VeryTopShalom News North America  

An instrument of hope, formation, and action

concerning priority matters of social justice.

In This Issue
Season of Creation
Clean Up the World
Mining Justice
Labor Day
Seeing God in Others
DREAMers at Risk
Asylum in Canada
Hispanic Heritage
Human Trafficking
Racism, Peace in Our Communities
Remembering 9/11
International Day of Peace
Nuclear Weapons
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Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by Hurricane Harvey and the related rain and flooding. So much destruction and loss, yet so many heart-warming accounts as well. May the stories of hope and hardship inspire us to do all we can to care for one another and all of God's creation.   
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Integrity of Creation              

Season of Creation (9/1-10/4)    
Beginning on September 1 (World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation) and continuing through October 4 (Feast of St. Francis of Assisi), Christians around the world are invited to participate in a special season of caring and praying for creation. Symbolic actions and prayer services are being planned worldwide including an indigenous water walk in Toronto, a sister-led protest and vigil at a radioactive landfill in Missouri, and more. Find an event near you. Consider making use of this Laudato Si' Reflections and Action Calendar and the four-part series of prayer services - Finding God in the Wilderness (for use on the Sundays between 9/1and 10/4). Visit Season of Creation to learn more.   

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Integrity of Creation              

Clean Up the World Weekend (9/15-9/17)            
Clean Up the World focuses public attention on global community concerns for the environment and how each individual can make a positive contribution to a healthier world. Engaging an estimated 35 million volunteers in 130 countries each year, the initiative is one of the largest community based environmental campaigns in the world. Learn more, take action.
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Integrity of Creation            

The CCCB Calls on Prime Minister to Act for Mining Justice            
The President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to express concern over the environmental degradation and human rights violations caused by Canadian extractive companies operating on Indigenous lands in Latin America and asks the Prime Minister to respect his electoral promise to create an ombudsperson. Learn more.            
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Human Life and Dignity               

Labor Day (9/4)        
"Person and work are two words that can and must stand together. Because if we think and talk about 'work' without the 'person,' work ends up becoming something inhuman which, in forgetting people, also forgets and loses itself. But if we think of a person without work, we are talking about something partial, incomplete.... A person flourishes in work." (Pope Francis) Labor Day should mean more than the third day of a long weekend. It should be celebrated as a reminder that humans, "created in the image of God, share by their work in the activity of the creator." (St. Pope John Paul II) Resources for prayer and reflection
Human Life and Dignity               

NAFTA Renegotiations               
As the U.S., Canada, and Mexico engage in renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it is imperative that we insist that negotiations are made as transparent as possible. "Too many trade agreements undermine protections for poor communities, local labor standards and environmental laws," emphasized Eric LeCompte, Jubilee USA Director. "New NAFTA negotiations must ensure that protections are in place for vulnerable communities." Making the negotiations more transparent is crucial to keeping parties accountable to all segments of society. Summary, updates, videos on water, corporate power, and energy concerns. Take action - Canada, United States.


Human Life and Dignity              

Literacy in a Digital World      
This year, International Literacy Day (September 8) will be celebrated across the world under the theme of 'Literacy in a digital world'. The day will highlight the challenges and opportunities in promoting literacy in the digital world, a world where, despite progress, at least 750 million adults and 264 million out-of-school children still lack basic literacy skills. Learn more, take action.

Human Life and Dignity              

Seeing God in Others      
Jean Vanier, CC, GOQ, born September 10, 1928, is a Canadian Catholic philosopher, theologian, and humanitarian. In 1964 he founded L'Arche, an international federation of communities spread over 37 countries, for people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them. Enjoy Vanier's reflection on Seeing God in Others.

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Human Life and Dignity               

Dreamers at Risk - Act Now         
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects nearly 800,000 young people (DREAMers) from deportation and provides them work authorization, is under immediate and existential attack. Ten attorneys general are threatening to sue President Trump if he doesn't end DACA by September 5. It is more important than ever to demonstrate faith support for DREAMers. Here are five ways you can take action today to help keep the DACA program intact.

Human Life and Dignity              

Seeking Asylum in Canada       
Canada is experiencing an 'unprecedented' surge in asylum seekers. For many of the thousands of migrants making their way into Canada illegally near the Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec border crossing, setting foot on Canadian soil is just the first step in the process to gain the right to stay legally. Learn more.

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Human Life and Dignity               

National Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15-10/15)          
Poet Audre Lorde, in discussing differences between us in terms of ethnicity, race, etc. says, "It's not those differences that are separating us. It is our refusal to recognize those differences and to examine the distortions which result from our misnaming them." How can affirming and celebrating differences help us grow as individuals and as community? Resources for prayer and reflection.

Human Life and Dignity              

U.S. Human Trafficking Legislative Update        
The major federal law that provides the foundation of U.S. anti-human trafficking efforts is known as the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). This keystone legislation must be re-authorized this year. The good news? On July 12, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the TVPA. Now it's the Senate's turn. Learn more/urge the Senate to take action. Other anti-human trafficking legislation you should know about and encourage Congress to act upon - the SOAR Act which funds training of healthcare workers and these two bills to help fight sex trafficking.

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Human Dignity, Peace and Non-Violence              

Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities (9/9)   
In light of continuing incidents of violence and racial tension in communities across the United States, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has once again invited all dioceses across the country to unite in a Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities on September 9, the feast of St. Peter Claver. Resources for reflection, prayer, and other action.
Peace and Non-Violence              

Remembering 9/11 
Sixteen years ago we were awakened in a very startling way to the evil of terrorism. The question most asked in such violent attacks is Why did this happen? Maybe it's a perceived social, economic or political unfairness, an objection to foreign policy, maybe a radical interpretation of religious or prophetic scriptures; but it is often hard to narrow it down to one specific cause and how to respond in a way that does not add to the cycle of violence. An insightful article for your reflection.
Peace and Non-Violence              

International Day of Peace (9/21)  
The International Day of Peace, observed every year on September 21, embodies our shared aspiration to end the needless suffering caused by armed conflict. Yet there is more to achieving peace than laying down weapons. True peace requires building bridges, combating discrimination and standing up for the human rights of all the world's people. This year's theme for the International Day of Peace is: " Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All", focusing in particular on the plight of refugees and migrants throughout the world. Today, SSNDs come together to acknowledge their obligation within this changing world "to intensify [their] efforts to witness to unity in a divided world while addressing these divisions with audacity and hope." Learn more, reflection resource, other resources.
Peace and Non-Violence              

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (9/26) 

Achieving global nuclear disarmament is one of the oldest goals of the United Nations. It was the subject of the General Assembly's first resolution in 1946. Finally a few weeks ago, for the first time in the seven-decade effort to avert a nuclear war, a global treaty was negotiated that proponents say would, if successful, lead to the destruction of all nuclear weapons and forever prohibit their use. It will be open for signature by any member state starting on September 20 and would enter into legal force 90 days after being ratified by 50 countries. Canada, as well as all of the countries known or believed to possess nuclear weapons (including the U.S.) did not support the treaty. Learn more. Take action - urge your U.N. Ambassador to sign the agreement (Canada - Marc-André Blanchard, U.S. - Nikki Haley).

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, Ethel Howley, Jeanne Wingenter, Rose Mary Sander, and Tim Dewane. Your comments, suggestions, and feedback are always welcomed. Email us at

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