VeryTopShalom News North America  

An instrument of hope, formation, and action

concerning priority matters of social justice.

In This Issue
Climate Change
Plastic Polluters
Exploitation of Environment in War
Native American Heritage
Flores Regulation
Public Charge Regulation
Caravan of Asylum Seekers
Election Day
World Day of the Poor
Children's Day
Veterans/Remembrance Day
Violence Against Women
Oscar Romero
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November/2018
         
 
As we put together this month's newsletter, the following quote from Laudato Si' (229) seemed most appropriate...
 
"We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it.  We have had enough of immorality and the mockery of ethics, goodness, faith and honesty."   
 
Thank you for all you do to make a difference in our world.  
  
Shalom North America Contacts
Click here  for our printer-friendly (pdf) version of the newsletter. 
Integrity of Creation              

Climate Change - We've Reached a "Can't Fail" Moment        
A new report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) foresees an ecosystem-altering climate crisis mere decades away that will impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people unless "unprecedented" transitions across society occur. Current rates of greenhouse gas emissions are projected to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming above preindustrial levels around 2040. According to the IPCC report, capping global warming at 1.5 C would require a dramatic drop in carbon emissions in the next decade - a decline of 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030 - and then reach net-zero by 2050. Catholics who work on the climate change issue say the world has "a moral and ethical imperative to act," with urgency and decisiveness. The global community finds itself at a "can't-fail moment," United Nations officials said. Learn more
 
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Integrity of Creation              

Canada's Top Plastic Polluters     
Much of the plastic trash found on Canadian shorelines can be traced back to five companies: NestlĂ©, Tim Hortons, PepsiCo, the Coca-Cola Company and McDonald's, an audit led by Greenpeace Canada has found. Sarah King, head of Greenpeace Canada's oceans and plastics campaign firmly believes that the companies need to take more responsibility for their product packaging. She thinks consumers can have the biggest impact by pushing companies for reusable and refillable alternatives to single-use plastic packaging. Learn more.  
 
    
 
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Integrity of Creation              

Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War (11/6)    Though humankind has always counted its war casualties in terms of dead and wounded soldiers and civilians, the environment has often remained the unpublicized victim of war. Water wells have been polluted, crops torched, forests cut down, soils poisoned, and animals killed to gain military advantage. The UN Environment Programme has found that over the last 60 years, at least 40 percent of all internal conflicts have been linked to the exploitation of natural resources. Learn more.


Human Life and Dignity               

Native American Heritage Month    
In the U.S., November is Native American Heritage Month. The month is meant to call attention to contributions made by the first Americans to the development of North America, and to raise awareness about the struggles and triumphs of Native Americans throughout history and today. One such struggle is the vulnerability to human trafficking experienced by Indigenous peoples. One study involving the U.S. and Canada found that on average, 40 percent of female sex trafficking victims identified as American Indian, Alaska Native, or First Nations, although Native women represent only 10 percent or less of the general population in the studied communities. Learn more, take action to help address the issue of human trafficking.  


 
Human Life and Dignity               

Proposed Flores Regulation      
The Trump administration has published proposed regulations to implement the terms of the Flores Settlement Agreement, the 1997 legal settlement that governs the conditions of children held in immigration detention. The proposed regulations would remove key safeguards and lead to the long-term detention of children, as well as long-term family detention. The proposed rule would also end existing Flores requirements that facilities holding immigrant children, including family detention facilities, be state-licensed. Learn more/let your voice be heard. Deadline for comments is November 6.    
 
Human Life and Dignity               

Proposed Public Charge Regulation     
The Trump administration has proposed a rule making it much more difficult for immigrants to apply for legal immigration status in the U.S. by expanding what it means to be a "public charge." As a result of this proposal, many millions of lawful immigrants could be penalized for accessing essential housing, health care, and anti-hunger programs. The proposed regulation would dramatically increase the barriers to lawful status for low-income immigrants and their families. It could also discourage parents from obtaining benefits for which their children qualify, out of fear that they may not be able to regularize their immigration status in the future. Learn more, let your voice be heard.

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Human Life and Dignity              

Keep Doors Open for Asylum Seekers   
The Trump administration is considering an executive order to turn away families fleeing violence in Central America and block access to asylum, as the "caravan" of people seeking protection continues on their long journey to the United States. This "caravan" of asylum seekers represents a humanitarian crisis, not a threat to our national security. These families are fleeing violence, desperation, and persecution and are traveling together for safety on their dangerous journey. Learn more/take action. Consider this St. Martin de Porres inspired reflection/prayer about tolerance and acceptance. 
 
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Human Life and Dignity              

Election Day            
That long-awaited day will soon be here! And there will be many shouts of joy and sighs of relief that the campaign season is over and we can be done with all the political noise and fervor. But, according to the words of that old song - "We've only just begun," voting is a right, but it is also a responsibility both before and after the election. Check out this article for a reflection on voting as a right, a responsibility or a privilege. LCWR Resolutions to Action - A Crucial Midterm Pivot. In the voting booth, weigh climate change as a pro-life issue.    

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Human Life and Dignity              

World Day of the Poor (11/18)    
The theme for the second annual World Day of the Poor is a Psalm verse: "This poor man called out, and the Lord heard him." Pope Francis is urging all Christians to combat indifference to the suffering and marginalization of the most needy. "God's answer to the poor is always an intervention of salvation in order to heal the wounds of body and soul, restore justice and assist in beginning anew to live life with dignity...The World Day of the Poor wishes to be a small answer which the whole Church, spread throughout the world, gives to the poor of every type and in every land lest they think that their cry has gone unheard." Read full message here.  
 
Pope Francis presents World Day of the Poor
Pope Francis presents World Day of the Poor
 
   
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Human Life and Dignity               

Universal Children's Day (11/20)   
Universal Children's Day is a day that celebrates the unique potential of each and every child, and that reminds us all to continue to work for children's rights, as outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child. The theme this year is: Children are taking over and turning the world blue - building a world "where every child is in school, safe from harm, and can fulfill their potential!" Make sure to wear blue in support on 11/20 and click here for other ways to participate! Consider this resource on child labor, illiteracy and poverty. 

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Peace and Non-Violence              

US Canada Flags Veterans/Remembrance Day (11/11) 
The other common name for this day is Armistice Day which marks the date and time when armies stopped fighting World War I on November 11, 1918 - 100 years ago. We remember, with great sadness, all those who served and gave their lives or their health and well-being in the Armed Forces. We pray for the dead, that their souls rest in peace, and we pray for healing for all those wounded in some way during conflict. May we also come to believe that war is not the answer and resolve to work for peace in their memory. Check out Veterans for Peace to find out more. 
              
Peace and Non-Violence              

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (11/25)  
Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today. This violence impacts on, and impedes, progress in many areas, including poverty eradication, combating HIV/AIDS, and peace and security. However, violence against women and girls is not inevitable. Prevention is possible and essential. Prayer resource, prayer service.  
 
Peace and Non-Violence              

Oscar Romero, Persecuted for My Sake  
Oscar Romero (1917-1980) was named a saint by the Catholic Church on October 14, 2018. As Archbishop of San Salvador for the last four years of his life, Romero was a strong, public voice for the many voiceless and anonymous poor of El Salvador and Latin America. When he preached in the cathedral on Sunday mornings, it has been said the streets were empty and all the radios were on full volume, to hear truth and sanity in an insane and corrupt world. Read the full reflection by Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM.
                    

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 tdewane@ssndcp.org.

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