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.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Blessings on the New Year


As we continue our holiday celebrations this thought, posted by Franciscan Action Network, reminds us of what Christmas is all about.  Our justice work makes every day Christmas. 

“Want to keep Christ in Christmas?
feed the hungry,
clothe the naked,
forgive the guilty,
welcome the unwanted,
care for the ill,
love your enemies,
and do unto others as you would have done unto you.” 

An end of the year message arrived today from Pace e Bene.  It’s  draws us into the center from which we continue the work of justice, peace and integrity of creation.  I offer it for your own pondering. 

“Every day is made from joy. Every day is precious. As we continue to move through these times of great incertitude, these are important things to remember, to cherish. Not just every day but every action we make can be filled with precious joy.  Joy breeds joy, happiness breeds happiness.   It is the joyful thought that can lift the spirits, the joyful face that can light up the darkness, the joyful heart that can change the world.  At Pace e Bene Campaign/Nonviolence we teach that true change starts within, becomes manifest in our actions and then becomes a gift that shared with the world makes all things possible. We are grateful for all that we have been able to give and receive this year and look forward to filling the world with joy in this coming year.” 

Here is the link to Pace e Bene --   Each day the provide a one or two sentence reflection.  It is a must read to the start of my day.

There will be no shortage of issues in 2018 calling for our attention, prayer, and action.  Don’t let it overwhelm you.  Choose an issue or issues that you are passionate and would like to affect change -- an outcome of knowledge, skill, attitude, value, behavior, activity and make an achievable plan for yourself or your family, then begin.

Blessing of joy and Peace through the New Year!

Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation Coordinator
Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes

Thursday, December 21, 2017

JusticeAlert December 21, 2017

A good effort was put forth to stop the GOP tax bill, but it came up short.   Here are some of the worst parts of this bill:
  • Opens the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling
  • Gives massive handouts to corporate polluters and other corporations
  • Balloons our deficit by about $1.4 trillion which will force funding cuts to public health and environmental programs in the months to come
  • Repeals a key part of the Affordable Care Act, leaving 13 million people without healthcare in the next 10 years, increasing premiums, and creating uncertainty for many hardworking families1
  • Imposes a devastating excise tax on Puerto Rico that would kill job-creating industries on the hurricane-ravaged island while it's still recovering
We do give up hope or our efforts to bring about a “cleaner, safer, and more just and equitable future for all” (Michael Brune, Sierra Club). 

With the few short days left, Congress could pass a Dream Act.  Call your representatives and senators to pass a clean bill protecting Dreamers from deportation and providing a way toward citizenship. 

The message in one of Sister Doris Klein’s Christmas card creations is my Christmas prayer for you.
May you and our world
    be blessed with
             Hope, Healing, and Peace
throughout this coming year.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Senators Need to Hear From You


Just a few reminders that a lot of things could happen in Congress before they break for Christmas:

Pressure is being put on Congress to pass a clean Dream Act.  Keep it up.
The tax bill will likely come up for a vote.  Two bad bills (both the House and the Senate) are not going to create a good one coming out of conference.  House members, who face re-election next year, are most likely to hear your encouragement to vote no, but senators need to hear from you, too.

The House voted to sharply expand concealed-carry gun rights.  Senators need to hear from you.

Net neutrality is being threatened.  To protect it Congress will need to act.

Most importantly as we continue to prepare for Christmas, the birth of the Prince of Peace, let peace reign in your heart.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Justice Alerts - December 1, 2017


I have heard from a number of you that you have been diligently making phone calls.  Great!

These issues continue to need attention:

  • The senate tax bill has run into a glitch, but efforts continue to get a vote today. 
  • A clean Dream Act
  • Cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency.   Here are some talking points you can use: 
    • You are concerned about funding for our environmental protections
    • The EPA is an essential line of defense between polluters and our communities
    • The Senate’s spending bill would cut millions from its budget
    • Cuts to the EPA are unacceptable
    • The Senator must oppose any year-end spending deal that cuts the EPA

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Dream Act: Take action Before December 6

Some members of Congress have expressed an interest in addressing the situation of these young people, possibly by December 6th. While timing is not certain, it is important to send a message to Congress that we want these protections, we want them now, and we do not want them to be tied to detention or border enforcement legislation. 

The Ignatian Solidarity Network and the Jesuit Conference's Office of Justice and Ecology have developed a letter to be utilized by schools, churches, and other groups. It is our hope that your institution or group can commit to hand-delivering signed letters to district/state offices of members of the U.S. House and Senate by December 6th.

Here is the info you need to begin taking action:
The Letter (This is a PDF; you have to print it.)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

JusticeAlerts - November 28, 2017

Congress is in session and they have a lot on their plate.  Make your voice heard.  Contact your senators on one or more of the items below. 

1. It is possible that the Senate will vote on their tax bill yet this week.  Catholic bishops say the G.O.P.-backed tax reform plan is “unconscionable” and “unacceptable,” pointing to “fundamental structural flaws” that they say “will raise income taxes on the working poor while simultaneously providing a large tax cut to the wealthy.” They are among a growing number of groups and individuals opposed to the bill.  The Senate has once again changed its own rules allowing the final vote to pass by 50 plus 1 votes instead of 60.  

2. The final budget vote is scheduled for December 8.  Presently it includes a 31% cut to the Environmental Protection Agency along with other cuts to other vital services programs. 

3. The FCC will vote on his plan to gut net neutrality on December 14.   Net neutrality is meant to ensure that all content on the Internet be treated equally.  We need action from Congress. 

4. Every day that Congress fails to pass a Dream Act, 122 immigrant youth lose DACA protections. That’s 854 every week.  Paul Ryan wants to wait until March to work on the Dream Act.  A clean Dream Act is needed now.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Thank you to all justice seekers, peace makers, and caregivers of creation!   As coordinator of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation office for the Sisters of St Agnes what gives me hope and fills me with gratitude are the many people, like you, who bring blessings to our world.  May blessings return to you a hundredfold.  

After the Thanksgiving holiday there will be a great push in the senate to pass their tax bill.  I encourage you to become educated about the bill, to decide if you think it is fair, and then to contact your senators to let them know how you want them to vote.  While we are taken up with the holiday spirit, some legislators will try to hurry a tax bill to the President’s desk before Christmas.  Since taxes affect all of us, it is worth our while to know what is in the bill before we must live with its consequences for education, the environment, healthcare, jobs,people in need, the economy and more.

Being blessed always requires that we become a blessing for others.  Thank you—you are a blessing!


Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation Coordinator
Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes

Friday, November 3, 2017

Brief Petition for Each of the Days Scheduled For the Paris Global Climate Talks

Attached you will find a brief petition for each of the days scheduled for the Paris Global Climate Talks, beginning with Monday, November 6.  

Share the word:  Neither repealed nor replaced, the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land. And for people seeking coverage in ACA marketplaces the sign up time continues until December 15.   This is important information to share with folks who may not be aware that ACA is till effective and that the period for sign-up has been shortened. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Justice Alert . . .

We ask the intercession of all of the justice worker saints for blessing upon our efforts.  Here are three items for action:

1.  Contact your members of the US Congress asking them to support the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017.  Ask for a clean bill -- no strings attached. 

2.  A Quick Reminder. The House has released its tax proposal. Immediate calls opposing the House’s version of the tax bill are most effective. The bill gives massive tax breaks to the wealthy, increases the deficit as the federal government spirals into more and more debt and then cuts vital services like Medicare, Medicaid, and education to help pay the cost. Call or email your representative.

3.  You’ve probably heard that Trump is planning to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, the landmark international climate change agreement. What you might not know (I didn’t) is that in spite of this, the U.S. will continue participating in the international negotiations related to the Paris Agreement. This means that under Trump’s pro-corporate administration, not only is the U.S. backing out of our own climate commitments at the behest of Big Polluters, but it’ll be bullying other countries from all around the world to weaken their commitments, too.  If you are willing to make a call to the State Department on Monday evening, November 6, or within a day or two after, please let me know.  This is part of an effort to blitz the State Department with messages.  I will send you a short response form that you will return to me if you are able to reach a person or leave a message. Please respond to

Friday, October 27, 2017

Stop Sabotaging International Efforts To Act On Climate Change

The current administration already broke faith with 194 other countries by pulling the United States out of its commitment to the Paris climate agreement. Syria, because of the devastation in their country, is the only other nation not a part of the agreement.  Originally Nicaragua was not a signer, but they have recently come on board.  However, senior Trump officials continue to obstruct progress for the rest of the world at meetings on the agreement with other international leaders.

Backed by fossil-fuel billionaires, Trump officials keep going to the meetings to represent the interests of big polluters. Since Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement, it's only fair that the U.S. also stop trying to sabotage international meetings about implementation. 

Below is a link for a petition put forth by Climate Hawks Vote calling on Trump and Exxon CEO-turned Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to stop sabotaging international efforts to act on climate change. 

Sign our petition
Share this with family and friends (even enemies) who support the Paris Peace Agreement

Friday, October 20, 2017

51 Senators Vote to Slash Medicaid in order to Pay for Tax Cuts for the Rich

They also voted to cut Medicare, education, housing assistance, job training, home heating/cooling assistance, SNAP, Meals on Wheels, Head Start, environmental and public health protections, child care, help for people with disabilities.

They were able to accomplish this by once again changing the rule from 60 to 50 votes needed to pass the budget.   Next they will try to pass a tax bill that put money into the pockets of the rich, raise the budget for the Pentagon, and increase the deficit.

Two pieces of good news:

  1. As a result of a 60 minutes piece the man that Trump nominated to become his drug czar, Republican Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania withdrew his name from nomination to head the Drug Enforcement Agency.  The law that he sponsored has removed effective DEA oversight of the distribution of Opioids, the addictive drugs that are taking lives in epidemic proportions.
  2. There is energy on the grass roots level for addressing the issues facing us as a result of policies and actions by the current administration.  Check it out.  There is an active group near you near you. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Call House Speaker Ryan


Call House Speaker Paul Ryan. Congress is getting ready to vote on a bill, HR 3668, that would deregulate flash suppressors, silencers, and armor-piercing ammunition.  

Tell him to kill this NRA-priority bill. Tell him we expect action from Congress, not silence. Call Speaker Ryan at (202) 225-3031.