VeryTopShalom News North America  

An instrument of hope, formation, and action

concerning priority matters of social justice.

In This Issue
Laudato Si Anniversary
Catholic Social Teaching
Paris Accord
Migratory Bird Day
Biological Diversity Day
Prayers For People & Planet
Puerto Rico
DACA/DAPA
Human Trafficking
Fair Trade Day
Focusing on Families
SDG #3
Cultural Diversity
Historic Vatican Conference on Non-Violence
Memorial Day/Mother's Day
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May/2016
         
 
As you journey forward this month, we invite you to join us in prayer and reflection regarding the issue of education for all. "For us, education means enabling persons to reach the fullness of their potential as individuals created in God's image and assisting them to direct their gifts toward building the earth."(YAS, C 22)
 
We educate with the conviction that the world can be changed through the transformation of persons. Thank you for all you do to help make a difference in our world! 
           
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Shalom North America Contacts
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Catholic Social Teaching             

Laudato Si' - Approaching One Year Anniversary      
"We human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures and which also unites us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river, and mother earth." (92) "Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society." (91) Dated May 24, 2015, Laudato Si' was officially published at noon on June 18, 2015. How will you commemorate this anniversary? The Global Catholic Climate Movement is launching Laudato Si' Week, June 12-19. Learn more.
 
   
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Catholic Social Teaching            

A Month of Encyclicals       
May is a month of new life, new ideas, new inspirations, especially from the Vatican.  Six different encyclicals were promulgated in this month, from Rerum Novarum in 1891 to Laudato Si' in 2015.  Although sometimes viewed as long and difficult to read, they are the Church's response to the signs of the times and do offer timely insights relevant to the issues we continue to face today.  Here are some highlights.  

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Integrity of Creation              

Record Number of States Sign Paris Accord   
On Earth Day, 175 countries signed on to the Paris Climate Agreement shattering the record for the number of signatories on the opening day of any international treaty. The agreement will enter into force once 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global emissions have formally joined it, a process initially expected to take until 2020. Canada and the U.S. reiterated its intention to ratify this year. Learn more. Consider adding your name as a citizen signer of the Paris Climate Agreement.     
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Integrity of Creation              

World Migratory Bird Day - May 10   
This day was initiated in 2006 as an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. Many countries celebrate with education programs, exhibitions, and bird-watching excursions. Some observe it at the peak of migrations rather than this time of year. Quizzes, videos, resources.


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Integrity of Creation              

International Day for Biological Diversity - May 22       
Biological diversity is the term given to the variety of life on Earth and the natural patterns it forms. The biodiversity we see today is the fruit of billions of years of evolution, shaped by natural processes and, increasingly, by the influence of humans. It forms the web of life of which we are an integral part and upon which we so fully depend.

Biodiversity is seen in the variety of ecosystems in deserts, forests, wetlands, mountains, lakes, rivers, and agricultural landscapes. In each ecosystem, living creatures, including humans, form a community, interacting with one another and with the air, water, and soil around them. On this International Day for Biological Diversity, let us recommit to global action to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss, for people and for our planet. Learn more.

 
 
Integrity of Creation              

Prayer & Action for People & Planet - June 12    
In commemoration of the six month anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement, communities around the world will come together in a day of commitment and blessing for Earth. Sacred Earth, Sacred Trust is a worldwide, multi-faith day of prayer & action for the planet and a call for world leaders to commit to a 1.5 degree limit on global temperature rise.  Learn more/join the effort.

 

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Human Life and Dignity               

Prayers & Advocacy for the People of Puerto Rico   
Last fall we alerted you to the devastating debt crisis facing the people of Puerto Rico. With Congress currently debating legislation to address Puerto Rico's growing humanitarian crisis, the island's religious leaders have invited us to consider prayer and advocacy. Learn more/take action.
Human Life and Dignity               

Immigration and DACA/DAPA        
On Monday, April 18, the U.S. Supreme Court finally heard oral arguments on the case involving President Obama's executive orders protecting non-criminal undocumented immigrants from deportation. Two issues are in contention with the Obama policies: the expansion of the already-existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the creation of the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). Learn more, toolkit for action.


Refugee Children in Crisis:  The world must act to save a generation of traumatized, isolated and suffering Syrian Children from catastrophe. More information, Prayer of the Children.
  
Human Life and Dignity               

US Catholic Sisters Trafficking   Action Alert   
The legislative working group of US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT) has initiated a campaign to build support among women senators for Senate bill S1968, the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act. This legislation would compel companies to provide consumers with information about efforts to ensure that their products are free of child labor, forced labor, slavery, and human trafficking. The USCSAHT campaign, which is scheduled to run from April 25 to June 10, includes emails, phone calls, social media, and visits with staff in Washington and in each Senator's home state. Learn more, take action
Human Life and Dignity               

World Fair Trade Day - May 14        
Fair Trade is a movement that fights against poverty and the exploitation of the economically disadvantaged workers by creating opportunities to unite and receive fair prices for their products.  This in turn, leads to a better and sustainable life.  The theme of this year's World Fair Trade Day, Be an agent for change, invites us as consumers to participate in this movement by choosing Fair Trade alternatives over other options. Changing one product you currently purchase to a Fair Trade item will make a big difference in the life of others. Click here to see a list of Fair Trade products. 

 
          
 






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Human Life and Dignity               

Focusing on Families       
The International Day of the Family (May 15) provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families. Pope Francis' eagerly-awaited Apostolic Exhortation on the family Amoris Laetitia, or The Joy of Love, affirms the Church's teaching that stable families are the building blocks of a healthy society and a place where children learn to love, respect and interact with others. "Families should not see themselves as a refuge from society, but instead go forth from their homes in a spirit of solidarity with others." (181) 

 
 
Human Life and Dignity               

Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well-Being of All - SDG #3     
The UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #3 aspires to ensure health and well-being for all, including a bold commitment to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases by 2030. It also aims to achieve universal health coverage, and provide access to safe and effective medicines and vaccines for all. Supporting research and development for vaccines is an essential part of this process as well as expanding access to affordable medicines.  Learn more
                              
Human Life and Dignity               

World Day of Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development      
The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development  (May 21) provides an opportunity to deepen understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together better. "In a diverse world, the destruction of cultures is a crime, and uniformity is a dead-end: our aim must be to enhance, in one movement, the diversity that enriches us and the human rights that bring us together." (Ban Ki-moon) Learn more.

 

The Land is Our Identity: "Indigenous women are deeply connected to the land, and when the land is harmed, they feel it in their bodies, their minds, and in their souls." Indigenous Culture Canada     
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Peace and Non-Violence              

Historic Vatican Conference on Non-Violence        
Two SSNDs, S. Cathy Arata and S. Ann Scholz, participated in the historic "Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence" conference held recently in Rome. The 80 conference participants shared their experiences and expertise as they envisioned concrete ways the Catholic Church can deepen its commitment to active nonviolence in its teaching and practice. The final outcome document calls on the church to: continue developing Catholic social teaching on nonviolence, including an appeal to Pope Francis to share an encyclical on nonviolence and just peace; integrate gospel nonviolence explicitly into the life and work of the church; promote nonviolent practices and strategies; initiate a global conversation on nonviolence; no longer use or teach "just war theory"; and lift up the prophetic voice of the church to challenge unjust powers and to defend nonviolent activists. Learn more.

 
 
Peace and Non-Violence              

Memorial Day & Mother's Day       
Originally established in the late 1800s to honor the roughly 620,000 Americans who died in the Civil War, through Memorial Day we continue that same tradition by honoring the more than 645,000 who have died and those who continue to die in all other conflicts combined since then.  Did you know Mother's Day was originally started after the Civil War, as a protest to the carnage of that war, by women who had lost their sons? Here is the original Mother's Day proclamation  from 1870.  To quote a line from an old Peter, Paul and Mary song, "When will we ever learn?" Mother's Day Litany, a prayer and a quote from Saint Pope John Paul II on honoring the dead by bringing peace to the living.

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, Allyn Horton, Ethel Howley, Jeanne Wingenter, Rose Mary Sander, and Tim Dewane. Your comments, suggestions, and feedback are always welcomed. Email us at tdewane@ssndcp.org.

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