Wednesday, December 24, 2008

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The people who walked
in darkness
have seen a great light;
Upon those who dwelt
in the land of gloom
a LIGHT has shone.


ISAIAH 9:1-2





A Blessed Christmas
to all
and Peace
in the
New Year!




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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Justice & Peace Have Kissed


November 4th, 2008


In gratitude and hope for a future of greater Justice & Peace in this country and throughout the world!




P.S. This blog has been on temporary hiatus due to overwhelming work demands this semester. It will reactivate (hopefully) with the new Liturgical Year. Thank you for your patience.
Katie

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day 2008

An American Catholic Tradition, [pdf] the U.S. bishops’ 2008 Labor Day statement calls for “renewed vigor as we seek to build together a society that cares for its own, reaches out to the poor and vulnerable, and offers true hope to all.” Read more HERE


Some additional thoughts for Labor Day reflection:


The shopping mall, the school, the kitchen table, the courtroom, the factory, and the office can be altars of sorts . . . places where the mundane labors of life may be offered up, blessed, and transformed into things of beauty and holiness.
from Sprituality@Work by G. F.Pierce

Awareness that humanity's work is a participationin God's activity ought to permeateeven the most ordinary everyday activities.
On Human Labor Pope John Paul II

Through work we not only transform the world, we are transformed ourselves.
On Human Labor Pope John Paul II
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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Don't Miss it -- John Carr Faithful Citizenship talk is tonight!


"Dangers and Directions for the Catholic Voter"

WHAT: A special and very timely talk by John Carr, Secretary of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Developmentof the U.S. Conference of Catholic BishopsSaturday.


WHEN: TONIGHT August 23, 7:30 p.m.


WHERE: St. Francis Cabrini Parish Hall, 3201 E. Presidio Rd., Tucson


John will outline the mission of the Catholic Church in political life and the message of the U.S. Bishops’ statement "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship." [pdf] He will examine the political and ecclesial context for Faithful Citizenship as well as the assets the Catholic community brings to public life. He will suggest some dangers and directions for Catholics who take seriously the challenges of Faithful Citizenship in this election year. John’s talk is sponsored by the Diocese of Tucson and is open without charge to the public.


For more about the speaker, John Carr, see: http://www.diocesetucson.org/Carr.html For more on Faithful Citizenship, see: http://www.faithfulcitizenship.org/


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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

August 6th: Hiroshima Day of Remembrance


Today on the Feast of the Transfiguration, we mourn over the global transformation that took place in 1945 when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.



For prayer and reflection, here is a powerful litany, written by Susan Adams, a missionary in Japan for 13 years, courtesy of the United Church of Christ:

Remember and Transform: A Responsive Prayer on Hiroshima Day (pdf)

. . . . and from our U.S. Bishops, more to reflect on and pray about:

We oppose the continued readiness of the United States to use nuclear weapons, especially against non-nuclear threats, and the potential development of new weapons for this purpose. . . Our nation should lead in the challenging task of envisioning a future rooted in peace, with new global structures of mediation and conflictresolution, and with a world order that has moved beyond nuclear weapons.

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Statement on New Nuclear Treaty and U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy, 2002





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Save the Date - Aug 23rd - Faithful Citizenship talk


"Dangers and Directions for the Catholic Voter"


WHAT: A special and very timely talk by John Carr, Secretary of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Developmentof the U.S. Conference of Catholic BishopsSaturday.

WHEN: August 23, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: St. Francis Cabrini Parish Hall, 3201 E. Presidio Rd., Tucson

John will outline the mission of the Catholic Church in political life and the message of the U.S. Bishops’ statement "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship." [pdf]

He will examine the political and ecclesial context for Faithful Citizenship as well as the assets the Catholic community brings to public life. He will suggest some dangers and directions for Catholics who take seriously the challenges of Faithful Citizenship in this election year.

John’s talk is sponsored by the Diocese of Tucson and is open without charge to the public.

For more about the speaker, John Carr, see: http://www.diocesetucson.org/Carr.html

For more on Faithful Citizenship, see: http://www.faithfulcitizenship.org/


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Catholic Worker Movement Re-Affirms Its Opposition to War

THE CATHOLIC WORKER MOVEMENT CONTINUES TO OPPOSE WAR -- STATEMENT URGES U.S. CATHOLIC BISHOPS TO ACT

At the conclusion of the 75th Anniversary Gathering of the Catholic Worker movement, held in Worcester, Massachusetts from July 9 -­ 12, 2008, Catholic Workers from across the United States and from Germany issued a statement responding to unending war, ecological destruction and economic collapse; callingthe leadership of the church to speak out now; and urging their church and nation to join them in personal, political and spiritual actions. Over 500 Catholic Workers attended the gathering, the largest in these times, hosted by Ss. Francis & Therese Catholic Worker and the Mustard Seed Catholic Worker communities.

The Catholic Worker was founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in 1933, in the depths of the Great Depression, as a Gospel-based response to the needs of those times. The Catholic Worker vision lives on in over 200 communities worldwide. The statement urges the leadership of the church, "now and without evasion, to break its silence and to wield the authority provided by the nonviolent gospel of Jesus Christ, by calling the entire nation to repent for the war crimes we have committed in the so-called War on Terror."

Read the 75th Anniversary Statement “We call on our church and nation to join us in repenting our affronts to God” at:

http://www.pieandcoffee.org/2008/07/14/catholic-workers-75th-anniversary-statement/


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thanks to Felice Cohen-Joppa for information and links
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Our Lady Queen of Peace - Pray for Us


Our Lady
Queen of Peace


From Wikipedia:

Our Lady of Peace or Queen of Peace is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Roman Catholic Church. She is represented in art holding a dove and an olive branch, symbols of peace. Her official memorial feast is celebrated on January 24 each year in Hawaii and some churches in the United States. Elsewhere, the memorial feast is celebrated on July 9.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Pax Christi Prayer Vigil Monday July 7th




"Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God."
Mt 5:9


Come and join Pax Christi Tucson for a PRAYER VIGIL for peace in Iraq on Monday July 7th.

(We hold a prayer vigil on the first Mondy of every month).


Where: DeAnza Park (Speedway and Stone)

When: 7:00 pm. It lasts about 25 minutes.

Anybody is welcome to join us!

To learn more about Pax Christi, see the Pax Christi USA statement of purpose.
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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

An Evening of Hope and Healing – in recognition of torture victims worldwide

An Evening of Hope and Healing: UN Day in Observance of Torture Victims
will be held tonight, Wednesday July 2nd, 2008.

The evening is held in recognition of survivors of torture worldwide and the June 26th UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Youth poetry and art, speakers addressing legal, psychological, policy, and personal aspects of torture, advocacy actions and a candle light procession and vigil comprise this non-partisan and secular event held at Southside Presbyterian Church Location: 317 W. 23rd street, from 7:00
PM – 10:00 PM.

Citizens’ actions on specific torture cases prepared byAmnesty International will be available for concerned citizens, as well a Candle Light Procession and Vigil to the local public shrine, El Tiradito, at Main Street and Cushing Street in downtown Tucson.

The event is free and open to the public.

Co-sponsoring Organizations are: Amnesty International Tucson, the Center for Prevention and Resolution of Violence, Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest -Asylum Program, Owl and Panther Project, Torture on Trial, Tucson Human Relations Commission, United Nations Association of Southern Arizona.

The full event schedule and organization’s electronic links specifically relating to the event or survivors of torture testimony and advocacy are listed below.

-------------------------------

Full Schedule for July 2nd, 2008 Event:

7:00 - 8:00 pm


Poetry readings by youth of the Owl and Panther group precede speakers.
Speakers:


Rachel Wilson, JD, PhD, Lead Attorney for Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest's Asylum Program – Legal Challenges in Protecting Torture Survivors.
Lucy Wilson, Clinical Psychologist, CPRV – Hope and Healing
Dr. Roberto Cintli Rodriguez – A Policy Perspective on Torture
Leonardo Maturan – Life In Prison


Following the speakers, the audience is invited to:

8:00 - 8:45 pm

-- Chalk drawings artistically developed by youth of the Owl and Panther group on public view in the adjacent patio.

-- Enjoy light refreshments and non-alcoholic drinks.

-- Review and act on specific cases presented by Amnesty International in Tucson of persons currently imprisoned who are at risk for torture. Participants may send post cards requesting international and national legal procedures be followed and that no violations of the rights of detainees be allowed by responsible authorities. Letters from federal representatives who were asked to present their views on torture will be available for viewing.

8:45 - 9:10 pm

Assemble for procession of Candle Light Vigil toward El Tiradito Shrine on Main Street at Cushing Street.

-------------------------------

Organizational Links Related to Survivors of Torture

Amnesty International –
Worldwide Torture Cases
Owl and Panther Project –
http://www.owlandpanther.org/
United Nations Association of Southern Arizona -
http://www.untucson.org/
United Nations
background on torture:
Asylum Program of Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest
Torture on Trial –
http://www.tortureontrial.org/

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Our Lady of Perpetual Help - Patroness of Haiti




Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Pray for us & the People of Haiti!


Today on the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, we remember the people of Haiti in our prayers, outreach and generosity.

Learn more about Haiti by visiting the website of The Haiti Project sponsored by Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson: http://www.omoshaiti.org/

Following is the story of how Our Lady or Perpetual Help became the beloved Patroness of the Haitian people, as told by Joan Martin, Haiti Minister from Our Mother of Sorrows Parish (OMOS). Joan lives and ministers in the Diocese of Port-de-Paix, Haiti. See MAP for location.


"On Monday, Feb. 5, 2007, all of Haiti celebrated a special Mass as a thank you and a re-consecration of the country to Notre Dame du Perpetuel Secours--Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Fr. Nicolas explained the history at the Mass for the sisters that morning. In about 1861, a disease called veret began to spread in Haiti. I am not sure of the name in English, but Fr. Nico said it was like leprosy--bumps, then holes in the skin, and very contagious. There was no treatment; the doctors and hospitals could do nothing. People began to die by the hundreds, then by the thousands. Every household was affected by the epidemic. There were so many deaths that funerals could not be held. Every town had a mass grave for the victims. ( For those of you who have visited PdPaix, the mass grave was where the airport runway is now.). The estimate was that about 200,000 people died.

In 1882, in desperation, one of the bishops in Port-au-Prince took a picture of Notre Dame du Perpetuel Secours up the mountain, blessed the country in all directions and asked for help.

The epidemic began to recede, and eventually stopped. The country celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving, and Haiti was consecrated to Notre Dame. The year 2007, marked the 125th Anniversary of the consecration. So the bishops decided to re-consecrate the country, to say thank you, and to ask for help with the current crises in the country. At noon, all the churches were supposed to ring their bells in celebration."


This is one of many entries from Notes, Photos, & Reflections from Joan, which can be found online at the OMOS Haiti Project Website. Here you can find more of her stories and photos about day-to-day life in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Joan's notes are informative, touching and often heart-rending.


Today would be a fitting date to spend some time in prayer and soldiarity with the people of Haiti and those who minister to them!

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Friday, June 20, 2008

World Refugee Day 2008

Today we remember refugees throughout the world:

From the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) website:

World Refugee Day 2008


"On June 20, we celebrate World Refugee Day. This year, events around the world will focus on the fundamental need for protection. For some, this means economic security; for others, protection is freedom from violence and persecution. On World Refugee Day, we will turn our attention to the millions of refugees who live without material, social and legal protection."

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Juneteenth


From the Juneteenth Worldwide
Celebration
website:
http://www.juneteenth.com/


Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long over due. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society. © 1996 JUNETEENTH.com


As we reflect on the origins and meaning of Juneteenth, may we be called to prayer for an end to racism and slavery of all kinds throughout the world.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bus Fares are frozen

Advocacy works! Thanks everyone for your advocacy for the poor and the environment!!

See:

Rally to protest Sun Tran fare hikes on Tuesday (Tucson Citizen 6-14-08)

120 protest proposed bus fare increase (Tucson Citizen 6-17-08)

Council turnaround freezes bus fares (Arizona Daily Star 6-18-08)

Council kicks bus fare increase to the curb (Tucson Citizen 6-18-08)

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Tuesday June 17: An Opportunity to Advocate for the Poor & the Environment!

An invitation from
Brian Flagg of Casa Maria:


You are invited to:

A BIG BUS RIDER PARTY !!!
To stop increased Bus Fares for SunTran.

When: Tuesday, June 17 @ 5:15 pm
Where: Tucson City Hall 255 W. Alameda map

HOT DOGS & LEMONADE

INSPIRATIONAL SPEECHES
by Tucson's most famous environmentalist
CAROLYN CAMPBELL,
PANCHO • Don Francisco • MEDINA
Minister of Culture at Casa Maria
& Others

MUSICA: Francisco and Alicia Robles

And your LOUD, STRONG VOICES ! ! ! !

--------------------------------
At 6 pm we will attend the City Council Public Hearing.
After the hearing the Council will vote on raising the fares.
----------------------------------
Come and tell the 6 Democracts and 1 Republican on the Council
TO NOT BALANCE THEIR BUDGET
ON THE BACKS OF THE POOR
!

Come and tell them that with today's gas prices,
NOW is the TIME to SAVE the PLANET
by coaxing people out of their cars
and on to the bus!

Contact these Council Members NOW to express your views:
Nina Trasoff 791-4601
Shirley Scott 791-3199

Sponsored by Casa Maria

For more information, call Brian at 624-0312


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Thursday, June 12, 2008

June 12, 2008: World Day Against Child Labour


June 12, 2008 is the World Day against Child Labour


This year the day will be marked around the world with activities to raise awareness that education is the right response to child labour: education for all children at least to the minimum age of employment; education policies that address child labour by provision of properly resourced quality education and skills training; and education to promote awareness on the need to tackle child labour.


The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that some 165 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are involved in child labour. Many of these children work long hours, often in dangerous conditions. Child labour is closely associated with poverty. Many poor families are unable to afford school fees or other school costs. The family may depend on the contribution that a working child makes to the household’s income, and place more importance on that than on education. And when a family has to make a choice between sending either a boy or girl to school, it is often the girl who loses out.


Learn more about the World Day against Child Labour HERE


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Action Alert on Nuclear Non-Proliferation

From the US Bishops' (USCCB) Department of Justice, Peace & Human Development:

ACTION ON NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION

Urge your Representative in Congress (check http://www.house.gov/ for contact information) to cosponsor the Global Security Priorities Resolution (H.RES. 1045) which links long-term savings from reducing our nuclear arsenal to increased support for nuclear non-proliferation efforts and child survival programs, and to call for a nuclear non-proliferation hearing.


CURRENT SITUATION
The Global Security Priorities Resolution (H.RES. 1045), introduced by Congressmen Dan Lungren (R-CA) and James McGovern (D-MA) on March 13, 2008, recognizes the threat of nuclear prolifera-tion and the danger of nuclear weapons materials falling into terrorists’ hands. It calls for cuts in the U.S. nuclear arsenal and directs a portion of the savings into securing nuclear materials. Recognizing that poverty and social and economic injustices can breed resentment and violence, it directs another part of the resulting savings towards child survival, hunger, and universal education. USCCB and inter-religious partners worked with both congressmen to craft this resolution.

BACKGROUND
The Cold War ended over 15 years ago yet the U.S. and Russia still maintain over 10,000 nuclear warheads. Maintaining thousands of strategic nuclear weapons is expensive and breeds mistrust among non-nuclear nations and encourages them to join the nuclear club. Funds for nuclear weapons could be better spent to secure nuclear materials from terrorists and to encourage development, improve the lives of the poor, and invest in our children’s futures. Reductions by U.S. and Russia to 1,000 deployed nuclear weapons each and a total nuclear inventory of 3,000 by 2015 could save as much as $13 billion annually. Savings would be used to dismantle and secure nuclear weapons and nuclear materials, including weapons of mass destruction in former Soviet Union states. Other uses include $5 billion over five years to enhance child survival in the poorest countries by supporting international organizations and boosting community-based health and nutrition services. Additional funding would go toward school feeding and related programs to eliminate hunger and malnutrition.

CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING
The Church clearly opposes nuclear proliferation and the use of nuclear weapons because they are indiscriminate in inflicting harm on vast numbers of civilian as well as military combatants. Pope Benedict XVI said in his 2008 World Day of Peace message, "At a time when the process of nuclear non-proliferation is at a stand-still, I feel bound to entreat those in authority to resume with greater determination negotiations for a progressive and mutually agreed dismantling of existing nuclear weapons." The Church supports replacing nuclear deterrence policies with disarmament measures based on dialogue and verifiable multilateral agreements to reduce and ultimately ban nuclear arms. This legislation reflects the bishops’ longstanding support for dismantling nuclear weapons systems and for reducing global poverty.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Contact Virginia Farris, USCCB Office of International Justice and Peace, 202-541-3182, vfarris@usccb.org, http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/nuclear.shtml.
6/9/08

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Pray for Those with Chemical Addictions - Venerable Matthew Talbot

From the website: The Matt Talbot Story - Hope for Addiciton

http://www.matt-talbot.com/

His Story

Matt Talbot (1856 - 1925) was born in the poverty of Dublin's inner city. He began drinking at twelve years of age and became a chronic alcoholic. It was the drug culture of the 19th century. Matt was an addict. After sixteen years he decided to 'kick the habit'. A priest helped him, giving him a rehabilitation programme, which providentially incorporated the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. That was fifty years before AA was founded. After a horrendous struggle, he found sobriety through prayer and self-sacrifice. His Higher Power was the Christian God. He remained sober for forty years until his death. His life story has been an inspiration for alcoholics and addicts throughout the world. He is a candidate for canonisation in the Catholic Church.

His Life

With the help of his priest friend, Matt modelled his life on that of the monks, who lived in Ireland in the 6th and 7th centuries. It was a tough programme of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. To his neighbours and his work mates in the timber yards, he was a cheerful, happy friend. He gave away most of his wages every week to the poor at home and abroad. "Matt had no time for money", his sister remarked. He was keenly aware of his fellow workers struggle for social justice. A loyal member of Ireland's Transport and General Workers Union, a Union leader, Stephen McGonagle, described him as "a beacon of light to Irish workers". After a life of heroic perseverance, he died suddenly on the way to Mass on 7th June 1925.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

World Environment Day 2008


From the World Environment Day website:

"World Environment Day, commemorated each year on 5 June, is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action."



"The World Environment Day slogan for 2008 is Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy. . . . The event will highlight resources and initiatives that promote low carbon economies and life-styles, such as improved energy efficiency, alternative energy sources, forest conservation and eco-friendly consumption."

Click HERE for the website's Twelve Steps to Help You Kick the CO2 Habit and see also 80 Ways to Celebrate World Environment Day

The website also encourages us to do the following:

"On this World Environment Day, let us examine the state of our environment. Let us consider carefully the actions which each of us must take, and then address ourselves to our common task of preserving all life on earth in a mood of sober resolution and quiet confidence."


. . . and as part of our call to Peace, Justice, and Catholic Social Teaching, let us also add PRAYER to our observation of World Environment Day!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Another resolution, adopted by the General Assembly the same day, led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
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Monday, May 26, 2008

A Memorial Day video reflection

There is a thoughtful music video on Arlington National Cemetery, along with some "reflections on the shifting meaning of security on a shrinking, finite planet" posted at the Dot Earth blog on the New York Times online today.

See: Sacrifice, Security, and the Road Toward 9 Billion (New York Times 26 May 2008) by science reporter Andrew C. Revkin

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Memorial Day -- Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them . . .

A Memorial Day Prayer from the Education for Justice website of The Center of Concern :

On This Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day
Grant peace to the souls of all those soldiers who died in war.
We remember the tears and grief of their families,
The pain of mothers, wives, husbands and children
Who lost precious loved ones.

To build a meaningful memorial to them,
We ask God to give us all the will
To work for peace around the world
So no more sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers, nor mothers
Are slaughtered by the guns and bombs of war.

We ask Mary, who held the lifeless body of her son
And was pierced by the sorrow of his suffering and death,
To grant us the compassion and wisdom to affirm life
And honor the dead through forgiveness and peace making.

May God have mercy on the souls of the departed.
Grant them peace, O Lord.
May we have mercy on the living.
Grant us peace, O Lord.
In Your name we pray.

+Amen

---------------------

Take action for PEACE & join Pax Christi Tucson
at their May meeting tonight at 7:00 pn
at Most Holy Trinity Parish
1300 N Greasewood Rd (just north of Speedway) MAP

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Feast of Corpus Christi -- Pray for an end to hunger


A prayer for reflection from
the Center of Concern's
Education for Justice website:

Prayer for the End of Hunger

Sharing the loaves and fishes,
You gave us an image of solidarity with the hungry, O Lord.

Sharing yourself in the Bread and Wine,
You called all to the table, O Lord.

Give me the hunger to be a part of the feeding
And the healing of this world.

Nourish me with your Grace,
So I may work with joy to serve your children.

Open my eyes and my heart
To recognize those in poverty
And increase my awareness
Of the structures and systems
That need to be changed
So we may all break bread together.

In your name we pray for the end of hunger.

+ Amen

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bread for the World -- needed now more than ever!

Bread for the World was founded in 1974 on this date, May 20th.

Go to: http://www.bread.org/

With world hunger at the forefront of global news, and the controversial U.S. Farm Bill recently passed by Congress -- the work that this advocacy organization does is needed now more than ever.

What is Bread for the World? From their mission statement:

Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. By changing policies, programs and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist, we provide help and opportunity far beyond the communities in which we live.

Curious about Bread for the World's stand on the Farm Bill?
Read the organization's recent press release:

Bread for the World Calls 2008 Farm Bill “Half a Loaf”

Feeling overwhlemed and in despair over the Global Hunger Crisis?
Find inspiriation and a call to action here:

Recipe for Hope: Responding to the Global Hunger Crisis

Additional resources about the causes of the global hunger crisis and suggestions for taking action abound at the Bread for the World website: http://www.bread.org/

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Pax Christi Tucson -- prayer vigil on 1st Monday, meetings on 4th Monday, every month





"Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God."

Mt 5:9


Come and join Pax Christi Tucson for a PRAYER VIGIL for peace in Iraq on the first Monday of every month.

Where: DeAnza Park (Speedway and Stone)
When: 7:00 pm. It lasts about 25 minutes.

Anybody is welcome to join us! June 2nd is our next Prayer Vigil.

You are also invited to join us at our monthly meetings:

Pax Christi Tucson -- a local Pax Christi Community -- meets in Tucson on the 4th Monday of every month.

Where: Most Holy Trinity parish at 1300 N Greasewood Rd (just north of Speedway) MAP
When: 7:00 - 8:30 pm. May 26 (evening of Memorial Day) is our next meeting.

A Pax Christi community is a group that participates in the Pax Christi Catholic Peace Movement by meeting on a regular basis to pray, study and act for peace with justice.

To learn more about Pax Christi, see the Pax Christi USA statement of purpose.



Information sbmitted by Fr. Bill Remmel, Most Holy Trinity Parish
Contact him for more details: bill@mhtparish.org



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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Trinity Sunday

The Holy Trinity icon by Andrei Rublev


God we praise you:

Father all-powerful,
Christ Lord and Savior,

Spirit of Love.
You reveal yourself in the depths of our being,
drawing us to share in your life and your love.

One God, three Persons,
be near to the people formed in your image,
close to the world your love brings to life.

We ask this, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
one God, true and living, for ever and ever.

Amen +



--------------------------------------

Alternative Opening Prayer, Trinity Sunday

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Annual International AIDS Candlelight Memorial - Sunday May 18






GLOBALLY: The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, a program of the Global Health Council, is among the world’s oldest movements by civil society for HIV/AIDS remembrance, awareness and community action. Started in 1983, the historic Candlelight Memorial takes place every third Sunday in May and is led by some 1,200 volunteer Candlelight Coordinators in 119 countries who host vigils for their communities.


LOCALLY: "Never Give Up, Never Forget" is the theme for the 25th annual worldwide event presented locally by the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation and other groups. Individuals will share music, song, dance and reflections.


When: Memorial starts at 6 p.m. Sunday. The candle lighting will begin around 7:30 p.m. (dusk).

Where: Himmel Park, 1000 N. Tucson Blvd.


As we confront HIV/AIDS, we participate in the healing mission of Jesus. Read about the continuing challenges this epidemic presents to the world, and learn about the Catholic Church’s response to those affected by the disease in this Catholic Update article titled: AIDS and the Consistent Ethic of Life by Kenneth R. Overberg, S.J.


Feeling called to do more? Learn more about how you can get involved locally in "a compassionate interfaith response to HIV/AIDS" by visiting TIHAN -- The Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network at http://www.tihan.org/


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Friday, May 16, 2008

The Catholic Communication Campaign


Did you know you can find a video or audio "Daily Reflection of the Scriptures" online at CCC-TV? It's just one of many ways in which the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC) seeks to spread the good news of the Gospel.

The CCC has also put together a variety of educational resources at the USCCB's Faithful Citizenship website to assist Catholics in forming our consciences as faithful citizens during this political season.

This weekend in the U.S. we are asked to donate to the USCCB's Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC). Here's what the CCC does (quoted from "Who We Are" on the CCC website):


In 1979, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) established the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC) to respond to the domestic communications needs of the Catholic Church in the United States. Through the CCC, the US Bishops fund media programming, projects, and resources that promote Gospel values and foster the pastoral teachings of the Catholic Church.


The work of the CCC, including the funds set aside for these grants, is made possible by the generous donations of Catholic parishioners from all across the country to the CCC’s annual appeal. Proceeds from this collection are divided equally between each diocese and the CCC’s national office in Washington, DC.


Dioceses use their 50% share of the CCC Collection to support local communications efforts such as televised Masses and diocesan newspapers. And, on the national level, CCC funds support the development and production of a wide range of media programming.


For more than 25 years, the CCC has been serving dioceses and parishioners by spreading faith-filled messages locally and nationally on radio, television, in print and on the Internet.


Learn more about the CCC and some of its recent activities at the Catholic Communication Campaign website.



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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pray for World Peace: Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

Icon of Our Lady of Fatima
from
Our Lady of Fatima Byzantime Catholic Church
San Francisco, CA





Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima

Immaculate Heart!

Help us to conquer the menace of evil, which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today, and whose immeasurable effects already weigh down upon our modern world and seem to block the paths towards the future!

From famine and war, deliver us.

From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us.

From sins against human life from its very beginning, deliver us.

From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us.

From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us.

From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us.

From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God, deliver us.

From the loss of awareness of good and evil, deliver us.

From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us, deliver us.

Accept, O Mother of Christ, this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings, laden with the sufferings of whole societies.

Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit to conquer all sin:
individual sin and the ‘sin of the world', sin in all its manifestations.


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Prayer from Pope John Paul II, excerpted from Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: The Message of Fatima (2006) by then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI)


Read more about the role of Mary and popular devotional practices such as those surrounding the private revelations of Our Lady of Fatima, in the USCCB's 2003 statement on
Popular Devotional Practices: Basic Questions and Answers.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pentecost Sunday

The Holy Spirit: The Lord, the Giver of Life,
The Paraclete and Sender of Prophets
-- icon by
Fr. William McNichols




A Peace and Justice Prayer from the Center of Concern's wonderful resource site: Education for Justice

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Wind of God, continue to blow.
Sail over the barriers that we build
to divide ourselves from each other.
Pick up your seeds of freedom and truth
wherever they flourish,
carry them across frontiers
to be planted in other soil,
to begin fresh growth and new forms.


Blow from the South
to the ears of Northern peoples.
Blow away the blinders
which keep our eyes focused only on the past,
repeating its violence,
deepening its divisions,
and adding to its despair.
Reveal the new future
you have in mind for us.


Fire of God, continue to burn,
smolder in the hearts of people
where oppression keeps them in chains,
where unemployment and poverty
devalue their humanity,
and where hunger weakens the spirit.
Burn in them, like Moses' bush,
and do not let them be destroyed.


Tongue of God, continue to speak Shalom.
Speak peace where nations meet,
justice where ideas clash,
mercy where power reigns,
healing where minds and bodies hurt,
and love where churches seek your unity,
and wherever else Babel drowns out the sound of Pentecost.


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Friday, May 9, 2008

Celebrate World Fair Trade Day -- Saturday May 10th

World Fair Trade Day 2008


Have you been enjoying Just Coffee /Cafe' Justo? How about Divine Chocolate?

Saturday May 10th is WORLD FAIR TRADE DAY -- a day to celebrate the global movment that supports these and other fair trade products promoted in our Diocese and by Catholic Relief Services.

Things to do for World Fair Trade Day:

-- Read about this year's theme "FAIR TRADE + Ecology" at the World Fair Trade Day website.


-- Visit the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Fair Trade Blog


-- Learn more about Just Coffee/Cafe' Justo -- our "local" border area Fair Trade+ enterprise which got started in 2002 when small-scale coffee farmers in Chiapas bought a coffee roaster in Agua Prieta with a loan from Frontera de Cristo, a bi-national border ministry of the Presbyterian Church. Learn how Cafe' Justo creates one positive solution to the migration issue. Meet the people (growers and directors) behind the coffee in Salvador Urbina, Chiapas and Agua Prieta, Sonora.


-- Read a Fair Trade Overview and learn how to identify and find Fair Trade Certified products at the Fair Trade Certified website.


-- Browse A Greater Gift (on online catalogue promoted by CRS) to find hundreds of fair trade gifts and products (including Divine Chocolate!).


-- Reflect on how supporting FAIR TRADE is one way of promoting the Catholic Social Teaching principles of : The Dignity of Work & the Rights of Workers, Solidarity, and Care for God's Creation.


-- Pray for, support, and join with -- all those engaged in transforming our world by promoting justice and peace through FAIR TRADE.
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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Action needed: May 8th meeting of the Casa Maria Coalition!

Background: In January a blog message was posted about the Casa Maria Housing Coalition and in March a message went out about a rally to SOS Save Ochoa School . The following post gives an update on the school issue and announces a meeting to address the next issues faced by the Casa Maria Housing Coalition:


In case you haven’t heard the news… THE SCHOOLS HAVE BEEN SPARED! Thanks to Brian and the Casa Maria Coalition (including many Just Faith participants), the TUSD Board has voted to keep the schools open! This is great news for the families of Casa Maria, but the struggle goes on…

On May 22 the City Council will meet again to continue discussions on the Rio Nuevo project, moving the Greyhound bus station to Marana (where homeless and low income families will have NO ACCESS) and police/immigration issues.

Please join us at Casa Maria (Maryada’s house) this Thursday, May 8, at 5 pm, to discuss these issues and ways to support our Casa families. Your presence is important and COUNTS! as we have seen this past week!

On behalf of Brian and all those at Casa Maria, Thank you for your support and willingness to stand as a voice for those who aren’t able to speak.

YOU CAN AND DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!! See you Thursday!

sent in by Barbara Padilla

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Celebrating 75 Years of "The Catholic Worker"



Catholic Worker
artwork by
Ade Bethune



Quoted from The Catholic Worker website:
http://www.catholicworker.org/


"On May 1, 1933, in the depths of the Great Depression, The Catholic Worker newspaper made its debut with a first issue of twenty-five hundred copies. Dorothy Day and a few others hawked the paper in Union Square for a penny a copy (still the price) to passersby. "

"The Catholic Worker Movement is grounded in a firm belief in the God-given dignity of every human person. "

"Today over 185 Catholic Worker communities remain committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, prayer, and hospitality for the homeless, exiled, hungry, and foresaken. Catholic Workers continue to protest injustice, war, racism, and violence of all forms. "


See also this article from Catholic News Service:

"Catholic Worker Movement marks 75th anniversary without fanfare," by Dennis Sadowski at:
http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0802398.htm


And keep Casa Maria -- our own Tucson Catholic Worker Community -- in your prayers today!
http://www.casamariatucson.org/

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St. Joseph the Worker




Artwork
by
Ade Bethune


May 1 -- Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker

Today's feast day calls us to reflect on the value of work and advocate for the rights of workers. Read about the origins of this feast day at AmericanCatholic.org's Saint of the Day website.


Today we also remember the unemployed, all those seeking jobs, and -- in a special way -- all those who have died in the desert in a desperate attempt to find work in the U.S.

From the Center of Concern's Education for Justice website:

Prayer to St. Joseph, Patron of Workers

St. Joseph, Patron of Workers,
Help us to respect the dignity of all workers.
Help us to learn about and to care about
Workers who do not have fair wages, just benefits, safe working environments.
Help us to raise our voices for justice for workers.
Help us to ask our government and our representatives
To develop policies that create jobs with dignity.

You taught your son
The value of work and the joy of work well done.
Teach us these lessons.
Guide us in our own work
And in the work of justice we are all called to participate in.
Renew our strength and commitment
Each day as we face the work ahead
As we labor for the common good of all.

+ Amen.

Feast of St. Peregrine

May 1 is the feast day of Saint Peregrine Laziosi, patron of those with cancer, AIDs and other serious illnesses -- A good day to pray for the sick and advocate for a better health care system -- especially for the poor and uninsured.

Find out what our US Bishops have been advocating with respect to health care for the needy and justice for the uninsured by reading the various statements and pastoral letters posted at the USCCB's Health Issues webpage (part of the website of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development --formerly Social Development and World Peace -- of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.)

In Arizona, we can advocate for better health services and promote heath care reform by joining PAFCO -- The Protecting Arizona's Families Coalition.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Catholic Home Missions Sunday


This weekend we are asked to contribute to
the Catholic Home Missions Appeal.

From the USCCB Catholic Home Missions Website:


What Are the Home Missions?

"Home Missions” is the name for dioceses and parishes in America, in its territories and former territories, which cannot provide basic pastoral services to Catholics without outside help. By “basic pastoral services” we mean Mass and sacraments; religious education; ministry training for priests, deacons, religious sisters and lay people; and subsidizing poor parishes.

For many decades, the Church in the United States has sent missionaries overseas to serve the people of Latin America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. The Home Missions are dioceses and parishes here in America that need the same kind of support.

Where Are the Home Missions?

Surprisingly, the Catholic Church is poorly established in many parts of our country, especially Appalachia, the South, the Southwest along the Mexican border, the Rocky Mountain States, Alaska, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and remote island chains like the Marshalls and the Carolines in the Pacific. Generally speaking, the home missions are everywhere Catholics are few and the Church is fragile.

Click HERE for an interactive map of home missions in the U.S.

This LINK describes the home mission needs right here in the Diocese of Tucson -- and includes a photo gallery.

Find out more about the USCCB's Catholic Home Missions effort at:
http://www.usccb.org/hm/

Included on the website are links to maps, videos, a scrapbook, newsletters, and the program's annual report.
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Friday, April 25, 2008


A stirring message from the "Voice of the Poor" arm of the Phoenix St. Vincent de Paul Society: (forwarded by Joanne Welter)


Thoughts on Christian Social Responsibility

by Ron Mayer, Phoenix St. Vincent de Paul Society


The Society of St. Vincent de Paul serves the poor and the afflicted of our community, and is directly impacted by the controversy involving illegal immigration.


The Society has taken a public position that regardless of what views we hold concerning the nature of the problem and the possible solution of the problem, we all have one item in common. We are Christians. Undocumented persons are still human beings who are made in the image and likeness of God. In the eyes of God, they are no different than you and me. As a consequence, they deserve to be treated as human beings.


We cringe at aspects of the history of our country in dealing with immigrants. From the treatment of the Irish fleeing the famine of Ireland wherein they were treated as devious papal serpents undermining the foundations of America to the Chinese workers who built our railroads and upon completion were shunned and marginalized from their community. The tragedy is that it is happening again. There is a hysteria pervading our society wherein it is open season to mistreat and abuse undocumented persons. The stories extend from undocumented persons refusing to report crimes committed on them or those that they witness because their reward for being a good citizen is to be arrested for deportation to Sheriff’s deputies being stationed at parishes that are predominantly Hispanic on Good Friday intimidating persons to stay away for fear of their immigration status being questioned.


St. Vincent de Paul is asking for two items. First, that any discussion involving immigration contain and convey the attitude that these people are human beings and deserve to be treated with human dignity. And secondly, that you contact your elected representatives in Congress and at the state level and request that any legislative solution not violate basic human rights.

When Jesus Christ said, “Feed my sheep and take care of my children”, he did not make an exception for persons who do not have their immigration status in order. If we as Christians do not stand up and voice alarm at the current treatment of undocumented persons, who will?


To learn more about the St. Vincent de Paul Society's Voice of the Poor advocacy group see: http://www.voiceofthepoor.org/ & http://www.capwiz.com/svdpusa/home/

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Joanne Welter of the Diocesan Catholic Social Mission Office sends us the following information:

Social Justice Certificate Program

An online social justice certificate program, through the University of Dayton Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation, offers five five-week courses over the space of one year.

Course offerings include: advanced Catholic social teaching, scripture and justice, history of Catholic social action, the parish and social action, poverty in America.

An internship, consisting of four hours weekly over a four-month period with a diocesan social action office, parish or community organization, is a required part of the certificate program.


For more information see http://www.nplc.org/roundtable.htm or contact Jeff Korgen at jkorgen@nplc.org 212-431-7825.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Feast of St. George - Pray for Interfaith Relations


This icon of St. George comes from:
Icons-Interfaith, a blog dedicated to Christian Icons,
but likewise to Icons from other traditions:
http://icons-interfaith.blogspot.com/


St. George is venerated by those of many different faiths:

"There is a tradition in the Holy Land of Christians and Muslim going to an Eastern Orthodox shrine for St. George at Beith Jala, Jews also attending the site in the belief that the prophet Elijah was buried there."
Source: Wikipedia


In a world torn apart by violence, misunderstandings, and suspicions -- too often promulgated in the name of religion -- perhaps the banner of this interfaith saint can lead us toward the elusive goal of peace and reconciliation among the world's religions.


For more on St. George, see The Catholic Encyclopedia

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day - We are All Called to Care for All Creation


Some websites to visit today from the USCCB's Environmental Justice Program:








And to bring it all to prayer . . . a beautiful and timeless reflection for today!


St. Francis's Canticle of the Sun

O most High, almighty, good Lord God,
to you belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing!
Praised be my Lord God with all creatures;
and especially our brother the sun,
which brings us the day, and the light;
fair is he, and shining with a very great splendor:
O Lord, he signifies you to us!

Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon,
and for the stars,
which God has set clear and lovely in heaven.

Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind,
and for air and cloud, calms and all weather,
by which you uphold in life all creatures.

Praised be my Lord for our sister water,
which is very serviceable to us,
and humble, and precious, and clean.

Praised be my Lord for brother fire,
through which you give us light in the darkness:
and he is bright, and pleasant, and very mighty, and strong.

Praised be my Lord for our mother the Earth,
which sustains us and keeps us,
and yields divers fruits, and flowers of many colors, and grass.

Praised be my Lord for all those who pardon one another for God's love's sake,
and who endure weakness and tribulation;
blessed are they who peaceably shall endure,
for you, O most High, shall give them a crown!

Praised be my Lord for our sister,
the death of the body, from which no one escapes.
Woe to him who dies in mortal sin!
Blessed are they who are found walking by your most holy will,
for the second death shall have no power to do them harm.

Praise you, and bless you the Lord,
and give thanks to God, and serve God with great humility.

(St. Francis, 1182-1226)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Feast of St. Benedict Joseph Labre - Pray for the Homeless

Read about St. Benedict Joseph Labre, the beggar saint, at AmericanCatholic.org's Saint of the Day. Today 's feast truly calls us to pray for -- and advocate for -- the homeless, the hungry, and the marginalized.

Another thing to do today: visit the Casa Maria website to find out about how our local Catholic Worker House reaches out and advocates for the homeless and hungry.
http://www.casamariatucson.org/

Then . . . why not visit Casa Maria itself and lend a helping hand in honor of St. Benedict . . . .and the dignity of all our brothers and sisters living on the margins.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

"The Line in the Sand" to be performed here TONIGHT!

Some of you may have seen the moving performance of the drama "The Line in the Sand" by Fr. Joe Rodrigues and members of Most Holy Trinity Parish at the Southwest Liturgy Conference in January.

"The Line in the Sand" will be presented again TONIGHT (April 13th) at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, 1800 S. Kolb @ 7:30 pm. A free will offering will be taken.

From the Catholic Relief Services webpage about this drama project:

The Line in the Sand uses the power of theater to tell the personal stories of people affected by U.S./Mexico border migration. Through an hour-long collection of monologues and photos, audiences are exposed to a variety of points of view on this complex and critical issue. The Line in the Sand is sponsored by Catholic Relief Services, and hopes to advance the cause of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops-supported "Justice for Immigrants" campaign. Working with CRS' Mexico office, the group conducted interviews with migrants, ranchers, Mexican and U.S. government officials, diocesan staff, and others. The Line in the Sand dramatically shares the stories of those they met.

For Southern Arizonans, the script is especially moving because it addresses issues unfolding at our own doorstep. One of the characters in the script is based on interviews with Our Mother of Sorrows' parishioner Barbara Padilla.

If you see this post in time to get to the performance tonight, don't miss this opportunity!

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World Day of Prayer for Vocations

April 13th is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. How is the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart about where you are being called?

From the Message of the Holy Father for the 45th World Day of Prayer for Vocations:

. . . Jesus chose some disciples as his nearest collaborators in the messianic ministry. For example, on the occasion of the multiplication of loaves, when he said to the Apostles: “You give them something to eat” (Mt 14, 16), he encouraged them to take on the needs of the crowds to whom he wanted to offer food so that they would not remain hungry, but also to reveal the food “which endures to eternal life” (Jn 6, 27). He was moved to compassion for the people, because while he went about the cities and the villages, he met the crowds, harassed and helpless, “like sheep without a shepherd” (cfr Mt 9, 36). From this look of love, flowed the invitation to his disciples: “Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest” (Mt 9, 38), and he sent the Twelve first “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” with precise instructions. If we stop to meditate on this page of the Gospel of Matthew, which is usually called the “missionary discourse”, we note all those aspects which characterize the missionary activity of a Christian community that wants to remain faithful to the example and teaching of Jesus. . . .


At the beginning, as well as later on, what “impels” the Apostles (c.f. 2 Cor 5, 14) is always “the love of Christ”. As faithful servants of the Church, docile to the action of the Holy Spirit, innumerable missionaries, throughout the centuries, have followed in the footsteps of the first disciples. The Second Vatican Council notes: “Although every disciple of Christ, as far in him lies, has the duty of spreading the faith, Christ the Lord always calls whomever he will from among the number of his disciples, to be with him and to be sent by him to preach to the nations (c.f. Mk 3, 13-15)” (Decree Ad gentes, 23) . . . .


. . . .Let us thank God for all those priests who have suffered even to the sacrifice of their lives in order to serve Christ ... Theirs is a moving witness that can inspire many young people to follow Christ and to expend their lives for others, and thus to discover true life” (Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum caritatis, 26). . . .

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This week Pope Benedict XVI will be visiting the U.S. -- pray for the success of his visit!
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A Prayer for Vocations
from the USCCB's Vocations & Priestly Formation webpage

Lord, through Baptism, you invite me to share the gift of my life in service to others. Be with me as I choose each day to show your presence in our world. Give me the courage and generosity to respond to your love, to your call. I pray especially for those who serve you as priests, brothers, sisters and deacons. Keep them close to you. Open the minds and hearts of many other men and women to be witnesses to your gospel. + Amen

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Monday, April 7, 2008

April 7th is World Health Day

World Health Day, on 7 April, marks the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) and is an opportunity to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each year.

In 2008, World Health Day focuses on the need to protect health from the adverse effects of climate change.

The WHO website reminds us that "the health impacts of climate change will hit the poor hardest":

The physical effects of climate change will vary in different geographical locations. The human health impacts from climate change are further modified by such conditions as level of development, poverty and education, public health infrastructure, land use practices and political structure. Initially, developing countries will be hit the hardest. Countries with high levels of poverty and malnutrition, weak health infrastructures and/or political unrest will be the least able to cope.

This theme of the vulnerability of the poor to the effects of climate change is echoed in the USCCB's statement on: Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good. As Earth Day approaches, why not read (or re-read) and reflect on this important document from our U.S. Bishops?

See also this earlier post.

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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Take Action: Bipartisan Global AIDS Bill







Following is some hopeful news for World Health Day -- plus a "call to action" to move an important Global AIDS bill forward.

From Catholic Relief Services Take Action website in the Catholic Campaign Against Global Poverty:

House of Representatives Passes Bipartisan Global AIDS Bill -- Senate to Consider the AIDS Bill Next


UPDATE: Thanks to your efforts and those of many advocates around the country, the House this week passed H.R. 5501, the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008, the bill that reauthorizes the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ) highlighted the major contributions of faith-based organizations in efforts to address the pandemic and specifically mentioned Catholic Relief Services' 250 programs in 52 countries as an example. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) praise the bipartisan consensus that led to significant improvements in the bill that passed.


TAKE ACTION NOW! Check here to find out if your Representative supported the Global AIDS bill, H.R. 5501, which reauthorizes the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEFPAR). Please let those who supported the bill know that you appreciate the spirit of bipartisan consensus that led to significant improvements in the bill. Visit the CRS Action Center to send a message now.


WHY IS PEPFAR IMPORTANT? Because of PEPFAR, CRS has saved more than 100,000 lives through antiretroviral treatment and provides HIV care and support services for another 250,000 HIV positive people. Men and women who were on the brink of death are now leading normal lives, caring for their children and contributing to their communities because they are on antiretroviral therapy. More than 60,000 orphaned children are being cared for, going to school and embracing a bright future. Nearly 350,000 youth have been educated about risky behaviors and how abstinence-until-marriage and mutual fidelity within marriage is the most effective way to prevent HIV infections. Visit the CRS website for more information about PEPFAR.


WHAT DOES PEPFAR HAVE TO DO WITH MY FAITH? Our faith tradition as Catholics requires us to care for “the least of these” and to uphold the life and dignity of all people. People affected by HIV or suffering from AIDS need and deserve our love and care just as Jesus called on us to care for those who are “hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison.” Catholic social teaching instructs us to live in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world. Pope John Paul II reminded us that we must commit ourselves to this common good: “That is to say the good of all and each individual, because we are all really responsible for all.”


WHAT IS THE CHURCH’S POSITION ON PEPFAR? USCCB and CRS praise the bipartisan consensus that led to significant improvements in the bill that the House passed. The House strengthened HIV and AIDS programs by authorizing $50 billion in funding over five years, increasing nutrition resources needed for effective treatment, improving the health care capacity of host governments, and expanding HIV and AIDS treatment and prevention.


WHERE DOES PEPFAR STAND NOW? Next the Senate will consider its own PEPFAR reauthorization bill, S. 2731, passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in March. USCCB and CRS will continue to seek improvements to the Senate bill and to monitor any attempts to weaken it and will alert you for appropriate action.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

Martin Luther King, Jr. - Prophet and Witness for Peace and Justice

CLICK HERE to see an icon of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Br. Robert Lentz, OFM

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assasinated on this date in 1968. Forty years later, his life and words still inspire a world that longs for peace, nonviolent social change, and an end to racism.

The following quote from one of his stirring sermons in 1967 speaks profoundly and prophetically about peace and solidarity in a globalized world. . . . .

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It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated.

We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality.

Did you ever stop to think that you can't leave for your job in the morning without being dependent on most of the world? You get up in the morning and go to the bathroom and reach over for the sponge, and that's handed to you by a Pacific islander. You reach for a bar of soap, and that's given to you at the hands of a Frenchman. And then you go into the kitchen to drink your coffee for the morning, and that's poured into your cup by a South American. And maybe you want tea: that's poured into your cup by a Chinese. Or maybe you're desirous of having cocoa for breakfast, and that's poured into your cup by a West African. And then you reach over for your toast, and that's given to you at the hands of an English-speaking farmer, not to mention the baker. And before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you've depended on more than half of the world.

This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren't going to have peace on earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.

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The entire text of Dr. King's 1967 Christmas Sermon on Peace

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