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

In This Issue
Cry of the Earth

Laudato Si' Conference

World Environment Day

World Oceans

Climate Change Indicators

Climate Displaced People

Child Labor





Military Spending

Nuclear Weapons

Torture Victims
Dear Friend,         
As SSNDs move forward with the commitment to become a Laudato Si’ congregation, it is important to grow our awareness and engagement with the seven Laudato Si' Goals in which this initiative is rooted. Each goal represents an aspect of the crisis facing Earth and the community of life. Each goal also invites us to actions that will contribute to Earth’s healing. We will highlight a different Laudato Si' Goal in each newsletter for the remainder of 2021. This month, we highlight the goal: Response to the Cry of the Earth.

Shalom North America Contacts

(Click here for a pdf version of this newsletter.)
Laudato Si' Goals  
Laudato Si' Goal 1 - Response to the Cry of the Earth
Cry of the Earth is a goal which calls us to be consciously aware of how global warming is contributing to the suffering of the planet. It also calls us to greater use of clean, renewable energy, and reducing our use of fossil fuels so that a reduction in greenhouse gases will be achieved. In addition to this, the goal Cry of the Earth asks us to increase our efforts to protect and promote biodiversity and guarantee access to clean water for all. Here are 7 ways to reduce your carbon footprintHere are ways you can support biodiversityLearn more about the Laudato Si' Goals and the Laudato Si' Action Platform here.
Integrity of Creation  
Laudato Si' and the U.S. Catholic Church - Conference    
Sponsored by the Catholic Climate Covenant and Creighton University, the conference aims to inspire Catholics to more deeply integrate Laudato Si’ into the work of the U.S. Church. An opening panel will assess why the U.S. Catholic response to Laudato Si’ has not been commensurate with the urgency and gravity of the climate crisis. The closing address by Sister Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD, will consider Catholic spiritual and theological insights that can enliven a more faithful commitment to care for our common home. Participation in the July 13-15 conference is free, but advance registration is required. Learn more/register.
Integrity of Creation  
World Environment Day (6/5)
On June 5, we celebrate World Environment Day and commit to Ecosystem Restoration! Click the link above to explore ecosystems, learn more about ecosystem restoration and why it matters, and identify an action you can take to participate in restoring our common home! By working to restore Earth’s ecosystems, we engage with the goals of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, particularly the goals involving the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor. Click below to watch a video presentation of Reimagine, Recreate, Restore – A World Environment Day Poem by Jordan Sanchez.
Integrity of Creation  
World Oceans Day (6/8) 
Oceans cover over 70% of the planet. They produce at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen, are home to most of earth’s biodiversity, and are the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world. To protect and preserve the ocean and all it sustains, we must create a new balance, rooted in true understanding of the ocean and how humanity relates to it. Learn more. Follow this link for this year's virtual celebration of World Oceans Day. Explore ways to take action here.
Integrity of Creation  
EPA Relaunches Climate Change Indicators Website
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has relaunched its Climate Change Indicators in the United States website for the public. Updated for the first time in four years, this comprehensive resource presents compelling and clear evidence of changes to our climate reflected in rising temperatures, ocean acidity, sea level rise, river flooding, droughts, heat waves, and wildfires, among other indicators. Click here to learn more and explore interactive tools that illustrate how climate changes impact human health and the environment.
Integrity of Creation/Human Life and Dignity 
Climate Displaced People 
The Vatican recently released Pastoral Orientations on Climate Displaced People, “a booklet full of relevant facts, interpretations, policies and proposals” to point the way forward in responding to this global crisis. Each year, tens of millions of people across the globe are driven from their homes by floods, storms, droughts, and other weather-related disasters. In fact, climate disasters displaced more people than war in 2020, and it is the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities that are hardest hit. Unfortunately, climate-displaced people have no legal protections under the international Refugee Convention. As Pope Francis writes in the Preface of the Pastoral Orientations, “To see or not to see is the question that leads us to the answer in action together. These pages show us what is needed and, with God’s help, what to do.” Click here to learn more about climate displaced people. Click here for a video that explains how the crisis at the U.S. southern border and climate change are interconnected.
Human Life and Dignity
World Day Against Child Labor (6/12)
This year's observance focuses on actions taken in support of the 2021 International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor resolution “to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labor in all its forms.” Learn more, take action.
SSND Webinar - The Year for the Elimination of Child Labor: Challenge and Hope (6/14)
You are invited to join the School Sisters of Notre Dame for the webinar, “The Year for the Elimination of Child Labor: Challenge and Hope,” on June 14 at 7:00pm (EST). Sister Beatriz Martinez-Garcia, SSND, Director of the SSND UN-NGO Office, will share with us the sobering reality of child labor, while Sister Limeteze Pierre-Gilles, SSND, Executive Leadership Fellow with Beyond Borders, will share about a SSND partnership in Haiti that is making a difference. No preregistration required to attend. Use this link to participate.
Human Life and Dignity
Racism and the Catholic Church - One Year After George Floyd's Murder
We invite you to watch this conversation with Fordham University’s Fr. Bryan Massingale about the progress of racial justice in the United States since George Floyd’s murder one year ago, hosted by America Magazine’s national correspondent Michael O’Loughlin.
Click here to download a broad list of racial justice resources. Inspired to take action today? How about urging Congressional support for H.R. 1280, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act? Learn more, take action.
Human Life and Dignity
Also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day – Juneteenth is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it is now celebrated annually on June 19 throughout the United States, with varying official recognition. It is commemorated on the anniversary date of the June 19, 1865 announcement by Union Army general Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom from slavery in Texas. Let us all commemorate this day and reaffirm our efforts to work for true racial equity and justice for all. Learn more, prayer resource.
Human Life and Dignity
Faith Fast in Support of Immigrants
Members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame will be joining LCWR, the Congregation Action Network, the We Are Home Campaign, and other faith partners in a Faith Fast beginning June 7 and concluding July 4. Our hope is to shine a spotlight on our nation’s moral obligation to include our immigrant neighbors in the American family—fully and finally. We must find a pathway to to citizenship for essential workers, DACA and TPS recipients, and their families. There are many ways to support this effort, learn more here.
Human Life and Dignity
World Refugee Day (6/20)
World Refugee Day honors the strength and courage of refugees and encourages public awareness and support of the refugees, people who have had to flee their homelands because of conflict or natural disaster. Click here to review the latest UN Refugee Brief, here to read about Canada’s refugee resettlement efforts, and here to read a thoughtful reflection on migrants and refugees and how to prevent them becoming victims of the ‘cancel culture’. Click here for prayer, reflection, and engagement resources provided by the Vatican Office of Migration and Refugee Services.
Human Life and Dignity
National Indigenous Peoples Day - Canada (6/21)
This is a day for recognizing and celebrating the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Indigenous peoples of Canada. Learn more. Today Bill C-15 provides a significant framework for a reset in the working relationships between Indigenous nations and communities and the Canadian state. Such a reset is essential for the path of decolonization and reconciliation. Learn more/take action.
Peace and Non-Violence
Seeking Cuts to Pentagon Budget in Light of Withdrawal from Afghanistan
Pax Christi USA joined thirty-nine other groups in signing onto a letter to the leadership of the defense appropriations subcommittees calling for a lower Pentagon budget for FY22 in light of the recent announcement that the U.S. will be withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. “Estimates indicate that at least $20 billion and perhaps as much as $50 billion will be freed up by withdrawing troops from Afghanistan,” the groups write. “We are dismayed that the administration’s initial budget blueprint to Congress did not reflect a corresponding reduction in war funds, and instead included a gargantuan request of $753 billion for the Pentagon and affiliated spending.” Let your voice be heard.
Peace and Non-Violence
Scientists and Catholic Leaders Urge President Biden to Work for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons
A group of scientists and Catholic leaders have released a statement calling on President Biden to reduce the threat that nuclear weapons pose to the world and work with other nations toward their abolishment. The statement urges the Biden administration to revise dated U.S. nuclear policies, reduce U.S. spending on nuclear weapons, and engage in diplomacy with Russia and other countries, including at the upcoming review conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which takes place in New York this August. Motivated to take action? Invite your local and state officials to sign on to this letter urging the administration and Congress to take bold action on nuclear weapons.
Peace and Non-Violence
Support for Victims of Torture
The prohibition against torture is one of the most fundamental, universally recognized human rights and well-established under international law. Torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment is prohibited at all times and in all circumstances. Even during times of war or when national security is threatened. The prohibition covers all individuals, combatant or civilian, citizen or non-citizen. Yet we are mindful that torture is practiced day and night in countries around the world. Let us take time on June 26, the International Day in Support of Torture Victims and Survivors, to pray and explore other avenues of support. Click here to review the Education for Justice toolbox of resources (SSND membership info).
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Our July/August issue of Shalom News North America
will be published on July 8.
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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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