Respect Life Archive

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Go Team Winnebago!

Paul Bubash, Adam Goodrick, Molly Perroni, Kalyn Flierl, JuYeon Kakazu, Emsy Cullinan, and Eboni Poole.

This is our team. Team Winnebago, Nebraska. We worked, prayed, reflected, and laughed together all week long, and recognized that the good of the people in Winnebago would prevail soon enough.

The official Winnebago group picture

I think we all went in together thinking this would just be another week of service for people we didn’t know, and would probably never talk to again, in a small Indian Reservation in northern Nebraska. We wouldn’t change the world or anything. But by the end of the week, most of us had come to the conclusion that even though we weren’t changing the world, we changed somebody’s world, and that is what really makes a difference.

To go through our week quickly, the first couple of days were manual labor days. We worked on a sweat lodge, meaning we took off about thirty blankets from a semi circle structure on the ground, reinforced the structure, and then proceeded to recover the structure so that when inside, it would be pitch black. Later on in the week, we had the opportunity to participate in an actual sweat, and that experience is one that words cannot describe.

We spent the latter part of the week working in the school with students while they learned about what it means to set a goal and how to achieve it. We talked a lot about how they could further their education with college, or trade school and the importance of getting their high school diploma, a piece of paper most of us take for granted.

Overall, the immersion experience we had in Winnebago was nothing any of us expected to experience on our Fall Break Service Trip 2012. But we welcomed surprises, encouraged flexibility, and worked to build relationships that will last longer than just one week, and ended up gaining more than any of us could have ever hope to gain.

Go Team Winnebago!!

Emsy Cullinan
2016 Graduate
Major: Business Administration
Host Site: Winnebago NE

 

The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.

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Facing the Sweat Lodge

All week we had heard stories; stories of what to wear and what to bring, stories of what to expect- what the experience would be like, but no matter how many stories we heard and no matter how much water we had consumed the night before, as we approached the small dome shaped tent on Wednesday afternoon, we felt anxious.

It was our time now- time to face the sweat lodge.

Four rounds of suffering and more sweat than you ever thought you were capable of producing, but also four rounds filled with so much meaning- rounds of prayer, not just for the ones you love but for the ones you dislike.

Chelsea and Kristen at the Wind River site

“Don’t leave nobody out”, Danny, the facilitator of the sweat lodge, constantly reminded us.

Though prayer and suffering were main components of the sweat lodge, the true purpose behind the sweat ceremony is to suffer for others. Danny, for example, shared with us that the reason he was participating in the sweat ceremony was so his children would never have to participate in it. He was praying for them, while suffering, in the hopes that his prayers for them and for the world would manifest. Thus, his children would have no need to suffer in the sweat lodge for they would have nothing to pray for because he would have already prayed for everyone and everything would already be taken care of.

In the end, then, all of the anxiety, suffering, and sweat was truly worth it for we weren’t experiencing all of those things just because, we were experiencing them for others- so that others would not have to experience them. We suffered for others, something that we could have never truly understood by the stories that we heard, alone, but through our actual experience in the sweat lodge, a sweaty but powerful experience.

Chelsea Ensor
2014 Graduate
Host Site: Wind River, WY

 

The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.

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Peace: Block the Sale of Arms to Bahrain

Amnesty International

The U.S. State Department is coming under fire for considering a $53 million arms sale. Why? Because since February of this year, the military, security and police forces of the prospective buyer — Bahrain — have used such weapons and military equipment to inflict deaths and injuries on protestors demanding greater political freedom. Moving forward with this arms sale would provide more weapons and equipment to the very Bahraini security forces who have already shot protestors. It would also cross a clear line of U.S. responsibility to protect human rights.That’s why right now members of Congress, led by Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Jim McGovern, are drawing a sharp line with a resolution aimed at blocking this arms sale. Bahrain’s horrible record on human rights continues to this day. At the peak of the crackdown, President Obama condemned the “mass arrests and brute force” used by the Bahraini government.Sign the petition here.

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Peace: End Torture

Peace
Amnesty International
 

 

Our Senators are on the verge of passing legislation — the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA, S. 1253) — with provisions that would essentially keep Guantanamo open indefinitely, despite President Obama’s executive order to close it. If that weren’t bad enough, Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) may introduce a provision that would bring back “enhanced interrogation techniques” — that’s right, torture. With the Senate back in session, we have to move quickly to stop this insanity. Ask Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Harry Reid (D-NV) to use their influence to block these terrible provisions that make a mockery of human rights and the rule of law. It’s a critical time in our fight to close Guantanamo and ensure genuine justice for all of us. We’re approaching the 10th anniversary (on January 11, 2012) of the US government’s attempt to hold people outside of the law at Guantanamo. If we choose silence over action, Guantanamo may be with us not only for another ten years, but indefinitely.

We ask that you contact Senators Levin and Reid, critical decision makers who can shape the future of Guantanamo for years to come. They need to feel the pressure not only from their fellow legislators that oppose this bill, but from concerned citizens like you across the United States who can’t tolerate that Guantanamo exists in your name.

Take action now!

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Peace: End the Death Penalty

Peace
Amnesty International
 

The state of Georgia shocked the world when it ended Troy Davis’ life on September 21, 2011. In the face of significant doubts, Georgia proceeded with the execution of someone who may well have been innocent. In the midst of this horrible tragedy, we have seen an unprecedented surge of energy to end the death penalty. Troy Davis put a face on the death penalty in the U.S. — making it painfully clear why this flawed and horrific system must be abolished at once. It was Troy’s final wish for us to keep fighting for all of the other Troy Davises on death row. And on Monday, October 10 — World Day against the Death Penalty — we’ll use our renewed energy and passion to take aim at doing just that. We believe the next Troy Davis could be Reggie Clemons in Missouri. Elements of Reggie’s case may sound familiar:

  • No physical evidence linking Clemons to the crime
  • Two highly questionable witnesses – both of whom were suspects in the crime
  • Alleged police coercion
  • Racial bias – evidenced by the jury selection where blacks were disproportionately dismissed.

But the biggest similarity between the cases of Troy Davis and Reggie Clemons — overwhelming doubt! The state of Georgia may have taken the life of Troy Davis, but it did not stop our struggle to create a country and world where human dignity and human life are respected.

Take action to support Reggie Clemons and work to end the death penalty!

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Poverty: Protect the Least of your Brothers & Sisters…

Famine grips East Africa, floods ravage South Asia

What’s the issue? Your Catholic faith teaches you to protect people who are hungry, thirsty, seeking refuge and care. Life-saving poverty-focused international assistance that fights hunger, disease and makes communities facing natural disasters more resilient, such as those in East Africa and South Asia, makes up less than 1% of the U.S. federal budget. However, Congress is considering proposals right now that would drastically cut assistance to people in dire need. While our nation’s leaders must address unsustainable deficits, you need to speak up now in support of poverty-focused international assistance so that life-changing and life-saving interventions can continue to help our brothers and sisters who need it most. 12 million people in East Africa who are facing malnutrition and starvation right now are relying on your voice and our nation’s leadership to save their lives.

Why now? Congress and the President are now negotiating and making decisions about final funding levels for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 federal budget, which began on October 1 and how to deal with our nation’s deficits in the long-term. Your action is particularly important now because the funding levels for FY 2012 will become the template for decisions about how much the U.S. invests in life-saving poverty-focused assistance for the next decade. Poverty-focused international assistance doesn’t have a large, vocal constituency unless you speak up now. Don’t make this lifesaving assistance one of the easiest areas for your elected officials to cut in the federal budget even though it’s less than 1% of the budget.

What do you want me to do? Contact President Obama and your senators and urge them to preserve life-saving, poverty-focused international assistance in the upcoming deficit reduction negotiations and the FY 2012 appropriations process.

Click here to take action!

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