September 2020 Newsletter
Issue #43
Voting Our Values
As we prepare to vote this fall, the following are some of the basic principles of Catholic Social Teaching. Which candidates or party best represents these? Which of these do we consider when we vote?

  • Human life is sacred, and the dignity of the human person is the starting point for a moral vision for society. 

  • Human dignity can only be realized and protected in the context of relationships with the wider society. How we organize our society — in economics and politics, in law and policy — directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community.

  • The obligation to “love our neighbor” has an individual dimension, but it also requires a broader social commitment. 

  • Everyone has a responsibility to contribute to the good of the whole society, to the common good.

  • The moral test of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable members. The poor have the most urgent moral claim on the conscience of the nation. We are called to look at public policy decisions in terms of how they affect the poor. 

  • Every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency – starting with food, shelter and clothing, employment, health care, and education. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities — to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.  

  • The state has a positive moral function. It is an instrument to promote human dignity, protect human rights, and build the common good. All people have a right and a responsibility to participate in political institutions so that government can achieve its proper goals.

  • The economy must serve people, not the other way around. All workers have a right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, and to safe working conditions. They also have a fundamental right to organize and join unions. People have a right to economic initiative and private property, but these rights have limits. No one should amass excessive wealth when others lack the basic necessities of life.

  • The goods of the earth are gifts from God, and they are intended by God for the benefit of everyone. There is a “social mortgage” that guides our use of the world’s goods, and we have a responsibility to care for these goods as stewards and trustees, not as mere consumers and users. How we treat the environment is a measure of our stewardship, a sign of our respect for the Creator.

  • Peace is not just the absence of war. It involves mutual respect and confidence between peoples and nations. It involves collaboration and binding agreements. There is a close relationship in Catholic teaching between peace and justice. Peace is the fruit of justice and is dependent upon right order among human beings.

  • All people have a right to participate in the economic, political, and cultural life of society. It is a fundamental demand of justice and a requirement for human dignity that all people be assured a minimum level of participation in the community. It is wrong for a person or a group to be excluded unfairly or to be unable to participate in society. 

  • We are one human family. Our responsibilities to each other cross national, racial, economic and ideological differences. We are called to work globally for justice.

Are you a Pope Francis voter? To take a brief quiz from the Network Lobby click here.

For more Catholic Social Teaching resources,

(Image: Catholic Relief Services

3 Lessons of Revolutionary Love
in a Time of Rage
A TED Talk featuring Valarie Kaur, who claims that love is a revolutionary act and an antidote to the rising nationalism, polarization and hate. Moves from the birthing room to tragic sites of bloodshed, shows how the choice to love can be a force for justice. Watch now.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Common Cause
A network of more than a million Americans working together to build a democracy that works for us all, through an innovative, pragmatic, and comprehensive pro-democracy agenda. Their work leads and defines the democracy reform movement, promoting solutions already succeeding in some communities to shift power to the people and away from wealthy special interests and partisan ideologues. Learn more.
For more on Voting Rights, click here.
Rigged: The Voter Suppression Handbook
A resource from the American Issues Initiative. Chronicles how our right to vote is being undercut by a decade of dirty tricks - including the partisan use of gerrymandering and voter purges, and the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court. The film captures real-time voter purges in North Carolina and voter intimidation in Texas.
For more on Voting Rights, click here.
Rally: Communal Prayers
for Lovers of Jesus and Justice
Edited and compiled by Britney Winn Lee. A prayer book for faith communities searching for words to respond to the injustices around them. Supplies words to help Christians lift their voices to God about racism; the abuse of power and privilege; mistreatment of migrants and refugees; lives tragically lost; our violent society; white supremacy; and people being marginalized because of their gender, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, or economic status. Contains prayers for perpetrators, for loving our bodies, for listening to one another, for those who have been wounded by the church.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Want to Change the World?
Start by Being Brave Enough to Care
A TED Talk by Cleo Wade, who advocates for love and acceptance with stories of people at the beginning and end of their lives. Shares some truths about growing up (and speaking up) and reflects on the wisdom of a life well-lived, leaving with the takeaway: be good to yourself, be good to others, be good to the earth. Watch now.
For more Public Witness resources, click here.
Finding Jesus at the Border:
Opening Our Hearts to the Stories of
Our Immigrant Neighbors
By Julia Lambert Fogg. By interweaving biblical narratives of border crossing and recent stories of immigrants at the US-Mexico border, invites Christians to reconsider the plight of their neighbors and respond with compassion to the present immigration crisis. Argues that Christians must step out of their comfort zones and learn to cross social, ethnic, and religious borders--just as Jesus did--to become the body of Christ in the world. Encourages readers to welcome Christ by embracing DREAMers, the undocumented, asylum seekers, and immigrants, and to be advocates for immigrant justice in their communities. Read more.
For more in Immigration, click here.
U.S. Immigration Mini-Course
A resource from the Pew Research Center -- a nonpartisan, non-advocacy fact tank that has been studying immigration for more than a decade. Five short email lessons are delivered every other day. Topics include:
  • Who are today's U.S. immigrants?
  • Who are legal immigrants, and how do they come to the U.S.?
  • Who are unauthorized immigrants in the U.S.?
  • What is immigration's impact on the U.S. population?
  • What do Americans think about immigrants?
For more on Immigration, click here.
White Too Long:
The Legacy of White Supremacy
in American Christianity
By Robert P. Jones. Offers an examination of the relationship between American Christianity and white supremacy, and issues a call for white Christians to reckon with this legacy for the sake of themselves and the nation. Argues that public apologies are not enough— accepting responsibility for the past requires work toward repair in the present. Read more.
For more on Racism, click here.
The Carbon Footprint of
Household Energy Use in the U.S.
A study by the National Academy of Scientists,
that uses data on approximately 93 million individual homes to perform the most comprehensive study of greenhouse gases from residential energy use in the U.S. Provides nationwide rankings of carbon intensity of homes by state and ZIP code and offers correlations between affluence, floor space, and emissions. Learn more.
For more on the Environment, click here.
Outrageous Justice
A resource from the Prison Fellowship, that uses a small-group curriculum, designed to awaken Christians to the need for justice that restores. Participants learn about the challenges in the American criminal justice system and how they can respond in hands-on ways to pursue justice and bring about true hope, restoration, and healing. Includes a six-lesson study guide with discussion questions, actions steps, and videos with teaching segments and first-person stories of people impacted by crime and incarceration. Learn more.
For more on the
Criminal Justice System, click here.
Free the Slaves
Seeks to end one of history’s greatest human rights abuses. Works locally, in some of the world’s worst trafficking hot spots, to generate global change by reducing people’s vulnerability, helping those in slavery to freedom, and transforming the political, economic, cultural, and social circumstances that make slavery possible. Learn more.
For more on Human Trafficking, click here.
Global Migration Data Analysis Center
A resource of the International Organization for Migration. Responds to calls for better international migration data and analysis. Its aims are to:
  • Strengthen the role of data in global migra­tion governance (e.g. Global Compact for Migration, Sustainable Development Goals).
  • Support member states’ capacities to col­lect, analyze and use migration data.
  • Promote evidence-based policies by compiling, sharing and analyzing and other sources of data.
For more on Immigration, click here.
The Violence Project
A nonprofit, nonpartisan research center dedicated to reducing violence in society and using data and analysis to improve policy and practice. Areas of expertise include gun violence, violent extremism, cyber violence, trauma and mental illness, street gangs and youth violence. Learn more.
For more on Gun Violence, click here.
Just Mercy A Catholic Study Guide
A resource from the Catholic Mobilizing Network. Offers a series of reflection questions and supplementary resources online, that serve as an accompaniment to the film Just Mercy and offers viewers a way to explore the call to uphold the sanctity of life within the U.S. criminal legal system. Learn more.
For more on Capital Punishment, click here.
What Migrants Face as They Journey Through the Deadly Darien Gap
A report from the PBS News Hour on people fleeing war, persecution, poverty or the effects of climate change, from the Darien Gap -- one of the most hazardous migrant trails in North America -- a wild, lawless stretch straddling Colombia and Panama. Watch now.
For more on Refugees, click here.
Solidarity Facemask
A timely & practical resource from the
Ignatian Solidarity Network.
  • "Solidarity" is printed on the upper right side.  
  • Washable and re-usable pleated style.
  • Made from an anti-microbial woven material and latex free earloops.

Wearing a mask is an act of solidarity —
it protects everyone.
For more Public Witness resources, click here.
O Divine Spirit!
During the weeks and months ahead, stir our hearts and minds that we might fight for a vision that is worthy of you and your call to honor the dignity of all of your creation.
A vision of who we are as a people, grounded in community and care for all, especially the most marginalized.
A vision that cares for our earth and heals the planet.
A vision that ends structural racism, bigotry and sexism so rife now in our nation and in our history.
A vision that ensures hungry people are fed, children are nourished, immigrants are welcomed.
O Spirit, breathe in us and our leaders a new resolve...that committed to this new American promise, we will work together to build a national community grounded in healing, fearlessly based on truth, and living out of a sense of shared responsibility.
In the name of all that is holy, O Spirit, bring out of this time of global and national chaos a new creation, a new community that can, with your help, realize this new promise that we affirm tonight.
With profound hope, let we the people say: Amen!

Sr. Simone Campbell,
Important Dates This Month
Individuals Honored This Month
September 5th
If you can't feed a hundred people,
then feed just one.
September 14th
On behalf of my outraged Christian conscience, I raise my voice in protest [against the treatment of Jews], and I assert that all men, Aryans and non-Aryans, are brothers because they have been created by the same God; that all men, whatever their race or religion, have the right to be respected by individuals and states. The present anti-Semitic pressures flout human dignity and violate the most sacred rights of the human person and family.
September 22nd
Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don't dare express themselves.
September 30
I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
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