Nonviolence . . . Human trafficking . . . Women . . . . The elderly . . . Immigrants' rights . . . Housing. . . Children . . . Prisoners' rights . . . Health care . . . World Hunger . . . Globalization, as it affects Latin America . . . Care of the earth . . . Seamless ethic of life

Note: The ideas and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author's and should not be ascribed to the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes or its members.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Peace Tree Lighting

The Sisters of St. Agnes invite you to the 25th anniversary of the Annual Lighting of the Peace Tree on Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 6:30 pm at the CSA Motherhouse, 320 County Road K, Fond du Lac, WI 54937-8158. RSVP to Chelsea Koenigs at (920) 907-2300 by December 10, 2016.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Action Alert - Tell Local, State, and National Leaders You Welcome Refugees Friends of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, 

Right now, it is more important than ever to tell your local, state, and national leaders that your community welcomes refugees and stands ready to help them integrate and thrive. Now is the time to urge your local and state officials to declare your communities welcoming.

Call your Senators and Representatives today and tell them your community welcomes refugees: 1-866-940-2439
As a beacon of hope, we are a nation grounded in our values of compassion and welcome. With more than 65 million people who have been forced from their homes and are seeking safety, our actions today will determine if we uphold these values. It is imperative we live up to our commitment to the refugees we pledged to welcome and stand against discrimination based on someone's faith or where they come from.

Make your voice heard and urge your local, state, and national policy makers to welcome refugees and support the U.S. refugee resettlement program.
It will take all of us working together to ensure the United States lives out our moral responsibility to stand with refugees. Tell your local officials to declare your community a “Welcoming City.” Tell your state and federal lawmakers to support refugee resettlement. Share stories of welcome with all of your elected leaders and urge them to live up to our welcoming legacy.

Please spread the word and have everyone you know share this alert. Thank you for all your work and support!


Ann Scholz, SSND, PhD
Associate Director for Social Mission
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
8808 Cameron Street
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-588-4955 ext.238 (W)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Engaged Citizens shared an article (see link) about immigration and what we might anticipate happening in the Trump Administration. Passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, advocated by the US Catholic Conference of Bishops, is highly unlikely. Instead, we may see heightened border security, deportations of those convicted (or not) of crime, and anti-immigrant legislation passed by states.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (Nov 25)

It is reported that 1 in 3 women experiences physical or sexual violence in her lifetime, often at the hands of a partner. Violence is a choice; it is not inevitable. Today is the day; now is the time to do what we can in our own circles to end violence against women and girls.

From 25 November through 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence aims to raise awareness and mobilize people everywhere to bring about change. You can “orange the World” by providing monetary and volunteer support to local domestic violence and abuse programs.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Take Action: Urge Leaders to Keep the Promises of Paris Agreement

In late 2015, leaders from around the world came together in Paris to agree on a path toward global carbon reductions.
The goal is worthy. Significantly reducing carbon emissions will protect poor and vulnerable populations and our common home from the most harmful impacts of climate change. Now, it’s time for the United States to live up to its end of the bargain.

Tell our congressional leaders it’s time to keep the commitment we made. As people of faith, we know that by working together, we can achieve progress towards a greater good.  Encourage our elected leaders to live up to the Paris climate agreement.

We will be delivering a petition to the leadership of Congress (i.e. Leader Pelosi, Senator Reid, Senator McConnell, Speaker Ryan) encouraging them to live up to the climate goals as set down in the Paris Agreement and are making one final push to get more signatures. The link to the petition is here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Love Your Enemies By Fred Buechner

Cain hated Abel for standing higher in God's esteem than he felt he himself did, so he killed him. King Saul hated David for stealing the hearts of the people with his winning ways and tried to kill him every chance he got. Saul of Tarsus hated the followers of Jesus because he thought they were blasphemers and heretics and made a career of rounding them up so they could be stoned to death like Stephen. By and large most of us don't have enemies like that anymore, and in a way it's a pity. 

It would be pleasant to think it's because we're more civilized nowadays, but maybe it's only because we're less honest, open, brave. We tend to avoid fiery outbursts for fear of what they may touch off both in ourselves and the ones we burst out at. We smolder instead. If people hurt us or cheat us or stand for things we abominate, we're less apt to bear arms against them than to bear grudges. We stay out of their way. When we declare war, it is mostly submarine warfare, and since our attacks are beneath the surface, it may be years before we know fully the damage we have either given or sustained. 

Jesus says we are to love our enemies and pray for them, meaning love not in an emotional sense but in the sense of willing their good, which is the sense in which we love ourselves. It is a tall order even so. African Americans love white supremacists? The longtime employee who is laid off just before he qualifies for retirement with a pension love the people who call him in to break the news? The mother of the molested child love the molester? But when you see as clearly as that who your enemies are, at least you see your enemies clearly, too.

You see the lines in their faces and the way they walk when they're tired. You see who their husbands and wives are, maybe. You see where they're vulnerable. You see where they're scared. Seeing what is hateful about them, you may catch a glimpse also of where the hatefulness comes from. Seeing the hurt they cause you, you may see also the hurt they cause themselves. You're still light-years away from loving them, to be sure, but at least you see how they are human even as you are human, and that is at least a step in the right direction. It's possible that you may even get to where you can pray for them a little, if only that God forgive them because you yourself can't, but any prayer for them at all is a major breakthrough. 

In the long run, it may be easier to love the ones we look in the eye and hate, the enemies, than the ones whom — because we're as afraid of ourselves as we are of them — we choose not to look at, at all.                                                                                                                         ~ originally published in Whistling in the Dark and later in Beyond Words

The Cosmic Christ

The Cosmic Christ
by Richard Rohr
Center for Action and Contemplation

Heaven and Earth Are One 
Thursday, October 27, 2016 

My systematics professor used to say that if the Resurrection had been filmed, it probably would not have shown a man stepping out of the tomb holding a flag, as most Christian art illustrates. The camera probably would have recorded a huge flash of light. The Risen Christ is Jesus released from all space/time restrictions. He is beyond space; he is beyond time. He includes all of the spiritual and the physical world, reconciled within himself.

Next on our diagram of the Cosmic Christ is the Ascension. In the story of Christ’s ascension as told in Acts (1:9-11), angels appear next to the disciples as they gaze after the rising figure. The angels ask, “Why are you standing here staring up into heaven?” Most of Christianity has been doing just that, straining to find the historical Jesus “up there.” Where did he go? We’ve been obsessed with the question because we think the universe is divided into separate levels—heaven and earth. But it is one universe and all within it is transmuted and transformed by the glory of God. The whole point of the Incarnation and Risen Body is that the Christ is here—and always was! But now we have a story that allows us to imagine it just might be true. 

Jesus didn’t go anywhere. He became the universal omnipresent Body of Christ. That’s why the final book of the Bible promises us a new heaven and a new earth. (Revelation 21:1), not an escape from earth. We focused on “going” to heaven instead of living on earth as Jesus did—which makes heaven and earth one. It is heaven all the way to heaven. What you choose now is exactly what you choose to be forever. God will not disappoint you.

Gateway to Silence: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Reference: Adapted from Richard Rohr, Christ, Cosmology, & Consciousness: A Reframing of How We See (CAC: 2010), MP3 download.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Socially Responsible Investing

Socially Responsible Investing is one facet of justice and peace ministry in which the Sisters of St. Agnes participate. As Coordinator of Justice and Peace and on behalf of the Congregation, I attend meetings of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility and the regional Seventh Generation directed by Fr. Mike Crosby. I focus on different issue areas: climate change; human rights (including human trafficking); food & nutrition; water; lobbying & political spending, etc. Part of the work includes dialogues with companies and, when needed, filing shareholder resolutions in order to get companies to move forward.
This fall, an on-going engagement with Hormel led to a great success! Having had regular dialogues with Company representatives about its use of antibiotics and also its use of water, a number of faith-based investors filed a resolution on the water impacts of its operations. Faced with the possibility of bringing the resolution to all of its shareholders at the next annual meeting, Hormel agreed to participate in the World Wildlife Fund’s Ag Water Challenge and to develop a strong policy on water impacts throughout its supply chain. This example shows the power of socially responsible investment and the willingness of corporations to improve their operations for the common good. As a result of Hormel’s commitments on water, the investors withdrew their resolution.
In addition to the resolution with Hormel this fall I filed resolutions with seven other companies: five on lobbying disclosure; one on water impacts; and another on separation of CEO from Chair of the Board. Thank you for including these endeavors in your prayers.