Peace & Justice Blog

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Season Of Creation Prayer Service: September 26, 2021

Season of Creation
September 26, 2021


Introductory Comments

Today is the Fourth Sunday of the 2021 Season of Creation. Today’s readings continue to warn us that our sinfulness is destroying our communities, the human family, and Earth, the supportive and nurturing home of us all. They challenge us to be active and prophetic in working for the New Creation in these times. And they guide us in prayer to ask for greater awareness of our “unknown faults” and of their grave seriousness, to ask for freedom from their destructive power no matter the cost.

A reading from Numbers 11:25-29

Reflection: May God bestow the Spirit on everyone, raising people up around the planet as prophets to speak out now as the destruction and dangers to Earth are escalating so rapidly. How might I/we be prophetic?

Responsorial Psalm  19:8-14

Response: Alleluia

A reading from James 5:1-6

Reflection: This reading from James is a direct condemnation of the rich. It reflects the judgment widespread through the early centuries of Christianity that those who have more than they need are in effect stealing from those who don’t have the basics they need. What can I/we do to end this injustice?

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

Reflection: Will we adopt the necessary measures to stop the devastation of the environment or will we continue denying the evidence? What tangible action can I/we do to stop this devastation?

Music selections: optional

Entrance: All Are Welcome – Marty Haugen, c.1994 GIA Publications, Inc.

Offertory: Here I am, Lord – Daniel L. Schutte, c.1981 OCP

Communion: At the Table of the World – Brian Wren, c.1989 Hope Publishing Co.

Dismissal: Stewards of Earth – Omar Westendorf, c.1984 World Library Publications

Click here to download and print this prayer service.

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Stories of Immigration

Blog by Sr. Janice Thome, OP

Why would anyone risk their life and the lives of their children to come to the United States?

The guerillas in their country came to take dad with them. He said he could not kill anyone.  They gave him 24 hours to rethink it.  He would go with them or they would kill him.  They left the country that night.

Mother at her restaurant job witnessed an attempted assassination of a wealthy customer whose bodyguards fought them but some were killed.  Mother knew that witnesses are killed so they cannot testify.  She ran out the back door but one of the assassins followed her.  When he caught up with her he held the gun pointed at her nose for a full 10 minutes.  She prayed that God would save her for the sake of her 3 children.  She doesn’t know why but he went away without killing her.  The couple knew that if he ever saw her she would be dead because he memorized her face.

Their son was born with spina bifida and in their country, that meant he would never go to school and be seen as an invalid all his days.  They came so he could get an education like his brothers and get services that allowed him to be independent.


When the 6-year-old girl next door was gang-raped and left almost dead in the alley, it was the last straw in the rising crime rate in their country.  They wanted to save their 5-year-old daughter from the same fate and their 13-year-old son from being forced into a gang or killed if he resisted.


As a poor woman who was a victim of domestic violence, she knew that in her country she had no recourse.  (In the ‘50s in the US we had no laws either.)  When her husband almost choked her and began hitting their 2-year-old daughter, she began to consider coming to the US to join some of her siblings.  Then her husband threatened to take their daughter and disappear.  She could not bear to think of the abuse their daughter would suffer.


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Season Of Creation Prayer Service: September 19, 2021

Third Sunday of the Season of Creation

September 19, 2021 –25th Sunday in Ordinary Time


Introductory Comments

Today is the Third Sunday of the 2021 Season of Creation

In today’s readings, we are given a sense of the destructive power of passions, divisions, jealousies, greed, and competition, both for people and, in this Season of Creation, for Earth itself and all Earth inhabitants.

As we begin, enter the quiet of our spirit…conscious of God’s gift of Earth, the nurturing home of such rich diversity of life–human, animal, aquatic, plant—conscious of our destruction and suffering from overconsumption, exploitation, and the crisis of dangerously-rising temperatures globally.

A reading from Wisdom 2:1, 7-20

–Are we/Earth facing what Jesus was trying to teach his apostles in today’s gospel: I will be handed over to people who will kill me?

Responsorial Psalm 54:3-8

R You alone Are My Help

Will I/we respond effectively to the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor?

A reading from the Letter of Saint James 2:1-5

How will I/we reform my consumptive ways, my attitude toward the “different”?

A reading from the Gospel of Mark 9:30-37

Can we turn our country’s values upside down to nurture growth in mutual service, simplicity of life, and walk in interdependence with our living Earth?

Musical selections–optional

E – Entrance: For the Healing of the Nations Fred Kaan, ©1968 Hope Publishing Co

O – Offertory: For the Fruits of This (All) Creation Fred Pratt Green, ©1970 Hope Publishing Co

C – Communion: Pan de Vida Bob Hurd and Pia Moriarty ©1988 by Bob Hurd, pub. by OCP

D – Dismissal: How Can I Keep From Singing Robert Lowry

Click here to download a PDF of this prayer service.


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Season Of Creation Prayer Service: September 12, 2021

Second Sunday of the Season of Creation

September 12, 2021 | 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time


Introductory Comments:

As we began the Season of Creation last Sunday, we heard the encouragement of Isaiah to “Be strong and fear not,” relying on God’s faithful presence. We were invited to recognize God in the opening of eyes and ears to the crises Earth is suffering. We were encouraged to discern and accept God’s invitation to share in the work of saving Earth and all the communities whose home it is.

Today again we hear the call to listen to God’s Word coming in the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor.

We are urged to put our faith into action and to expect resistance and suffering, our share in the cross of Christ.

As we begin today, let’s enter into the quiet of our spirits,… conscious of Earth, our home and the home of every other living and inanimate creature we know … just a dot in the vast expanse of the Milky Way … the Milky Way itself but a small dot in the vast expanse of the Universe… conscious of the destruction and suffering on Earth from overconsumption, exploitation, and the crisis of dangerously-rising temperatures globally … yet home to millions of people rising up to restore, heal, and save our common home….

!st reading : Isaiah 50:5-9a  0“God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.”:5-9aIsaiah 50:5-9a

Reflection :  “Morning after morning God opens my ear that I may hear….”  Are we listening to God’s word that calls us to justice in spite of resistance—our own and the world’s?-9a

Responsorial Psalm : Ps. 116:1-9

Response:  I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

Reflection:  How will I/we walk with our God who has given us life?

2nd  reading James 2:14-18  James insists that faith that is not put into action is worthless. Faith without works is dead.


In the context of our current planetary crises, we whose ears have been opened to God’s Word in the Cry of the Poor and the Cry of Earth must use our “well-trained tongues” to speak out the prophetic Word. How might we take up the opportunities God provides us each to forward the healing and saving of Earth and all its communities?  How could I/we put that prophetic Word into action in our world today?

Gospel : Mark 8:27-35  Jesus begins teaching his disciples that he too must suffer, be rejected and killed.  Jesus knew that he was preaching God’s prophetic Truth to a divided and hostile social-religious context.

Reflection:  People around the planet who are raising their prophetic voices for Care of Earth and Care of the Poor in these times are enduring the resistance, persecution, suffering, and death we hear about here. They make up a community of the human martyrs of this age, joining the plants, animals and other species

suffering extinction from the effects of humanly generated climate change.

Music selections – optional

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

E- Journey of Faith Delores Dufner, © 2012 Sisters of St. Benedict, pub. by WLP

O – Take Up Your Cross Charles W. Everest

C – One Bread, One Body © 1978 John B. Foley, SJ. Published by OCP

D- Stewards of Earth Omer Westendorf, ©1984 World Library Publications

Click here to download a PDF of this prayer service. 

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Creating a Welcoming Culture

Blog by Sr. Carol Ann Spencer, OP

For nearly 50 years, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week, which is an opportunity for us to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, which includes immigrants, refugees, children, victims and also survivors of human trafficking.

This year National Migration Week takes place between September 20-26.  The primary theme for this year is “TOWARDS AN EVER WIDER ‘WE’.”  In Pope Francis’ letter announcing this year’s theme, he emphasizes that this focus calls on us to ensure that we will no longer think in terms of ‘them’ and ‘those,’ but only ‘us’.  Pope Francis invites us to be part of a culture of encounter as we welcome, protect, integrate, and promote immigrants and refugees in our midst.

Immigration is about real people who are trying to find a better life and a new beginning.  It is about more than statistics.    As Pope Francis stated, “Each migrant has a name, a face and a story.” Immigrants who come to the United States, and particularly those who are undocumented, are an especially vulnerable population who have fled violence and persecution and are often seeking safety, family reunification and economic opportunity.  Our moral tradition calls on all people of faith and goodwill to stand up in defense of life and human dignity, regardless of one’s immigration status.

Today we are faced with the fact that forced displacement of people is at the highest level since World War II, with more than 65 million people displaced around the world and over 22 million refugees.  Let each of us do something during this month to become more aware of what is going on in the area where we live and work and to try to find one action from the Toolkit that was provided in last week’s news, to make a difference in growing TOWARDS AN EVER WIDER ‘WE’.

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