Continuing our Commitment to Authentic Change

Earlier this month, CMSM members and observers gathered for our annual National Assembly. Under the theme, “Repentance and Reconciliation: Taking Action to Transform the World,” Sulpician Father Tom Ulshafer and New Orleans Auxiliary Bishop Fernand Cheri III, OFM, spoke about the historic and current experience of racism in the Church. You can view their presentations here, and read the Conference of Major Superiors of Men statement on racial justice here.

Facilitation and reflection at the assembly was provided Br. Ernest J. Miller, FSC, D. Min. who offered recommendations to the participants for further reading to deepen understanding, including the following:

If there is interest in convening a virtual discussion group on one of these readings, please email Justice and Peace Fellow Bethany Welch:
Then-Archbishop Patrick O'Boyle offers invocation at 1963 March on Washington (photo: Archdiocese of Washington)
Mass of Peace and Justice

The USCCB’s ad hoc committee on racism has a number of resources for those seeking to end racism and to act for change. The website, available here, highlights a Mass of Peace and Justice in honor of the 57th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.

The Mass, celebrated by Most Rev. Wilton D. Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, will be live-streamed on YouTube this Friday, August 28, 2020, 4 p.m. ET. The auxiliary bishops of Washington will concelebrate. The worship aid will be posted here.

Stay tuned for more details on a CMSM sponsored webinar titled “The Next Step: Beginning the Work of Implementing Antiracism Policies” to be offered in late October.
An Examen to Address Daily Racism

In a recent reflection, Patrick Saint-Jean, SJ, explained, “Now more than ever, I believe Ignatian spirituality is an important means to help each person who desires to live with justice, dignity and equality seek God in the midst of everything. Through this examen, we will start the work of antiracism by examining how systemic racism influences our lives and how we practice the sin of racism.”
You can find his examen and accompanying prayer here, which includes an audio component through the Jesuit podcast AMDG. Saint-Jean is a member of the Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus.
Virtual Prayer Vigils for Those Facing Execution

On July 14, 2020, the federal government restarted the practice of executions for the first time in 17 years. Over the span of four days, three men were put to death at the United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. The government is intensifying its execution campaign, with four executions scheduled for August and September. Catholic Mobilizing Network invites you to join in a series of Virtual Prayer Vigils lamenting the federal government's planned executions of Lezmond Mitchell and Keith Dwayne Nelson. Sign up here to attend.
Season of Creation Catholic Liturgy Guide

As summer fades to autumn, the 2020 Season of Creation liturgical guide invites communities to listen and reflect, to learn together through the process of dialogue and to walk humbly on new pathways of transformation as agents of God’s love, through the contents of the papal encyclical Laudato si’. These resources are brought to you by LISTEN - a global network of universities dedicated to bringing Laudato si’ to life and represents a collaboration with the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development during this Laudato si’ Special Anniversary Year.
from CMSM, members and collaborators
Advocacy and Messaging in an Election Year - Webinar
Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, 4 p.m. ET

Join CMSM staff as we explore how your institutes and ministries can thoughtfully communicate about pressing social issues and advance your advocacy goals in an election year context. We will discuss what is legally permissible, what is not permitted, and recommended practices for walking the line. Hear how you can make an impact on ballot measures without being partisan, how you can host or promote candidate forums, and how you can respond to candidates across local, state, and national elections. We will cover both the law and good practices. We’ll even touch on the basics of Tweeting!

FREE, but you do need to RSVP here for the Zoom link.
17th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference
Virtual - September 21-22, 2020 

This year's conference will address immigration, DACA, enforcement and other issues in advance of an upcoming general election. The conference is organized annually by the CLINIC, Migration Policy Institute and Georgetown University Law Center. Register here by Sept 15. $20 fee, virtual conference split between two afternoons, 2-5 p.m. ET.
Feast of St. Francis Webinar:
Today's Climate Call – Perspectives of Saint Francis & Pope Francis
September 23, 2020, 3 p.m. ET

Father Tom Nairn, OFM, Ph.D., provincial minister of the Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart, a Franciscan, ethicist and theologian, will reflect on today's climate realities and share insights from Saint Francis and the Cardinal who took his name, Pope Francis. He will highlight the life and ministry of Saint Francis, sharing how it might relate to today, as well as how Pope Francis' first encyclical, Laudato Si', and his comments during the pandemic, offer guidance for being in right relationship with our world and each other. He also will touch upon environmental ethical and justice issues the pandemic has created.

Register here. $100 fee for those who are not members of the Catholic Health Association.
Homily Resources


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