VeryTopShalom News North America  

An instrument of hope, formation, and action

concerning priority matters of social justice.

In This Issue
Season of Creation
Sustainable Development Goals
SDG Index
SDG #7 Energy for All
Climate Change Ed Act
Labor Day
International Literacy Day
Global Ed Report
Missing Indigenous Women
Refugees
Private Prisons
Hispanic Heritage
Medellin Conference
Prayer for Peace in Our Communities
Criminal Justice Reform
International Day of Peace
Convergence on Border
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September/2016
         
 
 
Today we join with other people of faith in a "World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation." As Pope Francis reminds us in Laudato Si', "Everyone's talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God's creation"(14). May our prayers and actions truly be seeds for an ecological conversion for ourselves and for our world.
            
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Integrity of Creation              

Season of Creation    
The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) encourages us to extend today's prayer for creation to an entire month of dedicated education, reflection, and other actions to better care for creation. You can find resources for this "Season of Creation" (which runs 9/1 thru 10/4, the Feast of St. Francis) at http://seasonofcreation.org/.  Consider joining with others for Clean Up the World Weekend (9/16-9/18), an effort to engage an estimated 35 million volunteers in 130 countries to be agents of change. Another date to note is World Environmental Health Day (9/26).

                   
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Integrity of Creation              

Sustainable Development Goals - One Year In      
One year ago, world leaders from 193 UN member countries met in New York for the largest summit in history and committed themselves to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a global agenda to address climate change, stop hunger, end poverty, extend health and access to jobs, and vastly more - all by 2030. The goals include 169 "targets" which should allow us to measure how countries are faring in meeting these goals. Explore the relationship between SDGs and Catholic Social Teaching here and steps you can take to make a difference here.

 

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Integrity of Creation              

SDG Index - Canada Further Along than the U.S.          
The SDG Index and Dashboard was created to collect and track available data for countries around the world to assess where they stand with regard to achieving the SDGs. The Index not only establishes an initial SDG assessment for each country, but overtime, the data it tracks will help every country identify priorities for early action, better understand key implementation challenges, and identify gaps that must be closed in order to achieve the SDGs. According to the SDG Index, the U.S. ranks 25th in the world in the progress toward realization of the SDGs, while Canada ranks 13th. Learn more.

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Integrity of Creation              

September SDG Spotlight - Energy for All           
SDG Goal # 7 calls for ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Targets relate to substantially increasing the use of renewable energy, expanding clean energy research and technologies, and expanding infrastructure for supplying sustainable energy services throughout the world. Learn more. Explore what a bright future looks like here.

 
 
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Integrity of Creation              

Climate Change Education Act          
Introduced on the first-year anniversary of Pope Francis's historic encyclical Laudato Si', the Climate Change Education Act would develop a climate education program for all age levels. The bill not only addresses issues highlighted in the Pope's encyclical, but also concerns raised by a recent survey that found that 30 percent of teachers teach their students that climate change is "likely due to natural causes," while another 31 percent teach climate change as unsettled science. Learn more, take action.

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Human Life and Dignity               

Labor Day Reflection
Labor Day provides an opportunity to remember the vital role of work in our lives and the need to ensure all people have access to decent work and just wages.  This year's USCCB statement on labor is a reminder of the need for greater solidarity between and among our families and communities. "With time, we will begin to restore a sense of hope and lasting change that places our economic and political systems at the service of the human person once more."
 
Human Life and Dignity               

International Literacy Day (9/8)         
Literacy is a fundamental human right and the foundation for lifelong learning. September 8 marks the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day, an effort of the UN's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to "actively mobilize the international community and to promote literacy as an instrument to empower individuals, communities and societies."  This year's commemoration will include the launch of the organization's Global Alliance for Literacy, an initiative intended to promote literacy as a foundation for lifelong learning.  Learn more.
           
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Human Life and Dignity               

Global Ed Report to be Released September 6         
The 2016 Global Education Monitoring Report will be released on September 6 at events in over 50 countries. This report is the first in a fifteen year series, which will monitor the state of education within the new framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year's report will examine the reciprocal links between education and key areas of the sustainability agenda: reducing poverty, eradicating hunger, improving health, fostering gender equality, and promoting sustainable production. Learn more. Request a copy of the report here.

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Human Life and Dignity               

Probe into Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women      
Families who lost loved ones hope to have a second chance at justice as the next phase in the Canadian national inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women and girls begins. Led by British Columbia indigenous judge Marion Buller, the five-person commission can recommend that a criminal investigation be launched. Buller has stated that the inquiry's main goal was to make "concrete recommendations" to protect the lives of indigenous women and girls. Learn more
                         
 
  
Human Life and Dignity               

Take Action to Support Refugees   
As we approach two historic summits on refugee protection later this month, now is the time for the U.S. to show true global leadership regarding refugees. However, Congress is considering legislation that would severely limit funding to protect and serve refugees in the U.S. and overseas - at a time when there are over 65 million displaced people in the world, more than any point in recorded history. Join in a national call-in day on Tuesday (9/6) to tell Congress to increase refugee protection and resettlement. Take action today by signing and sending this e-postcard. You can also print out postcards and get them signed at a community gathering. Just make sure to mail them (by 9/12) to CWS, 110 Maryland Avenue, NE, Suite 110, Washington, DC 20002.
Human Life and Dignity               

Urge DHS to Cancel Private Prison Contracts          
The Department of Justice announced that it is cancelling its contracts with private prison companies because of dangers and abuses outlined in exposÚs and a recent official government report. However, the majority of federal private prison contracts are actually held by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for its sprawling immigrant detention facilities. Urge President Obama to end DHS use of private prisons.  
  
Human Life and Dignity               

Hispanic Heritage Month - 9/15-10/15   
A recent U.S. Census report indicates that there are at least 55 million Hispanics in the U.S., representing about 17% of the total population.  They are the largest and fastest growing minority group. This month provides an opportunity to recognize the culture and the gifts that our Hispanic sisters and brothers have brought to this country and to celebrate that diversity. Resources for prayer, reflection and discussion.
Human Life and Dignity               

Reflecting on the Medellin Conference (9/9)          
The Medellin Conference in 1968 marked a sea change in the Latin American church, denouncing unjust social structures and embracing the concept of "the preferential option for the poor."  The process of "see, judge, act" became a rigorous analysis of social and religious practices. Virtually no area of Church or secular life remained unexamined in the truly revolutionary nature of this conference. Learn more
  
Peace and Non-Violence              

A Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities      
In light of recent incidents of violence and racial tension in communities across the U.S, the USCCB has invited us to unite in a Day of Prayer and Peace in Our Communities on the feast of St. Peter Claver (9/9). Prayer Service, Prayer of the Faithful. Join in a YouTube Event  (on 9/14 at 1 pm Central) to hear three concrete examples of how parishes are engaging in work for racial justice. Consider these examples of how faith communities are working for racial justice, and how the Holy Spirit may be calling you to take action.
                                
Peace and Non-Violence              

Criminal Justice System Reform 
Bipartisan leadership and hard work from many in the faith community have led to committee passage of three important bills: the Sentencing Reform Act, the Corrections and Recidivism Reduction Act, and the Second Chance Reauthorization Act. Together these bills would reduce harsh sentences, incentivize prison rehabilitation, ban shackling of pregnant women in federal custody and expand opportunities for people returning home after incarceration. With Congress returning from its August recess, now is the time to move these bills forward. Learn more/take action.

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Peace and Non-Violence              

International Day of Peace (9/21)   
The 2016 Global Peace Index reports that the global levels of peace have continued their downward spiral. Pope Francis has linked this deterioration in peace to "indifference [which] represents a menace to the human family" and "helps to prolong situations of injustice and grave social imbalance."  This year's International Day of Peace theme is "Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks to Peace." Prayer Service.

Peace and Non-Violence            

SOA Watch Convergence Moves to the Border           
SSND has joined LCWR and many other organizations in endorsing the School of the Americas (SOA) Watch Convergence at the Border. This is the SOA Watch's first-ever bi-national gathering for justice and against militarization. It will take place October 7-10, 2016 at the border in Nogales, Sonora/Arizona. For more information about the convergence or endorsing the effort go to www.soaw.org/border.


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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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