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

In This Issue
Single Use Plastic

Women and Climate Change



Season of Creation

Dignity of Life

Women Witnesses

Farm Workers


Residential Schools

Indigenous Peoples

Human Trafficking


Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Dear Friend,         
In the encyclical Laudato Si’ Pope Francis emphasizes that the social and ecological challenges of our day are interrelated (integral ecology). As you read through this newsletter, and the social and ecological concerns it highlights, consider how these concerns are related to the Laudato Si Goals and SSND becoming a Laudato Si Congregation.  

Our next issue of Shalom News North America will be published on September 7. Have a great summer!

Shalom North America Contacts

(Click here to download pdf version of newsletter.)
Integrity of Creation  
Canada's Single Use Plastic Ban
Canada will ban the manufacture and importation of “harmful” single-use plastics by the end of the year, the government said, in a sweeping effort to fight pollution and climate change. Most plastic grocery bags, cutlery and straws would come under the ban, with a few exceptions for medical needs, Canada’s Environment Ministry recently announced. Learn more. Kenya, Chile, the United Kingdom, the European Union and India have all put in place various bans on single-use plastic goods – not the United States, which ranks as the world’s leading contributor of plastic waste, according to a congressionally mandated report released last year. Learn more.
Integrity of Creation  
Plastic Free July
Plastic Free July® is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. Plastic Free July provides resources and ideas to help you (and millions of others around the world) reduce single-use plastic waste everyday at home, work, school, and even at your local café. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics? Sign-up here to take the challenge and access resources for assistance. Learn more about common household plastics by taking this short Pesky Plastics Quiz
Integrity of Creation
Women and Girls and Climate Change
Women and girls often suffer the worst consequences of climate change as they comprise 80% of people displaced due to the changing climate, putting them at a greater risk of threats such as domestic violence, early or forced marriage, trafficking, and other forms of sexual violence. While discussion and analysis is important on this issue, "unless we move from rhetoric to concrete action -- immediately -- the lives, safety and dignity of millions of women and girls will continue to hang in the balance," UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet recently stated. Read more. Let’s urge our elected officials to take action. Those in the U.S. can use our SSND Voter Voice tool.

On June 7, 2022, the School Sisters of Notre Dame endorsed the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty proposal to phase out fossil fuels and support a just transition. Both individuals and organizations can endorse the call for a treaty. Learn more/take action.
Integrity of Creation
UN Forum on Sustainable Development (7/5-7/18)
The theme for this year’s United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development is “Building back better from the coronavirus disease while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. HLPF 2022 will focus on how recovery policies can reverse the negative impacts of the pandemic on the Sustainable Development Goals and move countries on to a path to realize the vision of the 2030 Agenda. They will conduct in-depth reviews of five of the Sustainable Development Goals including Goal 4 (quality education) and Goal 5 (gender equality). Learn more.
Integrity of Creation
#StopEACOP (Eastern African Crude Oil Pipeline)
The International Shalom Network of the School Sisters of Notre Dame has been asked to support efforts to stop the Eastern African Crude Oil Pipeline. This crude oil pipeline would displace communities, endanger wildlife, and tip the world (not just Eastern Africa) closer to a full-blown climate catastrophe. Building the biggest heated oil pipeline in the world is expensive work and requires support from investors, banks, insurers, technical advisors, and construction contractors from around the world. Find out how the country where you live may be involved in this deadly project and what you can do to support efforts to stop it. Learn more here.
Integrity of Creation
Looking Forward to the Season of Creation
The annual Season of Creation begins September 1 (with World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation) and ends October 4 (the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi). This year’s theme is Listen to the Voice of Creation and the symbol is the Burning Bush. Far from being the theophany experienced by Moses, today the burning bush represents the countless global wildfires that have not only destroyed millions of acres of planet earth but have brought death and displacement to far too many our kin. Individuals and communities are invited to engage in this year’s Season of Creation through prayer, sustainability projects, and advocacy. Click here to download this year’s Season of Creation Celebration Guide. 
Human Dignity 
On the Dignity of Life - A SSND Leadership Statement in Light of Supreme Court Abortion Ruling
The School Sisters of Notre Dame minister with the conviction that every human life is sacred, that every person is made in the image and likeness of God, and therefore deserving of reverence and protection. We lament and deplore the practice of abortion and the way this sensitive matter is exploited and manipulated for political gain. Similarly, we abhor those social conditions that place women in the untenable position where viable alternatives to abortion are not accessible to them. We continue to commit ourselves to the education, empowerment and equality of women while advocating for those social policies, programs, and conditions which uphold the dignity of women and enable them to protect and support the life of their children. We join with the Vatican in hoping that the debate on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling will not be reduced to an ideological confrontation but will prompt all of us to reflect on what it means to welcome life, to defend it, and to promote it with appropriate legislation and resources.  Read the full statement here
Human Dignity
Four Women Witnesses
We invite you to take time this summer to reflect upon and celebrate the lives of four women witnesses for faith and the dignity of life – all whom happen to have birthdays or feast days in July. Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN who was killed standing up for human dignity and the care of our common home. Malala Yousufzai, an advocate for the right of girls to an education in her native country and throughout the world - despite ongoing death threats. St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be recognized a saint by the Catholic Church who serves as the patroness of ecology and the environment. And Mary of Magdala, a profound witness in church history who in many ways personifies the ways women have suffered from sexism in the Church and the wider society. Read more.
Human Dignity
Humanitarian Crisis at the Border
Imagine the desperation that leads people to climb into the back of an eighteen-wheel truck in order to cross the southern border into the US; men, women, and children climbing into the dark cavern of the truck. Imagine the deaths of those around you on the truck as the temperature inside the truck exceeds 170°. Imagine the horror for those first responders who find 51 precious human beings dead, and scores more near death. Read more here. There are not simple solutions for immigration, but silence and doing nothing will not bring justice. As people of faith, we must speak up for life.
The US Supreme Court ruled on June 30th to support the end of the “Remain in Mexico” program (Migrant Protection Protocols program). Read more here. This summer we invite you to take time to read and reflect upon the July SSND International Solidarity Reflection A Heart Open to the World. How are you called to respond?
Human Dignity
Farm Workers Summer Campaign
Farm workers are on the frontlines of climate change. In fact, they are 30 times more likely to suffer from heat death than any other civilian occupation. The National Farm Workers Ministry and the UFW Foundation invite us to help increase awareness of the impact climate change has on farm worker communities through the #HotFarmWorkerSummer campaign. Did you know that only a few states have temporary heat protections in place to help farm workers cope with the summer heat? Use this digital toolkit to bring awareness to this vital issue. Also consider this Farm Workers and the Environment: A Curriculum to engage in schools and with groups.
Human Dignity
Pope Francis' Trip to Canada
Pope Francis will be visiting Canada (7/24-7/29) to apologize to Indigenous peoples for abuses they suffered at Catholic-run residential schools. Canada forced more than 150,000 First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children to attend residential schools across the country between the late 1800s and 1990s. Thousands are believed to have died while attending the institutions, which were established and funded by the state but run by various religious denominations, most notably the Catholic Church. Learn more. The Pope’s itinerary includes several encounters with Indigenous groups, as well as a visit to Maskwacis, home to the former Ermineskin Residential School, one of the largest residential school sites in Canada. Alberta, where the Pope lands first, is home to the largest number of former residential schools in Canada. Pope Francis will also have a private meeting with survivors of the schools in remote Iqualuit.
Human Dignity
Indian Boarding Schools in the U.S.
The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs recently released Volume 1 of an investigative report that details the legacy of violence and abuse and death perpetrated by Indian boarding schools. The report found that the United States operated or supported 408 boarding schools across 37 states (or then-territories) between 1819 and 1969 and identified 53 burial sites for children across the system. Approximately 50 percent of the schools may have received support or involvement from a religious institution or organization. The boarding schools sought to advance goals of forced assimilation of Indigenous peoples through the forced removal and relocation of their children. For those in the U.S., let’s join our Lutheran colleagues in urging Congress to vote on the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies in the United States Act. Learn more/take action
Human Dignity
World Indigenous People's Day (8/9)
The International Day of the World's Indigenous People is observed on August 9 each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s Indigenous and to recognize their contributions to protect the environment. According to the UN, indigenous people make up less than 5 per cent of the world's population but account for 15 per cent of the poorest. They speak an overwhelming majority of the world’s estimated 7,000 languages and represent 5,000 different cultures. There are over 100 uncontacted tribes in the world. Learn more.  
Human Dignity
World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (7/30)
This year’s theme for the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is “Use and Abuse of Technology.” The technology that we use every day, and that was enhanced and encouraged by the limitations of the pandemic, has also left our young people at tremendous risk of abuse. There is so much to learn about online child exploitation, an abuse of technology that threatens every young person who has a mobile phone, a gaming device, an iPad or other tablet. Read these cautions from the FBI on sextortion. The Department of Justice (DOJ) unit on online child exploitation has resources here, and Project Safe Childhood, an initiative of the DOJ, provides excellent materials about keeping our children safe. Their factsheet can be accessed here. For more teacher/parent/child/caring adult resources, look at Enough is Enough here, including information on legislative action on the Earn It Act. Let your voice be heard using SSND’s Voter Voice tool.
Talitha Kum, the International Network of Consecrated Life Against Trafficking in Persons, is part of the UISG and coordinates the anti-trafficking efforts of Religious Sisters, facilitating networking, communication and formation, according to the strategic planning of the UISG and the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church. Talitha Kum has just issued their 2021 report which you can read here. Don’t forget to check out the latest edition of the Stop Trafficking! newsletter published by U.S Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking with sponsorship support from the School Sisters of Notre Dame.
Peace and Nonviolence
Catholic Peacebuilding Conference
From June 20-23, the Catholic Peacebuilding Network held an international virtual conference, "Catholic Peacebuilding in Times of Crisis: Hope for a Wounded World." The conference featured 80+ speakers from over 30 countries, addressing the need for an integral and integrated approach to peace, development, and ecology because the cry of war’s victims, the cry of the poor, and the cry of the earth rise as one (Laudato Si’, no. 49). Recordings of all the sessions can be found here, including a special presentation from Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See Mission to the UN.
Peace and Nonviolence
Yemen War Powers Resolution
The UN estimates that the Yemen war has killed nearly a half a million people. The war has also caused one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, leaving twenty million people in dire need. U.S. President Biden announced in February 2021 that the United States would end its support of offensive operations to a coalition of countries participating in the war, led by Saudi Arabia. However, the United States continues to provide maintenance and logistical support for warplanes and enforcement of air and sea blockade. To rectify this, a bipartisan group of representatives has recently introduced a Yemen War Powers Resolution (H.J. Res. 87) seeking to end U.S. participation in this Saudi Arabia-led war in Yemen. Learn more/let your voice be heard
Peace and Nonviolence
Hiroshima and Nagasaki (8/6, 8/9)
More than three-quarters of a century has passed since the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki awakened the world to the inhumanity of nuclear weapons. Although we have made some progress towards a world without nuclear weapons, more than 13,000 remain, and experts warn that the risk of nuclear catastrophe is at its highest level in a generation. We invite you to take some time to listen to this podcast interview with Sister Ruth Mori, SSND from Kyoto, Japan. She shares how the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki affected her family and Japan. Next, we invite you to read and reflect on Archbishop Wester’s pastoral letter on nuclear disarmament, Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace. Consider making use of the 3-part study circle on the pastoral letter session recordings and resources.

On August 6, the anniversary of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons is asking religious leaders, communities, and individuals to offer a prayer intention for nuclear disarmament. Click here to learn more and to put a pin in the global map where you will be offering your prayer. Those in the U.S. can use this link to urge Congress to support a no first use nuclear policy.
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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, Barb Paleczny, Ethel Howley, Mary Carter Waren, and Tim Dewane. Your comments, suggestions, and feedback are always welcomed. Email us at

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