The photo above is from the Trappists' Latroun Abbey in Israel.

May 19, 2021
The headlines of late toggle between news of destruction and calls for peace. As world leaders pursue diplomacy and humanitarian workers come alongside the wounded in the Holy Land, we pray for the suffering, for those who have lost family, and for those who are displaced.

Using the words of a prayer by Catholic Relief Services, and through the intercession of Mary, Queen of Peace, we pray for God’s healing and presence as “a sure support for those who work toward reconciliation.”  
Pope Francis calls for a cease-fire in the Holy Land

On Sunday, Pope Francis called for a cease-fire in the conflict unfolding in Gaza and Israel.
America Magazine reports that the Holy Father condemned the violence and loss of life and asserted, “Numerous persons have been injured, and many innocent people have died—among them also children, and this is terrible and unacceptable. Their death is a sign that there is not the will to build the future but the [will] to destroy it.”
According to Vatican News, he is urging dialogue among leaders and asking all people of faith to pray for peace. 

(Photo above taken at Dominus Flevit, a Franciscan church on Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem)
Catholic leaders and scientists call for reduction in nuclear threat

In a recent statement released by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a group of concerned Catholics and scientists urged global leaders to consider the devastating humanitarian and ecological consequences of the production and use of nuclear weapons.
Signers included Most Reverend John Stowe, OFM Conv., Bishop of Lexington, Bishop President, Pax Christi USA; and Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark. They cautioned that testing and production of these weapons has killed or impaired the health of many thousands and that spending on nuclear weapons diverts scarce resources from programs that improve human health and security. The statement names specific actions that the Biden Administration could take to pursue a robust disarmament agenda. 
CDF urges U.S. bishops to strive for unity with regard to communion statement  

According to Vatican News, the “Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Luis F. Ladaria, SJ., has sent a letter to the president of the US Bishops Conference, Archbishop José Gomez, concerning moves by the conference to formulate a national policy regarding admission to Communion for Catholics in public office who support legislation permitting abortion, euthanasia or other moral evils.”
The article summarizes the recent correspondence and past doctrinal notes about Catholic legislators who support legislation that is not in keeping with Church teaching. The CDF urges unity and dialogue in these efforts as well as consistency across moral and social teaching of the Church.
Caritas Internationalis, which responds to disasters, promotes integral human development and advocates on the causes of poverty and conflict, is launching a special appeal to bring medical care to the population affected by the ongoing shelling in Gaza.
Sr. Bridget Tighe, Secretary General of Caritas Jerusalem, explains, “The people of Gaza have lived through many wars over many years, but everyone agrees that this time it is completely different. They are trapped in this densely populated strip of land at the mercy of intense air bombardment with nowhere to flee for safety.”
Financial support is needed to fund food distribution, trauma care, and other basic outreach when there is a pause in the shelling. You can find the details of the campaign appeal here
Jesuit Parishes Working for Racial Justice

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the murder of Mr. George Floyd, some men’s religious communities are taking account of how their congregations and parishes are working for racial justice. Ignatian Solidarity Network offers this review of actions in Jesuit parishes across the country. From small group discussions to skill building presentations, the Parish Journey for Racial Justice and Equity has begun to yield fruit, individually and collectively. You can follow this effort, and perhaps adapt resources for your own parishes or groups, by signing up for their mailing list here.
Week Includes Launch of Laudato Si' Action Platform
Sowing Hope for the Planet / Creation Care Prayer Network
Thursday, May 20, 9 a.m. New York / 2 p.m. Rome
Eco-spirituality brings hope to a troubled world. Please join us for an opportunity to share in the fruitfulness of the work of Sowing Hope for the Planet. In this session, we will journey with men and women religious engaged in promoting Laudato Si'. We will celebrate stories of ecological conversion, both personal and communal. Examples of integrating conscious prayer and sacred action will be shared. During the event, the Creation Care Prayer Network will be presented and promoted.

  • Speakers and Moderators: Sheila Kinsey, FCJM, and Alberto Parise, MCCJ; Sr. Jyotisha Kannamkal, SND (India); Sr Leetta Hammock, SSND (Paraguay); Sr. Beatrice Hernandez, OSF (USA); Fr. Edwin Borlasa, MSC (Philippines); Christina Leaño, GCCM (USA)
Laudato Si’ Action Platform Launches
Tuesday, May 25, 5 a.m. New York / 11 a.m. Rome

The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development officially launches the Laudato Si’ Action Platform – a dynamic digital space for the seven-year journey of sustainability across seven sectors and encompassing seven goals. RSVP here for the digital event that will be livestreamed on YouTube.
Justice for Immigrants – First Hundred Days Assessment

As Catholics, we believe that every person has the right to a safe and dignified life. While the Catholic Church recognizes the right of nations to maintain their borders, it equally affirms the right to migrate and the need for fair, orderly, and stable legal pathways. The work of Justice for Immigrants (JFI) members is inspired by and conducted in light of these teachings. The coalition welcomes many of the migration-related executive actions taken by the Biden Administration in its first 100 days.
Several of the recommendations put forth by the coalition prior to Inauguration Day have been realized, but there is still much that remains to be done in order to improve and modernize our immigration system. Cooperation with Congress is also necessary to achieve the full range of reforms needed. You can find the results of that effort here to use in visits with elected officials and to guide your JPIC conversations around migration issues. 
Portraits and short biographies of Black Catholics rising to sainthood

The National Black Catholic Congress offers small digital images of Venerable Pierre Toussaint, Venerable Henriette Delille, Venerable Father Augustus Tolton, Servant of God Mother Mary Lange, Servant of God Julia Greeley, and Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman as well as links to their causes for sainthood. This resource is a valuable tool for teaching, prayer, and reflection. 

  • May 30 | Most Holy Trinity - Trinitarian Brother John Skrodinsky, ST shares a prayer for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity that exhorts us to take active measures in matters of justice, peace and integrity of creation. 

You can access the lectionary reflections each week at These resources are posted as they are available.

Bethany Welch, Ph.D., CMSM Fellow for Justice and Peace
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