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June 2018 NewsNotes


Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace

June 2018


Greetings Friend!


I spent the last hour before publishing this edition of NewsNotes presenting some of its contents to the Sisters and staff at the Hudson Villa. They are always appreciative of the time spent with them that keep them up to date on issues of peace and justice. Today, we looked at the Poor People's Campaign and the statement of the group of pastors who are "Reclaiming Jesus." You will see those and many more stories below.

It is humbling to present on issues of justice and peace to people who have lived it and given their lives to and for others. But I am encouraged by the words of Rev. Anthony Gittens at the last Chapter meeting when he told us how important it was to keep the infirm and retired sisters in touch with the charism of the order. I trust our couple of times together each month can help keep them connected.

Likewise, I hope there is something in this edition that grabs your attention and encourages you to act.


Peace and all good,


Frank McCann
Peace through Justice Facilitator
Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace





  1. Parents and Children Separated at the Southern U.S. Border
  2. United Nations NGO Committee on Migration
  3. UK Immigration Updates
  4. Love and Activism
  5. “If Jesus is Lord, then Caesar is Not”
  6. A National Memorial to Lynching
  7. Kings Bay Plowshares Updates
  8. The 'NAKBA'
  9. Pax Christ Int'l Urges Nonviolence Among Nations
  10. Deutsche Bank to Stop Funding Nukes
  11. Annual Justice and Peace Conference in London
  12. Oppose Fracking in the U.K.
  13. U.S. Stops Measuring Carbon Output
  14. Chase Bank financing Oil Drilling & Pipelines
  15. Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
  16. U.K. Following U.S. Path to Growing Poverty?
  17. New Vatican Document on Economics, Markets and Ethics Published
  18. June Calendar


Immigrants and Refugees


Parents and Children Separated at the Southern U.S. Border


There is growing outrage in the United States about the administration's policy of separating parents and children of migrants and asylum seekers at the U.S. border. Early in May, Attorney General Sessions announced a new "deterrent" policy, warning that those who "smuggle" a child into the U.S. while crossing the border without documentation would be separated from the children. In addition to that, persons who arrive at a legal border crossing seeking asylum are also being separated from their children. Under previous administrations, asylum seekers were detained (in conformance with U.S. law, but in violation of international law) while their asylum cases were heard. Today, deportation processes are being initiated for adults and children separately, before any asylum hearings are held.

In addition, minor children who are crossing the border on their own, perhaps seeking unification with their parents in the U.S., are likewise having their deportation processes initiated immediately.

Reports circulated at the same time about nearly 1,500 of 7,635 children being "lost" by HHS. These youth were picked up at the border before the new policy too effect and were unable to be located by phone between October and December of 2017. Some 2 dozen were listed as run-aways but many probably are with family who will not answer calls from government officials. Children were removed by ICE agents (part of the Department of Homeland Security) at the border and turned over to Refugee Resettlement agents (part of the Department of Health and Human Services) where they were placed with their parents, sponsors or in foster homes until their immigration cases were heard. Sponsors are expected to have the children show up for immigration hearings, but Health and Human Services (HHS) says that is not part of their protocol.

Even earlier, ten "lost" children, including 8 minors, were found in 2014 to be trafficked, working on an egg farm in Ohio. Home visits required by a 2008 anti-trafficking law are being done for only 1 percent of the children, apparently due to lack of funding for the program. Child advocates suggest requiring an attorney be assigned to all children both as another point of adult contact and to assure the youth’s attendance at immigration proceedings.

The new policy of separating children and parents at the border taxes an already dysfunctional system, possibly adding on average 66 children a day to that system.

Just yesterday, the administration announced it would require fingerprints from parents or others who come to claim children. This will make exceedingly difficult for parents who are not documented.


Friday, June 1 is a day of action for Children to stop family separation.

Since it became official U.S. policy to routinely separate children from their parents, hundreds of children have been ripped from their families—658 children in the first 13 days of the program alone. No one benefits when families cannot be together. It is critical that we make our voices heard and tell our national leaders to stop family separation and protect family unity.

Here are the top 5 ways to take action:

  1. Call you Members of Congress—(202) 224-3121—Suggested Message:
    Children are vulnerable and should not be separated from their parents. The family is a foundational element of Catholic teaching and family unity is a cornerstone of our American immigration system. Separating parents from their children will not deter families from seeking safety and security in the U.S. Such a policy will not cure the pervasive root causes of migration existing in the violent areas of Central America. Furthermore, a policy of separating families at the border will be extremely costly to the U.S. taxpayer, costing hundreds of dollars/night per family. As a person of faith, [and a Catholic sister], I urge you to recognize the importance of family unity and use your oversight capabilities to:
    • Tell DHS Not to Separate Families
    • Prevent DHS from Receiving Funding for This Harmful and Costly Practice
    • Propose More Humane Solutions, Such As Alternatives to Detention.
  2. Attend or Organize a Local Event: Click here to find events near you or to register your event.
  3. Amplify on Social Media: Click here for sample social media posts.
  4. Write Opinion Editorials for Local Media Outlets: Click here for a template op-ed.
  5. Send an email message from Justice for Immigrants to Congress: Click here and ask that they protect immigrant children and families seeking safety and shelter from violence by keeping these families.

Please click here for a National Day of Action for Children toolkit.

You can find a backgrounder on family separation on the Justice for Immigrants website.

Click here for a Nicholas Kristof column (in the New York Times) on the policy and its effects.




United Nations NGO Committee on Migration


The UN NGO Committee on Migration (CoM) has been meeting often to collaborate in the design of two promised compacts on the safe and orderly mass migrations of people as a follow up to the New York Declaration issued in September of 2016. The Compact on Migration and the Compact on Refugees are due this September, although there is some doubt as to whether or not they can be completed on time. Among nation-states there are vast differences in the understanding of the needs of migrants and of their responsibilities of their states to them.

A recent meeting of theCoM featured reports from Focolare movement, Save the Children, Presentation and CSJ sisters and others around the globe as to how aspects of the proposals for the Compacts are working in trial situations.

Some nations, such as Ethiopia have difficulty even knowing who to count, since there are so may refugees from many countries in their borders. Some regional associations that agreed to work together are coming apart when some countries frrl they are left to carry too much of the burden.

A Mennonite representative spoke about how some programs initiated to welcome refugees, such as job training and employment help, are being resented by the local residents since they have not been offered similar opportunities.

Not all the news was bad. In Spain, once a resettlement period of one year passes, migrants are allowed to seek work on a par and through the same search opportunities as Spanish citizens. One of the day's highlights was presented by the Sisters of St. Joseph in Philadelphia who have opened a Welcome center for immigrants. Much of the staffing is being done by volunteers from the Jesuit St. Joseph's University. Both immigrants and students spoke in the video about how they benefitted from their partnership.

The CoM has produced two documents that may be of interest. The first is an infographic called: 'Debunking Myths to End Xenophobia.'

A second document is a brochure on Climate Induced Migration. It should be noted that legally, those forced to move from their homes cannot be considered refugees. Find the document here:



UK Immigration Updates


Over 5,000 "Windrush" cases have been reported to the Home Office. 850 people have received the documentation they need to file for citizenship. Fees are waived. To be eligible, the commonwealth nationals would have to have been in the U.K. by 1973 and for children who joined their parents before they turned 18.

Over 60 Windrush cases were being investigated for the possibility if wrongful removal.

The Windrush Generation refers to the Caribbean islanders who were imported to the U.K.. to assist in the post World War II rebuilding.




Love and Activism



The powerful homily at the wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markel was a spectacular introduction of Bishop Michael Curry to his U.K. hosts as well as to most Americans. His reflection on love was not purely sentimental as it might be in most wedding homilies, but it was also motivational as he noted the power of love to transform not just a couple, but the world. It proved to be an inspiring, if unusual, wedding message that included quotations from the rarely paired duo of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Teilhard de Chardin.

Quoting Dr. King, Bishop Curry spoke to the nonviolent power of love:

We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love, and when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world, for love is the only way.

He went on to discuss what Jesus founded:

A movement grounded in the unconditional love of God for the world - and a movement mandating people to live that love, and in so doing to change not only their lives but the very life of the world itself.

That movement was authenticated by Jesus’ own sacrificial death, a gift of love that was itself redemptive. That love would be transformative and could be likened to fire. Referencing de Chardin, he challenged his listeners:

… if humanity ever captures the energy of love- it will be the second time we will have discovered fire.

Bishop Curry also practices what he preaches.

On Thursday evening, May 24 th Bishop Curry joined other progressive church leaders from around the U.S. for a prayer service and a candle light march to the White House to say publicly that the leaders present want to “reclaim Jesus” putting their Christian faith as a greater priority than their allegiance to America, especially as represented in the current administration.

See more below.




“If Jesus is Lord, then Caesar is Not”


On Thursday evening, mainline protestant, catholic, and a few evangelical church leaders joined together to declare “America First” as a theological heresy for the followers of Christ.

The progressive church leaders led by Rev. Jim Wallace, Bishop Michael Curry, Fr. Richard Rohr, and others produced a statement after an Ash Wednesday retreat together earlier this year. They felt the need to emphasize how faith takes priority over nationality, party and economic theories.

“While we share a patriotic love for our country, we reject xenophobic or ethnic nationalism that places one nation over others as a political goal,” the leaders wrote in the statement. “Serving our own communities is essential, but the global connections between us are undeniable. Global poverty, environmental damage, violent conflict, weapons of mass destruction, and deadly diseases in some places ultimately affect all places, and we need wise political leadership to deal with each of these.”

Read the entire statement here.



A National Memorial to Lynching



The Equal Justice Initiative opened The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in memory of over 4,400 blacks who were lynched from 1877 and 1950 in 12 southern states. The six-acre site sits overlooking the capitol building in Montgomery, Alabama, best known as the city where the bus boycott by African Americans in 1955, after the arrest of Rosa Parks for not yielding her seat to a white man, kicked the civil rights movement into high gear.

The memorial is inspired by the Holocaust Museum in Berlin and asks the people of the 800 mostly southern counties to face the realities of the lynchings that took place to maintain the Jim Crow policies that repressed and oppressed blacks. Each county is shown as a weathered steel pillar hung from the structure with the names of those listed on each column who died there. Research led by Mr. Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative identified over 400 more victims of lynchings than had previously been acknowledged. In addition, over three hundred lynchings were chronicled outside of the twelve southern states that were part of the “old south”. A steel duplicate steel column for each county is available for that county, at no expense, when they document that they have “addressed racial and economic justice.”

Since 1989, the Equal Justice Initiative has offered legal services to the hundreds of poor people who are incarcerated. Mr. Stevenson believes in “just mercy” for his clients meaning that those who have committed serious crimes should be able to find redemption. The Memorial offers the same “just mercy.” For white Americans who admit their faults from the past.

It is hoped that the National Museum for Justice and Peace will be an early stop on any tours of the south focused on the civil rights era.



Kings Bay Plowshares Updates



On the night of April 4th, 2018, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr., seven nonviolent peace activists entered the Kings Bay Trident Submarine base in South Carolina to oppose the existence of such a base that houses enough Trident warheads to initiate 3,600 nuclear explosions.

On the same day they were arrested, they penned a letter to Pope Francis which you can read here.

On May 23rd, three of the seven were released on %50,000 bail and have to wear ankle bracelets. Patrick O'Neill was released and Carmen Trotta and Martha Hennesy have returned to the Catholic Worker in Manhattan. Liz McAlister, Clare Grady and Mark Colville have decided not to post bond yet. Steve Kelly is not free to post bail due to a hold by Washington State.

The following was a Memorial Day message from those still detained:

We humbly remember ALL the people who have died in war. The victims of war are not only overseas but here too. Only when the people with privilege in their own systems reject war as an answer to any conflict will the trifecta of sin -- militarism, racism, and poverty -- be addressed.






On May 14, the U.S. Embassy was moved to Jerusalem even though many leaders warned this would lead to bloodshed. The timing of this event deliberately coincided with the 70th anniversary of Israel's independence and came the day before both the Palestinian Nakba Day (displacement of 700,000 refugees) and the start of Ramadan.

Over 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers and over 2200 were injured in Gaza demonstrations. Gaza has become a humanitarian crisis as water, nutrition, health care, education, and jobs are scarce.

Actions to Take (as suggested by the Conference of the Superiors of Men (CMSM)):

  • Watch this brief video from CMSM about the White House Prayer Vigil, May 15;
  • Read Churches for Middle East Peace's Statement (CMSM belongs to CMEP);
  • Advocate by contacting Congress to urge them to stand with Gaza;
  • Leverage economic power by joining a boycott of companies profiting from illegal settlements.

Also, read 70 Years On: Seeking a Hopeful Future in a Time of Yearning, the letter written to Congress on the day of the deadly protests, by representatives of 14 faith groups, all members of the Faith Forum on Middle East Policy, here.

Pax Christi International Statement on the NAKBA

We ask you to share this statement with your membership and your networks, in order to spread this important call around the world, as the Palestinian people need our solidarity in commemorating the tragic events of 1948 and our support for their nonviolent actions to draw attention to the ongoing human rights crisis.



Pax Christ Int'l Urges Nonviolence Among Nations


On Monday, May 28th, Pax Christi International released a statement at the United Nations urging governments around the world to choose nonviolence as a policy towards living in peace with one another. The statement was a follow-up to, and inspired by Pope Francis' Peace Day Message of 2017 entitled: Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace.

We ask the international community that, instead of spending huge amounts on wars and weapons harming people and the planet, they invest their resources in policies that promote nonviolent approaches that have proven to be effective in reducing violence and conflict. Concretely, we propose they take these 12 policy actions:

  1. Increase national, regional and international budgets for conflict prevention and peacebuilding (SDG 16) and for achieving all of the SDGs by 2030.
  2. Strengthen early warning and response systems, including through the involvement of local communities and effective follow-up with long-term peacebuilding efforts.
  3. Review peacekeeping operations and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), refocusing on nonviolent methods of prevention and protection.
  4. Push the UN Security Council to step up its core task of conflict prevention with scaled-up, proven-effective nonviolent strategies.
  5. Monitor the reform of the UN peace and security architecture, emphasizing the peacebuilding responsibilities of the entire system and other regional and non-state actors.
  6. Align the UN “sustaining peace” agenda with UNSCR 1325 and the principles and commitments associated with the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.
  7. Support Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping as an effective civilian protection approa
  8. Facilitate exchanges between governments, intergovernmental organisations and civil society for capacity building in diplomacy and mediation.
  9. Use nonviolent communication for conflict resolution of political disputes.
  10. Support local communities to identify and build capacity in contextually appropriate approaches for nonviolent resistance.
  11. Involve religious leaders in peacemaking and mediation processes at all levels.
  12. Enable youth to participate in a meaningful way in peace and security agendas and facilitate interregional exchanges between them.

The full text in English can be found here.



Deutsche Bank to Stop Funding Nukes


Deutsche Bank announced it has expanded its exclusion of controversial weapons companies. The new policy excludes companies with “clear, direct links” to controversial weapons businesses, including those involved in nuclear weapons. The bank acknowledges that “Controversial Weapons cause undue suffering and have a disproportionate humanitarian impact on civilian populations.”

This means Deutsche Bank will not invest in companies involved in the manufacture, distribution or maintenance and service of (key components of) nuclear weapons. It will also terminate existing relations with these companies.




Annual Justice and Peace Conference in London


The U.K. National Justice & Peace Network will hold it annual conference in London 20-22 July, 2018. The theme is "In the Shelter of Each Other the People Live". Confirmed speakers and booking forms can be found here.

The National Justice and Peace Network is working in partnership with Housing Justice, Church Action on Poverty, Prison Advice and Care Trust.  'It is in the shelter of each other that the people live’: A conference to explore the meaning of ‘home’ in the context of being a church of the poor.

The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire is the site for the cnference. Confirmed speakers include the keynote, Rev. Al Barrett who will speak on ‘nurturing a church community that is committed to “growing loving community with all our neighbours.”

Other speakers will include David McLoughlin, Senior lecturer in Theology, Newman University; Sarah Teather, Director of Jesuit Refugee Service UK, and John Rogan MP.

CONF 2018 Booking Form
Conference 2018 A4 Poster
Conference 2018 A5 flier


Our Common Home



Oppose Fracking in the U.K.


Friends of the Earth put together a beautiful video by Oscar-winning actor Mark Rylance opposing fracking in Sherwood forest and other locations in the U.K. ;

Rylance says: "We have to protect places like Sherwood Forest, because if they can think about fracking here, where won’t they frack? "

We couldn't agree more. And like Mark, we think fracking across swathes of England is totally the wrong way to go if we want to beat climate change. "We should be spending money on insulation and other measures to reduce our use of energy; and offshore wind and other renewable energy sources ."

If you agree too - and don't want to see our areas of beautiful countryside, places of heritage and our communities blighted with fracking rigs - please share our video far and wide.

Click here to share the video.

Sign the petition to save Sherwood Forest from Fracking.



U.S. Stops Measuring Carbon Output


President Trump has (quietly) cancelled NASA's $10M Carbon Monitoring Program. As CO2 levels soar, this important research program will no longer be "compiling data from separate satellite and aircraft measurements of CO2 and methane emission across the Earth." Read two articles about this action, from Science magazine, and Tech Times. Find out more about the program, here.



Chase Bank financing Oil Drilling & Pipelines


Chase is the top Wall Street funder of tar sands, coal and other extreme fossil fuels, providing nearly $12 billion for the worst fossil fuels in 2017 alone. By funding fossil fuels, banks like Chase are fueling the climate crisis. And the climate crisis is fueling out of control wildfires across the world, rising sea levels, and massive loss of animal habitats. To make matters worse, companies extracting fossil fuels are breaking treaty rights with Indigenous communities and making frontline communities sicker and sicker.

Just last year, Chase financed dirty and destructive fossil fuels to the tune of almost $12 billion. I’m joining frontline and Indigenous activists at your shareholder meeting demanding Chase finally stops funding the climate crisis. #DefundTarSands #DefundClimateChange #WaterIslife #ShutDownChase

While activists are at Chase’s doorstep, we’re joining a growing chorus of people across the world demanding Chase change its funding practices. Join us today as we swarm Chase’s Facebook page to demand it divests from fossil fuels.

Joining the social media storm is easy. We’ve included sample text below.

Once you’ve copied the text click here to post on Chase’s facebook page.
copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) What do I want them to do here? (Call-to-Action)


Economic Justice


Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called for a Poor People's Campaign that was to have brought poor people of every color and race to Washington DC in late April of 1968. King's assasination on April 4th effectively put an end to the campaign.

Rev. William Barber and Rev. Theotakis are co-leading a new Poor People;s Campaign that is joining tens of thousands of people around the nation to protest policies that continue to keep people in poverty and to oppose King's triple evils of racism, poverty and militarism, to which the new campaign adds ecological devastation and the distorted morality of our current government.

Actions, that include nonviolent civil disobedience occur on each Monday during the first 40 day period of the campaign, which began on Mother's Day, with a different theme each week. The theme for week 3 (May 27-June 2) is Militarism and the Proliferation of Gun Violence. The theme for week 4 (June 3-9) is The Right to Health and a Healthy Planet: Ecological Devastation and Health Care.

Demonstrations are held in Washington, DC and in state capitals around the country, including Trenton, NJ and Olympia, WA.

MLK vision of the Poor People’s campaign, 2018. (3:44)

Poor People's Campaign Launch Video, 2018. (3:24)

Rev. Barber speaks in Philadelphia about the history of black and white people coming together, 2018. (39:37)

Rev. Barber speaks to a white Appalachian Church in North Carolina, 2013. (53:32)

Amy Goodwin Democracy Now on Poor People’s Campaign, 2018. (23:30)


Poor People's Campaign NJ Action Monday, June 4


Join us on Monday, June 4 at 2pm in Trenton

Here are the details:

What: NJ Poor People's Campaign Rally for Health and Against Ecological Devastation

When: Monday, June 4th at 2pm;

Where: Front steps of the New Jersey Statehouse Annex, 131 W. State Street, Trenton NJ

Details and RSVP here:

Not only does this represent an important opportunity for bold climate action, it's a unique moment to unite our movements and build collective power behind shared values.

The Poor People's Campaign is uniting people across race, ethnicity, class and creed to speak up for the 140 million people living in poverty in the US. Amoung critical public policy issues, the Campaign is advancing equitable access to clean water and clean energy for all. For more information on the Poor People's Campaign go here:



U.K. Following U.S. Path to Growing Poverty?


Monday's New York Times had a detailed story about the austerity measures in Britain and how they cause a spread of poverty in the U.K. as they have done in the U.S.

Here are a few selected quotes from the article:

A wave of austerity has yielded a country that has grown accustomed to living with less, even as many measures of social well-being — crime rates, opioid addiction, infant mortality, childhood poverty and homelessness — point to a deteriorating quality of life.

To a degree, a spirit of voluntarism materialized. At public libraries, volunteers now outnumber paid staff. In struggling communities, residents have formed food banks while distributing hand-me-down school uniforms. But to many in Britain, this is akin to setting your house on fire and then reveling in the community spirit as neighbors come running to help extinguish the blaze.

At Fulwood Green Medical Center in Liverpool, Dr. Simon Bowers, a general practitioner, points to austerity as an aggravating factor in the flow of stress-related maladies he encounters — high blood pressure, heart problems, sleeplessness, anxiety....“Austerity isn’t a necessity,” he continued. “It’s a political choice, to move Britain in a different way. I can’t see a rationale beyond further enriching the rich while making the lives of the poor more miserable.”

And a few statistics:

Number of police officers are down by 14 percent
Liverpool firefighters have been reduced from 1,000 to 620.
National court system reduced its staff by a third.
Unemployment is very low but wages are lower than a decade ago.

As in the U.S., the lifestyles of the rich and famous are not generally affected.



New Vatican Document on Economics, Markets and Ethics Published


Considerations for an Ethical Discernment Regarding Some Aspects of the Present Economic-Financial System was approved by Pope Francis and released May 17. The document proses an ethical system of markets consistent with the principle of Catholic Social Teaching. "It is evident therefore that the economy, like every other sphere of human action, “needs ethics in order to function correctly — not any ethics whatsoever, but an ethics which is people-centered.”(8) "No profit is in fact legitimate when it falls short of the objective of the integral promotion of the human person, the universal destination of goods, and the preferential option for the poor." (10).

The document was jointly issued by the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

You can read the document here.

Read the column by Tony Magliano that reflects on the new document:

Vatican challenges us to transform our greedy financial system

By Tony Magliano

Why are people poor?

It’s not because there aren’t enough resources to go around. For one thing, the world produces enough food to adequately feed every single person.

Well then what are the reasons?

Among the major reasons poverty exists are unemployment, underemployment, lack of health care and education, hunger, homelessness, undocumented immigration status, climate change and war.




Mark Your Calendar


5 - CSJP Founders' Day
8 - World Oceans Day
12 - World Day against Child Labor
14 - Eid al-Fitr at sunset (Ramadan ends)
20 - World Refugee Day
21 - June Solstice

"The prophet does not compel, but asks people to see themselves, the world, and God in a new way."

Dorothy Vidulich, CSJP