December 2013 E-news: Social-International-Ecology Ministries, Faith-Justice


Save the Date (December 10): Pope Francis to initiate a global effort to combat hunger. On that day, Pope Francis will launch the One Human Family, Food for All campaign as parishes, schools and communities initiate a wave by prayer starting at noon in each time zone across the world. Please mark your calendars for December 10 as we join Pope Francis and our global Church to fight hunger both domestically and internationally. Helpful campaign resources:

Caritas International Flyer and Video
Caritas International Global Hunger Campaign Facebook page
CRS Food for All (International Hunger Focus)
Catholic Charities USA (Domestic Hunger Focus)
Campaign Prayer

Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice:

Over 1,300 attended this year’s conference (Nov 16-18) representing over 60 Catholic institutions from 23 states. The Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill provided over 100 scheduled visits with Congressional offices to express support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, an increase to the federal minimum wage and continued access to food assistance for U.S. families in need. Click here to read more including links to social media outlets with ongoing updates, photos and videos of keynotes. Thanks to all Midwest institutions, Jesuits and lay leaders who attended!

Upcoming Immigration Advocacy Opportunities:

The Catholic Justice for Immigrants (FJI) campaign will provide liturgical and advocacy resources for the following: Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12); National Migration Week 2014 (January 5-11) with a special emphasis on Jan. 7 to send JFI e-postcards through the website and Jan. 8 as a national call-in day using the toll-free number. The Papal message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees (January 19),/a> has already been posted /// Thanks to all who coordinated November events commemorating the Feast Day of St. Frances Cabrini (patron of immigrants). Activities included immigration advocacy weeks at Creighton and Marquette; and Ben Anderson with ISAIAH helped coordinate a successful pilgrimage covered by Twin Cities local media. Nationally, USCCB generated 7,694 calls to Capitol Hill on November 13.
“The Relentless Assault on America’s Hungry” by Fred Kammer, SJ, is a new article available at the JRSI website. It provides a timely analysis, in light of the House/Senate Budget Committee meetings underway now, which may bring additional cuts to programs that benefit the poorest including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP), Head Start, Social Security and Medicaid. Fr. Kammer’s 2-pager includes useful statistics framed by Catholic Social Teaching.
Mascot Controversy: This Nov 5 Washington Post editorial, syndicated widely, references an earlier Washington Post letter from Red Cloud Indian School leaders Bob Braveheart and George Winzenburg, SJ regarding the Washington Redskins mascot name.
Jesuit Volunteer Corps Participates in Groundbreaking Survey: Click here for executive summary and press release regarding a new survey of 5,000 former Jesuit Volunteers and related full-time Catholic volunteer programs modeled after JVC. Research was done by CARA and the Catholic Volunteer Network (CVN). Among the findings: Almost 60% of respondents have a Master’s degree or higher; fewer than 10% of married former volunteers have ever divorced; more than 80% of former volunteers continue to be engaged in charitable giving and volunteer programs.
(NEW) Pontifical Report on Human Trafficking: The Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences organized a preparatory workshop on the topic of Human Trafficking on November 2-3, 2013 which produced this Statement on Trafficking in Human Beings with recommendations for religious, governmental, business and civil society groups. Religious communities and ministries are encouraged to: deepen our own education and awareness; incorporate the subject of human trafficking into pastoral care; create an advocacy/action commission to address trafficking; encourage public knowledge of all forms of exploitation associated with trafficking; provide victims with shelter on our properties and make every effort to assess their needs. Regionally, a number of our Ohio ministries have connected with the Collaborative Initiative to End Human Trafficking; and the Stop Enslavement monthly newsletter provides ongoing news and analysis helpful for religious groups and communities.

International Solidarity

KOHIMA Advocacy: The Jesuit sponsored Northeast Social Research Center (NESRC) welcomes our international solidarity to help repeal the Armed Forces Special Power Act in India which essentially allows military repression with no accountability. According to NESRC, the 1958 law leads to human rights violations and empowers army officers to arrest or use force without a warrant “on mere suspicion that the person was planning a terrorist act. The result has been fake encounter killings of more than 1,000 civilians per year in the three North Eastern States of Assam, Manipur and Mizoram alone in the last 10 years.” Click here to read more and consider signing the petition.
PERU: Matteo Ricci Center (Ayacucho) recently celebrated its third birthday. The Center was established as place of dialogue and encounter to encourage cultural diversity and social responsibility. Strategies include: spirituality programs, art workshops, public forums, and film exhibitions. The Center’s mission is integral faith and human formation that promotes justice with a commitment for the poor and the excluded. (Source: Headlines 2013/10)
Persistent Insecurity: Abuses against Central Americans in Mexico is a new report from JRS/USA noting that Central America migrants moving through Mexico toward USA require special human rights considerations because their vulnerability is directly linked to regional insecurity. Report includes specific recommendations to alleviate the abuses faced by migrants on their journey.


“The Role of Structure and Infrastructure in Disaster Reduction” is a new editorial by Pedro Walpole, SJ reflecting on the aftermath of Yolanda (Haiyan). Walpole directs the Institute of Environmental Science for Social Change at the Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines and also serves as Ecology Coordinator for the Jesuit Conference Asia Pacific.
Trash Audit Findings and Response: Along with promoting ecology and locally grown food, the St Ignatius High School (Cleveland) Ploughman and Green Team Clubs completed a trash audit in October. After sorting through trash at the campus, they determined that 15% of discarded waste was actually recyclable (201 lbs/week) and another 15% (205 lbs/week) was compostable. The school recently received a $2,000 grant from Cuyahoga County Waste Management Department for three composting tumblers.

Advent Peace and please continue to share your news,

John Sealey
Provincial Assistant for Social and International Ministries, Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Jesuits |