October 10 is the World Day Against the Death Penalty.
As the Church marks Respect Life Month, Pope Francis’s new encyclical declares that there is no going back. “The death penalty is inadmissible and Catholics are to work for its abolition.”
There are several opportunities to mark the World Day Against the Death Penalty.
- THURSDAY at 12pm EDT: EXECUTION BY THE NUMBERS: Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute on Race and Justice is hosting a one-hour, online event about the upcoming film by our friend Paula Caplan. about why, 18 years after Atkins, people with Intellectual Disabilities are still being executed in this country and what it will take to stop it. The film includes Bryan Stevenson, the late Justice Stevens, and Sister Helen Prejean. Register for the event at bit.ly/2RRYzFk. See the trailer for the film at https://vimeo.com/435265615. Join us in support of this important film, here.
- THURSDAY (Time TBA): Death Penalty Action’s Voices of Experience on the Death Penalty live Facebook program will continue with special guests and an update on the campaign to abolish the federal death penalty. Click here to learn more, and sign up for direct alerts once program details are known.
- SATURDAY at 1:30pm: Ohio Northern University’s Amnesty International chapter invites you to a World Day Against the Death Penalty program with Abraham Bonowitz of Death Penalty Action and two Ohio death row survivors. We’ll hear about the status of the campaign to end executions in Ohio and talk with two Ohio death row survivors, Kwame Ajamu, chairman of the national group of exonerated death row survivors, Witness to Innocence, and also Ahmad Issa, whose case was just added to the web page of the Death Penalty Information Center. Use this link to participate starting at 1:30pm on Saturday, Oct 10.
Amnesty International Speaks Up for Poll Workers
Amnesty International USA issued an unprecedented pre-election advisory today, warning of the heightened threat of gun violence facing people in the U.S., and the potential for armed intimidation of voters, as they head to the polls. Amnesty has asked that governors prohibit guns/firearms from polling places, and expand funding for gun violence prevention nationwide. Click here to read more.
Remembering Catholic Martyrs
December 2 marks the 40th anniversary of the martyrdom of the “Roses in December” martyrs, Dorothy Kazel, OSU, Maura Clarke, MM, Ita Ford, MM and Jean Donovan who were brutally murder by the U.S.-supported Salvadoran military for their ministry and for their dedication to those living in poverty. They were called “subversives” because they were accompanying refugee families who had fallen victim to the escalating violence and oppression that eventually led to civil war.
LCWR and the SHARE Foundation invite women religious especially to celebrate the gift of these four women and remember all of those who dedicated their lives to working for justice in El Salvador and throughout the world. The anniversary is an opportunity to offer their story to a new generation hungry for a share of their love, selflessness and courage.
Please plan now to host a prayer vigil, evening of conversation and story-telling, retreat, or other gathering in your communities, parishes or educational institutions to honor the memory of Ita, Maura, Dorothy, and Jean and those who continue to follow in their footsteps. Invite searchers and seekers and tell the story of these missioners’ lives and ministries and invite others to follow their example of faith in action.
We hope to commemorate the lives of the Roses in December martyrs by hosting 40 remembrances in 40 cities to mark the 40th anniversary. The SHARE Foundation is collecting brief descriptions of local events. Send details to (email@example.com) to be counted among the 40.
A Roses in December toolkit to help with local organizing is now available on the SHARE El Salvador website. The toolkit includes: the story of the four church women; background on El Salvador; ideas for the celebration; a prayer service; ideas for action and advocacy; media suggestions; and a list of resources.
The Roses in December delegation to El Salvador and Honduras originally scheduled for November 29 to December 7, 2020 will be rescheduled for 2021.