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August 2017 NewsNotes


Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace

Special Edition August 2017




Greetings Friend!

There are times, lately, when the world seems to be coming apart. Our task is to do what we can to hold it together.

Below are three issues that should not wait until the next issue of NewsNotes in September. Please review and act as you see fit. Thanks to the Quakers who produced the actionable materials for DACA, and to LCWR and the U.S. bishops for their statements.

To stay silent in the face of evil is to condone it.


Frank McCann
Peace through Justice Facilitator


Immigrants & Refugees Dreamers Need Us
by Hannah Graf Evans, August 2, 2017


The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is under threat. We need you to take action over the next month to protect young immigrants from being deported away from the only country they call home.

Right now, the administration is considering whether to put nearly 800,000 young people who grew up in the United States at immediate risk of deportation. Despite President Trump's prior statements that he supports the recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program - often referred to as Dreamers - their futures hang in the balance. Ten states threatened to sue the president if he does not rescind the program by September 5. Over the next month, we need Congress to raise the alarm and support Dreamers.

FCNL has been working towards a permanent, congressional solution for Dreamers for over 15 years. Since President Obama started the program in 2012, DACA offered young people who grew up undocumented in the United States a way to apply for protection from deportation and legal work authorization. Keeping DACA in place is essential while Congress passes a permanent solution, such as the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615) which would provide a pathway to citizenship for qualified applicants.

How can Congress weigh in?

President Trump has indicated that he alone will make this decision. He needs to hear from lawmakers that DACA is more than a program; it’s about the people who have had their lives transformed over the last five years. Legislators must prioritize this issue, and make it clear to the President how devastating, immoral, and unpopular rescinding the DACA program would be. Senators can:

  • Directly urge President Trump to keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in place. Furthermore, lawmakers can urge President Trump to direct the Department of Justice to defend the program should the states follow through on their threat.
  • Publicly support DACA-recipients by inviting them to a recess event, publishing an op-ed, or issuing a statement of support.
  • Co-sponsor the Dream Act of 2017, along with a colleague from across the aisle, to indicate the bipartisan support for a congressional pathway to citizenship for Dreamers.

President Trump should keep DACA in place while Congress passes a clean version of this bill. (See if your Senator is already a co-sponsor here, and if so thank them!)

You can take action today.

  • Write directly to your Senators.
  • Publish a letter to the editor.
  • Use state-specific fact sheets on DACA to help educate your Senator and community about the role that DACA-recipients play in your state.

Texas led the lawsuit along with Arkansas, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. If you are from one of these states it's especially important that your Senator hears from you and leaders in the community (business, faith, educators) who support protecting Dreamers. The National Immigrant Law Center wrote about possible scenarios for DACA given the current legal threats.

We must ensure we are standing in solidarity with Dreamers and doing everything we can to keep DACA in place.


LCWR Statement on US-North Korea Crisis


This week, while tensions between the governments of the United States and the People's Republic of Korea quickly escalated, approximately 650 members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious meeting in Orlando, FL issued a public statement imploring President Donald J. Trump to engage in dialogue and negotiation.

At this critical moment for our country and global community, we - the 650 members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious gathered in assembly - have discerned the Gospel call to embody love for the sake of the world. We believe that love is more powerful than fear, dialogue more productive than rhetoric, and connection more transformative than threats of destruction.

We call on President Trump to engage in constructive dialogue and negotiation to resolve the current crisis between the governments of the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in a manner that guarantees the peace and security that all people seek.

We commit ourselves to promote nonviolence and a compassionate response to the thirst of the world for integrity and communion.




Social Awareness

We now recognize more clearly that the heart of the race question is moral and religious. We reaffirm our belief in the dignity of all persons before God and their right to equal treatment before the law.

We resolve to do all in our power to support all minority groups in their struggle for equality and human dignity, to eradicate racism in our congregation and in our country, to support programs for eliminating war and violence, and to join in the fight against poverty. (from Response in the Spirit -statements of the special chapter in 1969 and the general chapters 70 & 74.)


LCWR Resolution to Action, by Sr. Susan Francois, CSJP.

Sr. Susan penned the LCWR Resolution to Action for the spring of 2017 entitled "Resistance," which now seems particularly useful for reflection after the events of this weekend.

You can find the Resolution To Action here.


Statements by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

"The important thing is that we remain open to God as he reveals himself to us in the circumstances of life and do everything possible to bring the body of his Son to completion."

Catherine O'Connor, CSJP