VeryTopShalom News North America  

An instrument of hope, formation, and action

concerning priority matters of social justice.

In This Issue
Education for All
Let Girls Learn
Street Children
Labor Abuse in Cambodia
Chavez and Huerta
Detention of Families
Mining in Latin America
Care 4 Creation Month/ Catholic Climate Petition
Earth Day
World Health Day
A Healthy Diet
Most-Viewed Video Ever
Protecting the Amazon
Capital Punishment
Violence in April
Disarmament
St. Catherine of Siena
Quick Links
Opportunities
Join Our List
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April/2015
        
 
"Let us be renewed by God's mercy ... and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation, and make justice and peace flourish." - Pope Francis (Easter Message, 2013)
          
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Human Life and Dignity             waveofprayer                             


Education for All  
Ambitions to achieve universal education and improve teaching quality in the world's poorest countries will be jeopardized unless aid is increased significantly according to a new report from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Low-income countries would need a fivefold increase (up to $10.6 billion) for education to meet the sustainable development goals (SDGs) being discussed by UN member states. Urge world leaders to fulfill their promises. Learn more/take action. Review the 2015 Global Education Monitoring Report (on April 9).  



 

Human Life and Dignity                                          


Let Girls Learn Initiative 
The Obama Administration has announced that it is expanding efforts to help adolescent girls worldwide attend and complete school through an initiative called Let Girls Learn.  The initiative will elevate existing programs, leverage public and private sector partners, and focus particular attention on areas of conflict and crisis. A key component of the Let Girls Learn initiative will be the encouragement and support of community-led solutions. Learn more.
 
 

Human Life and Dignity               


International Day for Street Children
The International Day for Street Children was launched on April 12, 2011, to give a louder voice to the millions of street children all around the world so their rights cannot be ignored. All but three countries (U.S., Somalia, and South Sudan) have signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Follow these links for lesson plans and presentations for schools, videos and statistics.


Human Life and Dignity               


Low Prices in U.S./Canada - Labor Abuse in Cambodia
Workers in Cambodia's garment factories-frequently producing name-brand clothing sold in the U.S., European Union, and Canada-often experience discriminatory and exploitative labor conditions. While the government is primarily responsible for ensuring compliance with international human rights laws, international clothing and footwear brands have a responsibility to promote respect for workers' rights throughout their supply chains.  Learn more, take action.


  

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Human Life and Dignity               


Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta
Cesar Chavez was a civil rights hero, a Latino and farm labor leader, a genuinely religious and spiritual figure, a community organizer and social entrepreneur, and a crusader for the environment and consumer rights. After many years as a grammar school teacher, Dolores Huerta left her job and began a lifelong crusade to address economic injustice. Together they founded the union known as United Farm Workers. Learn more/reflection resources.
                

Human Life and Dignity               


Renewed Call for an End to Detention of Families
On March 27, Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran bishops visited with young mothers and children who have fled violence in their home countries and are now incarcerated at Dilley Detention Center in Dilley, Texas. The faith leaders called upon the federal government to halt the practice of family detentions. "A great nation such as ours need not incarcerate the most vulnerable in the name of deterrence. The moral character of a society is judged by how it treats the most vulnerable in our midst," said Archbishop García-Siller. Learn more.
                

Human Life and Dignity               


Bishops: US, Canadian Mining Companies Abusing Rights in Latin America 
The U.S. and Canadian governments must hold mining companies from their countries that operate in Latin America to laws and standards that protect indigenous communities and vulnerable groups, as well as local economies and the environment, said representatives of the bishops of Latin America in a hearing in Washington on March 19.  Written statements of support from CCCB and USCCB were also presented at the hearing.  Learn more. Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility members (including SSND) have been engaging corporations on a variety of environmental and human dignity issues for many years now.  Learn more.

Integrity of Creation              


Care 4 Creation Month/Catholic Climate Petition 
Inspired by Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for April, "That people may learn to respect creation and care for it as a gift from God," the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) is inviting us to join Catholics around the world in a month of prayer and action focused on care for creation. Learn more/take action.


Pope Francis has said that, "On climate change, there is a clear, definitive and ineluctable ethical imperative to act." Well, now's your chance. The GCCM has put forward a petition to provide an easy way for Catholics to act and voice their concerns, ahead of the United Nations COP21 climate summit at Paris in December. The goal is to raise a strong Catholic voice that calls world leaders to commit to ambitious climate action. Learn more/sign the petition

                 

Integrity of Creation              


Earth Day - April 22
Earth Day is considered the largest civic event in the world, celebrated around the globe by more than a billion people of all backgrounds, faiths, and nationalities. Earth Day commemorations help broaden the base of support for environmental programs, rekindle public commitment, and build community activism around the world through a broad range of events and activities. Learn more/take action. Earth Day reflection, prayer, prayer service, a faith-based reflection on Sustainable Food in a Changing Climate, a reflection on life lessons from a tree.

Integrity of Creation              


Food Policy - Healthier People and Planet
World Health Day on April 7 focuses on food safety; indeed, the way we produce and consume food has a bigger impact on our health than any other activity. The Union of Concerned Scientists urges a national food policy that would ensure all people access to healthy food; farm policies designed to support both public health and environmental objectives; transparent food production and marketing; fair wages; and reduction of the food system's carbon footprint.  Learn more/take action.

Integrity of Creation              


A Diet That Also Supports the Planet's Health
The USDA and Department of Health and Human Services may finally consider the health of the planet in their dietary guidelines. The 2015 advisory committee - an independent panel of experts - is recommending a diet higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods, for both health and environmental reasons. Tyson, JBS, Cargill, and Smithfield, companies which produce about 85 percent of the factory farm meat in the U.S. - are lobbying to omit the "eat less red and processed meat" recommendation from the guidelines. Learn more/take action.         
 

Integrity of Creation              


Watch Sierra Club's "Most-Viewed Video Ever" 
The fight over Keystone XL is not just about an 875-mile pipeline that would transport up to 830,000 barrels of dirty tar sands crude from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and on to international markets.   Extracting tar sands is one of the most destructive projects on Earth, an activity that is destroying the climate and devastating land, water, trees, and animals. Watch and share the video.

                 

Integrity of Creation              


Protecting the Environment/ 30 Million People
The Vatican has signaled its support for an important new Latin American Church transnational network created to support people and the natural environment in the Amazon region that stretches across nine countries. What is at stake is nothing less than "safeguarding the lives of the many communities (in the Amazon region), and the more than 30 million people (living in them)," explained Cardinal Peter Turkson, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Learn more.

Peace and Non-Violence               


United in Call to End Capital Punishment
Through an unprecedented joint editorial, four U.S. national Catholic publications called for an end to the death penalty. The editors of America, National Catholic Register, National Catholic Reporter, and Our Sunday Visitor urged "the readers of our diverse publications and the whole U.S. Catholic community and all people of faith to stand with us and say, 'Capital punishment must end.'"  They said "We join our bishops in hoping the court will reach the conclusion that it is time for our nation to embody its commitment to the right to life by abolishing the death penalty once and for all."  Read more.
   

Peace and Non-Violence               


Peace on Earth - When Will We Ever Learn 
April has been a violent month in history.  And the violence continues today with ISIS extremists' "convert or die" attacks on any non-believers, as well as with too many national and local incidents of violent responses to differences and disagreements.  Mahatma Gandhi's words seem to ring true:  "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."  We seem to have forgotten Jesus' command to love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  When will we ever learn?

   

Peace and Non-Violence               


Disarmament for Sustainable Development
Pax Christi International and the International Peace Bureau invite faith-based organizations and religious communities worldwide to join the Disarmament for Sustainable Development Campaign and to participate in the Global Day of Action on Military Spending on April 13. The goal of these efforts is to press for an end to the over-funding of military establishments and for the creation of new funds to tackle human insecurity and common threats to the planet.
   

Peace and Non-Violence               


Feast of St. Catherine of Siena April 29 
A Dominican preacher and Doctor of the Church, one of St. Catherine's best known quotes is, "Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire." Less known about her was her dedication to peacebuilding and her efforts to reform the faction-ridden Catholic Church of her day.  As we remember St. Catherine on her feast day, let us also remember our refugee sisters and brothers in Iraq, Syria, and South Sudan. Learn more/take action.
   

The SSND International Shalom Network witnesses to the Gospel with audacity and hope as we collaborate to build just relationships and respond to the urgent needs of our times. 

Shalom LogoShalom News North America is an e-publication of the Shalom North America Contacts (SNAC) of the School Sisters of Notre Dame - Arlene Flaherty, Ethel Howley, Jeanne Wingenter, Paulette Zimmerman, Rose Mary Sander, and Tim Dewane. Your comments, suggestions, and feedback are always welcomed. Email us at tdewane@ssndcp.org.

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