VeryTopShalom News North America  

An instrument of hope, formation, and action

concerning priority matters of social justice.

In This Issue
World's Largest Marine Reserve
SDG #11 - Sustainable Cities
Climate Change
Preventing Exploitation of the Environment
Every Last Girl
Trafficking Survivors
Dignity for Garment Workers
Buy Nothing Day
End Gender Violence
Catholic Social Teaching
St. Martin de Porres and Dorothy Day
Thomas Berry
Remembrance Day
Tolerance
Nuclear Weapons
Looking Ahead to December
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November/2016
         
 
 
Election day is fast approaching for our sisters and brothers in the United States.  Let us pray that the tumult and divisiveness prevalent in this year's campaign give way to a genuine commitment to building unity and promoting the common good.

Pope Francis has urged us to "never tire" of working for solidarity and a more just world. Thank you for all you have done and for all you continue to do to make a difference in our world in the SSND spirit of Shalom.  
            
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Integrity of Creation              

Nations Agree to Establish World's Largest Marine Reserve      
After years of negotiations, twenty-four countries and the European Union have reached an agreement to establish the world's largest marine sanctuary in Antarctica's Ross Sea. Known as the polar Garden of Eden, "The Ross Sea is widely considered to be the last great wilderness area on Earth," according to a statement from the UN's Environment Program. Learn more.                    
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Integrity of Creation              

Helping Cities Become More Sustainable        
A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine offers a road map and recommendations to help cities work toward sustainability, measurably improving their residents' economic, social, and environmental well-being. With over half the world population now living in cities, mass transport and renewable energy are becoming ever more important. Sustainable Development Goal #11 is focused on making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Learn more. Consider this reflection on Laudato Si' and the importance of sustainable urban planning.

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Integrity of Creation            

What Climate Change Means for Your State           
The EPA has released a series of fact sheets " What Climate Change Means for Your State" focusing on the impacts of climate change in each of the 50 states and the territories of Guam and Puerto Rico. Increased rainfall intensity will cause more flooding in some states, while increasingly severe droughts may threaten water supplies in other states. How will climate change impact your area?  After you've taken time to reflect on this information, we encourage you to take action. (After the election, Catholic Climate Covenant staff will deliver the petition to Congress urging action before the end of the year.)

 
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Integrity of Creation            

International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War (11/6)            
The environment remains war's "silent casualty". The environment is damaged through all stages from production of weapons, through preparations for war, to combat. The environment is damaged directly from bombs and associated destruction, or indirectly by looting and coping strategies of people, or from the decay and breakdown of institutions and lack of governance.

"On this international day, let us reaffirm our commitment to protect the environment from the impacts of war, and to prevent future conflicts over natural resources." - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Learn more.

Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives 
Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives
  
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Human Life and Dignity               

Every Last Girl           
Every seven seconds, a girl under age 15 is married according to the report Every Last Girl by Save the Children. Becoming a child bride is one factor that greatly affects the future of women and girls around the world. The report ranks 144 countries from the best to the worst place to be a girl. The listing is based on a variety of factors including child marriage, schooling, teen pregnancy, maternal deaths and presence of female lawmakers. Learn more.

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Human Life and Dignity               

Human Trafficking Survivors Recommend Policy Changes
The U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, which is made up of 11 trafficking survivors, has issued its inaugural report offering 15 policy recommendations on five topics, ranging from seeking and allocating grant funding for survivor services to training law enforcement agents to recognize the signs of human trafficking.  The Council provides a formal platform for trafficking survivors to advise and make recommendations on federal anti-trafficking policies. Learn more. A bill to clear human trafficking survivor criminal records has been introduced in Congress. Learn more, take action
 
Human Life and Dignity               

Support Dignity and Living Wage for Garment Workers         
All too often the compensation garment workers receive for a hard day's work barely lifts them out of desperation and into subsistence poverty. Workers who make our clothing deserve wages that will support them and their families to live a life with dignity. No major retail chain in the U.S. sells clothing that includes a fair trade type certification verifying that garment workers are properly compensated and the environment respected. Perhaps we can change that. Between now and Black Friday (November 25), we invite you to support the Human Thread Campaign to send postcards to the CEOs of Macy's and Kohl's in support of a living wage at the sites where our clothes are made. Learn more, take action.

 







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Human Life and Dignity               

Buy Nothing Day - November 25      
In Laudato Si', Pope Francis highlights the dangers of extreme consumerism, noting that people can easily get caught up in a whirlwind of needless buying and spending (216).  He notes that obsession with a consumerist lifestyle, especially when few people are capable of maintaining it, leads to violence and mutual destruction (204).  One simple way to tap down extreme consumerism this holiday season is to observe Buy Nothing Day. Learn more.
                           
Human Life and Dignity               

Take Action to End Violence Against Women and Girls           
Up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime. The UN General Assembly designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to raise awareness of the enduring epidemic of gender-based violence. The day also marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, a global effort to galvanize action, culminating in the observance of Human Rights Day on December 10. Learn more/take action. Prayer resource.

 
 
   
Peace and Non-Violence              

Church's Best Kept Secrets        
November gives us the opportunity to review some of the pastoral letters on Catholic Social Teaching issues related to economic justice, racism, poverty, and the criminal justice system.  Because of some perceptions that they, and other pastorals, have not been well-promulgated by the clergy, they are often called the Church's best kept secrets. Spread the good news!  The 5th video in the Catholic Social Teaching 101 video series, on Rights and Responsibilities, is now available. The video series is a joint collaboration of the USCCB and Catholic Relief Services. Other videos in the series include: Life and Dignity; Call to Family, Community and Participation; Option for the Poor and Vulnerable; and Care for God's Creation.
                      
Peace and Non-Violence              

Remembering St. Martin de Porres (11/3) and Dorothy Day (11/8)      
Let us take time this week to reflect on St. Martin de Porres and pray for racial justice and improved race relations. Reflection resource. As Pope Francis renews the church's focus on the Option for the Poor and on personal encounters with those in poverty, Dorothy Day's life and mission continues to be relevant as well. She remains an inspiration and a challenge to all who profess to be Christians. Learn more. Prayer resource.
                              
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Peace and Non-Violence              

Remembering Thomas Berry (11/9)        
Thomas Berry was a Catholic priest of the Passionist order, cultural historian and ecotheologian (although geologian - or "Earth scholar" - were his preferred descriptors). Among advocates of "ecospirituality" and the "New Story," Berry believed that humanity is poised to embrace a new role as a vital part of a larger, interdependent "communion of subjects" on Earth and in the universe.  Learn more.  Through this prayer resource, participants are challenged to think more deeply about the environment and our role within our sacred universe.
                      
Peace and Non-Violence              

Remembrance Day (11/11) - First Nation Veterans      
On November 11, we take time to honor veterans and thank them and their families for their sacrifices. At this time in Canadian history we are acutely aware of the 24,000 First Nations men and women who volunteered for service in WWI and WWII and the 500 who gave their life for our freedom. Learn more.


                              
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Peace and Non-Violence              

International Day of Tolerance (11/16)      
Tolerance is defined as the willingness to accept feelings, habits or beliefs that are different from our own.  As we commemorate the International Day of Tolerance, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reminds us to "recognize the mounting threat posed by those who strive to divide, and let us pledge to forge a path defined by dialogue, social cohesion and mutual understanding."  Very fitting given the nature of political discourse these days! This prayer for peace and tolerance reminds us to take heed of Pope Francis's words on accepting all people as children of God, regardless of faith, ethnicity, or social status.                               
Peace and Non-Violence              

UN General Assembly to Vote on Nuclear Weapons Ban   
The UN Disarmament and International Security Committee has approved a resolution that mandates the creation of a legally binding treaty on banning nuclear weapons. The U.S., Russia, Israel, France and the United Kingdom were among those that opposed the measure. The resolution, which calls for a conference in March 2017 to negotiate a "legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination", will go before the General Assembly in December. Learn more.
   
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Looking Ahead...December              

        
 






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.

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