VeryTopShalom News North America  

An instrument of hope, formation, and action

concerning priority matters of social justice.

In This Issue
St. Kateri Tekakwitha
EPA Methane Rule
Paris Agreement
Laudato Si' Pledge
Prayer Day for the Care of Creation
Displaced People Record
U.S. Healthcare
Malala Yousafzai
Trafficking in Persons
World Day Against Trafficking
Indigenous Day
Women's Equality Day
International Justice
Nuclear Arms Treaty
Testing Nuclear Weapons
Looking Ahead...
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July & August/2017
Our internationality challenges us to witness to unity in a divided world, to develop a world vision and a sense of global responsibility.  Thank you for accompanying us on this journey!

We hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable summer. You can expect to receive your next edition of Shalom News North America on August 31. 
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Integrity of Creation              

St. Kateri Tekakwitha - July 14   
St. Kateri is a patron of ecology and ecologists, of the environment, environmentalism, environmentalists, exiles, orphans, the exiled, and those ridiculed for their faith. Growing up Kateri was a child of nature. As you read more about this woman, you'll see the intimacy with which Kateri found God in the natural world. Learn more, reflection, prayer.

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Integrity of Creation              

Dangerous Delay in EPA Methane Rule            
Our friends from the Franciscan Action Network have shared with us that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued an incredibly dangerous order for a two year delay on methane pollution standards. These standards keep our kids healthy and protect God's earth. Freezing standards that cut oil and gas methane pollution put God's creation and children in particular in danger. Learn more/urge the EPA to not delay.   

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Integrity of Creation            

Be a Citizen Supporter of the Paris Agreement           
Following the Trump administration's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, an open letter to the international community was formulated by business and civic leaders to join forces and continue to support climate action. Over the past month, over 120 million Americans, leaders from 125 cities, 902 businesses and investors, 9 state governors and 183 colleges and universities have declared their intent to do their part to reduce carbon emissions. Learn more/add your name here.
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Integrity of Creation              

Take and Promote the Laudato Si' Pledge      
The Global Catholic Climate Movement has launched the Laudato Si' Pledge campaign. They have a "wild and ambitious goal" to get at least 1% of the Catholic family (12 million) to sign the pledge in support of the Pope's message and commit to living Laudato Si'. You are invited to l earn more/sign the pledge. Resources for promoting this effort can be found here. "On climate change, there is a clear, definitive and ineluctable ethical imperative to act." - Pope Francis.

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Integrity of Creation            

World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation - September 1            
The annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation provides an opportunity to renew our personal commitment to care for creation. The celebration of the Day on the same date as the Orthodox Church is a valuable opportunity to bear witness to the universality of the concern for our planet Earth. It is intended to be a time for powerful moments of prayer, reflection, conversion and the adoption of appropriate life styles. Reflection resource.            

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Human Life and Dignity               

Record Number of Displaced People
A record 65.6 million people were displaced by violence or persecution in 2016, according to a report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. "It speaks louder than ever to the need for solidarity and common purpose in preventing and resolving crises, and ensuring together that the world's refugees, internally displaced and asylum-seekers are properly protected and cared for while solutions are pursued," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. Learn more. For those in the U.S., urge Congress to oppose cuts to international assistance and support refugee resettlement efforts and oppose expanded funding for detention, deportation and border militarization.            

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Human Life and Dignity               

Take Action on Senate Healthcare Proposal       
Similar to the health care bill approved in May by the House of Representatives, the Senate Healthcare Proposal would sharply reduce financial aid that currently helps millions of people obtain health coverage, while offering a giant tax break to wealthy Americans. The proposal includes cuts to Medicaid funding and would "have a devastating impact on our nation's most vulnerable populations" according to the Catholic Health Association. Learn more/take action
Human Life and Dignity               

Malala Yousafzai - July 12              
In her address to the United Nations on July 12, 2013 (her 16th birthday), Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist, said, "I am those 66 million girls who are deprived of education. I am not a lone voice. I am many." In 2012, Malala was targeted and shot by the Taliban because of her public blogs online that promoted female education. She not only survived serious damage to the left side of her head, but fully recovered and continues to be a voice for girls around the world who want their basic human right to education. Use social media to reinforce the message that every girl deserves access to education.           
Human Life and Dignity              

Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report     
Through the 2017 TIP Report the U.S. State Department rates 190 nations in their efforts to combat trafficking through prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership. This year's report focuses on criminal prosecution and the role corruption, collusion, and complicity play in fueling the trafficking industry. Consider this analysis of the 2017 TIP Report by the Alliance to End Slavery & Trafficking and an overview of the report found in this month's Stop Trafficking! newsletter. SSND Solidarity Reflection on Human Trafficking.

S. Vanaja Jasphine Honored for her anti-trafficking work
S. Vanaja Jasphine honored for her anti-trafficking work.
Human Life and Dignity               

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons - July 30         
Each year the UN sets aside one day to "raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights." This day reminds us that human traffickers prey on the most desperate and vulnerable. To end this inhumane practice, it is especially important to shield migrants and refugees - and particularly young people, women and children - from those who would exploit their yearnings for a better, safer and more dignified future. SSND World Day Against Human Trafficking prayer and action resource.

Human Life and Dignity              

International World Indigenous Day - August 9     
There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. They speak an overwhelming majority of the world's estimated 7,000 languages and represent 5,000 different cultures. Ten years ago, the UN General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It embodies global consensus on the rights of indigenous peoples and establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for their survival, dignity and well-being. Over the last decade, the implementation of the Declaration has achieved some major successes, yet much work remains. Learn more. Pope Francis reflection.

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Human Life and Dignity               

Women's Equality Day in the U.S. - August 26         
Today, women's equality has grown to mean much more than just sharing the right to the vote. Many organizations continue to work to provide women across the globe with equal opportunities to education and employment, pushing against suppression and violence towards women and against the discrimination and stereotyping which still occur in every society. Learn more/access resources.

Peace and Non-Violence              

International Justice Day - July 17  
This day is part of an effort to recognize the emerging system of international criminal justice. July 17 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the International Criminal Court (ICC). The day has been used to focus attention on particular issues such as genocide, and serious crimes of violence against women. Learn more about the ICC. A prayer litany - Responding to the Call to Do Justice.
Peace and Non-Violence              

Treaty Is Reached to Ban Nuclear Arms
For the first time in the seven-decade effort to avert a nuclear war, a global treaty has been 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. Read the joint declaration by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions which calls the global community to "map out a credible, verifiable and enforceable strategy for the total elimination of nuclear weapons."
Peace and Non-Violence              

International Day Against Nuclear Tests - August 29   
The International Day Against Nuclear Tests, established by the UN in 2009, is a yearly reminder of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty adopted in 1996, but not yet entered into force because it has not been formally approved or ratified by 8 countries: China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United States. How long will it take for our leaders to fully comprehend the devastating effects of nuclear fallout? Let us not forget the painful lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Looking Ahead to September...              


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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