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

In This Issue
Laudato Si


Environment Day

Oceans Day

Ecological Spirituality

Child Labor

March on Washington


Replacement Theory & White Supremacy


Refugee Day

Gun Violence


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.  

Shalom North America Contacts

(Click here to download pdf version of newsletter.)
Integrity of Creation  
Laudato Si' Contemplative Training (6/2-7/1)
In this 5-week training, participants will be introduced to meditation and contemplative practices as a way of prayer, Christian joy and compassionate action from a contemplative space. The training will be framed within the spirituality of Laudato Si' and the Christian commitment to care for creation and our brothers and sisters. Offered by the Laudato Si’ Movement, this training will have a hybrid structure with online lessons as well as weekly Zoom calls on Thursdays. The weekly Zoom calls will be offered at two different times in order to attend to the different parts of the globe and will be recorded for later viewing. Learn more/enroll (for free).
Integrity of Creation  
Stockholm + 50
“Only One Earth” was the slogan for the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm in 1972. This put sustainable development on the global agenda and led to the establishment of World Environment Day. Fifty years later, Sweden is hosting Stockholm+50 June 2-3. This year’s meeting, commemorating the first environmental conference, will address the intertwined crises of the state of our planet and extreme inequality among people and societies. Learn more, review this report which synthesizes up-to-date scientific evidence and analyses highlighting the intertwined human and environmental crisis facing the world today.
Integrity of Creation
World Environment Day (6/5)
World Environment Day is the largest global platform for environmental public outreach and is celebrated by millions of people across the world. To keep global warming below 1.5°C this century, we must halve annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Without action, exposure to air pollution beyond safe guidelines will increase by 50 per cent within the decade and plastic waste flowing into aquatic ecosystems will nearly triple by 2040. Learn more. Please take time to explore the Only One Earth practical guide to living sustainably in harmony with nature. Consider advocating for net-zero emissions or taking the BreatheLife Challenge. Download and use this beautiful Laudato Si’ inspired Meditation on Creation prayer card.
Integrity of Creation
World Oceans Day (6/8)
The UN General Assembly in 2008, led by Canada, resolved that June 8 would be designated “World Oceans Day.” This day allows us to highlight the many ways in which oceans contribute to society. The oceans connect, sustain, and support us all. Yet its health is at a tipping point and so is the well-being of all that depends on these large bodies of water. As the past years have shown us, we need to work together to create a new balance with the ocean that no longer depletes its bounty but instead restores its vibrancy and brings it new life. Click here to learn more about this year’s theme Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean. Explore this toolkit and these resources for reflection and engagement. Consider signing on to the 30 by 30 World Oceans Day letter.
Integrity of Creation
Good News - Cutting Air Pollution Would Save Thousands of Lives Annually 
Eliminating air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels would prevent more than 50,000 premature deaths and provide more than $600 billion in health benefits in the United States alone, every year, according to a new study by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers. Unlike reports that emphasize the daunting costs of climate action, this one stressed the advantages of taking measures to reduce pollution. “Shifting to clean energy sources can provide enormous benefit for public health in the near term while mitigating climate change in the longer term,” said Nicholas A. Mailloux, lead author of the study. Learn more.
Integrity of Creation
Ecological Spirituality & Human Dignity
These issues of human dignity – those who are poor, those who are trapped in child labor, those who are migrants around the world – are intimately linked to the call for ecological spirituality in Laudato Si’. Pope Francis writes, “The current global situation engenders a feeling of instability and uncertainty, which in turn becomes 'a seedbed for collective selfishness'. When people become self-centred and self-enclosed, their greed increases. The emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs things to buy, own and consume. It becomes almost impossible to accept the limits imposed by reality. In this horizon, a genuine sense of the common good also disappears. As these attitudes become more widespread, social norms are respected only to the extent that they do not clash with personal needs. So our concern cannot be limited merely to the threat of extreme weather events, but must also extend to the catastrophic consequences of social unrest. Obsession with a consumerist lifestyle, above all when few people are capable of maintaining it, can only lead to violence and mutual destruction.“ (#204)
Human Dignity 
World Day Against Child Labor (6/12)
Did you know (according to UNICEF) that the number of children in child labor has risen to 160 million worldwide – an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years? The agriculture sector accounts for 70% of children in child labor, followed by 20% in services and 10% in industry. Child labor is more prevalent among boys than girls at every age but when 21 hours per week of household chores are taken into account, the gender gap in child labor narrows. Click here to learn about child labor in the fashion industry and what can be done about it. Every child deserves the opportunity to be all God imagined them to be. Get to know the facts and explore ways you can get involved to make a difference.
Human Dignity
Moral March on Washington (6/18)
The Mass Poor People’s & Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington on June 18 is an event that will bring together poor and low wealth people, state leaders, faith communities, moral allies, unions, and partnering organizations. Join them in their commitment to shift the moral narrative, build power, and make real policies to fully address poverty and low wealth from the bottom up. Learn more about this important effort. Click here to participate.
Human Dignity
DACA 10 Year Anniversary
June 15 is the 10th anniversary of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), a policy that protects young people (who meet the criteria) who entered the United States unlawfully as children from deportation. The program does not grant them official legal status or a pathway to citizenship, but it does allow them to apply for a driver’s license (in some states), secure a work authorization, and a social security number. Learn more. Over the last decade, more than 830,000 young people have been protected from deportation under DACA. It is an occasion to celebrate, even as the effort to secure permanent protections continues. 
Last spring the House passed the Dream and Promise Act, legislation that would provide protection from deportation and an opportunity to obtain permanent legal status in the U.S., but the Senate has yet to take action. Let’s not let another DACA anniversary go by without the Senate taking action – click here to let your voice be heard.
Human Dignity
Dismantling Racism - Replacement Theory & White Supremacy
Racially motivated violence continues to terrorize Black and Indigenous People of Color. White supremacist ideology such as found in “Replacement theory” is gaining popularity in the United States.  Replacement theory claims that “white people are losing economic, cultural, and political power to Black people and other people of color.” To further our understanding of white supremacist ideology, and replacement theory, read Heather Cox Richardson’s brief essay on the racially motivated massacre in Buffalo. In her writing, she explains replacement theory and its history in the United States. Click here for the essay. 
Human Dignity
Juneteenth (6/19)
Also known as Emancipation Day, Juneteenth Independence Day, and Freedom Day, Juneteenth is a portmanteau word for June and nineteenth. It commemorates the date (June 19, 1865) when Union General Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African-Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States – it became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021. Learn more. How will you commemorate the day? 
Human Dignity
World Refugee Day (6/20)
Whoever, wherever, whenever – everyone has the right to seek safety. Whoever they are, people forced to flee should be treated with dignity. It is non-negotiable: seeking safety is a human right. Wherever they come from, people forced to flee should be welcomed. Whenever people are forced to flee, they have a right to be protected. Whatever the threat – war, violence, persecution – everyone deserves protection. Everyone has a right to be safe. (UNHCR/USA)
World Refugee Day celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. It is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives. Explore this toolkit for ideas to celebrate and stand with refugees. (Another creative idea is to chalk your walk.) Consider sharing this messaging resource with your own circles of influence. What does it mean to you to “welcome the stranger”? 
Peace and Nonviolence
Gun Violence - Wear Orange
Our hearts are heavy with grief as we try to process and respond to another mass shooting in the United States. We pray for everyone affected by gun violence. Let us turn our sorrow, frustration, and righteous anger - into positive action and ever more passionate prayer - reflecting our unwavering commitment to Gospel Nonviolence and Just Peace. Follow these links for a prayer resource and reflection resource. Use SSND’s Voter Voice tool to urge Congress to take action. Thousands of people wear the color orange the first weekend in June to honor the more than 40,000 people who are killed with guns and approximately 85,000 who are shot and wounded every year. Learn more
Peace and Nonviolence
International Day of Innocent Child Victims
of Aggression (6/4)
It is a sad reality that in situations where armed conflict breaks out, it is often the children who are most affected. The purpose of the day is to acknowledge the pain suffered by children who are the victims of aggression. This day affirms the UN's commitment to protect the rights of children. Its work is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights treaty in history, but a treaty the United States has not yet ratified. Learn more about the day here and the U.S. failure to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child here.
Peace and Nonviolence
Catholic Peacebuilding Conference (6/20-23)
The Catholic Peacebuilding Network is planning an international virtual conference for June 20-23, 2022. It is titled "Catholic Peacebuilding in Times of Crisis: Hope for a Wounded World." This conference will convene a wide range of Catholic peacebuilders – Church leaders, scholars, peacebuilding specialists and other practitioners – 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). Participants will be able to discern new and consider a variety of creative ways to promote peace. Registration is free but required. Learn more/register here.
Peace and Nonviolence
Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
The First Meeting of States Parties (1MSP) to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) is scheduled to take place from 21-23 June 2022 in Vienna, Austria. Learn more. To commemorate the occasion, an interfaith statement has been drafted and is being circulated for signature by faith groups at all levels. Click here to review the statement and here for the endorsement form (SSND CP Province has signed on to endorse the statement). The deadline for endorsement is June 17. Click here to explore ways you can work toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Quick Links
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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, 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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