Justice Update – October 29, 2019

How do we act in solidarity with forcibly displaced people while still supporting the needs of hurting citizens?  Read David Hollenbach’s essay in America Magazine.

“Nonviolence is not a political weapon or a technique for social change so much as it is an essential art—perhaps the essential art—of civilization. Nonviolence is a way of thinking, a way of life, not a tactic, but a way of putting love to work in resolving problems, healing relationships, and generally raising the quality of our lives. Nonviolence is a skill. Love is a skill. The transformation of anger is a skill. All these can be learned. We cannot say we aren’t capable of nonviolence; all we can say is we are not willing to do what is necessary to learn.” Eknath Easwaran

Thanks to all who attended Blessed Are the Peacemakers webinar either at the Martin de Porres Center or remotely in Great Bend, Akron, New Orleans, Kentucky, New York, Colorado, Columbus, and other locations.  For those who were not able to attend, the webinar was recorded and will be posted next week.  Here are the materials used or recommended.  Martin Luther King Six Principles of Nonviolence, CLARA, Walter Wink’s Facing the Myth of Redemptive Violence, Walter Wink’s Jesus and Alinsky, and Nancy Shreck OSF’s The Faithful Nonviolence of Jesus.  All are recommended for your reading and reflection.

In spite of pain and sorrow, children will always have fun. Take a look at this see saw connecting children on both sides of the border in El Paso.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Call your Senator and demand that the Violence Against Women Act be reauthorized.  Six months ago, the House passed H.R. 1585 to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  H.R. 1585 is a step towards ending domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. It will increase protections for more victims of domestic violence, especially Native American victims, who are victims of domestic violence at three times the national rate.  It would also close the ‘boyfriend loophole,’ which currently allows physically abusive dating partners, convicted stalkers, and former partners access to guns.  Call your senators and tell them to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. You can call 1-888-885-1748 to be connected or use their direct line.

Environment activists working to protect the Guapinol River in Honduras from mining interests who pollute the drinking water have been killed, beaten and criminalized by the government. Email the US Embassy in Honduras and them  to speak out to ensure justice in the case of the Guapinol water defenders.  Here is their email address.  Tell them that you support the release of the 7 Guapinol River Defenders from maximum security prisons in Honduras and an end to illegal mining threatening their water supply.

On November 12th the Supreme Court will hear arguments about the legality of DACA. Please keep the DACA recipients in your prayers during this time.  Here is a special prayer you can use.  Here are petitions that you can use at Mass.

Prayer of Hope in defense of DACA

We pray for DACA recipients, for their protection, their dignity, their hope. And for ourselves, as allies, that we may boldly lift our voices again and again as advocates. That we may remember our own times of uncertainty and fear, and authentically stand in solidarity with those for whom DACA has brought light and hope. And, as those directly affected by migration and inhumane policies, we pray for our community— people of undocumented, DACA, migrant, refugee, mixed-status; for our families, our homes, and our dreams. Sustain our vision, strength, and ongoing action for justice, oh God, that we may maintain hope and find light, as we live our days with the constant backdrop of uncertainty. And we pray for the policy makers— all those in positions of power in our government and courts. May the United States Supreme Court, the President of the United States, and all elected and appointed officials have the wisdom to see and uphold the dignity of all people, regardless of immigration status. Amen.

Communities continue to prosecute victims of trafficking saying its consensual sex.  They fail to see the power imbalance between the person purchased in sex and the purchaser. The person with the money, the buyer, is the one with power.  Paid sex is coerced sex.  The District of Columbia is about to open the floodgate of sexual exploitation and trafficking with new laws.

A common argument for capital punishment is that families of the slain victim will get closure.  Some people don’t believe that’s true.  NPR talked to some of the survivors of the Tree of Life Shooting about punishment for the killer.

The Amazon Synod has ended.  It proposed a definition of “ecological sin,” as “an action or omission against God, against others, the community and the environment” saying “it is a sin against future generations and manifests itself in acts and habits of pollution and destruction of the environmental harmony, transgressions against the principles of interdependence and the breaking of solidarity networks among creatures and against the virtue of justice.” “The human being is created in the image and likeness of God the Creator, and its dignity is inviolable,” say the bishops. “Therefore the defense and promotion of human rights is not merely a political duty or a social task, but also and above all a requirement of faith.” For more on the synod, click here.





Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

DACA Dreams

Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP

On November 12th, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about the legality of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Program.  DACA is an immigration option for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before the age of 16. Although it does not provide a pathway to lawful permanent residence, it does provide temporary protection from deportation, work authorization, and the ability to apply for a social security number.

Below is a written response by one DACA teen living in Kansas about why he needs to get a work authorization. He was brought to the U.S. as a 9-year-old when his parents moved to the U.S. to be able to provide enough food and education for their five children. They have had another child since moving to the U.S.

“I want a work permit because I want to help my parents out.  I see that they struggle a lot especially since there’s six children in our family.  I want to be able to help pay the bills and take some weight off their backs.  It’s hard for my parents to keep food on our table.  Some days I go to bed hungry.  I want to give my little brother and little sister a better life style than the one I lived.  That’s why I want a permit.

I also have crooked teeth.  They overlap and they don’t match with each other when I eat.  I went to the dentist four times this year.  That’s why my expenses are so high.  The dentist says I really need braces.  There’s no way my parents can afford that.  This is why I want my work permit so my parents don’t have to worry about another bill.

I also want a permit because I want to go to college and study to be an architect.  I know my parents won’t be able to help out.  I want to work so I can save and go to my dream college, Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS.”

His dreams mirror the dreams of many young people who have fled violence and climate disaster to make a life of peace in the United States.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Dominican Sister of Peace Joann Mascari

Dominican Sister of Peace JoAnn Mascari

Dominican Sister of Peace Joann (Agnes Joseph) Mascari, (89), died on October 2, 2019, at the Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY.  One of six children born to Mary Sorce and Joseph Mascari, she was born in Memphis, TN, and graduated from our own St. Agnes Academy before entering religious life in 1949.

Sr. Joann earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Education from Siena College in 1965, a Certificate in Religious Education from Mundelein College in 1971, a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry from the Chicago Theological Union in 1976 and her MA in Pastoral Studies and Spirituality from Loyola University in 1983. In true Dominican fashion, she also attended many workshops and institutes to enrich her knowledge and her ability to fully carry out her ministry.

Sr. Joann followed the Dominican charism in her choice of early ministry, sharing learning as both a teacher and a principal in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, and Nebraska. Perhaps it was those many years of teaching that made her so attuned to the world around her, as she has been described as having a “wonderful understanding of contemporary religious life.”

Sr. Joann also served in pastoral care in Tennessee, Illinois, Mississippi, and Kentucky. As Promoter of New Dominican Life and as a mentor to young women in initial formation, Sr. Joann made a lasting contribution to her Congregation and the Church. She served on the Board of Trustees of St. Agnes Academy for many years. She also helped many find peace through her ministry of Centering Prayer in Tennessee before beginning her final ministry of prayer and presence in St. Catharine, KY.

In the homily given at Sr. Joann’s funeral, Sr. Elaine DesRosiers remembered her as a “gracious Southern lady” who shared her welcoming hospitality with her Community and with those to whom she ministered.  She was also remembered as a deeply contemplative and prayerful woman who shared her love of God and neighbor through her ministry of teaching centering prayer.

Sr. Joann’s love of family was shown through her loving care of her sister, Doris, when they both lived at Sansbury Health Care Center in St. Catharine, KY.

Sr. Joann is survived by several nieces and nephews.

A vigil of remembrance was held for Sr. Joann on October 9 at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel.  The Mass of Christian Burial was held Thursday, October 10, at Sansbury Care Center Chapel. Sr. Joann was interred in the St. Catharine Motherhouse cemetery.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Joann’s memory may be sent to Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH 43219-2098. To make a secure online donation, please click here.

To download a printable version of this memorial, please click here.

Posted in News, Obituaries

Protect Your Honor

Blog by Director of Associates Colette Parker, OPA

What does it mean to be honorable?

That question has been bouncing around in my mind since I heard the remarks of former President Barack Obama during the funeral service of the late Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.).

This is what he said: Honorable, “this is a title that we confer on all kinds of people who get elected to public office — We’re supposed to introduce them as honorable. But Elijah Cummings was honorable before he was elected to office. There’s a difference.”

So what exactly is the difference?

Bestowing the title “the honorable” on someone who holds an office is an acknowledgment of their position – it is a courtesy. An honorable person, on the other hand, is someone who is honest, fair, and worthy of respect, someone who believes in truth and doing the right thing.

For honorable people, integrity matters.

Honorable people care for others.

Honorable people are truthful.

Honorable people strive to do what is right.

Honorable people accept personal responsibility.

Honorable people are resilient.

Honorable people make a difference.

Honorable people live for something greater than themselves.

Honorable people can look at themselves in the mirror with a clear conscience.

Now, you fill in the blank: Honorable people _________________________________.

Posted in Associate Blog, News

God Calling?

Blog by Sr. Beata Tiboldi

Thirty-four years ago, some first grade students were asked to draw a picture about what they wanted to be when they grew up. A little girl drew a teacher. Little did she know that she could be a teacher AND a mother, or a teacher AND a vowed religious sister, or a teacher AND a single person volunteering or helping others as an Associate in ministry with religious Sisters. That little girl was me.

It is not unusual when a family member asks their younger cousins what they would like to be when they grow up. Even if they are not asked by others, some people wonder what God is calling them to do with their life when they graduate from high school or college. Some ponder the same question during middle-age, some when they retire, and some when they are at an age when they have four to five generations in their families. The question about vocations might come up occasionally, or might come up on a daily basis upon praying with the Summons song: “What do you want of me Lord? Where do you want me to serve you?…” Through Baptism, all Christians are called to carry on the mission of love and to share the Good News.

Fr. Anthony Gittins, CSsP, encouraged us at the North American Preaching Colloquium to use our baptism as a present power instead of looking at it as a past event. He also reminded us that being Catholic is a life-long discovery and discipleship, allowing God to guide us. One of our Dominican Sisters, Sr. Cathy Hilkert, OP, explored her vocation as a theologian with this question when she was an undergraduate: “how can we speak of God and proclaim Christian hope in a world of suffering?” (Building Bridges – Dominicans Doing Theology Together, p67) I invite all of us to pray with this very question, or to pray with the question from the Summons song above. For what or to where is God calling you to be at this present moment? If you think you are called to be a vowed religious Sister or an Associate, contact us at vocations@oppeace.org.

Posted in God Calling?, News