U.S. Military Presence in Uganda
(Oct. 14) The Obama administration announced deployment of 100 military advisers to Uganda and surrounding countries to help dismantle the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and its leader Joseph Kony for war crimes. A few prominent Uganda-watch groups have cautiously supported the stepped up efforts against the LRA. However, the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (which includes Gulu’s Archbishop Odama and other prominent faith leaders) released an October 24 statement expressing appreciation for the White House’s attention to the plight of suffering civilians, but also asserting their concern for this escalation and their long-held preference for “dialogue rather than force, engagement rather than confrontation” as the only bridge to a sustainable peace. Fr. Orobator, the Eastern Africa Provincial, put his support with the Acholi Religious Leaders statement. If you would like more news or updates, please contact John Sealey.
David Hollenbach discusses new responsibilities of South Sudan
Click here for this new post which appeared Nov. 7 on the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network blog.
Welcome to Eastern Africa Provincial: Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, S.J., the provincial of Eastern Africa (our twinning partner since 1987) will be visiting Milwaukee November 21-22, 2011. He has also been to Omaha at the invitation of Creighton University’s Kripke Center academic lecture in 2010. Click here for a stream of this lecture “Religion and Conflict in Africa”
USCCB-CLINIC (Catholic Legal Immigration Network) national conference on immigration in Salt Lake City on Jan. 11-13, 2011. Click here for details.
Parishioner mother of three facing deportation: A member of the Jesuit-run campus parish at U. of Michigan at Ann Arbor (St. Mary’s), Ms. Lourdes Salazar, is scheduled to be deported on December 27. She has been in the U.S. for 14 years and has three children (ages 13, 9, 7) all born in the U.S. and has owned a house in Ann Arbor for over ten years. Her husband was deported last year and she has been the sole supporter of her kids. Lourdes is just one of three individuals from the parish who are in the process of deportation. The parish is planning a November 11 vigil and working with other immigrant rights groups on and off campus to block the deportation. Bishop Earl Boyea (Lansing) who also oversees Ann Arbor has written to directors of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on behalf of Ms. Salazar. Click here to take action.
Domestic Poverty Actions and Analysis
There is no shortage of policy discussion regarding the economy these days. Here are a few items of interest for this Jesuit Conference advocacy focus area.
NEW Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Report on Income Trends 1979-2007: This Oct report by the non-partisan CBO shows that for this 30-year time period, income grew by:
275 percent for the top 1 percent of households,
65 percent for the next 19 percent,
Just under 40 percent for the next 60 percent, and
18 percent for the bottom 20 percent.
Growth in Real After-Tax Income from 1979 to 2007
Project Homeless Connect hosted by Marquette University: In addition to Creighton University, who has hosted an Omaha-based Project Homeless Connect for the past 4 years, Marquette University stepped up to be the Milwaukee host on Oct 20. Project Homeless Connect is a national movement aimed at ending homelessness. The strategy is to provide a one-day, one-stop annual event where homeless people can come to access the multiple services and resources from community partners, all under one roof (in this case, the Marquette student Union and Weasler Auditorium). Thanks to MU Campus Ministry for coordination and linkage with community advocates and partners. See photos or facebook.
Creighton Prep’s Operation Others is well known for delivering Christmas food baskets (1,600 currently) to Omaha area families in need for over 44 years. However, director Jerry Kinney is encouraging CP student to greater reflection on underlying conditions which maintain so many families in these precarious economic times. This year O.O. students viewed the movie and experienced for one day what it is like to live on a food stamp budget (a modified version of the Food Stamp Challenge). They also served at the St. Francis meal program and sent messages to elected officials using Jesuit advocates resources.
Occupy Wall Street’s Most Unlikely Ally: The Pope was the title of an October 27 NPR editorial by Tom Reese, S.J. (Senior Fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center)
“The King Has No Clothes On”: Is class warfare OK as long as no one mentions it? Fred Kammer, S.J. offers the lead story in JustSouth October, 2011. While those who tell the truth regarding worsening income and race disparities are accused of fomenting class warfare, Fr Kammer suggests, does not mentioning it allow a form of “stealth class warfare” to continue unabated? He shows that the inequities that concerned the US Bishops in their pastoral letter on the economy more than twenty-five years ago have in fact worsened dramatically.
Faith Advocates for Jobs a campaign endorsed by USCCB and Jesuit Conference has announced monthly conference calls to help network member parishes, organizations and those interested in the campaign. Click here to sign up or learn more and thanks to all ministries or groups considering joining the effort.
Restoring Shared Prosperity: Strategies to Cut Poverty and Expand Economic Growth is a new report which shows why policies to create good jobs, strengthen families, and promote economic security is critical to cutting poverty and expanding the middle class. Data, Top 10 findings, and state-by-state poverty fact sheets are also available. The launch of this report is part of an effort called Half in Ten which has a stated goal of cutting poverty by half over the next ten years.
Mike Wilmot and Gesu Housing were featured in the Omaha Reader. Regarding his work on behalf of affordable housing he says, “In anything that any of us do we want to make the world a better place to live in by spreading the kingdom of God and bringing that to all people, and housing-shelter is one of the ways you can do that”
Climate change made accessible
In response to the confusion created by global warming deniers and repeated media mishandling of the urgency of the crisis, Creighton’s Dr. Richard Miller (Theology) has assembled a four-part video lecture series to inform the public regarding the major conclusions of the expert peer-reviewed scientific literature on climate change. The presentation uses images and graphs to make the climate change problem accessible to the general public. Click here to link to the videos and follow them in sequence.
Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice will be live streamed for the first time this year. Gathering will begin 3pm CST Saturday evening (Nov 12) through the day on Sunday with a 5:30pm CST closing liturgy.
World AIDS Day (Dec 1)
Africa Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) is a useful resource for groups who want to be in prayerful solidarity with those suffering from HIV/AIDS.
“The question can no longer be whether a Catholic university should promote justice or engage in proyección social (social action), but how it should do so.” The Jesuit University in a Broken World
-Dean Brackley, S.J (Aug 9, 1946-Oct 16, 2011)