Shalom News North America  
An instrument of hope, formation, and action
concerning priority matters of social justice.

In This Issue
Holy Week

Climate Crisis

Environmental Racism

Carbon Tax

Earth Day

Exploring Intersections

Laudato Si' +5


Racial Justice

For the People


Blessing Same Sex Unions

Day of Silence


Gun Violence

Global Ceasefire
Dear Friend,         
"We work actively, especially in our local situations, to eliminate the root causes of injustice in order to realize a world of peace, justice, and love." (You Are Sent, SSND Constitution #17) 

Thank you for all you do to promote justice, peace, and care for all God's creation during these challenging times. (Click here for a pdf version of this newsletter.) 

May you enjoy a blessed Holy Week.

Shalom North America Contacts

Integrity of Creation  
Holy Week
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Pax Christi International, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, and other Washington-based Catholic groups invite us to join them in a Virtual Way of the Cross for Economic and Ecological Justice on Good Friday, April 2 at 11 am (Central). Click here to register via zoom, otherwise you can watch the presentation live here on YouTube. You can download a pdf of the prayer service here. Another Stations of the Cross prayer resource you might appreciate - Black Catholic Women Give Witness.

Integrity of Creation  
The Human Face of Our Climate Crisis    
In the preface to the new booklet Pastoral Orientations on Climate Displaced People, Pope Francis says that “Those driven from their homes by the climate crisis need to be welcomed, protected, promoted and integrated. . . .We are not going to get out of crises like climate or COVID-19 by hunkering down in individualism but only by “being many together”, by encounter and dialogue and cooperation." Published by the Vatican's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, the pamphlet serves as a guide to the Church’s response to the phenomenon of migration caused by the climate crisis. Learn more.
Integrity of Creation  
Environmental Racism - Canada   
Environmental racism refers to neighborhoods that are populated primarily by people of color and members of low-socioeconomic backgrounds who are burdened with a disproportionate number of environmental hazards including toxic waste facilities, garbage dumps, and other sources of environmental pollutions. Learn more. Tell Canadian leaders to take steps to redress environmental racism - learn more/take action.

Integrity of Creation  
Environmental Racism - United States
Over the past several decades, a growing body of research and empirical evidence has acknowledged that communities of color in the United States have born a disproportionate share of environmental and health risks. Race, in the United States, is a predictor of dangerous levels of exposure to many environmental hazards such as lead poisoning, water pollution, toxic air, polluted landfills, and waste incineration plants. Take a few minutes to view this informative video/interview about environmental racism. Review this Ecumenical Study Guide on Environmental RacismShare this article, What is Environmental Racism, with a friend.
Integrity of Creation  
Canada's Supreme Court Rules Carbon Tax is Constitutional      
Canada’s Supreme Court ruled that the federal government’s carbon tax law was constitutional because reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a matter of national concern, and the law is focused on that narrow purpose while still giving provinces the ability to legislate their own solutions. “The evidence clearly shows that establishing minimum national standards of GHG price stringency to reduce GHG emissions is of concern to Canada as a whole,” the majority decision stated. “This matter is critical to our response to an existential threat to human life in Canada and around the world. . . . Climate change is real. It is caused by greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activities and it poses a grave threat to humanity’s future.” Learn more.

The concept of carbon pricing has been widely endorsed by economists, and according to the World Bank, some form of it has been carried out or is in development in 64 countries, either through direct taxes on fossil fuels or through cap-and-trade programs. Learn more.
Integrity of Creation  
Earth Day (4/22)
The Shalom North American contacts invite you to join with sisters, associates and friends from throughout North America (and beyond) for an inspiring SSND Earth Day reflection, Journey to the Heart: Falling in Love with Earth, led by S. Sharon Zayac, OP. This special Zoom gathering will be held on April 22 from 2 - 3 pm (Central). No advance registration is required to attend. Click here to download a flyer with all the details. Catholic Climate Covenant has announced their 2021 Earth Day programRestore Our Common Home is now available. The free one-hour educational program is intended for Earth Day (April 22), the 6th anniversary of Laudato Si’ (May 16-24), or whenever works for you.
Integrity of Creation  
Racism, Migration and Climate
The School Sisters of Notre Dame are proud collaborators on the initiative, Exploring Intersections: Catholic Sisters on Racism, Migration and Climate, a collaborative project of LCWR Region 10. Each month, a different social issue is considered, exploring how it intersects with racism, migration and climate in a thought-provoking and engaging conversation. The focus for April 14 webinar will be care of creation. Webinars are offered the second Wednesday of the month at 3 pm (Central) - all are welcomed to attend! Click here for a listing of topics by date and here to register to participate.
Integrity of Creation  
Laudato Si' +5: See, Judge, Act
This film revisits the 2015 Papal Encyclical Laudato Si’ with an update on the global climate crisis as well as an exploration of the impact of the loss of biodiversity and the emergence of COVID-19. Following the three step see, judge, act methodology from Catholic Social Teaching, the film explores the issues of Water, Global Warming and Loss of Biodiversity with Fr. Joshtrom Kureethadam, a cosmologist in Rome, Leonardo Boff, well known Liberation Theologian in Brazil and Canadian activists like Maude Barlow and Catherine Abreu. The film is designed as an educational primer for parishes, high school and university programs concerned with the Global Climate Crisis.
Human Life and Dignity
In the United States, the Biden Administration’s efforts to recognize the humanity of migrant people offers hope to those who have been desperate to find a place to live in peace, and this seems to be contributing to an increase in the number of migrants seeking entry. In February, border patrol agents encountered more than 100,000 migrants who crossed the border without documentation—this is the highest recorded number since 2019. Many of these migrants are children without a legal guardian present. Health and Human Services/Administration for Children and Families has asked Catholic Charities to take the lead on providing care and accompaniment of thousands of unaccompanied children at the southern border. Contact Catholic Charities to make a donation or to explore volunteering. Join Catholic Relief Services for a webinar addressing migration push factors on April 15 from 3 pm – 4 pm (Eastern) – learn more/register here. Click here to urge support for the Central American Women and Children Projection Act.
Human Life and Dignity
House Passes Immigration-Related Bills
On March 18, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills that would create a pathway to citizenship for individuals who came to the United States as children, Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, and migrant farmworkers. If passed by the Senate, the Dream and Promise Act of 2021 and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021 would provide a pathway to citizenship for approximately 5 million people. The USCCB released a statement welcoming the action from the House and urging "swift Senate action." Let your voice be heard! Use the SSND Voter Voice tool to urge the Senate to take action.
Human Life and Dignity
Racial Justice & Workplace Equity Scorecards
As You Sow has released two S&P500 scorecards — one assessing companies on racial justice and the other on workplace equity disclosures. The data includes 22 key performance indicators on racial justice and 31 key performance indicators on workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) disclosure. “The only way to end corporate complicity in systemic racism is to confront it head-on,” said Olivia Knight, As You Sow’s racial justice initiative coordinator. “Our goal in releasing the racial justice scorecard is to provide a helping hand to get companies on the path to end systemic racism, starting with the corporate sector.” Learn more, watch this video
Human Life and Dignity
For the People Act
As many as 250 new laws have been proposed in 43 states to limit mail, early in-person and Election Day voting. Safeguarding elections is one thing. Putting up unnecessary barriers to voting that disproportionately impacts the poor, elderly, and communities of color, is another. Thankfully, there’s something we can do. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the For the People Act - a once in a generation democracy reform bill that would protect and expand our right to vote, end partisan and racial gerrymandering, get dark money out of politics, and restore transparency and accountability in our government. Now it’s the Senate’s turn to act! Call (1-888-885-1748) or email your Senators and let your voice be heard. 
Human Life and Dignity
World Immunization Week (4/24 - 4/30)
World Immunization Week highlights the goal of having more people – and their communities – protected from COVID-19 and other vaccine-preventable diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) works with countries across the globe to raise awareness of the value of vaccines and immunizations, especially during this year’s pandemic.  WHO enables governments to obtain the necessary guidance and technical support to implement high quality immunization programs. Download this Care for the Vulnerable and COVID-19 prayer/resource packet.

Human Life and Dignity
Blessing the Unions of Same Sex Couples
The Responsum from the Vatican regarding the question of the blessing of the unions of persons of the same sex has sent shock waves through the Catholic and non-Catholic world. Many have assumed Pope Francis’ openness to gay unions based on a 2014 interview in which he said that secular states could seek to “justify civil unions to regulate various situations of coexistence, driven by the demand to regulate economic aspects among people, such as ensuring health care.” Therefore, it has been understandably confusing, if not shocking, to hear in the words “God does not and cannot bless sin,” the Vatican’s unequivocal moral assessment of LGBTQ relationships. For Catholic reactions to the ban click here.

Human Life and Dignity
Day of Silence (4/23)
The Day of Silence is GLSEN's annual day of action to spread awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment of lesbiangaybisexualtransgenderqueer, and questioning (LGBTQ) students. In the United States, students take a day-long vow of silence to symbolically represent the silencing of LGBTQ students. This year the day will be observed on Friday, April 23. Students are encouraged to obtain permission from their school before organizing the event. Learn more.

Peace and Non-Violence
Urge Congress to Address Hate in America
In March 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, we witnessed an alarming spike in the spread of disinformation about and harassment of the Asian-American community. A year later, crimes targeting Asians continue to soar. According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, anti-Asian hate rose by nearly 150% since March of 2020. On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Atlanta, a gunman killed eight people, including six Asian-American women. Read LCWR’s statement here. Crimes motivated by hatred toward a victim’s real or perceived race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability must be recognized and addressed. Click here to learn more/urge Congress to take action.
Peace and Non-Violence
Take Action to Help Prevent Gun Violence
The recent mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado left a total of eighteen people dead. As Bishop Mark Seitz has stated previously, “The never-ending mass shootings leave us feeling dazed, wounded, fearful and helpless.” Certainly something can be done to help curtail these shootings. Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 (H.R. 8), which would close current loopholes that allow people to purchase guns in private sales and at gun shows without undergoing a background check. Now is the time for the U.S. Senate to bring its version of this legislation to the floor for a vote. Let your voice be heard! Send an email to your Senators using the SSND Voter Voice tool.
Peace and Non-Violence
Vatican Initiative Promotes Global Ceasefire
"Advancing integral disarmament in times of pandemic" is the title of a series of online events that aim to reflect on the need to stop weapons production and proliferation in support of Pope Francis’ and the United Nations’ call for a global ceasefire. Organized by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the Vatican Covid-19 Commission, the initiative explores concrete methods to pursue disarmaments and highlights the role of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. Learn more, watch video presentations.

Quick Links
The SSND 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 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, Kathleen Bonnette, Rose Mary Sander, and Tim Dewane. Your comments, suggestions, and feedback are always welcomed. Email us at

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