VeryTopShalom News North America  

An instrument of hope, formation, and action

concerning priority matters of social justice.

In This Issue
Climate Change Declaration
Fossil Fuel Subsidies
Endangered Species
Farm Bill
Fair Trade
Human Rights Report
Mother's Day
Catholic Social Thought
Challenge of Peace
Syrian Refugees
Cultural Diversity
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"For us, education means enabling persons to reach the fullness of their potential as individuals created in God's image and assisting them to direct their gifts toward building the earth."(YAS, C 22)  As you journey forward this month, please consider joining us in reflection and prayer on the importance of securing education for all.  

We educate with the conviction that the world can be changed through the transformation of persons. Thank you for all you do to help make a difference in our world!                
Shalom North America Contacts
  Click here  for our printer-friendly (pdf) version of the newsletter. 
Integrity of Creation              

U.S. Catholic Climate Declaration    
The Catholic Climate Declaration (CCD) is a document for signature endorsement by U.S. Catholic institutions (e.g., parishes, dioceses, schools, universities, religious communities, etc.) who publicly affirm their commitment to stand by the Paris Agreement and help meet its goals. This declaration reflects a commitment to envision, pray for, and act towards a thriving future in solidarity with all God's creation. The CCD complements and expresses US Catholic solidarity with the We Are Still In Campaign. Learn more.  

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Integrity of Creation              

Call to Action Canada: End Fossil Fuel Subsidies   
Canada spends billions of dollars every year on subsidies to the oil, gas, and coal industries. These subsidies undermine the country's ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As Canada prepares to host world leaders for the G7 summit in June 2018, Kairos is urging Canadians of faith to call on the federal government to demonstrate climate leadership by taking concrete steps to end fossil fuel subsidies. They encourage letters be sent to the Minister of Finance asking him to take action on this issue and to use the occasion of the G7 meeting to announce Canada's plans for fully phasing out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025. Learn more/take action.  
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Integrity of Creation              

Endangered Species Day (5/18)  
Endangered Species Day is an opportunity for people of all ages to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species, to promote habitat conservation, to share success stories of species recovery, and to highlight the everyday actions people can take. Learn more, resources for reflection, take action.


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Human Dignity and the Integrity of Creation              

Farm Bill Concerns             
Many Catholic groups have serious concerns about the Farm Bill that has passed out of committee and is now headed for a vote in House of Representatives. As reported by America Magazine, conservation programs were zeroed out of the bill. Another part of the bill includes a rewrite of the eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) which could result in 2 million Americans being cut from the program. The bill also includes about a $1 billion cut from the Conservation Stewardship Program. Learn more, let your voice be heard
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Human Life and Dignity               

Live Fair, One Product at a Time   
World Fair Trade Day takes place on the second Saturday of May each year. It celebrates the tangible contribution that Fair Trade provides to sustainable development, especially the economic empowerment of small producers, to gender equality in workplaces and to responsible production practices, as well as the contribution Fair Trade plays in addressing poverty and climate change. Learn more - Ten principles of Fair Trade, Catholic Relief Services and Fair Trade.

Human Life and Dignity               

New Global Human Rights Report       
The U.S. Department of State recently released their 2017 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices document addressing the status of human rights and worker rights in nearly 200 countries and territories. These reports are required by U.S. law and are used by Congress, the administration, and the courts as a factual resource for decision making in matters ranging from assistance to asylum. Learn what critics of the report are saying. Review the document

Human Life and Dignity               

Take Action for Dreamers   
Congress has yet to take action to permanently protect the Dreamers - young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. America is the only home they have ever really known. Yet, these bright, extraordinary young people can be restricted from school and employment opportunities, even deported, unless Congress passes legislation now. There are two pieces of legislation currently before Congress that have been endorsed by the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops and other key immigrant supporting groups - the Dream Act and the USA Act. Learn more/urge Congress to act.

Human Life and Dignity               

Mother's Day  
It is estimated that of the current 22.5 million refugees worldwide, 1 in 10 are pregnant, and the majority of them lack access to pre- or postnatal care. This Mother's Day, please remember the millions of refugee mothers who flee their homes and endure unimaginable hardships to provide security for their children. In their plight, these mothers and their babies grace us with the image of our Holy Mother and the Christ Child - and they need our support! Learn more from National Geographic's powerful piece of photojournalism. Click here to find ways that you can help refugee mothers.

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Human Life and Dignity              

International Day of Families             
For the 2018 observance of the International Day of Families, the UN will explore the role of families and family policies in advancing Sustainable Development Goal 16 in terms of promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. In the U.S., the Trump administration's push to limit family-based immigration and end DACA threatens to tear apart families and communities nationwide. Learn more, take action. In Canada, this year's theme for The National Week for Life and the Family, an initiative of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is Love: Encountering the Other. Learn more, resources for prayer and other actions. Video reflection on the family

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Human Life and Dignity               

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (5/17)   
This year's theme asks us is to focus our attention on alliances for solidarity, a reminder of the need for solidarity within the communities of sexual and gender minorities, as the rights of one specific group cannot be solidly secured if the rights of other groups are left unchallenged. Please take a moment and watch this short music video "You make me proud of who I am."

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Human Life and Dignity              

Human Rights and Catholic Social Thought              
The Education for Justice website offers a developing series of resources on Human Rights and Catholic Social Teaching - if you haven't done so already, you should check them out. The latest edition to the collection is on Forced Labor and the Principle of the Dignity of Work and Workers' Rights. Other topics addressed in the series include human trafficking, immigration, poverty, climate change, and restorative justice. Kathleen Bonnette, Th.D., who recently joined us as the Assistant Director of the JPIC/Shalom Office for the SSND Atlantic-Midwest Province, is the author of these fine resources.

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Peace and Non-Violence              

Peace is Still a Challenge     
On May 3, 1983, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released a pastoral letter calling for a "moral about face", summoning the world to say "no" to nuclear conflict, "no" to weapons of mass destruction, "no" to an arms race which robs the poor and vulnerable, and "no" to the moral danger of a nuclear age. "Peacemaking is a requirement of our faith." 35 years later we still haven't brought about that change. Read about UN officials call for a new approach to sustaining peace.
Peace and Non-Violence              

Syrian War - Need to Welcome More Refugees   
Since 2011, the Syrian civil war has killed approximately 480,000 Syrians, internally displaced 6 million, and has placed 13 million in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Syrians who qualify for refugee status are finding the doors shut to the United States. The U.S. admitted only 44 Syrian refugees in the first 6 months of 2018, a drop from 6,000 admitted in the same time period in 2017. This dramatic drop in Syrian refugee admissions is unconscionable. Learn more, take action.
Peace and Non-Violence              

World Day for Cultural Diversity   
Our General Chapter directional statement calls us to expand our understanding of interculturality. The UN sets aside a special day to do just that, believing that bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development. Cultural diversity is an asset that is indispensable for poverty reduction and the achievement of sustainable development.


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

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