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Wisconsin/ Chicago-Detroit Provinces of the Society of Jesus: February E-news Social-Interactional Ministries

Social and International Ministries

February E-news: Social-International Ministries

FAITH-JUSTICE

“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.

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY

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.

Syria Dispatch

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.

ECOLOGY NEWS

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.

Just Sustainability

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.

Appalachian Sensations

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.

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

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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.

Ecology

“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
www.jesuitpartners.org | www.jesuits-chgdet.org

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Ways to Help Those Affected By Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

A Few Ways to Help Those Suffering in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda:

1) John Sealey, the Provincial Assistant for Social and International Ministries of the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Jesuits recommends the following way to help those suffering after Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda hit the Philippines last week:

“It seems the most efficient way for US-based groups and donors to contribute through a Jesuit route would be the Philippine Jesuit Foundation (PJF) in New York. Make the tax-deductible check out to the Philippine Jesuit Foundation and memo it: “Yolanda Calamity Fund.” The address for the PJF is located at the New York Jesuit Province office: 39 East 83rd Street, New York, NY 10028-0810. The NYK Province has a long historical relationship with the PHI Province. The pdf also contains bank wiring instructions and additional information can be found at www.phjesuits.org. Let’s continue our prayers on behalf of the thousands who are suffering.”

2) The Red Cross is another trusted organization collecting donations for typhoon relief: http://www.redcross.org/charitable-donations

3) The Ignatian Solidarity Network has some educational resources as well as other ways you can support humanitarian aid projects: http://ignatiansolidarity.net/blog/2013/11/12/jesuit-network-response-to-typhoon-haiyan/

4) Catholic Relief Services provides several updates about how they are responding to the disaster, as well as multiple ways to donate to their cause: http://emergencies.crs.org/typhoon-haiyan-help-philippines-survive-and-recover/

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OCTOBER 2013 E-news: Social-International Ministries

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Faith-Justice

Time is now for humane immigration advocacy: With the fiscal crisis behind us, the House needs to act soon on immigration or momentum will stall with the run-up to the 2014 elections. In short, NOW is our time to express support for comprehensive, family-based reform with an achievable pathway to citizenship. On Monday, November 18, over 800 advocates will gather at the U.S. Capitol for Ignatian Family Advocacy Day
. HUMANE IMMIGRATION REFORM and domestic poverty are this year’s focus issues. Please consider participating in the “10,000 Strong for Humane Immigration Reform” campaign. Campuses, parishes, ministries and communities can sign postcards to be brought to Capitol Hill on November 18. Click here to order cards and learn more.
For up-to-date advocacy notices on pending immigration legislation, visit Jesuit Advocates and/or the Interfaith Immigration Coalition.
On the Nov 13 Feast Day of Mother Cabrini, patron of immigrants, USCCB’s Justice for Immigrants campaign will promote a National Call-In Day to Congress expressing the simple message: “Support a path to citizenship and oppose the SAFE Act.” /// Periodic messages are encouraged and advocates need not be voter-registered to contact their respective legislators. In this way, youth and immigrants should be emboldened to add their voice.

Option for the Young = Option for the Poor: The younger you are the more likely you will be in poverty says the most recent data from the CCHD website Povertyusa.org
Click here for new USCCB Webinar addressing US Census poverty statistics and our Catholic response.
Related data from new census figures:
-One in Four Households with Children now report food hardship
-Striking it Richer: The top decile now accumulates 50.4% of national income, the highest since 1917 when this measure began
-Census Bureau Population Survey, Annual Social & Economic Supplements (graphbelow)

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World Food Day message: In a statement to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, Pope Francis said,”the waste of food is but one of the fruits of the throw away culture which often leads to sacrificing men and women to the idols of profit and consumption.” Click here for his full Oct 16 statement.

Where Justice and Mercy Meet: Catholic Opposition to the Death Penalty:On Saturday November 9, the Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Use of the Death Penalty (CMN) will host a national conference at Catholic University (Washington, D.C.). Proceedings will be live-streamed for those who cannot attend.

Illuminating the Horizon of Hope is the theme of the November 16-18, Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. Keynotes include: Sarita Gupta (Jobs With Justice), Kyle Kramer (environmentalist), James Martin (America), Dan Misleh (Catholic Coalition on Climate Change), Peggy O’Neill (Centro Arte Para La Paz, El Salvador). The conference will also include Mass, prayer, networking sessions and break-out presentations facilitated by over 50 organizations in the lead-up to a Congressional Advocacy Day (see Immigration above).

International Solidarity

NEW Jesuit statement on migration/refugees by European, Middle East and African Provincials: Recognizing the recent Lampedusa tragedy and remembering the thousands who have died trying to reach Europe over the past 20 years, major superiors representing 6,000 Jesuits over two continents released this October 25 statement. “We believe this is a time of urgency for our societies in the face of this grave moral issue” and then they address six themes: Save Lives; Stop Arms supplies to Africa; Increase shared hospitality by receiving nations; Improve conditions for asylum seekers; Reject far-right populist rhetoric; and Cooperate with other people of good will. Are these not similar themes for us in the Americas?

New Kohima Report: The 2013 annual report by the North Eastern Social Research Centre (NESRC) is now available. NESRC is a work of the Kohima Jesuit Region, a unit now twinned with both Midwest provinces. NESRC conducts advocacy-oriented research on North East social issues such as displacement, conflict, bio-diversity, and tribal identity.

Africa’s Future and Our Future: Partnership not Charity: Click here for story, video and full text delivered by Eastern Africa Jesuit Provincial Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator at the October 21, 2013 Pope Paul VI Memorial Lecture in London.

Honduras Delegation: Click here for photos and reflections by Luke Hansen, SJ regarding the recent Jesuit Conference-led delegation to visit Jesuit projects in Honduras including Radio Progreso and ERIC, a social center for reflection, investigation and communication. Honduras now has the highest murder rate in the world (86/100,000) and associated social unrest and decline which is the result of mining displacement/deregulation, narco-trafficking, and corruption/impunity.

PERU: Peace Prize 2013 to Jesuit Fr. Frederick Green: This award was established by the Peruvian Ministry for Women and Vulnerable Populations. Since his arrival in Peru, Fr Green has devoted himself to the social apostolate, mainly in the field of formation and education, always focusing on the less fortunate. For further information, click for English article or Spanish interview.

Ecology

Melting Ice, Mending Creation: A Catholic Approach to Climate Change is a free on-line study guide developed by the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change

EcoJesuit comments on the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Click here for the article by José Ignacio García, S.J. which helps to synthesize the 2,000 page document written by 259 scientists from 39 countries. Fr Garcia closes by saying that lifestyle changes and civil society engagement are imperative. He also adds that adaptation to climate change will be real challenge, “we realize that the situation is very likely to change in a significant way. The challenge will be to adapt to new – and uneasier – conditions, a major challenge for individuals and communities.”
Separately, EcoJesuit also considers the practical question of what I must do to reduce my CO2-equivalent emissions.

Who is listening to the cry of the earth? is explored by the Toronto-based Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice October 2013 issue.

Vatican Hosts Mining CEOs for Day of Reflection: Story by participant and economist Josep Mària Serrano, SJ.

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U.S. Jesuit Network Welcomes Bi-Partisan Immigration Framework

 

U.S. Jesuit Network Welcomes Bi-Partisan Action for Immigration Reform More Info
A Call to Address the Broken Immigration System
The U.S. Jesuit Conference, the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and the Kino Border Initiative welcome the framework for comprehensive immigration reform released yesterday by a bi-partisan group of Senators. Likewise, we were encouraged by President Obama’s remarks in Las Vegas, Nevada today calling for a “commonsense” approach to swiftly address an “out-of-date and badly broken immigration system.”Through our ministries, on a daily basis we witness the tragic consequences of our nation’s flawed and outdated immigration laws and policies. We can and must do better. As our elected officials attempt to craft a viable immigration system, we urge them to place family unity, human dignity, transparency and accountability at the center of their debates. Very Rev. Thomas H. Smolich, S.J., President of the Jesuit Conference of the United States stressed, “We assess each immigration policy proposal by whether it adheres to the Catholic and American value of promoting and affirming human dignity.” As was established by the Justice for Immigrants campaign of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and reiterated by the U.S. Jesuit Provincials in their joint letter to Congress in June 2010, a comprehensive and humane approach to immigration reform must:

  • Establish a pathway to citizenship that ensures that undocumented immigrants have access to full rights;
  • Expedite family reunification and emphasize family unity for all immigrants;
  • Restore due process, accountability, and transparency, particularly in the context of detention and deportation processes to foster humane enforcement of our immigration policies;
  • Include policies that address the root causes of migration from developing countries; and
  • Create a legal employment structure for future workers that protects both migrants and the U.S. citizen labor force.

 

While we are encouraged by the bipartisan tone of yesterday’s release and its call for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals, we are concerned that earned legalization in the plan is contingent upon a “secure border.” We caution that the concept of achieving an impervious border before implementing legalization will leave millions of lives in limbo and prolong indefinitely the irregular status of our undocumented brothers and sisters.   A genuine understanding of the realities faced by border communities will yield the best policy. We contend that our borders are best secured and our communities best kept safe by humane, transparent, and accountable practices which foster trust between border communities and law enforcement entities.  Said Rev. Sean Carroll, S.J., Executive Director of the bi-national Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Arizona, “Law enforcement agencies like CBP and ICE must take local community input into account for true security and respect for human rights to become a reality along the U.S./Mexico border.”

We look forward to working with lawmakers as they develop legislation that meets the need for comprehensive and humane immigration reform.

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Jesuit Conference Makes Statement on the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Society of Jesus Statement on the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

On this 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Society of Jesus in the United States (the Jesuits), the largest religious community of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church, vigorously affirms our opposition to abortion and our support for the unborn. Our commitment is shared by people of conscience seeking to restore our country’s re- spect for all human life.

Ten years ago, on the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Society of Jesus issued Standing for the Unborn: A Statement of the Society of Jesus in the United States on Abortion; this statement speaks of the sacredness of human life in all its forms, and we again uphold its vision. In those ten years, 16 million more abortions have taken place, bringing the 40-year total to more than 55 million. Throughout this period, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has served as a powerful voice for life. This task has not been easy, and the Society of Jesus stands with the bishops in our words, deeds and prayers.

As all human life is sacred and should be protected by law, the Society of Jesus believes in a consistent ethic of life from conception to natural death, an ethic which includes our opposition to the death penalty and assisted suicide and our support for improved palliative care. All human life deserves dignity and respect, and all of God’s children, particularly the most vulnerable, must be protected and supported by the laws and policies of our nation.

On this 40th anniversary, let us continue to work and pray for consistent and forceful support of all human life.

For further reading visit: 

http://www.jesuit.org/2013/01/22/society-of-jesus-statement-on-the-40th-anniversary-of-roe-v-wade/

http://www.jesuit.org/worldwide/social-justice/issues/social-outreach/pro-life/standing-for-unborn/ 

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