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Catholics for Peace and Justice Newsletter

Catholics for Peace and Justice
JANUARY 2016 Newsletter

Joy to You in the New Year!

Yes. Joy, because even in our current world of chaos, we know that from turbulence springs change. Think about it, as we celebrate Martin Luther King Day this month. When have you seen change spring up from complacency? The turbulence we live in must lead to the change that God places before us.

Jesuit priest Fr. James F. Keenan has defined Mercy as "the willingness to enter into chaos of another." In this Year of Mercy there is no shortage of chaos for us to enter into whether it be the election, segregation and racial justice, poverty, refugees and migration, or ecology and climate change.  Fr. Keenan's definition can help us see that being merciful is less about putting a band aid on a wound to fix a problem and more about faithfulness and fidelity in the midst of chaos.  According to the book of Genesis, even God did not complete creation in a day, nor is God finished. 

Our prayer is that God gives us the eyes and the heart to see what can be and will be in the chaos that is. 

Blessings on your ministry,

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
Pope Francis 2016 World Day of Peace Message
The Welcoming Church: A Listening Session on Race in our Faith Communities – Jan 26

ACTIONS AND ISSUES
US Conference Catholic Bishops National Migration Week - January 3 - 9
Its Time to Shine a Light on the Department of Corrections
Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credits Made Permanent
Two Upcoming Wisconsin Legislative Bills You Need to Be Aware Of
For The Planet We Care About, 2016 Has Become a Decisive Year

EVENTS AND EDUCATION
New Sanctuary Movement Vigils – Jan 5 and 7
National Migration Day of Prayer and Reflection – Jan 7
25th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Service – Jan 16
Voter Registration at Our Lady of Lourdes – Jan 16/17
MLK Day Justice Program and March – Jan 18
Archdiocesan Respect Life Mass - Jan 22
2016 Winter Forum: 20/20 Vision to Mend the Gaps – Feb 26
Capuchin Community Services' Lenten Morning of Reflection – Mar 12

STUDY, REFLECT, PRAY
Study: Year of Mercy Resources for You and Your Parish
Reflect: Immigration Week “Resist hatred and suspicion”
Pray: Prayer of Pope Francis for Jubilee Year of Mercy


GENERAL

Pope Francis 2016 World Day of Peace Message
“God is not indifferent! God cares about mankind! God does not abandon us! At the beginning of the New Year, I would like to share not only this profound conviction but also my cordial good wishes for prosperity, peace and the fulfilment of the hopes of every man and every woman, every family, people and nation throughout the world, including all Heads of State and Government and all religious leaders. We continue to trust that 2016 will see us all firmly and confidently engaged, on different levels, in the pursuit of justice and peace. Peace is both God’s gift and a human achievement. As a gift of God, it is entrusted to all men and women, who are called to attain it.”  Read the full message.  
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The Welcoming Church: A Listening Session on Race in our Faith Communities – Jan 26
January 26, 2016 - 6:30p-8:30p @ the Zeidler Center - In light of the hyper-segregation of the Greater Milwaukee area, join us in a facilitated listening session about extending welcome in our faith communities, specifically across racial lines. Individuals of all faiths are welcome to attend! Register here.
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ACTIONS AND ISSUES
US Conference Catholic Bishops National Migration Week - January 3 - 9
Reminder that the USCCB National Migration week is January 3 – 9.  The Theme is “A Stranger and You Welcomed Me”.  Go here for resources
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It’s Time to Shine a Light on the Department of Corrections
“It was shocking and sad to learn that there apparently has been serious misconduct by Department of Corrections officials at the Lincoln Hills juvenile detention facility. Unfortunately, the news was not entirely surprising. “ “Reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel show exactly the kind of pattern that can be expected in a dysfunctional system.”  Read the Op Ed by By Sandra Milligan, Willie Brisco And Tammy Hayward from Dec. 17, 2015.   
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Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credits Made Permanent
In August of 2015 members of Catholics for Peace and Justice met with Senator Ron Johnson’s local office requesting that the Senator support making permanent the Earned Income Tax Credit [EITC] and Child Tax Credit [CTC]. The visit and request was supported by letters to congress from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Despite repeated requests and follow up emails over a 4-month period to get a response of support or no support for the EITC and CTC from Senator Johnson, no response was ever provided to us by the Senator or his representative. 

Notwithstanding Senator Johnson’s disregard for our repeated efforts to get him to respond on this topic, we are happy to report that an extension and expansion of EITC and CTC were included in Congress’s spending and tax bills. Both the EITC and CTC are critical to raising people out of poverty. Read about the details of these provisions here. 
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Two Upcoming Wisconsin Legislative Bills You Need to Be Aware Of
Alert from WISDOM 
AB210 is a bill that would give Wisconsin counties the ability to hold a referendum and to increase their local sales tax by .5% in order to pay for road and street repair. The problem is that it does NOT allow for counties to use any of that new revenue for Transit. Many people depend on the bus for work, for Church, for doctor visits, for grocery shopping, and more, and they should benefit from this as much as people who drive cars. Let your legislators know that transit should be a part of this bill.

The so-called “Impound Bill” needs to be opposed. It calls for the cars of people driving without a license to be taken away. To retrieve the car, the person would have to pay an additional fine. The Impound Bill is supposedly to ensure that repeat drunk drivers cannot stay on the road. The way it is written, however, would do far more to hurt poor people and immigrants. Most people getting stopped for driving without a license have either lost their license because they could not afford to pay a previous fine, or they are undocumented workers who are prohibited from getting a drivers’ license. In either case, the majority are hard-working people who need to drive to get to work. Rather than charge them an extra fine, we need to establish Drivers’ Cards for undocumented people as other states have done and we need to step up programs that help people in poverty to get their licenses restored.
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For The Planet We Care About, 2016 Has Become a Decisive Year
From Margaret Swedish – Center for New Creation  
This past year saw important events indicating that the world is getting far more serious about threats to our planet, climate change being one of them. With the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Sí,  and the UN Climate Conference in Paris earlier this month, the world has been put on notice about the seriousness of the ecological crises. The agreement in Paris  was significant for acknowledging the urgency of action, and for getting governments to commit for the first time to clear ceilings for global temperature rise (2 degrees Celsius, with 1.5C as an “aspiration). However, it fell short of setting binding, enforceable limits on carbon emissions, gives no clear direction for how to reduce emissions (e.g., words like “fossil fuels,” “oil,” “coal,” are never used), and leaves each country to decide on its own how to do its voluntary part. So we can applaud the progress, and use it as leverage, while still noting that it is not enough. [For a good summary analysis, click here.] 

The pope’s voice was a far stronger and more comprehensive charge to the faith community to step up our efforts in this critical time when important decisions must be made if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. Indeed, this year ends on a very difficult note where we are seeing climate chaos in much of our world, some of it enhanced by a record Super El Niño (like the tornado outbreak in Texas and the record flooding in Missouri), some of it not. As I write this, a storm is descending on the North Atlantic with a fury never seen by scientists before, one that will lift temperatures at the North Pole 50 degrees above normal.

2015 will prove a record-breaking year for global temperatures, while 2016 may surpass it as the El Niño persists well into the year. We are clearly moving into uncharted territory. To add to the significance of the moment, we have this election year in front of us. It doesn’t take much to appreciate the consequences of who gets into national and state office starting a year from now.
In sum, there has never been a time as crucial as now for engaging all of us in the work for ecological and social justice.

Click Here for Important Actions You Can Take in 2016

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EVENTS AND EDUCATION
New Sanctuary Movement Vigils – Jan 5 and 7
Greetings New Sanctuary Community, our strong, consistent presence is of utmost urgency in this first month of the New Year, as recent reports have revealed the Department of Homeland Security's large-scale plans to deport families fleeing spiking violence in Central America. Please join us in solidarity on:  TUESDAY, JANUARY 5, 6:30 - 7:30pm at Ascension Lutheran Church (1236 S Layton Blvd in Milwaukee) at our monthly vigil for members of our community directly affected by deportation and their families, friends, and allies and on THURSDAY, JANUARY 7, 12 - 1pm for our weekly gathering outside of ICE (310 E Knapp Street in Milwaukee). This month's Thursday ICE vigils fall on 1/7, 1/14, 1/21, and 1/28.  Let us remember Pope Francis' message before Congress just two months ago: "...when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and errors of the past.  We must resolve now to live as nobly and justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their backs on our 'neighbors' and everything around us." 
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National Migration Day of Prayer and Reflection – Jan 7
At Elizabeth Ann Seton. The day will begin at 8 am with Mass.  After Mass, our indoor labyrinth will be open until 8 pm to allow for private prayer and reflection.  You are welcome to join us at any time throughout the day. St Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish (12700 W. Howard Avenue, New Berlin, 262-782-6760) 
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25th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Service – Jan 16

Saturday, January 16, 1:30 PM, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 1927 North 4th Street, Milwaukee. Celia Jackson, Director of the International and Intercultural Center at Alverno College will be presenting, “Awake! Do Not Be Deceived.” Sponsored by: The Black Catholic Ministry Commission of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, The Black and Indian Mission Grant. Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 2016 Rev. Dr. Mar n Luther King Jr. Memorial Prayer Service Planning Committee.
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Voter Registration at Our Lady of Lourdes – Jan 16/17
The Social Justice Committee at Our Lady of Lourdes (3722 S. 58th St.) is sponsoring a voter information event on the weekend of Jan. 16 & 17 after each of the liturgies. A registration deputy will be present to register voters and handouts will include the following information:  obtaining a photo ID, absentee voting procedures and ballot, a list of election dates, and a list of countywide and statewide candidates. The event is open to anyone – no need to be a OLOL member to take advantage of obtaining this valuable voter information. Go to www.ololmke.org/ for mass times.
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MLK Day Justice Program and March – Jan 18
Mon. Jan. 18, 2016, 1:00 pm, St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1927 N. 4th St. Program will emphasize Dr. King's call to confront not only racism but also militarism, poverty and economic injustice through a mix of dramatic readings of Dr. King's quotes, music, and recognition of those who worked with King personally or are carrying out his work in the community in many ways today. The program will follow with a 4 block march to the statue of Dr. King on King Dr. with an open mike to reflect on Dr. King's impact on our lives.
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Archdiocesan Respect Life Mass - Jan 22
Archdiocesan Respect Life Mass at St. Francis Borgia Parish, 1375 Covered Bridge Road, Cedarburg WI 53012 on January 22, 2016.  We will start with a rosary at 6:30, followed by Mass at 7:00  p.m. with the Archbishop, and a reception afterwards with displays from various groups from around the Archdiocese.
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The Welcoming Church: A Listening Session on Race in our Faith Communities – Jan 26
January 26, 2016 - 6:30p-8:30p @ the Zeidler Center - In light of the hyper-segregation of the Greater Milwaukee area, join us in a facilitated listening session about extending welcome in our faith communities, specifically across racial lines. Individuals of all faiths are welcome to attend! Register here.
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2016 Winter Forum: 20/20 Vision to Mend the Gaps – Feb 26
A Pastoral & Political Challenge with Sister Simone Campbell. February 26 - 27, 2016. Bethlehem Lutheran Church W8267 Highway 33 East, Portage. Sister Simone Campbell has served as Executive Director of NETWORK since 2004. She is a religious leader, attorney and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change. In Washington, she lobbies on issues of peace-building, immigration reform, healthcare and economic justice. Around the country, she is a noted speaker and educator on these public policy issues.  More Information 
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Capuchin Community Services' Lenten Morning of Reflection – Mar 12
March 12, 2016 (9:30 AM - Noon) Save the Date. Location: House of Peace Site, 1702 W. Walnut Street Milwaukee. In honor of Pope Francis' Jubilee Year of Mercy, Capuchin Friar Bill Cieslak will be presenting a reflection on Mercy. Br. Bill is a Capuchin priest and has taught liturgy and sacraments at the Franciscan School of Theology (Graduate Theological Union) in Berkeley, CA for 25 years. He is the director of Preaching and Evangelization for the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph. He travels worldwide discussing Franciscan spirituality & theology.  
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STUDY, REFLECT, PRAY
Study: Year of Mercy Resources
Find resources for the Year of Mercy at the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Website 

Reflection Immigration Week “Resist hatred and suspicion”
From America Magazine  
"Political rhetoric which has the effect of fanning anti-Muslim sentiment was roundly deplored by leaders of the U.S. Catholic Church following Trump’s statements and San Bernardino, an act of apparently home-grown terror planned and executed by a Muslim-American and his Pakistan-born wife. Without specifically noting Mr. Trump’s proposal, Louisville’s Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in an Advent message, “We have reason to announce the need for peace and goodwill throughout the world with even stronger voices this year, in light of the recent mass shooting in San Bernardino. Violence and hate in the world around us must be met with resolve and courage."

“The Christmas story,” he said, “inspires us to give of ourselves, as Jesus gave up his body, so we may bring comfort and joy to those in need. We must not respond in fear. We are called to be heralds of hope and prophetic voices against senseless violence, a violence which can never be justified by invoking the name of God.”

The archbishop urged U.S. Catholics to “resist the hatred and suspicion that leads to policies of discrimination.” Instead, he called for Americans to channel emotions of concern and protection “into a vibrant witness to the dignity of every person.” “We should employ immigration laws that are humane and keep us safe,” he said, “but should never target specific classes of persons based on religion.

“When we fail to see the difference between our enemies and people of good will, we lose a part of who we are as people of faith. Policies of fear and inflammatory rhetoric will only offer extremists fertile soil and pave the way toward a divisive, fearful future.”
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Pray: Prayer of Pope Francis for Jubilee Year of Mercy
Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money;
the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things;
made Peter weep after his betrayal,
and assured Paradise to the repentant thief.
Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman:
“If you knew the gift of God!”
 
You are the visible face of the invisible Father,
of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy:
let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified.
You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness
in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error:
let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God.
 
Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with His anointing,
so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord,
and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor,
proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed,
and restore sight to the blind.  
 
We ask this of you, Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of
Mercy; you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and
ever.
Amen.
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