Laudato Si quote
61. On many concrete questions, the Church has no reason to offer a definitive opinion; she knows that honest debate must be encouraged among experts, while respecting divergent views. But we need only take a frank look at the facts to see that our common home is falling into serious disrepair. Hope would have us recognize that there is always a way out, that we can always redirect our steps, that we can always do something to solve our problems. Still, we can see signs that things are now reaching a breaking point, due to the rapid pace of change and degradation; these are evident in large-scale natural disasters as well as social and even financial crises, for the world’s problems cannot be analyzed or explained in isolation. There are regions now at high risk and, aside from all doomsday predictions, the present world system is certainly unsustainable from a number of points of view, for we have stopped thinking about the goals of human activity. “If we scan the regions of our planet, we immediately see that humanity has disappointed God’s expectations”.
Reflection: “Humanity has disappointed God’s expectations.” What does this paragraph mean to you? What actions can I personally take that are sustainable for the created world? What important decisions might I make in my relationship with the earth and all creation?
United Nations Official Commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women November 24, 2021
Consider joining this free virtual seminar “Orange the World: END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN NOW!” that will “highlight the universal nature of violence against women and girls and acknowledge the particular challenges related to COVID-19, humanitarian and conflict situations. It will also amplify successes to demonstrate that violence against women and girls is preventable and mobilize greater investment in the proven solutions.” For more information and registration, click here.
Justice for Immigrants
• A “Rivers of Hope Pilgrimage” will take four virtual tours of rivers to learn from those who live there and those who minister there. Each river journey will focus on a different area SSNDs have as a concern: Dec 7 Rio Grande (Immigration); Jan 11 Mississippi (Climate Change); Feb 8 Missouri (Human Trafficking); March 21 Hudson (Economy, Education, and Racism). The Justice for Immigrants Committee will participate on December 7th, and we encourage you to join us if you are able. This is a creative and innovative approach to learning about these issues, and each session is just 90 minutes long. For more information and registration, click here. For a pdf flyer to share click here.
• Thousands of immigrants are gathered at the border of Poland, including women and children, as the cold of winter begins to set in. An estimated 200 children and 600 women are among those at the border between Belarus and Poland. Read more here. November 20th is United Nations World Children’s Day, a day set aside to advocate and promote the rights of children and to work to provide a world where their thriving is possible. For more information, click here.
Reflection: Reflect on your own life as a child. Where did you find hope and joy? How might you work to offer that same possibility to a child today, especially for children waiting for safety at borders around the world? Include them in a specific way in your prayers this week. For other suggested actions on behalf of migrant children at the border of the US, click here.
Robin DiAngelo and Resmaa Menakem - Towards a Framework for Repair
Through the ruptures of the past year and more, we’ve been given so much to learn, and callings to live differently. But how to do that, and where to begin? Resmaa Menakem’s book, My Grandmother’s Hands, and his original insights into racialized trauma in all kinds of bodies, have offered new ways forward for us all. Take a moment to listen to a conversation between Resmaa Menakem and Robin Di Angelo, a voice in our society grappling with whiteness.. click here.
End Human Trafficking
Consider learning more about human trafficking through a six-session training called “Human Trafficking 101” offered by Polaris (they operate the US National Hotline for Human Trafficking). This online class comes with excellent information, case studies, and stories of survivors, and can be accessed here.
As you know Haiti is struggling to overcome the grip of a multi-layered crisis. In the absence of a duly elected government, There are many non-state actors in Haiti, including gangs, who are terrorizing the citizens, controlling communications, access to food and water and extorting funds to supply “security” from various groups in civil society , including churches and schools. While the US Government had initially supported immediate elections in the wake of President Moise’s assassination, the Biden Administration seems to be listening to groups like The Commission for a Haitian solution to the crisis. This group has worked hard to create what is known as The Montana Accord. The final draft of the accord, calls for the establishment for a two-year period of a transitional council made up of delegates from numerous sectors of Haitian society and politics, charged with appointing an interim president, as well as a monitoring office to guarantee implementation of the accord and a representative body to audit the government. Over 180 organizations, including religious groups, women’s and farmer’s organizations, bar associations, labor unions, political parties and human rights groups, designed and backed the accord.
Our partner in Haiti, Beyond Borders, continues to work with caution across the island. Lagonav, because of its remote location has, to date, been spared the violence that is crisscrossing the mainland. For now, non-nationals are advised not to travel to Haiti. The SSND Teacher Training Program continues to work remotely on training videos that are being translated for teachers by our colleagues at the Matenwa School on Lagonav.
Addressing Climate Change: COP 26 concluded last week. While the achievements will take time to determine, this brief article provides a good summary of what happened at the Climate Conference in Scotland.