Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wonder-Counselor, Prince of Peace

Of His fullness we have all received,
grace following upon grace.

Christmas Peace


Monday, September 21, 2009

Diocesan Health Care Reform Forum is tonight!

DATE: Monday September 21, 2009
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: Most Holy Trinity Parish 1300 N. Greasewood Road

Read more in this recent (Sep 17) article in the Arizona Daily Star:

Tucson diocese to host a forum on health reform


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Health Care Reform Forum: Monday Sept 21

Monday September 21, 2009
7:00 p.m.

Health Care Reform
A Moral Imperative *

*USCCB 1993 resolution on health care

a forum with:

Most Rev. Gerald Kicanas DD
Diocese of Tucson
Marguerite “Peg” Harmon, M.S., C.E.O.
Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona INC.


Most Holy Trinity Parish
1300 N. Greasewood Road
(NE Corner of Greasewood Road and Speedway Blvd)
in Guadalupe Hall

For more information call 730-5396

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sunday Sept 20: A Care for Creation Gathering

Announcing a new blog:
A Care for Creation Resource for Tucson area Catholics

All are welcome to our gathering on:


Date: Sunday Sept 20
Time: 1:30 - 3:00 pm
Place: Our Mother of Sorrows
in the Parish Activity Center Auditorium (Bldg #7)
Address: 1800 S. Kolb Rd, Tucson AZ

We will open with a meditation and scripture, followed by a talk on how the themes of stewardship of the Earth and Care for Creation are woven through Scripture and Catholic tradition. The key themes of the U.S. Bishops' statements on Renewing the Earth and Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good will be shared, along with the environmental messages from our Popes. Also included will be a basic overview of the relevant science as linked to our call for a faith-based response to environmental issues. There will be time for discussion and sharing and a variety of resources for learning more will be available.

The Holy Ground, Common Ground Core Resource Team will be the presenters.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Transfigure Us in Peace!

Santa Maria de la Paz

The patronness of the Santa Maria de La Paz Catholic Church in Santa Fe, NM. The bulto is by artist Feliz Lopez and portrays Mary as a young woman, her face and manner serene, holding a dove and offering the olive branch of peace.

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 and on Nagasaki three days later.

From our U.S. Bishops -- 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 30, 2009

Poverty 24/6 "Give Poverty a Day Off"

POVERTY 24/6 is a Trust under the auspices of the Diocese of Tucson whose ministry provides clothing, food, water and other basic human necessities to improve the quality of life for those living in the most impoverished conditions in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.

The Mission of Poverty 24/6 is "to foster pastoral and educational outreach to migrants who have been deported from the United States of America, and to address the social and humanitarian needs of such individuals as well as the social and humanitarian needs of other needy persons throughout the state of Sonora, Mexico."

Learn all about this outstanding program by watching the video Miracles in Mexico: The Story of Poverty 24/6 online at the "What's New" link of the Poverty 24/6 website:


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More on Health-Care Reform -- a social justice guide

"The issue of health care transcends political labels of "left" and "right." Something more is at stake: the dignity of the human person. Providing access to quality and affordable health care is a moral imperative. As people of faith, we are called to ensure that the value of human life is placed above profit and that our elected officials are creating policies that benefit the common good, not just a select few. Though Congress is preparing to recess, we need to continue to advocate for health care reform that benefits ALL people, including immigrants and their children."

PICO, a national network of faith-based community organizations and Sojourners -- in collaboration with the Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good -- have put together a Guide to the Health-Care Reform Debate. [pdf]

The guide is designed to educate and spark discussion and thought about how to live out God’s call for justice in our world. This guide includes biblical background, a status update on the state of U.S. health care, a look at past attempts at health-care reform, a helpful guide for understanding all the terms, options, and key choices in the current debate, a look at the role of the faith community and what values can shape our healthcare decisions, plus a list of what you and your community can do to promote health-care reform that makes coverage more affordable to families and serves the common good.

Click here to download the guide [pdf] It provides valuable information about the health care reform debate from a faith-based perspective and can help us all to learn how to speak out on behalf of justice.

As Martin Luther King, Jr., said, "Justice too long delayed is justice denied." With almost 50 million Americans-including 9 million children-lacking health care coverage, we can't afford to wait for just health care reform any longer.

For more information, visit the Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good HEALTH CARE page:


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Take Action on Health Care!

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging us to get informed and involved in the ongoing health care debate and make our views known -- especially with respect to Health Care Reform that Respects Life and Human Dignity.

Read the entire ACTION ALERT at this link:

On July 17, Bishop William Murphy, Chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, sent a letter to Congress saying, “The USCCB looks forward to working with you to reform health care successfully in a manner that offers accessible, affordable and quality health care that protects and respects the life and dignity of all people from conception until natural death.” Abortion must not be included as part of a national health care benefit. “No health care reform plan should compel us or others to pay for the destruction of human life, whether through government funding or mandatory coverage of abortion.” Bishop Murphy argued that any legislation should reflect longstanding policies “on abortion funding, dates and conscience protections because they represent sound morality, wise policy and political reality.”

The full text of Bishop Murphy’s letter can be found online at:

TAKE ACTION and contact our senators and representatives with your views on Health Care NOW!

For more information, please contact Kathy Saile, Director of Domestic Social Development, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, at

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Today is Mandela Day!

With an amazing legacy of pursuing justice and promoting reconciliation, Nelson Mandela continues to work tirelessly to promote peace and human dignity.

Today -- in honor of Nelson Mandela's birthday, we celebrate each indiviudal's ability to make an imprint.
Read about the day at this link:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Legislative Updates from "The Voice of the Poor" & The Arizona Catholic Conference

It's a critical time right now for the poor in Arizona as the State Budget hangs in the balance. . .

St. Vincent De Paul Society in Arizona has a legislative/advocacy arm. It is called ‘The Voice of the Poor’(VOP) and is based in the Diocese of Phoenix.

Learn about it at:

The Mission Statement of Voice of the Poor (Diocesan Council of Phoenix):

Believing in the dignity of every person, Voice of the Poor supports Catholic social teaching. Under the direction of the Diocesan Council, we will advocate for justice on behalf of those in need, while educating St. Vincent de Paul members about economic and social issues impacting the poor.

You can find weekly VOP ARIZONA LEGISLATIVE UPDATES and ACTION ALERTS at this link:

The Arizona Catholic Conference (ACC) is the public policy agency for the Diocese of Gallup, the Diocese of Phoenix, and the Diocese of Tucson.

You can find ACC ACTION ALERTS at this link:

Get updated on the issues and make your voice heard for the poor!!


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Casa San Juan: "Welcoming the Stranger Among Us"

The Casa San Juan Center in Tucson serves families living in poverty, homeless families, and immigrant families. Hundreds of families each month request help with immediate needs, such as help with food, clothing, medical, or shelter. Families also receive help with advocacy, education or immigration related assistance. Immigration issues have become a primary local, state and national focus.

The specific goal of the Center is to provide immediate help and work toward justice to advance the quality of life for all, including immigrant children and adults.

The Casa San Juan Center was established in 2002 by the Diocese of Tucson at the request of Bishop Manuel Moreno, Bishop Gerald F. Kicanis, Pastor Raul P. Trevizo, and lay members of the community at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church,Tucson, Arizona.

The Center is located in one of the poorest areas of Tucson, in the south side of the city where there is a large concentration of
homeless adults and poor families, many whom are immigrants.

To learn more about Casa San Juan and how you can get involved and help, see the Center's website:


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

TONIGHT May 6th - An Evening with Jack Jezreel of JustFaith

"The Call to Transform Our Hearts and the World"

You may have heard about JustFaith, come tonight to learn more!

Jack Jezreel, popular national speaker and justice educator, holds a Master of Divinity degree from Notre Dame, spent six years in a Catholic Worker Community, and has been involved with parish-based justice ministry for 25 years. He is the author of JustFaith and serves as Executive Director of JustFaith Ministries. He received the prestigious Harry Fagan Award in 2006 for his contribution to the achievement of the Catholic vision of social justice. He is married and has three daughters. Jack has been in Tucson for our JustFaith introduction. We have grown in JustFaith and welcome Jack back!

We are called to be compassionate as our God is compassionate (Luke 6:36), but what does the compassion of Christ look like in the modern world? How do I become a more compassionate person? Are you interested in embarking on a spiritual journey into compassion? The vision of the Gospels and Catholic social teaching speaks to life-giving choices on behalf of a world that struggles to survive.

Don’t miss this opportunity to explore some new possibilities for your life, your parish, your heart!

Comments aboutJustFaith from Tucson participants:

* Our JustFaith grads have become a solid foundation for social ministry by meeting and praying and learning together and bydrawing others into their various ministries. – Most Holy Trinity pastor

* I am now living a more simple life – giving more, buying less, and trying to get more connected with my brothers and sisters. JustFaith is a life-changing experience. – Our Mother of Sorrows parishioner

WHEN: Wednesday, May 6, 2009

WHERE: Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, 1800 South Kolb Rd., Tucson, AZ

For all JustFaith Grads and present students:
Dinner with Jack in the OMOS Parish Activity Center (PAC)– 5:30 p.m.
More info: Jean Fedigan: or leave message for Jean: 520-747-1321

For all JustFaith Grads, Students and ALL NEW to JustFaith:

An evening with Jack in the Parish Hall with Closing Prayer at 9 p.m.
More info: Janet Towner: or leave message: 520-838-2544

World Fair Trade Day: This Saturday May 9th, 2009

Catholic Relief Services to Mark World Fair Trade Day

Catholics are invited to Take a ‘Fair Trade Break’ and Break World Record!

In celebration of World Fair Trade Day on May 9, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), a national sponsor of the day, invites Catholics throughout the U.S. to join workplaces, churches, schools, businesses and neighbors and hold a Fair Trade Break to surpass last year's World's Largest Fair Trade ‘Break’ record.

With a goal of 55,000 total participants on and around Saturday, May 9, CRS is rallying Catholics and Fair Trade enthusiasts to hold events like Fair Trade coffee breaks, food tastings, talks, music concerts and fashion shows to promote an ethical alternative to conventional shopping that ensures that producers get a fair price for their products.

“During today’s tough economic times, it is more important than ever to have our shopping habits reflect our values,” says Jacqueline DeCarlo, CRS’ Senior Program Advisor for Fair Trade. “The poor suffer the most during economic downturns, and ‘solidarity shopping’ can directly impact the lives of farming families and craft associations – often led by women.”

Hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. and in over 80 countries will promote Fair Trade by holding a Fair Trade Break and campaign for trade justice together with farmers and artisans in developing countries. In the U.S., World Fair Trade Day is coordinated by the Fair Trade Resource Network and highlights the benefits of Fair Trade and the support needed on a grassroots level.

The recent entry of mainstream companies into the Fair Trade marketplace demonstrates that consumer demand for socially responsible and sustainable products influences corporate decisions. Yet, it is vital to continue to support Fair Trade companies and organizations that are fully committed to small-scale producers and believe in long-term partnerships based on dialogue, transparency and respect.

CRS’ Fair Trade program has grown from two retail partners in 2004 to 16 today, including coffee, chocolate and handcraft retailers. All of these companies help Catholic schools, parishes, and households shop responsibly for the benefit of disadvantaged producers. To find CRS partners dedicated to Fair Trade, visit

“U.S. Catholics can feel gratified that they are helping to build a market that has been growing at double-digit rates in recent years,” DeCarlo says. “World Fair Trade Day is becoming a rallying point for these groups to spread the word about Fair Trade to the larger community.”

To join the movement and mark World Fair Trade Day, Catholics can:

¨ Hold a Fair Trade coffee break at their parish or schools
¨ Join the CRS Fair Trade Network
¨ Buy Fair Trade items or give a Fair Trade gift for Mother’s Day
¨ Host a Fair Trade fair
¨ Become a CRS Fair Trade fan on Facebook

To find a World Fair Trade Day event near you, visit

Catholic Relief Services is the international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency provides assistance to people in more than 100 countries and territories based on need, regardless of race, nationality or creed. For more information, please visit or


Friday, May 1, 2009

St. Joseph the Worker & The Catholic Worker

Today is the Feast Day of St. Joseph the Worker and is also the 76th anniversary of the founding of The Catholic Worker Movement in 1933 by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin.

Here's a thoughtful reflection on St. Joseph the Worker .

(from the American Saint of the Day website)

To learn more about The Catholic Worker Movement see:

Today would be a great day to support our local Tucson Catholic Worker House, Casa Maria, in a special way!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Rejoice heavenly powers!

The power of this holy night
dispels all evil,
washes guilt away,
restores lost innocence,
bring mourners joy;
it casts out hatred,
brings us peace,
humbles earthly

from the Exsultet

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday: He endured our sufferings

Yet it was our infirmities that he bore,
our sufferings that he endured,
while we thought of him as stricken,
as one smitten by God and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our offenses,
crushed for our sins;
upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,
by his stripes we were healed.

Isaiah 53:4-6

Sunday, April 5, 2009

photograph by Jill Johnson
read some of Sr. Jose's reflections on her life's path
in an exceprt from A Woman's Path by Jo Giese

Sister Jose Hobday, OSF
Born to Eternal Life
April 5, 2009

"Travel lightly -- God will replenish it all!"
(A quote from Sister Jose during a sharing on simple living with our JustFaith group)

for a beautiful photographic image of Sr. Jose see:
For more, including some of Sr. Jose's quotations see:
Spirituality & Practice - Resources for Spiritual Journeys


A Palm Sunday / Passion Sunday Reflection

Icon by
Tatiana Grant

Why is the crowd in the Palm Sunday story so excited? Jesus has no military, economic, or political power.

Why is there a sense of excitement as we begin to enter the Holy Week experience? Shouldn’t we be ready to give up? [After all Jesus is about to be killed.]

Shouldn’t we be discouraged by the human situation today – by war, violence of all sorts, selfishness, failure, injustice, discrimination, poverty, etc.?

Do we really want to or need to remember the pain and the sorrow that we see in the passion of Christ?

There was an excitement in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus and there is an excitement as we process with palms. Why?

Is it a sense of excitement because God is among us and part of our human situation?

Is it a sense that God is with us in the midst of all the suffering and injustice?

Is it a sense that God is present in the midst of our deepest longings and dreams?

Is it a sense that God is present in the midst of our deepest struggle for what is right?

Is it a sense that God is here in the midst of the great story of liberation and freedom?

Is it a sense that God is calling us to work for liberation and justice?

Is it a sense that apparent defeat is not the final word?

By Fr. John Bucki, S.J.. from the Center of Concern's excellent Education for Justice site:


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Talk with Betita Martinez on Women and Activism

Thursday March 26, 2009 - 6-8pm
Pima Downtown Campus - Amethyst Community Room

Talk with Betita Martinez on Women and Activism.
Rally and sign making for Cesar chavez Marcha

Hosted by
Movimiento Estudiantil Xicano de Aztlan - MEXA and Tierra Y Libertad Organiozation - TYLO host Betita Martinez author of De Colores Means all of us, 500 years of Chicana History and founder of the Multiracial Justice Insitute

Come by and listen to Betita and make make a sign for the March
Nopal Books Fundraising Project will be vending.

Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez has been an author, social justice activist and organizer for over 50 years. She has published six books and countless articles on social justice movements in the Americas. Best known is her acclaimed bilingual volume 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures—1991, which became the basis for a video she co-directed. Her books include;
Letters from Mississippi: Reports from Civil Rights Volunteer—1964
The Youngest Revoluton: A Personal Report on Cuba.—1969
Viva la Raza!: The struggle of the Mexican American People—1974
De Colores Means All of Us: Latina Views for a Multi-Colored Century—1998
500 Years of Chicana Women’s History—2008


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

From Cynthia Brooke of Interfaith Worker Justice, passed along by Joanne Welter:

Tune in to ABC's Good Morning America tomorrow (Wednesday, March 25) to see Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) Executive Director Kim Bobo interviewed about the national crisis of wage theft that she unmasks in her recent book Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid-And What We Can Do About It.

The segment will air during the program's first hour, sometime between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. (across the country).

Tomorrow the Government Accounting Office (GAO) will reveal the findings of an undercover investigation into the Labor Department's ability to enforce and investigate violations of our nation's minimum wage, overtime and child labor laws. Those findings will be the subject of a House Education and Labor Committee hearing tomorrow morning.Kim delivered testimony at a July hearing of the House Education and Labor Committee on the failure to protect workers from wage theft. You can watch that testimony here or read it here.

If you can't catch tomorrow's show live, you can find the segment on the ABC News investigative page following the broadcast.

Please help us spread the word by forwarding this message along to friends and colleagues! And if you don't yet have a copy of Kim's book, you can purchase one here.

Wage theft can be stopped, but we need partners like you to make that happen. Support our nation's workers and donate to Interfaith Worker Justice. Together, we can put millions of workers and their families on a more just path.


NOTE: See also this New York Times article posted 3-24-09: Labor Enforcement Agency Is Failing Workers, Report Says


Celebration of Life -- Prayer Service for Archbishop Oscar Romero

Tuesday March 24, 2009
7:30-9:00 pm

Most Holy Trinity Church
1300 N. Greasewood

If you have artifacts commemorating the life of Archbishop Romero, please bring them for an altar display.

Sponsored by Pax Christi Tucson


Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero

Icon by Br. Robert Lentz, OFM

Today we remember Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador who was shot to death by a gunman while he was celebrating Mass on March 24, 1980.

A quote from Archbishop Romero:

Christ founded the church so that he himself could go on being present in the history of humanity precisely through the group of Christians who make up his church. The church is the flesh in which Christ makes present down the ages his own life and his personal mission . . .

Learn more about Oscar Romero at the Claretian's Salt of the Earth website, which has a webpage for the Remembrance of Archbishop Oscar Romero.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Care for Creation: Attend the Organic Garden Festival

Organic Garden Festival & Plant Sale

DATE: Sunday March 8,2009

TIME: 10:30 to 3:30

LOCATION: St. Mark's Presbyterian Church Grounds
3809 E 3rd Street

-- Visit and dine in the Organic Community Gardens

-- Great lunches plus a Bake Sale
-- Free Organic Gardening Information
-- Organic Gardening Supplies for Sale
-- Earth Friendly Vendors
-- Children's Games & Activities

Admission is Free - Food, activites, and organic gardening solutions start at $1.00

All proceeds benefit Tucson Organic Gardeners, a non-profit organization

For more details, see the Festival Flyer [pdf]

Learn more about: Tucson Organic Gardeners


Friday, March 6, 2009

Pope Benedict: Create justice in our hearts!

“Justice cannot be created in the world solely through good economic models, however necessary those are.

Justice is created only where there are just people.

There cannot be just people without a humble, daily work of conversion of hearts, or creating justice in hearts.”

-- Pope Benedict XVI

A quote from Pope Benedict extracted from John L. Allen Jr.'s latest "All Things Catholic" piece in the National Catholic Reporter online at:


Friday, February 20, 2009

World Day of Social Justice

On February 20, 2009 The World Day of Social Justice is being observed for the first time following its unanimous adoption by the 192 member States of the United Nations during their November 2007 General Assembly.

You are invited to share pray a special Social Justice Prayer for this day. It was developed by members of the USG/UISG Secretariat Commission for Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation in Rome and is developed using the principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

Following is a slightly modified portion of the multi-part prayer (see link for the entire prayer).


Our world is too small.
Our lives are too small. Our vision is too restricted.
May the people of various countries, various cultures,
tribes and families find room in our world and our lives.

Help us to widen our tents, so that all are welcome among us.

Our attitudes are too parochial, our assumptions too simplistic,
our behaviour too predictable.
May special people, may the differently-abled,
may minorities of any kind - of race, class, or gender
– find room in our world and our hearts,

Help us to widen our tents, so that all are welcome among us.

Our boundaries are too limited, our preferences too conditioned,
our habits too ingrained.
May the aging and the very young, may subcultural groups of every kind,
may special interests groups find room in our world and our prayer.

Help us to widen our tents, so that all are welcome among us.

Our God is too small, Our rites too rigid,
Our ways are too exclusive.

May people of various religions and rites, whose name for God and claim to God are different from our own, find room in our world and our love.

Help us to widen our tents, so that all are welcome among us.

God of all cultures, God of all people,
help us not to label anyone inferior or second-class.
Help us overcome our attitudes of superiority and oppression.
May we broaden our vision and widen our tents
so that plurality and diversity determine who we are:
people called and committed to a world united
injustice and peace, now and forever.


Adapted by jfb/jos3.viii.94 from M.T. Winter.
WomanWisdom Crossword Publications. 1991: p. 105.


Link provided by Joanne Welter


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Workshop on Human Trafficking in Southern Arizonna - Feb 28th

Submitted by Joanne Welter
Workshop will be held at Most Holy Trinity Parish, Tucson:

Human Trafficking in Southern Arizona

Please join us to learn more about human trafficking and how it affects the communities of southern Arizona.

The following training is free and is open to the parishioners to learn more about human trafficking and to help identify potential victims of human trafficking in every day work.

What: Workshop on human trafficking.

When: Saturday February 28 from 9-12.

Presenter: Katie Resendiz from the Arizona League to End Regional Trafficking (ALERT) will present a 3-hour workshop covering the following topics:

Topics: Human Trafficking 101, Skill Training, And Faith Based Actions.

Where: Most Holy Trinity Parish, 1300 N. Greasewood Rd.

Coffee and refreshments will be provided.
Just Goods will have Fair Trade items available for sale.
Registration is free.

If you are interested please email Jackie White at by Wednesday February 25, 2009.
For any questions, please contact Jackie White at 520-207-1642 or

More about The Arizona League to End Regional Trafficking:

In February 2003, the US Department of Justice / Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) awarded a grant for the creation of the Arizona League to End Regional Trafficking (ALERT). ALERT is a coalition representing partnerships with law enforcement, faith-based communities, non-profit organizations, social service agencies, attorneys and concerned citizens. Through education, outreach and a variety of programs and services, ALERT strives to end the suffering and dehumanization of victims of human trafficking. ALERT helps victims of trafficking by providing: food and shelter; medical care; mental health counseling; immigration assistance; legal assistance; language interpretation; case management; and other culturally appropriate services. ALERT had offices in Phoenix and Tucson but can serve clients statewide.



Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sr. Dorothy "Dot" Stang -- Memorial

We are only here on the land
for a few decades.
Use every day to bring joy
and not greed

to our tired land so full of anguish.

- Sr. Dorothy Stang

“The death of the Forest is the end of our Life.”
Icon painted by Father Bill McNichols, S.J.

Sister Dorothy Stang was murdered in the Amazon Forest on February 12, of 2005 -- a modern day martyr for the poor and the environment.
Sister Dorothy defended “the human rights of the poor, landless and indigenous populations of the Anapu region of Brazil for nearly 40 years, despite numerous death threats. She worked with farmers to help rebuild their livelihoods, cultivate their land and defend their rights from loggers and ranchers, becoming a symbol of the fight to preserve the rainforest before being killed in 2005.” [Citation as she was posthumously awarded the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights, December 2008.]
Sr. Dorothy, Peacemaker with the Earth, rest in peace.

Learn more about Sister Dorothy:

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Learn about the U.S. Department of Peace Campaign

Why a U.S. Department of Peace?

"A Department of Peace will provide the institutional framework within which to research, analyze and create nonviolent solutions to domestic and international conflict. With this capability, the President and Congress will have immediate access to the expertise that is so deeply needed in our post-9/11 world; we make the study, creation and use of nonviolent solutions to conflicts a national priority; and we expand our ability to address the root causes of violence. Peace then becomes a tangible goal as opposed to a lofty ideal."

Kucinich Reintroduces Department of Peace Bill with 62 Cosponsors

Washington,D.C. (February 4, 2009) -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) yesterday reintroduced legislation that would authorize a Cabinet-level Department of Peace.

It is well known that in times of economic difficulty violence increases. When relationships are strained by economic hardship, domestic violence, violent robbery and abuse of children and animals all increase. When the world is facing possibly the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression, now is not the time to ignore social issues and interpersonal relationships, now is the time to make special attention to make sure that our relations and health do not suffer along with your pocket books, stated Kucinich.

The Cabinet-level Department authorized in the legislation embodies a broad-based approach to peaceful, non-violent conflict resolution at both domestic and international levels. The Department of Peace would serve to promote non-violence as an organizing principle in our society, and help to create the conditions for a more peaceful world.

Peace is a foundational principle of this Congress and of this country. This bill gives it a chance to have an animating power in our civic life by addressing the issues of domestic violence, spousal abuse, child abuse, violence in the schools and racial violence, added Kucinich.

The bill number is HR808.

(see an earlier version of the bill HERE)

To learn more, visit: The Peace Alliance website

and find out about the upcoming :
National Department of Peace Conference:
Peace Within Reach: People and Politics Partnering for our Common Security

March 20-23, 2009 in Washington D.C.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

More on The Kino Border Initiative -- videos & a news story


CLICK HERE to watch four videos from the Jan 18th press conference in Nogales that annouced the official start of the Kino Border Initaitive.

Following is a link to a moving news story about the work of the KBI, and those whose lives are touched by it. The article was recently published in The Catholic Sun - Phoenix Diocese:

Jesuits seek deeper understanding of immigration in bi-national border project by J.D. Long-Garcia


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pima County’s Annual Street Count of Homeless Persons

The Annual Street Count of Homeless Persons

Early this morning a group of volunteers was out counting those who had spent the night out -- without shelter -- in Tucson. This annual count is sponsored by the Tucson Planning Council for the Homeless (TPCH) and is part of a national homeless counting event. (The volunteers who were out this morning first went through a training program to prepare for the count.)

The goal of the count is to help us better understand our homeless neighbors -- and better meet their needs.

Here's an earlier report on Homelessness in Pima County 2006-2008 (PDF)

Looking for more ways to get involved in helping the homeless?
See the TPCH website


Monday, January 26, 2009

School of the Americas (SOA) Watch: Human Rights Activists Sentenced

From the SOA Watch website:

"Today, on January 26, six human rights advocates appeared in a federal courthouse in Georgia. The "SOA 6," ranging in age from 21 to 68, were found "guilty" of carrying the protest against the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) onto the Fort Benning military base. The six were among the thousands who gathered on November 22 and 23, 2008 outside the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia to demand a change in U.S. policy towards Latin America and the closure of the SOA/WHINSEC."

To learn more, see:

Bringing it all to prayer:

(Designed by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth of Bardstown)


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Obama and abortion -- any hope?

As was widely expected by those on both sides of the abortion debate, on January 23rd President Obama rescinded The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (known as the "Mexico City Policy") which prohibits nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that receive Federal funds from using those funds "to pay for the performance of abortions as a method of family planning, or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions."

In response, the USCCB issued a statement by Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities:
President Obama's Reversal of Mexico City Policy 'Very Disappointing,' Says Pro-Life Committee Chair

For those of us longing for a widespread awakening to a Consistent Ethic of Life approach that cherishes life "from womb to tomb" -- is there any hope?

To probe deeper, read what President Obama stated after he signed the order:

Here is a Catholic New Service story about the issue, expressing some varying perspectives:
Obama signs order reversing Mexico City policy

And two New York Times articles with additional views:
Obama Reverses Rules on U.S. Abortion Aid
Family Planning and the Path to Progress

And on his blog, Jim Wallis, of Sojournors (a long-time social justice advocate from a faith-based perspective) offers some thoughts with a glimmer of hope:

I am encouraged that President Obama’s first action on abortion was to release a statement supporting a common ground approach to reducing abortion, even as he also reiterated his policy of supporting legal choice. Even more significant was his decision not to issue an executive order rescinding the “Mexico City policy” on the day of the anniversary of the Roe decision and the annual March for Life. For the past two decades, this particular rule has become a back-and-forth of instituting and repealing as administrations have changed—almost as a partisan tit-for-tat.

In breaking the symbolic cycle, President Obama showed respect for both sides in the historically polarized abortion debate, and called for both a new conversation and a new common ground. I hope that this important gesture signals the beginning of a new approach and a new path toward finding some real solutions to decrease the number of abortions in this country and around the world.

Read Jim Wallis full blog post here:
President Obama’s Call for Common Ground on Abortion Reduction

As always . . . let us bring this issue to prayer:


"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life..."
-Deuteronomy 30:19

We believe in you, Holy Spirit, Giver of Life.

We lay before you the prayers of those who are deprived of life;
the unborn, who never saw the love in a mother's eyes;
the aged and infirmed, who became another's "burden";
the suicides, who lost all hope;
the criminals, who invited scorn and revenge;
the victims of war, poverty, and other crimes of violence, who were unprepared for death.

We worship and glorify you, Holy Spirit, Divine Wisdom.

We lay before you the prayers of those who struggle with questions of life and death:
women unprepared for motherhood;
healthcare professionals;
child and adult caregivers;
the chemically and emotionally dependent;
justice, legal, and military personnel;
all abused or underprivileged seekers of acceptance.

Holy Spirit, Speaker of Truth, we lay before you our hearts of flesh that we may both heed and be your prophets of holy and revered life:

to defend with your passion and zeal those who have never tasted life and those whose lives seem to drag on interminably;
to uplift the lives of the hopeless and of the despised with your
compassion and love;
to bless the good in every person and curse the bad in every evil.

Living Spirit of God, all of life comes from you and has meaning and purpose. May all the peoples of the world unite in solidarity and unconditionally choose life.



Friday, January 23, 2009

ACTION ALERT: Children's Health Bill (SCHIP)

Urge Support and Improvements to Children’s Health Bill (SCHIP)

TAKE ACTION NOW! (Bill may be considered on Monday Jan 26)

Call your senators about the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and urge them to support:

· increased funding to reduce the number of uninsured children by nearly half, maintaining and expanding coverage, reducing enrollment barriers, and expanding outreach, and respecting the roles of families;

· provisions in the legislation allowing states to interpret the word “child” to include the period from conception to birth;

· coverage for legal immigrant children and legal immigrant pregnant women.
NOTE: Urge your senator to support improvement and expansion of SCHIP, provisions covering children from conception to birth, and coverage for legal immigrant children and legal immigrant pregnant women.

Several Senators will be particularly important on the provisions covering legal immigrants, including Sen John McCain.

An amendment is expected that would eliminate current provisions that limit access to SCHIP for legal pregnant immigrant women and legal immigrant children during their first five years in this country even if they meet all the other requirements for the program and have no other source for health care coverage. Please urge the Senators to support this amendment eliminating the 5-year rule for legal immigrant children and pregnant women.



More than 9 million children in our country are uninsured. Through the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), states receive federal funds to provide health insurance for millions of low-income children throughout the United States. Today the U.S. House of Representatives is voting on an expansion of SCHIP. The Senate vote will take place in the next few days. This is an important opportunity to promote several key improvements to the program—coverage of currently uninsured children, coverage of children before birth, and coverage of legal immigrant children and legal immigrant pregnant women.


Catholic teaching tells us that everyone has “the right to live” as well as “the right to bodily integrity and to the means necessary for the proper development of life, particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and, finally, the necessary social services” (Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, #11).

Catholic teaching affirms the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death and the inherent dignity of every human being. We insist that access to adequate health care is a basic human right, necessary for the development and maintenance of life and for the ability of human beings to realize the fullness of their dignity. A just society protects and promotes fundamental human rights and dignity, with special attention to the basic needs of children and the vulnerable, including the need for safe and affordable health care for all.


Contact your Senators now to urge support and improvements to SCHIP. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202)224-3121 or find your Senators’ contact information at

Kathy Saile, Director, Domestic Social Development, USCCB,, (202) 541-3134


Day of Repentence and Prayer for Life

"Pray that every child in the womb will be loved and cherished"

January 22nd was the thirty-sixth anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion:

"Today, we perform acts of penance both in reparation for crimes against human dignity caused by abortion and in intercession to God to grant wisdom to our nation and civil leaders, that they might know and protect life from conception to natural death."

Given the events of this week, it is an important time to pray and act in support of the first principle of Catholic Social Teaching:

The Life and Dignity of the Human Person

Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. This belief is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching. In our society, human life is under direct attack from abortion and euthanasia. The value of human life is being threatened by cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and the use of the death penalty. Catholic teaching also calls on us to work to avoid war. Nations must protect the right to life by finding increasingly effective ways to prevent conflicts and resolve them by peaceful means. We believe that every person is precious, that People are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person. SOURCE

Visit the USCCB's People of Life site to learn, reflect, pray, and act in support of a Consistent Ethic of Life.

Some additional links for reflection:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day: A Prayer

A prayer written by Jane Deren
from the Education for Justice site:

"The swearing in of a new president is a momentous occasion in a nation's history and an appropriate time for prayer. Use this prayer to pray for the newly elected president, Barack Obama, for the needs of the country and for all those who hold public office and serve the common good. "

Prayer for the Inauguration

The common good calls us together on this day.
As winter’s dark hours reveal a new horizon of hope,
We gather to renew a shared purpose
And embark on a new beginning.

We are challenged to move beyond the differences and divisions
Of the past year, the past decades, even the past centuries.

It is time for a new beginning, a time to move into a new future.
Help us all, Lord, to glimpse the grace that marks this day.
Help us to touch the hope that springs from a deep source.

We ask Your blessings on our new president
and the new administration.
May they work with integrity, discernment and a united purpose.

You call us today to renew our vision of a hopeful future.
We ask Your blessings on us all, that we may summon the will
To live as a nation united, with consideration for every citizen,
Concern for the global community and care for God’s Creation.

Guide us as we move forward grounded in care
for the common good
Like a river moving from its source
to green a parched and brittle land.
We ask this of You, Source of All Being,
Eternal Word and Holy Spirit.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Words of wisdom from
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
that are timeless,
yet fresh with new meaning
on the eve of this Inauguration Day:

Now let me suggest first that
if we are to have peace on earth,
our loyalties must become ecumenical
rather than sectional.

Our loyalties must transcend
our race,
our tribe,
our class,
and our nation;
and this means
we must develop a world perspective.

No individual can live alone;
no nation can live alone,
and as long as we try,
the more we are going to have war in this world.

Now the judgment of God is upon us,
and we must either learn
to live together as brothers and sisters
or we are all going to perish together as fools.

-from Dr. King's Christmas Sermon on Peace 1967


Friday, January 16, 2009

Support an End to Torture

An ACTION ALERT [pdf] from the USCCB:


The inauguration is around the corner. Send emails to the Transition Team” encouraging President-elect Obama to issue an executive order ending torture soon after taking office.


On January 14, John Carr, USCCB’s Executive Director for Justice, Peace and Human Development, participated in a press conference urging the incoming administration to set a new tone and act to end torture. That same afternoon, USCCB joined with other faith groups in a meeting with members of President-elect Obama’s Transition Team. They presented a letter signed by 34 religious leaders, including Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, Chairman of USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, and discussed the need for quick action by the president-elect to issue an executive order ending torture as a way to restore America’s moral credibility in the world.

The Transition Team was very receptive and cited President-elect Obama’s statement last week that “under my administration, the United States does not torture, we will abide by the Geneva Conventions.” Action now would affirm this position, reinforce the message sent at the January 14 press conference and meeting, and encourage Mr. Obama to act quickly.


The Church teaches that torture is morally wrong and can never be justified. Pope Benedict XVI said that “the prohibition against torture ‘cannot be contravened under any circumstance.’” The U.S. bishops in Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship [pdf] labeled torture as “intrinsically evil.” The attached remarks by John Carr [pdf] lay out the arguments against torture in further detail.


Write emails calling for President-elect Obama to issue an executive order banning torture as soon as possible. Go the, fill out your contact information, and write “torture” in the “another issue” box. When the “Your ideas” box comes up, write something like “As a Catholic, I call on the President to act quickly to end torture by issuing an executive order based on the Declaration of Principles endorsed by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.” You may also contact your members of Congress through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or to have them endorse this Declaration of Principles [pdf].


Virginia Farris, Foreign Policy Advisor, International Justice and Peace, USCCB,, (202) 541-3182.


Take action: Save Darfur Campaign & the USCCB

The USCCB is collaborating with the Save Darfur Campaign to urge President-elect Barack Obama give priority to ending the violence in Darfur when he takes office. As you may know about 300,000 people have died, 2 million are displaced from their homes, and hundreds of thousands go hungry every day. As Catholics we must work to protect human life and promote human dignity whenever they are threatened.

President-elect Barack Obama has pledged "unstinting resolve" to promote peace and security for Darfur and all of Sudan. Catholics around the U.S. can urge the President to end the tragedy in Darfur by completing electronic messages, which will be delivered on inauguration day, January 20, 2009.

USCCB is working with Save Darfur and other organizations to collect one million electronic postcards urging the president to follow through on this promise. Sign the electronic postcard now to ensure that Darfur is a day one priority for the president.

Background about the situation in Darfur can be accessed at:

SOURCE: Steve Hilbert, Policy Advisor, Africa and Global Development, Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Praying with Refugees at KBI website

More from the Kino Border Initiative (KBI):

To watch a very moving video about the Kino Border Initiative produced by the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, visit: (Scroll down to the middle of the page to find it.)

There are also excellent prayer resources at the KBI website.


More on the Kino Border initiative

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA press release
Washington, D.C., January 12, 2009

Kino Border Initiative to launch bi-national ministry in Nogales on the Arizona-Sonora border

NOGALES, Ariz.--The Kino Border Initiative (KBI) will be inaugurated on the U.S.-Mexico border on Jan. 18 to serve the communities of Nogales, Ariz., and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, and the people who pass through this historic corridor of trade and culture. The new ministry is being launched as a bi-national partnership of Jesuit and Catholic organizations and laypersons on both sides of the border.

Three years in development, the KBI is “the culmination of a process of listening, dialog, and discernment regarding how the resources of our Province might best be put to use to serve and foster solidarity with those most directly affected by immigration and enforcement policies along the border,” said John P. McGarry, S.J., Provincial of the California Province of the Society of Jesus.

“We are blessed in this endeavor by our collaborative partnerships with the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA (JRS/USA) and the Jesuit Migration Service of the Mexican Province,” said Fr. McGarry. “Together with our partners in the Diocese of Tucson and in the Archdiocese of Hermosillo, and the religious women of the Missionaries of the Eucharist, the KBI will provide education, social assistance, research, and advocacy where they are sorely needed,” he added.

“What we’ll be trying to do is to help people find a safe place to talk about the issues of migration,” said Fr. Ken Gavin, S.J., Director of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. “We’ll be going into parishes, talking at masses and after masses, talking with groups of adults and groups of students, trying to see how our own faith, our own sense of being brothers and sisters in the Lord, can somehow influence who we are as men and women who live on one side of the border or the other,” Gavin said.

Two Jesuits of the California Province have been assigned to this ministry. Sean Carroll, S.J., will serve as Executive Director, and Peter Neeley, S.J., will be Associate for Education and Formation. They are joined by Martin McIntosh, S.J., of the Mexican Province, who will be Associate for Socio-Pastoral Outreach, and Donald Bahlinger, S.J., of the New Orleans Province, who will serve as Chaplain.

Working closely with priests of the Dioceses of Tucson and Hermosillo, as well as the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist, this team will offer basic outreach to migrants who are deported from the U.S. on a daily basis. The KBI will also collaborate with local priests on both sides of the border to make parish-based presentations and offer workshops on migration policy and the Catholic social tradition. The KBI will welcome delegations of students and visiting scholars from high schools, universities, and parishes seeking opportunities to engage the complex realities of the U.S.-Mexico border and immigration policies.

In Nogales, Sonora, the KBI will be responsible for staffing the Aid Center for Deported Migrants (CAMDEP), a diocesan-sponsored care center where migrants deported from the U.S. can receive a meal and counsel, and the Nazareth House for Deported Women, a short-term shelter for unaccompanied women who are particularly vulnerable to exploitation. The Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist will administer these facilities located near the Mariposa port of deportation.

The initiative is named for Eusebio Francisco Kino, S.J., a Jesuit missionary known as the “Padre on Horseback,” who rode across southern Arizona and northern Sonora from 1687 until his death in 1711, serving native tribes and founding more than 20 missions. This year, nearly three centuries after Padre Kino’s passing, the California Province is celebrating its Centennial (1909-2009), marking a century since it became a separate province of the Society of Jesus with a mission geared toward the needs of people living in western America.

To view a new video and a slide show about the KBI produced by the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, visit:

On Jan. 18, a Mass of Inauguration for the KBI will be offered at Sacred Heart Church in Nogales, Ariz.

Mass of Inauguration on January 18, 2009:
Mass at Noon, Press Conference at 1:30 p.m.
Reception to follow at Sacred Heart Church
272 N. Rodriguez St., Nogales, Ariz., 85621

For more information on the Kino Border Initiative, contact Fr. Sean Carroll, S.J., at 520-287-2370 or e-mail

For background information and current details on KBI inauguration activities, contact Mark Potter, Provincial Assistant for Social Ministries of the California Province of the Society of Jesus at 323-780-9503.

For more information on the California Province of the Society of Jesus, visit:

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an international Catholic non-governmental organization whose mission is to serve, accompany, and advocate on behalf of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.JRS works in 57 countries worldwide. It employs more than 1,400 staff including lay, Jesuits, and other religious to meet the educational, health, social and other needs of more than 500,000 refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. JRS services are made available to refugees and displaced persons regardless of their race, ethnic origin, or religious beliefs.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

2009 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering - Feb 22-25 in DC

From the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering Web site:

On behalf of the eighteen Catholic national co-sponsoring organizations, we invite you to join us in Washington, DC as we host what promises to be an exciting four-day conference.

Our theme, Christ Our Hope: Healing a Broken World, echoes the message of Pope Benedict’s pastoral visit to our nation. This annual gathering brings together over 700 leaders of Catholic social ministry from across the United States.

The Catholic Social Ministry Gathering brings together diverse individuals to discuss common issues and concerns. We will discuss global and domestic issues of life, justice and peace that challenge our world, including the food crisis, healthcare and economic stability.

The annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering is one of the most important gatherings for Catholics who are engaged in the social mission work of the Church.

To learn more about this year's program, speakers, and activities, visit THIS LINK.


Friday, January 9, 2009

A Prayer for Peace in the Middle East

Broken-hearted wall

Two peoples, one land,
Three faiths, one root,
One earth, one mother,
One sky, one beginning, one future, one destiny,
One broken heart,
One God.
We pray to You:
Grant us a vision of unity.
May we see the many in the one and the one in the many.
May you, Life of All the Worlds, Source of All Amazing Differences
Help us to see clearly.
Guide us gently and firmly toward each other,
Toward peace.


Prayer by Rabbi Sheila Weinberg
Jewish Community of Amherst, Amherst, MA

The above is one of several Prayers and Petitions for Peace in the Middle East and Holy Land that can be found at Catholic Relief Services' Prayer and Discussion Resources webpage.