September 2016 NewsNotes
Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace
I wanted to get this issue out before the Labor day weekend as I will be traveling home over the weekend from Calais.
This has been quite an experience. I have been "stretched" by living in a large community--the house usually had 14 or more each day, up to 30 for dinner. There were the aggravations of community living...like lines to use the bathroom
, and an assistant cook who only spoke Arabic and some French who would add salt to everything when I was not looking.
Being only an English speaker I was humbled by the refugees' abilities in 2, 3 or 4 languages. I especially felt inadequate during hospital visits when other refugees were translating for me. And, I feel the pain of so many who realize they have little hope of getting to the UK, and not much of a chance to make a new life in France either. They are literally in limbo, living day to day, many expressing their faith in God, "Inshalla" , or as God wills.
Time will tell whether or not I was really changed by the experience. But I know that being part of it good for me. We have been called to offer radical hospitality to others, yet here we found the refugees offering the radical hospitality, daily and without limits. The experience of being humbled like that is something we should all experience. In those moments I was in the presence of God in a very unique and personal way.
The real test will be how I am able to work to relive the crisis for the refugees. I cannot hope to solve it on my own, but no one here in Calais, or as a CSJP works solo. I hope that we, as a congregation can continue to respond to our chapter call with the lives of these sweet, sweet people in our minds and hearts.
Please consider the Notes that follow and do what you can to respond.
Peace through Justice Facilitator
- World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation
- CAFOD March for Refugees
- UK Justice and Peace Network on Refugees
- Campaign Nonviolence Week, Sept 18-25
- 15 More Released from Guantanamo
- Lutherans Take Action Against Israeli Occupation and Abuses
- U.S. & U.K. Complicity in Deaths of Yemeni Civilians
- Morally Deficient Capitalism
World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation
September 1st has been declared by Pope Francis as World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation. "The annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation will offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live."
In Calais, we often used this prayer by the Anglican Franciscans as the Confiteor during evening prayer.
we confess to you before the company
of the faithful on heaven and on earth,
that we have sinned against you,
against one another,
and against your creation.
Forgive us in your mercy,
help us to forgive each other
and to hold in reverence
All that you have made. Amen.
CAFOD and Caritas Social Action Network are sponsoring a short prayer service and march in support of refugees on Sept 17 at St. James Roman Catholic Church, Spanish Place, 22 George St. London. The prayer service will be from 12 PM- 12:45 followed by the march.
"We will provide placards, including ones on which you can write your own message of hope. However, please bring your own banners and placards, if you are able, to send a clear message of support and welcome for refugees."
UK Justice and Peace Network on Refugees
View of the Jungle from the air.
Saturday, Sept 17 the NJPN will hold a day long look at "Refugees: Practical approaches to bringing divided communities together. Phil McCarthy, Director of Caritas Social Network will present with input from local groups working with refugees.
The gathering will take place at St. John the Evangelist Hall, South Parade BA2 from 10:30 until 4 PM. For more information contact Admin@justice-and-peace.org.UK 020 7901 4864.
Campaign Nonviolence Week, Sept 18-25
Campaign Nonviolence is a long-term movement for a culture of peace and nonviolence free from war, poverty, racism, environmental destruction and the epidemic of violence. Pace e Bene is again sponsoring over 500 actions during the week of Sept 18-25 in an effort to bring nonviolence to the forefront.
In earlier NewsNotes I have asked that as many households in the CSJP family as possible host immigrants or refugees at some point during that week for tea, for a meal or for prayer and discussion. There is no better way to understand the plight of immigrants and refugees than by sitting with them face to face and listening. This type of action would be consistent with our Chapter Call to offer hospitality to those on the margins. Hospitality does not require offering someone a place to live (although that is not out of the question) but means opening our hearts to them by being present to them in a real way.
My own experience in Calais demonstrates that the refugees have much more to give than do I.
15 More Released from Guantanamo
On Saturday, August 13, fifteen more men were released from Guantanamo Prison in Cuba. 61 Detainees remain of whom 20 are cleared for release 31 are awaiting clearance through the Periodic Review Board and 10 are in the military commission system.
The names of the 15 released to the United Arab Emirates are as follows:
Mahmud al Mujahid (now 36, from Yemen)
Mohammed Khusruf (now 66, from Yemen)
Abd al Muhsin Salih al Busi (now 37, from Yemen)
Abd al Rahman Sulayman (now 37, from Yemen)
Zahir Omar Hamis bin Hamdoun (now 36, from Yemen)
Majid Mahmud Abdu Ahmed (now 36, from Yemen)
Bashir al Marwalah (now 37, from Yemen)
Saeed Sarem Jarabh (now 38, from Yemen)
Ayub Murshid Ali Salih (now 38, from Yemen)
Mohammed al Adahi (now 54, from Yemen)
Abdel Qadir al Mudhaffari (now 40, from Yemen)
Abdul Muhammed al Muhajari (now 46, from Yemen)
Obaidullah (now 36, from Afghanistan)
Haji Hamdullah (in his 50s, from Afghanistan)
Mohammed Kamin (now 38, from Afghanistan)
Witness Against Torture will continue with its fast and vigil in Washington DC for the closure of Guantanamo January 3 thru the 12th, 2017. They also plan to be present at the inauguration January 19-21.
Lutherans Take Action Against Israeli Occupation and Abuses
At their triennial assembly in Baton Rouge, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted on two resolutions, one calling for the end to U.S. military aid to Israel until it ends human rights abuses including building settlements on Palestinian land. The second resolution called for an investment screen to ensure the church does not profit from or is complicit in the injustice in the Holy Land.
U.S. & U.K. Complicity in Deaths of Yemeni Civilians
More than 60 Yemeni civilians have been killed in at least five attacks on civilian areas since the new bombing campaign by Saudi Arabia began. On August 13, the coalition bombed a school in Haydan, Yemen, killing at least 10 children and injuring 28 more.
The weapons used in the strikes are sold to the Saudi military by U.S. and U.K. arms dealers.
Congressman Ted Lieu of California, an Air Force reservist, has been waging a lonely battle against these arms sales. Lieu released a statement harshly condemning the attack. "The indiscriminate civilian killings by Saudi Arabia look like war crimes to me. In this case, children as young as 8 were killed by Saudi Arabian air strikes," he wrote. "By assisting Saudi Arabia, the United States is aiding and abetting what appears to be war crimes in Yemen," Lieu added. "The administration must stop enabling this madness now."
Saudi Arabia, fighting Houthi rebels, has also been blamed for at least four attacks on hospitals run by MSF, or Doctors Without Borders.
Morally Deficient Capitalism
Recent news about the 500% increase in the price of EpiPens has gathered much attention over the past few weeks. It is a clear example of capitalism run wild. Even more appalling is that it targets the parents of children who already have disabling allergies. Additional financial stress on top of the emotional stress of worry about potentially fatal anaphylactic shock.
Facts about EpiPen
The life-saving EpiPen is developed using taxpayer dollars
- It contains $1 worth of epinephrine
- It costs approximately $15 to make
- It can be purchased in other countries for $15
- It costs $600 in the US
The drug in EpiPens costs just pennies, but Mylan is charging parents over $600 for a device that literally saves children's lives. Tell it to stop gouging families and make EpiPens affordable again!