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

In This Issue
Climate Summit

Climate Action

Laudato Si'

World Environment Day

Asian & Pacific Islanders


Foster Care & Trafficking

Racial Justice

Fratelli Tutti


Election Laws

Death Penalty

Military Spending

Living in Peace

Ending Hate
Dear Friend,         
Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it. - Laudato Si' (#19)

May the resources found in this e-newsletter assist you in your efforts to make a difference in the SSND spirit of Shalom. (Click here for a pdf version of this newsletter.) 

Shalom North America Contacts

Integrity of Creation  
U.S. and Canadian Emission Reduction Pledges
At the recent Earth Day Climate Summit, the Biden Administration committed the United States to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50%-52% below its 2005 emissions levels by 2030. Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau pledged that Canada would reduce emissions by 40%- 45% below 2005 levels by 2030. Speaking at the summit, Trudeau said Canada is "now on track to blow past our old target" of cutting emissions by 30% by 2030. Can these pledges be realized? And will that be enoughRead more about Canada’s pledge here and the U.S. pledge hereYou can read about Pope Francis’ message to the climate summit attendees here.
Integrity of Creation  
Climate Crisis - Legislative Advocacy    
Catholic Climate Covenant invites us to reach out to Congress to urge them to take action to help address our climate crisis. One way to do this would be to ask your representative and senators to co-sponsor the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Learn more/take action. Another way to take action is to participate in the Citizens Climate Lobby Catholic Conference (5/15), Call to Action to Care for Our Common Home. Bishop John Stowe from the Diocese of Lexington, Bishop Robert McElroy from the Diocese of San Diego, as well as Jose Aguto from Catholic Climate Covenant will be featured presenters. Learn more/register here
Integrity of Creation  
Laudato Si' Week 
May 16-24 we celebrate Laudato Si’ week, “a celebration of the great progress the whole Church has made on its journey to ecological conversion. Laudato Si’ Week 2021 will also be a time to reflect on what the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us and prepare for the future with hope.” Click here to view all the events of the week. Inspired to take a fresh look at Laudato Si’? Consider this study guideTake some time to learn about the Laudato Si’ Action Platform initiative and Laudato Si’ Goals. Prayer resource
Integrity of Creation  
Looking Ahead to World Environment Day (6/5)
This year’s focus is on ecosystem restoration. Every three seconds, the world loses enough forest to cover a football field and over the last century we have destroyed half of our wetlands. Ecosystem restoration means preventing, halting, and reversing this damage – to go from exploiting nature to healing it. World Environment Day 2021 also serves as the kick off the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global mission to revive billions of hectares, from forests to farmlands, from the top of mountains to the depth of the sea. The timeline also overlaps with the UN Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Learn more/take action.
Human Life and Dignity  
Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada, and Asian American and Pacific American Heritage Month in the United States. The month of May was chosen in the U.S. to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. Resources to learn and reflect upon Canadians of Asian descent can be found hereThe Asian Pacific American Heritage website has a nice collection of education and reflection resources. PBS has a collection of stories you can explore, while the Asia Society (Texas) offers 31 ways to celebrate the vibrant and diverse traditions and contributions of Asians and Asian Americans. Consider taking some time to reflect upon and celebrate SSNDs in Japan and Guam and how much they have enriched our congregation. 
Human Life and Dignity
Update on Immigration
Americans show broad bi-partisan support for a comprehensive immigration policy for the United States. Although the Biden Administration says it wants to create a fair and humane immigration system, concrete policy proposals are not moving through Congress. The politicization of the migration challenge at the southern border has seriously impeded policy makers from moving forward with legislation. The Center for Migration Studies has urged that citizens and legislative leaders consider the Real Need, Not Fictitious Crises Account at US Mexico Border. Meanwhile, Catholic bishops from the U.S. border states and Mexico, addressing the humanitarian crisis at the border have issued this plea to policy makersClick here for ways you can help. Use the SSND Voter Voice tool to urge the Senate to take action.
Human Life and Dignity
Foster Care Month
May is Foster Care Month in the United States. Take a moment to learn about the vulnerabilities of children in foster care to human trafficking. Listen to this interview with transitional foster parents for unaccompanied immigrant youth. Read these stories of children in the foster care system whose immigration status made their placements more complicated. Find out more about becoming a foster parent for unaccompanied immigrant youth and refugees.
Human Life and Dignity
Racial Justice - Engaging the Structures of Oppression
We invite you to watch a recording of three inspiring presentations and related panel discussion regarding systemic expressions of racial injustice and ideas for engaging structures of oppression with a gospel shaped vision from the 2021 ND Catholic Social Tradition Conference. Panelists included Bishop Mark J. Seitz, Rev. Bryan Massingale, and Professor Shannen Dee Williams, Ph.D. Click here (or below) to watch a YouTube recording. We also invite you to read the SSND statement on the conviction of Derek Chauvin and the need to continue the work of dismantling racism in our lives, communities, and institutions.

Inspired to take action? How about urging Congressional support for H.R. 1280, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act? Let your voice be heard. 
Human Life and Dignity
About H.R. 40
H.R. 40 would establish a federal commission to study the legacy of slavery in the United States and its ongoing harm and develop proposals for redress and repair, including reparations. The bill has been introduced at every congressional session since 1989 but has never before reached (let alone passed) a committee vote, normally the first step toward passing legislation. To date, 175 representatives have signed on as co-sponsors of H.R. 40, many more than in previous years. Its Senate companion, S. 40, the first reparations bill to be introduced in the Senate since Reconstruction, has 19 co-sponsors. Learn more, let your voice be heard.
Human Life and Dignity
Solidarity and Subsidiarity
“Georgia’s recently passed voting law, the Election Integrity Act of 2021, brings into stark relief the need for Catholic social thought to inform public life. Like hundreds of similar laws being proposed across the country in the wake of 2020's presidential election, it makes it more difficult for many residents to vote, exacerbating the greater difficulties already faced by voters of color. Supporters argue that the law will limit voter fraud without unreasonably burdening would-be voters, but many of these would-be voters vigorously oppose the law, and its critics argue that claims of widespread voter fraud are unfounded.” Read more of Kathleen Bonnette’s analysis in America Magazine. Let your voice be heard about voting rights by participating in the National John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Day on May 8.
Human Life and Dignity
Solidarity with Seafarers Campaign
Each year, the Coalition of Catholic Organizations Against Human Trafficking (CCOAHT) launches a campaign to raise awareness of forced labor in the fishing industry. On May 22, the Solidarity with Seafarers Campaign will launch. Ninety percent of global trade is moved by sea. The global pandemic has gravely impacted the safety of seafarers across the world. Due to border closures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, hundreds of thousands of seafarers have been stranded aboard ships beyond the length of their contracts, including what is allowed by international law (up to 11 months). This has increased seafarers’ risk of labor exploitation and human trafficking.
Help prevent labor trafficking and support these essential workers. Access prayers, bulletin inserts, social media materials and background information hereConsider urging Walmart to sign the Neptune Declaration for Seafarer Welfare and Crew Change – learn more/take action.
Human Life and Dignity
Upcoming Webinars on Fratelli Tutti
Pope Francis’ Fratelli Tutti calls for a way of life marked by the "flavor of the Gospel." The pope’s latest encyclical focuses on contemporary social and economic problems, promoting a solidarity of sisterhood and brotherhood where none are excluded. As a way to enrich our understanding and reflection on the encyclical, the Franciscan Action Network is hosting four discussions on Fratelli Tutti in conjunction with specific topics. These discussions will focus on:
  • Fratelli Tutti on Culture and Society - May 5
  • Fratelli Tutti on Racism and Anti-Racism - May 19
  • Fratelli Tutti on Economics - May 26
  • Fratelli Tutti on Governance and Politics - June 16
SSND is helping co-sponsor these forums. We hope you will join us. Learn more/register here
Peace and Non-Violence
U.S. Federal Death Penalty - Action Alert
The federal government resumed the practice of capital punishment after a 17-year hiatus in July 2020. Thirteen people were executed under the Trump administration over the span of seven months. The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls us to “work with determination for [capital punishment’s] abolition worldwide” (2267). While President Biden has spoken publicly in favor of death penalty abolition, he has yet to put his words into action. Let your voice be heard, consider signing this Catholic Mobilizing Network’s petition urging President Biden to take action to end the federal death penalty. 
Peace and Non-Violence
Global Military Spending
Despite the ongoing pandemic, environmental emergency, and growing inequality, military spending increased by 2.6%, from US$ 1.917 trillion in 2019 to $ 1.981 trillion – just shy of $ 2 trillion in 2020. The NATO alliance alone makes up 56% of all global military spending, the USA 39% of all global military spending. Read this just released statement by Pax Christi USA, LCWR, and others challenging this level of military spending. Reducing military spending is essential in order to have funds to address such priorities as the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and fair vaccination distribution, global inequality and inequity, and threats to democracy, human rights, and worker’s rights. Learn more, let your voice be heard.
Peace and Non-Violence
International Day of Living Together in Peace (5/16)
The UN General-Assembly declared May 16 the International Day of Living Together in Peace as a means of regularly mobilizing the efforts of the international community to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity. The Day aims to uphold the desire to live and act together, united in differences and diversity, in order to build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity and harmony. Learn moreHow will you observe the day?
Peace and Non-Violence
Ending Hate and Connecting Across Divides
Hate crimes are on the rise. What can we do about it? A lot, actually. Pace e Bene is launching a new program, “Connecting Across Divides, Disarming Conversations”, that draws upon the best practices available in disarming the escalating polarizations, divisions, and ideologies that lead to violence. The first workshop, Rehumanization: What Does It Take To Leave Hate Behind? will address how you can take the first steps in rehumanizing the “other” and helping people walk away from hate.  Learn more/register here.
Quick Links
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, Ethel Howley, Jeanne Wingenter, Kathleen Bonnette, Rose Mary Sander, and Tim Dewane. Your comments, suggestions, and feedback are always welcomed. Email us at

Please only print this e-publication if necessary.