2
Tuesday, August 2, 6:30 PM, Ascension Lutheran Church, 1236 S Layton Blvd. 
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Pax Christi USA 2016 National Gathering - Aug 12-14
There will be keynote speakers, break-out sessions and vendors at this event in Linthicum, Maryland. Learn more and register here.
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'Sex + Money' Movie - Exploit No More  - Sep 14
The movie ‘Sex + Money’ will be presented by the Exploit No More organization Wednesday, September 14 from 6:30 to 8:30 at Ascension Lutheran Church, 1415 Dopp Street, in Waukesha.  Learn about the reality and pervasiveness of sex trafficking in Southeastern Wisconsin, including our own Milwaukee and Waukesha area communities. Learn More.
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WIPL Conference: Earth Care: A Faith Imperative - Sep 18
Keynote speaker Dr. Steven Bouma-­Prediger will present "An Evangelical Perspective on LAUDATO SI': How Pope Francis' Message Inspires All of Us to Care for the Earth." Sunday, September 18, 2016, 1:00 - ­5:00 PM at St Bernard Catholic Church, 1617 W Pine St, Appleton. For more information, and to register, click here.
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From SOA Watch to the Border/Join Us at the U.S./Mexico Border Oct 2016
This October 7-10, join us in Nogales, Arizona for our first bi-national convergence at the U.S./Mexico border to demand a fundamental shift in U.S. foreign policy. SOA Watch Field Organizer María Luisa Rosal and movement Founder, Father Roy Bourgeois move the popular mobilization to the U.S./Mexico border in the Fall of 2016. Learn More
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STUDY, REFLECT, PRAY
Study: US Conference of Catholic Bishops Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship
The following is excerpted from Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

"The Catholic bishops of the United States are pleased to offer once again to the Catholic faithful Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, our teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics." "The statement lifts up our dual heritage as both faithful Catholics and American citizens with rights and duties as participants in the civil order."

"It is as citizens faithful to the Lord Jesus that we contribute most effectively to the civil order. This document consists mainly of the statement adopted overwhelmingly by the bishops in 2007, plus certain limited revisions by way of update. In particular, this version draws on the wealth of papal teaching since the 2007 version of Faithful Citizenship, such as the later magisterium of Pope Benedict XVI and that of Pope Francis to date. From these great teachings we discern, for example, messages to the universal Church to attend in a special way: to the inextricable link between our witness to the truth and our service to those in need (Caritas in Veritate); to our role as missionary disciples, called forth from the sanctuary to bring Christ to the margins with joy (Evangelii Gaudium); and to the care for our common home and all who dwell in it, especially the poorest (Laudato Si’). The document is also updated to take account of recent developments in the United States in both domestic and foreign policy."  

Read the Full Document Here.  Visit the USCCB Website page on Faithful Citizenship.
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Reflection: "Urgent Need for a Bold Cultural Revolution" from Margaret Swedish
Spring and early summer seem to have become the time of the annual climate apocalypse. Tornadoes up to a mile wide, rain that falls as torrential downpours (two recent examples: 18 inches in one day in May in Houston causing massive floods, several inches in late June in West Virginia that caused flooding not seen in a hundred years). Just weather, right? Weather, yes. But as these patterns of extreme, catastrophic weather events become increasingly common, we know there is nothing “normal” about these events anymore. Climate has changed, and weather is responding.

Meanwhile, in the West, the fire season is already way ahead of last year’s devastation, which broke records from the year before. Record temperatures and exceptional drought conditions continue. Dead or dying parched forests have become tinder for these annual events. Sure, fire season comes every year – but not like this. The fires in California, and in May in the tars sands region of Alberta that filled our Wisconsin skies with smoke, are of unprecedented size and ferocity.

And here is one of the main reasons this is occurring. In May the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s observatory on Mauna Loa in Hawaii recorded an average of 407.4 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere. Recall the reason 350.org took that name for their climate campaign – because 350 ppm is considered the safe level to keep a stable climate. Now climate scientists say we will not see measurements below 400 ppm ever again, at least not for generations. We are living on a new planet.

In his encyclical Laudato Sí: On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis begins chapter three, “The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis,” with these words: “It would hardly be helpful to describe symptoms without acknowledging the human origins of the ecological crisis. A certain way of understanding human life and activity has gone awry.” That is not a comfortable declaration for the society that is most responsible for spewing carbon into the atmosphere over the past 150 years of industrial development. The crisis is real. The human roots are clear. Our responsibility for addressing what has gone awry is also clear. 

“All of this shows the urgent need for us to move forward in a bold cultural revolution.” Let us pray this month for the courage to be as bold as the crisis requires of us.
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Prayer: Fill Me with the Fruits of Your Spirit Lord
Fill me with the fruits of your Spirit, Lord.
Fill me with love, so that I seek to understand and appreciate the rich variety and diversity of life that surrounds me.
Fill me with joy, so that I celebrate your presence in each and every moment I am on this earth
Fill me with peace, so that I know how to ease those angry and sometimes violent urges that well up inside of me.
Fill me with patience, so that I stop rushing long enough to witness your miraculous work taking place all around me and within me!
Fill me with kindness, so that I take the extra time to help the one in need, even when it isn’t convenient for me.
Fill me with faithfulness, so that I place my mind, heart, and all that I do in the service of your Gospel
Fill me with gentleness, so that others know that I believe in a God who loves and cares for all people.
Fill me with self-control, so that I act not on my impulses and urges, but rather on my beliefs and values, which are rooted in you.
Fill me with these fruits of your spirit, Lord!
Amen
 
Gal 5:22-26

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