Peace & Justice Blog

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40 days of prayer lead up to next phase of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform

The Dominican Sisters of Peace announces its co-leadership of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development’s 40-day campaign of prayers based on the Laudato Si’ Goals, for communities joining the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.

The prayer campaign supports the seven sectors joining the Laudato Si’ Action Platform with a dedicated day of prayer for each, connecting each sector with a Laudato Si’ Goal.

The full set of prayers is available here. The prayer campaign began on October 4, the Feast of St. Francis, and will conclude on November 14, the World Day of Prayer for the Poor.

November 14 will launch the next phase in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform. On that date, Laudato Si’ Planning Guides and all related materials will be published, and members of the universal Church will be invited to make a firm commitment to creating their own Laudato Si’ Plans.

While this next phase in the platform had been planned for October 4, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development sees a need to continue building on the dynamic conversations taking place with The Dominican Sisters of Peace and nearly 200 additional partners.

The Dominican Sisters of Peace has been an integrally important co-leader of efforts to build the Laudato Si’ Action Platform. Serving as a member of the Religious Orders working group, The Dominican Sisters of Peace has assisted in shaping both the model and the content of the platform.

By extending the date from October 4 to November 14, The Dominican Sisters of Peace helps ensure that the Laudato Si’ Action Platform will truly serve the needs of Catholic Religious Orders.

All Catholic Religious Orders are warmly invited to review the existing resources on the Laudato Si’ Action Platform website and to discern their commitment to creating a Laudato Si’ Plan.

The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development announces a 40-day campaign of prayers for communities joining the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.

The prayer campaign supports the seven sectors joining the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, with a dedicated day of prayer for each, connecting each sector with a Laudato Si’ Goal.

You can view and print the full set of prayers here. The prayer campaign began on October 4, the Feast of St. Francis, and will conclude on November 14, the World Day of Prayer for the Poor.

On November 14, the next phase in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform will begin. On that date, Laudato Si’ Planning Guides and all related materials will be published, and members of the universal Church will be invited to make a firm commitment to creating their own Laudato Si’ Plans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Desert Hospitality and Migration

Blog by Sr. Rachel Sena

What is it like to live and be pastorally present in a border state such as Arizona?

As Sisters who live in the Mission Diocese of Tucson, we share a southern border with Mexico, an eastern border with New Mexico that also borders Mexico and Texas. We have a western border with California that borders Mexico. In addition to these borders of states and countries, we in Arizona have borders within our state. The Sovereign Nations of the indigenous Native American people recognize borders that we frequently cross without notice or awareness as we travel the US Highways to and from our destinations. Sometimes we see road signs that advise we are “Now Entering the Native American Nation” and leaving it as we drive along the highways.

As a native of Arizona, meeting and greeting travelers from various points of origins we, as family and communities of faith within this border context, saw each traveler as a gift and treasure to receive with gratitude and welcomed them to extend our desert hospitality.

Border crossing was a given reality and as we crossed from “our familiar boundaries” into other boundaries. We noticed how the landscape, plant life, and horizons had a particular beauty and unique challenges that could be dangerous to the unfamiliar traveler.  Only the experienced amongst us could tell us stories of past journeys that held us in breathless suspense as the story unfolded. Stories that made known the hidden dangers, the mercy and kindness of strangers, the burning heat of full sun, and the occasional breeze that cooled the body at a most critical time.  We learned to read the landscape, look for animal trails and identify plants and cacti that were edible. We learned that there are cacti to avoid, such as the Cholla that releases its spiny sharp needles to anything that moved close by because it was drawn to the magnetic pull of the person or animal. The desert can be hostile to the newcomer and indeed it is deadly to the inexperienced.

This cultural and local knowledge carries with it a deep appreciation of hospitality, such as the rancher who leaves water out under mesquite trees for the humanity of migrant immigrants, desperate to leave the unknown dangers in their land to take a faith risk in God’s providence and mercy of strangers.

We give thanks for the many volunteers who make rescue searches in the desert to save lives. When they find the lost, the dying, and the remains, they too will pray in gratitude for this Mission of God that tugs at their heart and their humanity to reach out as believers that everyone is a son and daughter of God, therefore their brothers and sisters in the Name of God.

We give thanks for the partnerships of non-profits with Border Patrol to rescue the lost and receive the remains of the many women, children, and men whose families need to know what happened to their loved ones.

We give thanks for the forensic teams that reverently receive the remains and work with the Consulates to identify the dead.

We give thanks to the volunteers who go out into the desert to place a cross at the site of the now documented dead with their names on their cross that has been blessed and photos taken to send to their loved ones in their country of origin.

We give thanks to you for your prayers, your advocacy on behalf of the poor whose voice was heard by our Merciful God.

Let us pray for all immigrant migrants as a people of Faith, itinerant preachers on the Emmaus Roads of humanity’s desert. Let us light a candle in remembrance and open wide our hearts, minds, hands and

Walk as St. Dominic did and travel the road of mercy and Eucharistic hospitality to be and become the Bread of Life and Cup of Joy.

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

In Celebration of the Feast of St. Francis

OPENING PRAYER

Prayer for Ecological Conversion

God of the sun and the moon, of the mountains, deserts and plains,
God of the mighty oceans, of rivers, lakes and streams
God of all creatures that live in seas and fly in the air
of every living thing that grows and moves on this sacred Earth.
We are formed by Christ into Your People,
called to bring the world into Your marvelous light.
As the Body of Christ, we are messengers of ecological vocation.
We are entrusted with caring for this Earth which You have created.
Help us to love and respect it; to repair what we have damaged;
to care for what You have made good and holy.
Give us the wisdom and the passion to change our minds, our hearts and our ways.
Let us be mustard seeds in our world bringing about ecological conversion which grows and
spreads to every corner of the Earth.
For our sake now and for every generation which is to come.
We ask this through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

~Catholic Earthcare Australia, 2002 (used with permission)

 

READINGS

Reading #1

Parable of the Mustard Seed ~Mark 4:30-32

“He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”

Reading #2

The theme of this program comes from this Pope John XXIII quote: “We are not on earth to guard a museum, but to tend to a flowering garden of life.”

Reading #3

A reading from Laudato Si’ 217

The ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion. Christians all need an “ecological conversion”, whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them.

Reading #4

Pope St. John Paul II in his General Audience Address on 17 January 2001 was the first Pontiff to use the term “ecological conversion.” “Unfortunately, if we scan the regions of our planet, we immediately see that humanity has disappointed God’s expectations. Man, especially in our time, has without hesitation devastated wooded plains and valleys, polluted waters, disfigured the earth’s habitat, made the air unbreathable, disturbed the hydrogeological and atmospheric systems, turned luxuriant areas into deserts and undertaken forms of unrestrained industrialization, degrading that “flowerbed” – to use an image from Dante Alighieri (Paradiso, XXII, 151) – which is the earth, our dwelling-place.

We must therefore encourage and support the “ecological conversion” which in recent decades has made humanity more sensitive to the catastrophe to which it has been heading. Man is no longer the Creator’s “steward”, but an autonomous despot, who is finally beginning to understand that he must stop at the edge of the abyss…. At stake, then, is not only a “physical” ecology that is concerned to safeguard the habitat of the various living beings, but also a “human” ecology that makes the existence of creatures more dignified, by protecting the fundamental good of life in all its manifestations and by preparing for future generations an environment more in conformity with the Creator’s plan.”

Reading #6

Elizabeth Johnson, Professor Emerita of Theology at Fordham University and a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, writes:

“. . . We all share the status of creaturehood; we are all kin in the evolving community of life now under siege; our vision must be one of flourishing for all. The immediate aim is to establish and protect healthy ecosystems where all creatures, including poor human beings and plants and animals being driven to extinction, can thrive. The longer-term goal is a socially just and environmentally sustainable society in which the needs of all people are met and diverse species can prosper, onward to an evolutionary future that will still surprise…. guide us at this critical time of Earth’s distress, to practical and critical effect”: A flourishing humanity on a thriving planet rich in species in an evolving universe, all together filled with the glory of God.”

(Elizabeth Johnson, Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love, Bloomsbury: London, 2014, 1 285-86).

REFLECTION

  • What stood out/impacted you in these readings?
  • How does the Parable of the Mustard Seed speak to you as you consider the need to work to ensure that we “cultivate a flowering garden of life” and a “flourishing humanity on a thriving planet rich in species in an evolving universe, all together filled with the glory of God”?
  • What common thread/message do you see in the readings by Pope John XXIII, Pope St. John Paul II, and Pope Francis (in Laudato Si’)?
  • How can people of faith work toward what Prof. Johnson states as our “longer-term goal of “a flourishing humanity on a thriving planet rich in species in an evolving universe, all together filled with the glory of God?”

Click here to view, download and/or print this reflection.

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Season of Creation Prayer Service: October 3, 2021

Season of Creation
October 3, 2021

 

Introductory Comments As we enter the final days of this year’s Season of Creation, our readings invite us to reflect on creation and the sacredness of the bonds that unite us all.  The reading from the second creation myth in Genesis focuses upon God’s sensitive attention to Adam’s loneliness and the special gift of human attraction and bonding that unites care for Earth.  In the Gospel, Jesus reminds us that what God has thus joined together, no human being must separate.

This warning takes on new, more profound, and challenging meaning as we become aware through contemporary science that every creature is actually “joined together” with every other in complex and evolving webs of interdependence.

As we begin, let’s enter into the quiet of our spirits … asking to be more conscious of the webs of interconnected life within which we live … upon which we depend … which invite our care … asking for gratitude and awe … asking to be a part of birthing the New Creation in our times….

 

!st reading: Genesis 2:18-24 We see God’s sensitive care for the needs of the first human, Adam, formed from the clay of the Earth.

Reflection: It is important to give greater attention to those other living creatures that this passage from Genesis refers to as “tame and wild animals and birds.

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps.128:1-6

Response – May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.

Reflection: What blessings have we received today?

2nd  reading:  Hebrews 2:9-11

Reflection: We ought to turn our minds more attentively to what we have been taught so that we do not drift away.

Gospel:  Mark 10:2-16  Like God’s love for us, can we accept where God takes us?  May we trust in God and welcome his reign of love in our lives.

Reflection – A new vision of interconnected and interdependent “family relations” is emerging before our contemplative presence.  It is inviting us to a new level of consciousness and trust.  And it demands a new level of global solidarity for Care of the Earth and all for whom it is home if humans are to have a place in its future evolution.

Music selections – optional

E – Entrance | O – Offertory | C – Communion | D – Dismissal

E- For the Beauty of the Earth Folliet S. Pierpoint

O – Love One Another Feargal King, C 2000 WLP

C- Set Your Heart on the High Gifts, by Stephen C. Warner, C1992 WLP

D-Prayer of Saint Francis St. Francis of Assisi, adapt, Sebastian Temple, C1967 OCP

Please click here to view and download a PDF of this Liturgy Guide

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Art Gives a Voice, Speaking Louder Than Words

Blog by Judy Engel, OPA

“Art is often intended to appeal to, and connect with, human emotion. Artists may express something so that their audience is stimulated in some way—creating feelings, religious faith, curiosity, interest, identification with a group, memories, thoughts, or creativity.” (Google definition)

The Angelico Arts Program for Refugees and Friends operated out of St. Joan of Arc parish in Toronto, Canada for 16 years (1992-2008). It gave refugees a way to begin to share their stories and start to build some relationships with Canadian citizens who could assist them in their resettlement process.

This is my life. It is torn apart.

 

 

These three pieces of artwork were done by one female refugee. She was a journalist from Oromo, a province of Ethiopia. There was an active rebel group opposing the oppressive Ethiopian government and she wrote in strong opposition to the government. Consequently, she and her family were targeted by the military and fled to Canada. The captions on each image are her commentary on her art and her life.

 

 

 

 

This is what happened to my village. It also is what happened to my life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I have hope for my life here. I still feel torn, but I have hope . . .

 

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog