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“LET MY PEOPLE GO” Detention – A Matter of Conscience

Saturday, May 9, 2015

St. James Parish Center/School at 820 N. Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights, Ill.

8:15 - 8:45 a.m. Registration !8:50 a.m. Welcome, Opening Prayer

12:45 p.m. Closing

9:00 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas, Bishop of Tucson, Ariz.

 Registration Form

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Showing Our Love To The Next Generation

A few years ago I was taking part in a faith based inter-generational event on environmental issues. One of the young women present expressed her deep felt gratitude for the presence of those of us from the "older" generation. She said she hears so often that the world is counting on the next generation of young people to do things differently with the earth, "But", she said, "we can't do it alone. We need you to be with us." At that moment it struck me how important it is to show young people that we are taking this seriously and that we are willing to do something. This could be a wonderful way to express our love to them, to show them that we care so much about their future that we are ready to address some challenging aspects of the present. We are called to love! We have begun a journey together for the Corporate Stance on Climate Change in view of the 21st Global Conference on Climate Change in Paris in December of this year. This action that we are inviting you to is a critically important part of helping Canada to play a positive role at the Paris Conference.

Earth Hour 2015

This weekend, March 28, Earth Hour is celebrating its ninth anniversary. People everywhere – individuals, and businesses, are encouraged to turn off their lights for an hour, from 8:30 - 9:30 p.m. as a “nudge” to help us to be more aware about climate change and its effects in our world. Becoming more aware will make us want to increase our support for urgent action. For one hour, we can focus on our commitment to our planet. We could converse with a neighbour, have a candlelight dinner, gaze at the stars, and reflect with gratitude for all we receive from the Earth.
In a few months, a new global climate deal will be negotiated. On March 28, 6 continents, 120 countries and 24 times zones will be united in an action of turning off the lights to send a strong global message. Earth Hour shows how people can come together for a common cause. For photos and suggestions, see www.earthhour.org

Earth Hour Day at the CND Mother House

This year, Earth Hour Day, a global movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature, will be marked on Saturday, March 28. Between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Millions of individuals, communities, households and businesses around the world are encouraged to switch off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol of their commitment to the planet.

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Celebrating International Women's Day 2015

On March 9th, in honour of International Women's Day, Cinema Politica Charlottetown and Cooper Institute hosted a screening of the documentary, Gulabi Gang. This impeccably shot film follows a group of fearless women who fight gender violence in India with great ferocity and hope. In the bad lands of Bundelkhand in central India, the pink sari-clad women of the Gulabi Gang travel long distances by cart and tractor, bus and train, to wrest justice for women and Dalits, undeterred by sneering policemen and condescending bureaucrats. Sampat Pal, their leader, is a rough-and-tough woman with a commanding personality who has evolved her own brand of feminism and egalitarian politics. Her strength lies in her words. She is constantly on the move – today investigating a young woman’s suspicious death, tomorrow protesting against a corrupt official. The gang encounters resistance everywhere – whole villages connive in protecting the perpetrators of violence. As the film pulls us into the centre of these blazing conflicts, it uncovers a complex story, disturbing yet heartening. The word Gulabi means pink. When a woman joins the group she is given a pink sari so they all wear pink. 

Stop Human Trafficking By Buying Fair Trade Chocolate

For Easter Preparations: Please pass on the information below to encourage our families, friends, and communities to avoid buying Chocolate produced by child slave labor. Continue to have a good Lent.

Stop Human Trafficking By Buying Fair Trade Chocolate. 

Don't buy slave labor Chocolates such as: Cadbury, Cliff Bar, Divine Chocolate, Equal Exchange, Cloud Nine, Dagoba Organic, Denman Island, Gardeners Candies, Green and Black's, John and Kira's, Kailua Candy, Koppers Chocolate, L.A. Burdick, Montesuma's, NewLeaf, Newman's Own, Omanhene Cocoa Bean, Rapunzel Pure, Shaman, Sweet Earth, Taza, Endangered Species and Theo Chocolate.

You should note that both the New York Legislature and our Congress are on the verge of discussing important anti-trafficking that has been lingering for a few years. Pray for our law makers that other issues and partisan politics do not cause them to derail these bills.

March 22 is World Water Day

March 22 is World Water Day, click on this link for resources: http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/home/en/.

Associate Communities Discuss Climate Change


L-R Sitting: Sr. Anne Seeley, Evette Contreas, Sr. Mary Jane Hebert, Sr. Margaret Giroux
L-R Middle Row: Sharon Norton, Sebastiana Leon, Baldomero Ahucatitan
L-R Back Row: Magdalena Centeno, Arcadia Ramirez, Janice Amitrano, Ellen Boegel, Patricia Bramwell (guest)


During their Lenten gatherings, Associate Communities are using the booklet “Climate Change: Our Call to Conversion” provided by Sr. Rose Mary Sullivan’s Office of Peace and Justice. The picture above is of the Staten Island Community meeting in the Library of Notre Dame Academy. Items on the table represent individual’s symbol of the earth that is precious to that person. At the Wilton Associate Gathering and during the Associate community that meets by conference call, water in some form, ocean, lake, waterfall, was the symbol for many. An Associate Candidate at Wilton spoke of the Big Bang as “God’s explosion of love”. For many, the conversation was eye opening and moved them to deepen their commitment to care for the earth.

Call To Act

Sister Arlene Flattery OP is my counterpart for the SSND Community. In December, Arlene was part of a small group of Dominicans who went to visit the Iraqi Dominicans (Sisters, Brothers, Priests) who are ministering among the dislocated Christians in Northern Iraq. She recounted her experience in a moving presentation in Wilton. The state of the refugees within Iraq and in the surrounding countries is absolutely calamitous. Basic needs of food and shelter are largely absent as refugees are forced to constantly relocate. Iraq and its surrounding neighbors cannot address this humanitarian disaster. Arlene and the Dominicans from the United States are inviting us to join with them in these ways:

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International Women's Day 2015 Theme: MAKE IT HAPPEN

Every year March 8 marks International Women’s Day. Events are held to signal economic, political and social achievements of women around the world. We celebrate, but we continue to encourage and promote action and initiatives that recognize and advance women and women’s contribution as well as our hopes and aspirations. See www.internatioalwomensday.com

UN 2015 International Year of Soils

Human pressure on the resource has left a third of all soils on which food production depends degraded worldwide. A recent report states that about 65 percent of Africa's arable land is too damaged to sustain viable food production. Rattan Lal states, "Political stability, environmental quality, hunger, and poverty all have the same root. In the long run, the solution to each is restoring the most basic of all resources, the soil." See www.fao.org/soils-2015/en/ for more information. It has many short visuals and facts that capture the importance of healthy soils for healthy lives. 

Ideas for Action for Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Days to Remember Victims of Human Trafficking

February 22: Congregation of Notre Dame Day of Awareness of Human Trafficking.

This is a good time for reflection on what actions we can take to make a difference on this important issue as well as a short document on what we can do to take action. 

2015 International Year of Soils

The 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 2015 International Year of Soils (IYS 2015). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was nominated to implement IYS 2015, within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership and in collaboration with governments and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.


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Peace & Justice News - Blessed Sacrament Province

Dear Sisters and Associates, I strongly encourage our Province’s continued participation in the Congregation of Notre Dame effort to address Climate Change. We got off to a great start in September at the Climate March. Many also participated in the Our Voices campaign and in the Global Chorus. Later, in several locations including Wilton we actively participated in the Light for Lima Prayer Vigil.


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DEVELOPMENT and PEACE... SOWING seeds of solidarity

Development and Peace has been working to transform lives in the Global South since 1967. On Ash Wednesday, D&P will launch its annual Share Lent campaign with the theme "So much love... to give." To participate in this campaign offers us all an opportunity to stand in solidarity with the world's poorest people in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. The generosity of Canadian Catholics "... allows us all to become not patrons of the poor, but their partners in search for human dignity. In this way we can truly become, as Pope Francis calls us to be, a church that is both poor and for the poor." Learn more at www.devp.org/en. Click on share lent. Please pray for a successful campaign. 

A message from the Premier’s Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention

This year, Family Violence Prevention Week [February 8-14] celebrates the value of healthy relationships with family, friends and neighbours. We start the week with a Lunch and Learn in Charlottetown; there is a Silent Walk on Wednesday; schools have special creative days on the theme Healthy Relationships etc.


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Shine a light against human trafficking

A simple and meaningful gesture:  Shine a light against human trafficking  http://a-light-against-human-trafficking.info/ 

Fast for the Climate Campaign

When: The first day of every month in 2015 [Add event to your calendar]

Where: Worldwide

The Fast for the Climate campaign is an interfaith initiative bringing people of different faiths to fast, as a spiritual exercise, in solidarity with the victims of climate change. People are invited to fast the 1st of each month. The World Council of Churches is one of the co-sponsors of this initiative.

The WCC 10th Assembly has recently stressed the urgency of climate crisis and its effect on those who are made poor. The interfaith fast for climate justice is one concrete way churches and other religious institutions are expressing their concern about the situation…

At this time, Pope Francis, building on the social teachings of the church, especially the “option for the poor,” may well be underscoring that climate change, for both ecological and social reasons, is the defining moral reality of our time.

The fasting can be seen as a component of the pilgrimage of justice and peace, as we prepare for the upcoming United Nations Convention in Paris, December 2015. 

New DVD on Human Trafficking

I have a new DVD on Human Trafficking. It is an excellent resource to educate others (High School and older) about Trafficking. It runs for 20 minutes and there are also materials to prepare for the viewing, a summary for after the viewing and sets of questions for different audiences. A local community might want to use it as well to update your Knowledge. The Documentary is Chosen and it was created by the group, Shared Hope International

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