February E-news: Social-International Ministries
“No Worker Should Be Forced to Raise a Family in Poverty”
says a new Jesuit Conference Advocacy Alert which supports the Fair Minimum Wage Act to raise the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour over three years. Currently, a mother of two working a minimum wage job earns $15,080 annually which is $4,450 below the federal poverty line for a family of three. Click here to learn more or take action on this new Jesuit advocacy opportunity. This alert follows the lead of a recent US Catholic Bishops Minimum Wage letter to lawmakers which notes that the minimum wage, as a static number, increasingly falls short as family living costs steadily increase. A recent poll shows strong bi-partisan (80% of Americans) support raising the minimum wage to $10.10/hour with future indexing to keep pace with inflation. (Feb 13) Jesuit Fred Kammer debunks the myth that raising the minimum wage will cost jobs and shows that in fact it will raise people out of poverty.
Ignatian Family Advocacy Month
IFAM is currently underway for participating schools and ministries. IFAM is a program of the Ignatian Solidarity Network in consultation with the Jesuit Commission for Social and International Ministries. Click here for a packet which includes resources to Learn-Pray-Act for Jesuit Conference legislative priorities. On-line manuals (one designed for parishes and one for schools) include ready-to-use resources such as: bulletin announcements, advocacy letters and in-district legislative scheduling tips.
Ignatian Pro-Life Network
Ignatian Pro-Life Network coordinated another successful Ignatian Mass for Life which was held in conjunction with the annual March for Life (Wednesday, January 22). Despite harsh weather and bitter cold, more than 800 attended the Mass. Story here or visit the Facebook page to learn more about this year’s 40th anniversary events and ways to be involved.
Jesuit Volunteer Corps
Jesuit Volunteer Corps is the subject of a recent Atlantic Monthly story.
Lighting the Pathway
Student-led conference on immigration will be held at Loyola University Chicago on February 22. Conference includes students from area schools including Marquette, Loyola, Notre Dame and DePaul. Click for Facebook page.
Pope Francis’s 10 New Year Resolutions
Even though 2014 is not so new, these compiled resolutions are good through the year including practical wisdom such as: Don’t Gossip; Make Time for Others; and Choose the more humble purchase.
“Pacem in Terris at 50
Catholics and Human Rights in the 21st Century” David Hollenbach, S.J. delivered this annual Markoe-DePorres lecture at Creighton which is now available through on-line video streaming.
South Sudan update
On January 23, a cease-fire agreement was formally signed between the Government of South Sudan and the SPLM in opposition. Additional information: Pope Francis calls for an end to the atrocities and humanitarian difficulties facing the people of South Sudan (January 22); Catholic Bishops of Eastern Africa Statement on South Sudan Crisis (January 23) and JRS Feb 14 press release describing an uneasy calm in Upper Nile State. Please contact John Sealey if you would like ongoing updates.
A Nelson Mandela Tribute
Nelson Mandela Tribute has been written by Eastern Africa Provincial, Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator. Click here for “Madiba, Our Ancestor” which appeared in The Tablet (14 December 2013).
The challenge of migration
The challenge of migration status and answers is addressed in Promotio Iustitiae, v. 113, 2013/4 which looks at this global phenomenon from perspective of Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America and USA.
Click here to read a JRS update from Dutch Jesuit Frans van der Lugt. Presently there are 3,000 Syrians still trapped in the old city of Homs after a two-year siege and blockade. Through an agreement last week in Geneva, some relief might now be possible through a “humanitarian pause” in Homs.
International Jesuit Ecology Project Workshop (IJEP) II
IJEP is an international working group of Jesuits and lay colleagues who are currently developing an online living text to be titled Healing Earth. The IJEP group met for a second consultation at Loyola Retreat and Ecology Campus (Woodstock, IL) during mid-February. The three year project will yield the online text examining ecological issues such as bio-diversity, resource extraction, fossil fuels, food/water, and climate change through lenses of environmental science, ethics and spirituality. Fr. Michael Garanzini (as Secretary for Higher Education) convened the group as a practical response to Fr. General’s 2011 letter On Ecology. Target audience will be late secondary school and early college. Project co-directors are Drs. Nancy Tuchman (LUC Institute of Environmental Sustainability) and Michael Schuck (LUC Theology) with contributions by over 60 scholars. The projected release date is early 2015. Click to read more.
Flights for Forests
Aviation accounts for between 4-9% of the climate change impact. Recognizing that the Jesuit mission requires many to fly frequently in order to work together for greater social justice in the world, the Asia Pacific Jesuit Conference has created its own carbon offset alternative project called Flights for Forests which benefits forest renewal activities led by youth groups in rural Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Hope for the Commons (Aug 7-9) is a conference to be hosted by Seattle University’s Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability. Click here for more information and please note that the proposal deadline is rapidly approaching.
A Journey through the Seasons is a new book of reflections and meditation by Al Fritsch, S.J. Click here for news and other recent publications on topics of spirituality, ecology and simple living.
World Water Day
(March 22) Supporting materials at UN official site.