Category Archives: Action

Black women faced racism in pursuing religious vocations, says speaker

Catholic News Service
By Andrew Nelson | Catholic News Service

ATLANTA (CNS) — Black women desiring to serve a life devoted to the Catholic faith were not welcomed by religious communities with anti-black acceptance requirements from the early 19th century to the middle of the 20th century, said historian Shannen Dee Williams.

GEORGIA LCWR ASSEMBLY
Shannen Dee Williams, assistant professor in the department of history at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, addresses the Leadership Conference of Women Religious assembly in Atlanta Aug. 10. She spoke about racism and U.S. religious life. (CNS photo/Michael Alexander, Georgia Bulletin) See LCWR-VOCATIONS-RACISM Aug. 16, 2016.

Those who could gain admittance faced discrimination from their fellow sisters, she added.

“Black sisters matter, but they constitute a dangerous memory for the church,” said Williams, assistant professor of history at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

She was joined by Sister Anita Baird, a Daughter of the Heart of Mary, and Sister Dawn Tomaszewski, general superior of the Sisters of Providence, on an Aug. 12 panel discussing racism in religious life at the assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in Atlanta.

Williams upcoming book is called “Subversive Habits: Black Nuns and the Long Struggle to Desegregate Catholic America.” It was the subject of her doctoral dissertation at Rutgers University.

Later, scores of sisters walked from the LCWR assembly being held in the Hilton Atlanta to Centennial Olympic Park to pray on the plaza outside the Center for Civil and Human Rights, which is dedicated to the achievements of the U.S. civil rights and worldwide human rights movements.

Earlier, the participants wrote on slips of paper when they and their religious communities have not welcomed people of color. The slips became a “chain of bondage,” which was later broken after prayers of lamentation and a blessing.

Williams’ presentation was titled “Shattering the Silence: Black Women and the Challenge of History.

Continue reading Black women faced racism in pursuing religious vocations, says speaker

Campaigns End on Election Day. Revolutions Don’t.

Common Dreams
Jim Hightower

The fervent prayer of old-line Democratic operatives and corporate funders is that the Sanders Storm will dissipate now that Hillary Clinton will get the nomination, thus allowing politics — as — usual to reestablish its grip on the system.

usa
‘Despite Sanders supporters’ natural disappointment that their efforts ended short of the Oval Office, the majority are not petulantly giving up on politics, as most pundits predict,’ writes Hightower. (Photo: Stephen Melkisethian/flickr/cc)

Here’s why I think they’re dead wrong: First, whatever else you think of Clinton, she’s certainly smart, savvy, and accomplished, and she didn’t come this far by ignoring important shifts in the political winds. As Sanders’ tub-thumping message drew huge crowds, new voters, and that deep pool of small donors, she adjusted her wings to try riding some of the powerful thermals rising from America’s grassroots. A career-long corporate Democrat, Clinton began sounding more and more like Sanders, sympathizing with the rising fury of working-class families and becoming at least Bernie-lite on several populist proposals.

You can view her adaptations as hopeful or hopelessly cynical, but the point is that Clinton recognizes that a new power is loose on the land. Understanding that the same old Bill and Barack moderate corporatism won’t charge up the crowds she needs in November, she’s scrambling to tap the electric populism of the Bernie Rebellion.

“Unlike the political and media establishment, which treats elections as periodic games to be ‘won’ with pollsters, funders, and tricksters, this populist team is engaged in REAL politics.”

This rebellious spark is the true hope of a moribund Democratic Party that registers only 29 percent of eligible voters. Far from wishing away the energetic millions who “Feel the Bern,” entrenched Democratic elders should beg these hot—blooded activists to revitalize the party. In fact, a June poll by Reuters/Ipsos found that three quarters of Democrats (including Hillary backers) want Sanders to have a “major role” in shaping the party’s positions, and two-thirds wanted him as her VP choice.

Think about it: While Bernie was the oldest candidate running for president, in heart, soul, vigor, and vision he is by far the youngest. He won the majority of voters under 45 years old and a stunning 71 percent of under-30 voters. In the under-30 demographic, Bernie even won decisively among women, including African-Americans and Latinas. He also dominated among independents who voted Democratic. There’s the future.

Continue reading Campaigns End on Election Day. Revolutions Don’t.

Ten Days For Peace Message from Bishops of Japan

Independent Catholic News

Building peace begins within ourselves, Joseph Mitsuaki Takami, Archbishop of Nagasaki and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan says in the following message:

japanIn response to the strong “Appeal for Peace” at Hiroshima by Saint Pope John Paul II on February 25, 1981, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan designated the days from August 6 to 15 as “Ten Days for Peace.” These days were chosen because the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Memorial Days and the Commemoration Day for the end of World War II all occur in this period. This year marks the 35th time we mark this period.

It goes without saying that our prayers for peace, and the responsibility to learn and think about peace and to act for peace are never limited to this period. For example, we must not forget Okinawa Memorial Day on June 23. We must pray for peace, learn and think about peace and act for whatever is needed for peace throughout the year. And yet, we are required to spend this particular period giving even more attention than usual to peace.

World peace has been shattered and is constantly threatened by such events as the Syrian War, terrorist activities by fundamentalists and others, armed conflicts involving control of resources and hegemonic shows of force. Numerous people including children and women are killed or injured, forced to leave home, deprived of a normal life and even life itself. Terrorist attacks occur in major cities in Europe, the United States or in Muslim nations. Many Japanese people have become victims. Terrorist attacks are waiting to happen at anytime and anywhere in the world. That is why we pray that powers in both Asia and the West will move toward reconciliation rather than a sort of cold war, and that the spirit of peace enshrined in the European Union (EU) will spread globally and tensions in East Asia will be reduced. US President Obama stressed in his speeches seven years ago in Prague and this past May in Hiroshima that we seek and pursue “a world without nuclear weapons.”
Continue reading Ten Days For Peace Message from Bishops of Japan

Sign Petition to Obama Administration Asking to End Family Detention

Dear Friends,

In the summer of 2014, the Obama Administration responded to an increase in the arrival of families from Central America by expanding its capacity to imprison asylum-seeking families. Over the course of a year, our country went from having less than 100 family detention beds to having 3,000. More than 2,900 of these beds are owned by private prison companies.

Persons of faith and persons of conscience organized against this increase in the use of family detention. As a result, the Administration has made small concessions and changes in the way they implement family detention. On July 24th Judge Dolly Gee, in the Central District of California, ruled that the government’s use of family detention was in material breach of a legal agreement governing the treatment of immigrant children. This decision would result in the release of almost every mother and child now in detention and could be the tipping point that finally ends family detention.

Today is your opportunity to tell the Administration to not appeal this ruling. Add your name to this letter to let President Barack Obama, Secretary Jeh Johnson of the Department of Homeland Security, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch know that you want them to #EndFamilyDetention and you want #NoDHSAppeal of this case.

Sign this petition which will be delivered to the Administration on August 3, 2015. http://capwiz.com/pcusa/issues/alert/?alertid=67355626

Then share that you have signed on social media!

Please forward this to your networks!

Blessings,
Ann


Ann Scholz, SSND, PhD
Associate Director for Social Mission
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
8808 Cameron St.
Silver Spring MD, 20910
301-588-4955 (W)
ascholz@lcwr.org
facebook.com/lcwr.org
www.lcwr.org
@lcwrjpic

Don’t mine sacred Native American land in Arizona.

Credo Action

dont-mine-sacred-land-180In what many believe is a first in U.S. history, Congress has decided to give away a sacred Native American site to a massive foreign mining company. (1) We’re joining a last ditch effort to save this land before copper mining begins and this land is irreversibly destroyed.

Republicans in Arizona have been attempting for years to trade away the beautiful national forest lands at Oak Flat in Arizona, which are considered holy by the Apache tribe. And until recently, they’ve failed for lack of support. But last December, in a deeply cynical and undemocratic move, Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake snuck last minute language into a must-pass defense bill transferring the land directly to the Rio Tinto mining company. (2)

Apache tribal leaders are planning a caravan to Washington, D.C. this month to protest this outrageous land giveaway. We’re joining thousands of activists to help amplify their message and pressure Congress to stop the Apache land grab.

Sign the petition: Stop the Apache land grab and protect Native American holy land from copper mining.

Continue reading Don’t mine sacred Native American land in Arizona.

Georgetown University Announces End to Endowment Investments in Coal Mining Companies

Ignatian Solidarity Network

Georgetown University and Georgetown University’s Board of Directors passed a resolution announcing the end to direct investments of endowment funds in companies whose principal business is mining coal for use in energy production.
Georgetown University and Georgetown University’s Board of Directors passed a resolution announcing the end to direct investments of endowment funds in companies whose principal business is mining coal for use in energy production.

WASHINGTON, DC – On June 4, 2015, the Board of Directors of Georgetown University passed a  resolution stating that the university will not make or continue any direct investments of endowment funds in companies whose principal business is mining coal for use in energy production.

The board resolution emphasizes Georgetown’s Jesuit Catholic mission as an impetus to “lead on issues of justice and the common good such as environmental protection and sustainability.”  It also states clearly that climate change is “real and poses a serious threat.”  They also identified the efforts of Georgetown University Fossil Free and the University’s Committee on Investments and Social Responsibility.

“The work of understanding and responding to the demands of climate change is urgent and complex,” said John J. DeGioia, Ph.D., president of Georgetown University in a university statement. DeGioia continued, “It requires our most serious attention. As a university community, we can best respond to this evolving and ongoing challenge when we acknowledge the tensions embedded in this work – and the variety of perspectives that are present in this moment.”

This announcement comes from Georgetown as another Jesuit university is considering a call from faculty to divest from fossil fuel related industries.  Earlier this year over 200 Loyola University Chicago faculty members expressed their support of the movement to divest led by Loyola president Rev. Michael Garanzini, S.J.  The issue will be addressed by university administrators and the board of directors in the coming weeks.

Action on both campuses comes just a couple weeks before Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change will be promulgated.  Earlier today the Vatican announced that it will be shared publicly on June 18th.

“Protect the earth, dignify humanity”

INDEPENDENT CATHOLIC NEWS

The Blue Marble -- taken during Apollo 17 lunar mission 1972. (Google Image/unknown)
The Blue Marble — taken during Apollo 17 lunar mission 1972. (Google Image/unknown)

World leaders meeting at the Vatican for a conference on climate change have issued a final statement today, declaring that “human-induced climate change is a scientific reality” and “its decisive mitigation is a moral and religious imperative for humanity.”

The statement says that humans have the technological and financial means, and the know-how, to combat human-induced climate change, while at the same time eliminating global poverty.

The conference, entitled ‘Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Humanity’ was organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, SDSN and Religions for Peace.

Declaration of Religious Leaders, Political Leaders, Business Leaders, Scientists and Development Practitioners
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