Peace and Justice Updates: 12.9.2020

USCCB: Tell Congress to Provide Covid-19 relief before Christmas 

It has been nearly eight months since Congress passed a COVID-19 aid package. Millions are struggling to pay rent, buy food, afford healthcare, maintain employment, and meet their basic human needs, and families cannot wait any longer. Congress must act quickly to pass a new COVD-19 relief package that addresses the needs of the poor and vulnerable, including:

  • Providing resources to meet the needs of those who are homeless and those struggling to keep a roof over their heads.
  • Increasing SNAP benefit amounts.
  • Enacting policies that encourage and support employers to retain and rehire workers, providing sufficient unemployment compensation, and considering additional stimulus payments.
  • Ensuring affordable healthcare access for everyone during this health crisis, but especially for the poor, uninsured, unemployed, and vulnerable populations including immigrants and refugees – without providing federal funding for abortion coverage.
  • Safeguarding those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 in our criminal justice system and increasing medical resources to care for those who do become ill while incarcerated.
  • Providing relief to all schools, including a ten percent reserve of K12 funding to provide tuition scholarships for families whose children attend nonpublic schools. Within the relief set aside for families that send their children to nonpublic schools, Congress should give special consideration to those families with greatest need.

We encourage you to add your own personal story about the pressing need for COVID-19 relief.
Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), signed a joint letter with Catholic leaders calling our lawmakers to action. You can read the letter here. You can learn more about the USCCB’s specific requests for policies that protect those who are poor and vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic here.

Take Action and Write Your Congressperson Now

December 14 Laudato Si Action Platform Webinar

Please join us for a webinar December 14, 11:00-12:30 ET to learn more about a very exciting Vatican initiative.

The Vatican Dicastery for Integral Human Development plans to launch a seven-year plan to help Catholic communities around the world become more sustainable in the spirit of the integral human development of Laudato Si’.  This effoort includes mobilizing seven sectors within the global Catholic community: families; dioceses; schools; universities; healthcare centers; business and agriculture; and religious orders to journey toward seven goals: responding to the cry of Earth; responding to the cry of the poor; building ecological economies; adopting simple lifestyles; creating ecological education; recovering ecological spirituality; and promoting community action and advocacy.

Mark your calendar and plan to join Sheila Kinsey, OSF, executive co-secretary for the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission, of UISG/USG on December 14, 11:00-12:30 ET to learn more. No need to register. Just click here to join us on Zoom on December 14 at 11:00! Plan to sign in early to be sure you get a “seat.”

Meeting ID: 839 6596 4940

Passcode: 105283

National Day of Racial Healing

On Tues., Jan. 19, 2021, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation invites you to join for the 5th annual National Day of Racial Healing.

The day will be centered around experiences rooted in truth-telling that lead to racial healing for a more just and equitable future.

This year, we welcome back Baratunde Thurston as our host. We’ll be joined by leading advocates, musicians, artists and others, who are taking action to help heal our communities.

Click here to learn more about WKKF’s YouTube premiere event for the National Day of Racial Healing and RSVP today.




Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Action Updates: 12.2.2020

Tracking Gun Violence
Please contact your own state legislators today, Wednesday, December 2, 2020, to ask them to support H.2045/S.1388, an act relative to crime gun data reporting and analysis.

This bill will require a detailed analysis of MA crime gun trace data to better understand the origins of crime guns. We want House Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Spilka to bring it to the floor for a vote.

Click HERE to send an email to your state representatives to support a vote on H.2045/S.1388.

You can also make a quick call – see the suggested script.


My name is _________. My address is _________. I am calling to ask my representative to contact House Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Spilka to bring a vote on H.2045/S.1388 An Act Relative To Crime Gun Data Reporting and Analysis. People are dying from crime guns, 50% of which come from within MA. We need to know the source of these crime guns so we know how to stop them from getting to our streets.

Click here to find your legislator.

The Effects of COVID-19 on Marginalized Populations
The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic extend far beyond health care. It is also impacting the following:

COVID-19 could push 71 million more people into extreme poverty this year. As a result, the global extreme poverty rate would increase to 8.82% –representing the first increase in global extreme poverty since 1998, effectively wiping out progress made since 2017. Projected impacts are likely to be long-lasting.
The World Bank

Data show that people of color are experiencing a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 cases and deaths. In addition, Black, Hispanic, and Asian people are at increased risk of hospitalization due to the virus.

Minorities are less likely to be insured and healthcare access is limited by other factors such as: lack of transportation, child care, ability to take time off of work, communication and language barriers, cultural differences between patients and providers and historical and current discrimination in healthcare systems.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Racial & ethnic groups are disproportionately represented in essential work settings such as healthcare facilities, farms, factories, grocery stores, and public transportation. These often include close contact with the public or other workers, not being able to work from home, and not having paid sick days.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Minorities often live in crowded conditions that make it more challenging to follow prevention strategies. Growing and disproportionate unemployment rates during the pandemic may lead to greater risk of eviction and homelessness or sharing of housing.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Visa processing overseas as well as the processing of some immigration benefits within the country have come to a near standstill.
Entry into the United States along the Mexican and Canadian borders—including by asylum seekers and unaccompanied children—has been severely restricted.
Tens of thousands of people remain in immigration detention despite the high risk of transmission in crowded jails, prisons, and detention centers that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) uses to hold noncitizens.
The pandemic has led to the suspension of many immigration court hearings and limited the functioning of the few courts which remain open or were reopened.
American Immigration Council

168 countries have fully or partially closed their borders to refugees due to the health crisis.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Refugees to the United States, especially those recently resettled, often experience living arrangements or working conditions that put them at greater risk of getting the virus.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Criminal Justice System
The number of incarcerated people needs to be reduced to mitigate the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic because adequate social distancing and healthcare are just not possible in correctional facilities.
New England Journal of Medicine

20 states do not require masks to be worn by staff and most are not requiring incarcerated people to wear them.
Prison Policy Initiative

Growing evidence suggests that outbreaks or epidemic diseases may become more frequent as climate continues to change.
UN Environment Program

Domestic Violence
In some regions, the number of calls to domestic violence hotlines has dropped by more than 50% — not because of a decrease in the violence, but rather because victims are unable to safely connect with services.
New England Journal of Medicine

International Image
Across 13 nations surveyed, a median of just 15% say the U.S. has done a good job of dealing with the outbreak.
Pew Research Center

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Special Peace and Justice Update: Roses in December, 12.2.2020

Dear Sisters and Associates,

December 2nd marks the 40th anniversary of the murders of Sisters Ita Ford, Maura Clark, Dorothy Kazel, and lay missioner, Jean  Donovan.  These four missioners “heard the cry of the poor” and worked in solidarity with the poor for many years.  They understood the risks and challenges of remaining in El Salvador.  The many martyrs who died before them were constant reminders of what could be their fate.

On this 40th anniversary of their supreme sacrifice, Pax Christi has provided a prayer service and study guide to keep their memory in front of us.  Their efforts for justice and peace remain with us in our prayers and efforts for justice and peace.  I invite you to use this resource on December 2nd.  You may also be interested in the webinar on the four churchwomen to be presented this evening by the Maryknoll Sisters detailed below.

Sr. Judy Morris, OP

Maryknoll Webinar


When: Dec 2, 2020 07:00 pm – 8:30 pm Eastern Time

Topic: Martyrs

  • Please click here to join the webinar:
  • To use iPhone one-tap:

US: +16468769923, 85121522778# or +13017158592, 85121522778#

  • Telephone:

Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

US: +1 646 876 9923 or +1 301 715 8592

Or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833

Webinar ID: 851 2152 2778

  • International numbers available; click here.
  • To view “Remembering the Martyrs” on YouTube, click here.

The Global Sisters Report published a special article on the anniversary, What is the US churchwomen martyrs’ message for us today? Click here to read.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates – 11.18.2020

From Death Penalty Action:

The execution of Orlando Hall is scheduled for 4pm on Thursday.

Click here to register now to join the virtual vigil on Thursday, including live connection to protests at the prison at Terre Haute and at Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington DC. If you are willing and able to join those protests in person, anyone willing do so while masked and keeping a safe distance is welcome

We’ve launched an initiative to urge the Ohio Governor and General Assembly to move SB 296 to abolish Ohio’s death penalty during the current lame-duck legislative session.

Save the Arctic National Refuge

The out-going Trump administration just announced it will be selling tracts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas companies. Trump has long threatened to open up the Arctic Refuge to oil and gas drilling, and with two months left in office, he is now rushing to do so.

Starting this week, the federal government is asking industries to pick which parts of the irreplaceable Arctic wilderness they want to see auctioned off. Up to 1.6 million acres of pristine wilderness will be made available.

This move further threatens a vast, untouched wilderness and the polar bears, caribou, and migrating birds that call it home.

To view a video about why we need to save this beautiful piece of creation, click here. 

Please contact your Congressional representatives by clicking here to reach the House of Representatives, or here to reach your Senator. You may also contact Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt via email  or via Twiter at @SecBernhardt.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates, 11/11/2020

Dominican Month for Peace
Tor three years, the Dominican community around the world has demonstrated solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are trying to bring hope in situations of violence and war. The Dominican Month for Peace has now become a regular part of our Advent activities. For the year 2020, the focus of our annual Dominican Month for Peace will be on Ukraine. For more information, please click here.

Welcoming the New President-Elect
The LCWR has issued a statement welcoming President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris. The statement calls for the new Administration to “to build a society worthy of the values to which our imperfect union aspires,” and for the American people to “make space in our hearts and our communities for the needs and concerns of all God’s people.”

Click here to read the entire statement, which was issued on November 10, 2020.

A Prayer for the Poor
On November 15, the Church celebrates the World Day of the Poor, with the theme: “Stretch forth your hand to the poor”. On behalf of the Claretian Family, the Sisters of Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionaries (RMI) have prepared a prayer with translation in English, Spanish and French. You are cordially invited to pray this and disseminate this prayer to the members of your organisms and to people in your contacts.

A Candle for Peace
Tuesday, 11 November at 6:30pm, Religions for Peace and Ring for Peace, as part of the First Assembly on Women, Faith and Diplomacy, are asking us to join a global moment for peace and unity. At 6:30 pm this evening, please place a candle in your window, and post a photo to social media with the hashstag #RfPPeaceandLight. 

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates