VeryTopShalom News North America  

An instrument of hope, formation, and action

concerning priority matters of social justice.

In This Issue
U.S. Climate Change Policy
Climate Change Canada
Corporate Climate Scorecard
National Bird Day
Poverty Awareness
Human Trafficking Awareness
Migrants and Refugees
MLK Day
Prayer Vigil for Life
World Day of Peace
Guantánamo Bay
Circle the Cities
Religious Freedom
Inauguration Day
Quick Links
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January/2017
         
 
 
Happy New Year! In his World Day of Peace message, Pope Francis challenges us to make "active nonviolence our way of life" and to "cultivate nonviolence in our most personal thoughts and values". Throughout 2017, let us demonstrate our commitment to be what Pope Francis calls "Artisans of Peace ".     
            
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Integrity of Creation              

Urge U.S. to Maintain Commitment to Address Climate Change       
President-elect Donald Trump has said he will withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement-a commitment by 193 countries to solve the climate crisis. Catholic Climate Covenant has prepared a petition to be delivered to the President shortly after the inauguration that calls upon our next president to honor our international commitments and to act to solve the climate crisis. Learn more. As Catholics, we recognize our responsibility to advocate on behalf of creation and the poor. Our advocacy is now more important than ever. Share this electronic link with friends and family, on social media, and in your parish bulletin. Use the paper version to collect signatures after Mass or during other church or school events. For more ideas about how to promote the petition download this toolkit.  

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Integrity of Creation              

Climate Change Canada         
At the COP21 climate change talks, Canada joined the global community in setting a course for international climate action with the adoption of the Paris Agreement. Now, Canada's climate target is backed by an actual plan. And this plan is supported by (almost) all of the provincial and territorial premiers. Unfortunately, however, that's about where the good news ends. Learn more at Climate Change Canada.

 
 
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Integrity of Creation            

Climate Accountability Scorecard         
An in-depth analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) of eight leading fossil fuel companies found significant variations in how they are addressing global warming, and contends that none of them have made a clean break from disinformation on climate science and policy. The Climate Accountability Scorecard, an in-depth analysis of eight leading fossil fuel companies, ranks them on their climate change actions and urges specific, immediate steps they can take to improve. The intent is to help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future by equipping the media, investors, policy makers, and consumers with tools to assess companies' current performance and urge immediate action. Learn more/read report.      
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Integrity of Creation            

National Bird Day - January 5             
National Bird Day aims to raise awareness of the plights faced by common and rare birds due to disease, environmental factors, illegal trade and captivity. Birds are a barometer of the health of the ecosystem as well as an alert system for detecting global environmental ills. It is estimated that nearly 12% of the world's 9,800 bird species may face extinction within the next century. The UN SDG 15 focuses on promoting conservation and preserving diverse forms of life. On Bird Day let us take action to protect and prevent the extinction of birds that have long been a source of human inspiration. Click here to learn about birds near you. More information/ideas

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Human Life and Dignity               

January is Poverty Awareness Month   Over 40 million people in the U.S. live in poverty. During Poverty Awareness Month, join the Catholic Community throughout the U.S. in taking up Pope Francis' challenge to live in solidarity with the poor. Consider making two commitments this month to help address poverty in your community. Utilize this calendar and these longer daily reflections to encourage reflection and inspire action.

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Human Life and Dignity               

Human Trafficking Awareness Month
Because modern-day slavery is a global tragedy, combating it requires international action. Slavery tears at our social fabric, fuels violence and organized crime, and debases our common humanity. "As we work to dismantle trafficking networks and help survivors rebuild their lives, we must also address the underlying forces that push so many into bondage. We must develop economies that create legitimate jobs, build a global sense of justice that says no child should ever be exploited, and empower our daughters and sons with the same chances to pursue their dreams. This month, I call on every nation, every community, and every individual to fight human trafficking wherever it exists. Let us declare as one that slavery has no place in our world, and let us finally restore to all people the most basic rights of freedom, dignity, and justice." - President Obama. Prayer service, new global report of trafficking, interfaith toolkit, additional resources for reflection and action
 
Human Life and Dignity               

World Day of Migrants and Refugees in Canada/National Migration Week in U.S.          
For nearly a half century in January, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week (Jan 8-14) and Canada has celebrated World Day of Migrants and Refugees (Jan 19). These celebrations give us an opportunity to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children, and victims and survivors of human trafficking. The theme for National Migration Week 2017 draws attention to Pope Francis' call to create a culture of encounter, and in doing so to look beyond our own needs and wants to those of others around us. Learn more, take action.
  
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Human Life and Dignity               

Martin Luther King, Jr Day -   January 16    
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the most influential men of our times. His life and ministry continue to remind our nation and the world that the acts of injustice we confront daily require the faith-guided engagement of our heads, hands and hearts. He wrote many prayers as well as sermons and speeches. This prayer service, based on several of his prayers, offers opportunity for reflection and suggestions for faith in action.
                           
Human Life and Dignity               

Prayer Vigil for Life           
January 23 is designated by the Church as a day of prayer for the legal protection of unborn children. January 26-27 is the national Prayer Vigil for Life, focused on ending abortion and greater respect for all human life. "A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life....from the heart of every believer." - Pope Saint John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 100. May we expand that prayer to include all of life, from womb to tomb, and all creation, too.
Peace and Non-Violence              

World Day of Peace PeaceMessage          
In his message for the 50th World Day of Peace entitled Non-Violence: A Style of Politics for Peace, Pope Francis urges families, faith communities, government leaders, and the international community to practice nonviolence and work to build a just peace. Gospel nonviolence is not passive; it entails active strategies such as peacebuilding, conflict transformation, and restorative justice. Artisans of Peace poem, theological reflection resource, peace toolbox. Use the World Day of Peace handout ( en español) to reflect on how you can model and teach non-violence in your family, faith community, school, or workplace.
                      
Peace and Non-Violence              

Guantánamo Bay - January 11    
Well over a decade has passed since the first prisoner arrived, making it the longest-standing war prison in U.S. history. Learn more. An update on the current status of the Guantánamo and those imprisoned there can be found here. Prayer resource.
                              
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Peace and Non-Violence              

Circle the Cities with Love -       January 15      
At this time when there seems to be so little peace on Earth, we invite you to participate in an effort to Circle the Cities with Love. On Sunday, January 15, from 3-3:30 pm (Eastern), people throughout the world will observe a time of silent meditation embodying the power of love to bring healing, peace and justice to our cities, our countries and our world. See this document for details on how this can be carried out, but feel free to adapt to fit your own circumstances.
                      
Peace and Non-Violence              

Religious Freedom Day     
Religious Freedom Day is celebrated in United States on January 16 and internationally on October 27. Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right that protects the conscience of all people. It allows us to think, express and act upon what we deeply believe. But around the world, and even in the United States, this freedom is eroding. Learn more here and here.
                              
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Peace and Non-Violence              

Inauguration Day - January 20       
The politics going on now are beyond our control, but we can control what we do with our own faith and our own actions. Rather than just watching and grieving for what may happen to many of the marginalized, consider taking the Matthew 25 pledge - one sentence which says, I pledge to protect and defend vulnerable people in the name of Jesus. Also consider the power of prayer.


                      

The SSND International Shalom Network witnesses to the Gospel with audacity and hope as we collaborate to build just relationships and respond to the urgent needs of our times. 

Shalom LogoShalom News North America is an e-publication of the Shalom North America Contacts (SNAC) of the School Sisters of Notre Dame - Arlene Flaherty, Allyn Horton, Ethel Howley, Jeanne Wingenter, Rose Mary Sander, and Tim Dewane. Your comments, suggestions, and feedback are always welcomed. Email us at tdewane@ssndcp.org.

Please only print this e-publication if necessary.