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.

Friday, May 17, 2019

No Executions Anywhere in the United States June 2019!

At the time of this writing

there are no executions scheduled 

anywhere in the United States 

for June 2019.

Let's keep it this way!


Friday, May 10, 2019

Honor Mothers by Acting to Stop Separation of Immigrant Families on Mothers Day - May 12

Join the Interfaith Immigrant Coalition in honoring mothers by acting to stop separation of immigrant families this Mother's Day - May 12.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

VISA: Help stop the next mass shooting

Credit cards are financing mass shootings. More than half of the deadliest shootings in the last decade were financed through credit card purchases. It’s time Visa does something about it. 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Take Action for #NoBorderWall and equal protection under the law for the borderlands!

Background: The Trump Administration is mocking the law and the American people. Congress already gave Trump about $3 billion for border walls, but he wants more, so he’s raided about $1 billion from the military and intends to take even more. That money has already been awarded to profiteering border wall construction companies, even though the call for public comments on the project remains open!  

Next, Homeland Security waived 32 laws for new border walls in New Mexico and Arizona, bringing the total number of laws waived under this administration to a whopping 49. 

Please take action and tell them it’s not OK to impose lawless, wasteful walls!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

TWO WEEKS left to save the Clean Water Act

The last chance to comment on a Trump administration proposal that would gut the Clean Water Act is April 15. The proposal, which has no basis in science, would be disastrous for our waterways, removing safeguards from historically protected rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands, and other waters.
Just as a child with the flu can infect a whole classroom, pollution in these waterways could taint all the waters they connect with, imperiling drinking water sources and endangered species from coast to coast.
Just a few examples:
  • Sixty percent of creeks and streams in California could lose Clean Water Act protection.
  • The Central Closed Basin, a 14,605-square-mile sub-watershed of the Rio Grande, stretching from Albuquerque into Mexico, could lose protection.
  • Irrigation ditches that run for 250 miles along just one creek in the Rogue River watershed could lose protection.
  • Montana’s Big Hole River, home to the last native sustaining population of Arctic Grayling in the lower 48 United States, could lose protection.
Our complete work on this proposal is here.
“It’s vital to the health of our larger rivers that these smaller rivers are protected,” says Wade Fellin, program director of Upper Missouri Waterkeeper.
All our waters deserve protection. Speak up now to preserve the Clean Water Act’s protections for waterways around the country. We are close to 5,000 comments from our supporters. Please share this with a friend and help us get there!
Note: Please personalize your comment by including the reasons why clean water is so important to you and any other concerns you have.

Friday, March 15, 2019

UNANIMA International News from the UN and Around the World

Group working to end homelessness

The second edition from UNANIMA International News from the UN and Around the World is here in English and Spanish.
Want to stay up-to-date on all the action within UNANIMA between newsletters? Following them on Facebook and Twitter!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

February 22 is National Skip the Straw Day

Tomorrow is National Skip the Straw Day. At Environment America, we're celebrating with a pledge to say "no" to single-use plastic products we don't need, starting with the humble plastic drinking straw.
Every individual straw may be small, but straws -- and other single-use plastic products -- have an out-sized impact on the environment. That's why we're skipping the straw this Friday -- and why we think every day should be Skip the Straw Day.
Will you take the pledge to skip the straw, and commit to reducing the amount of single-use plastic in your daily life?
You probably won't use any individual plastic straw for more than a couple of minutes, but once you throw it away, it will stay in the environment for decades, if not centuries. Some plastic products take 450 years to completely break down -- and some may never disappear at all.1
Instead, plastics just break into smaller and smaller pieces. That's bad news for birds, turtles, whales and other ocean wildlife who can then mistake garbage for food. Last year, a sperm whale washed ashore with over 1,000 pieces of plastic in its stomach.2
More than 8 million metric tons of plastic flow into the ocean every year.3 Plastic straws may be convenient, but the planet just can't afford any more disposable plastic "stuff" entering the environment. If you can, quitting straws is a great place to start.
Participate in National Skip the Straw day this year by pledging to say "no" to plastic straws.
As individuals, we can't solve the problem of plastic waste on our own. But each action makes a difference -- by dumping less waste on the planet AND by making bolder changes possible. Whether you swap your plastic straw for a renewable or reusable alternative, or just decide to go without, your choice to cut back on plastic use is important.
Join Environment America and our friends at U.S. PIRG in taking this step towards a future free of plastic pollution. Take the pledge: Say "no" to plastic straws tomorrow, and commit to reduce your use of single use plastic.
Thank you,
Ed Johnson

1. Laura Parker, "We Made Plastic. We Depend On It. Now We're Drowning In It," National Geographic, June 2018.
2. Trevor Nace, "Yet Another Dead Whale Found With Pounds Of Plastic In Its Stomach," Forbes, November 26, 2018.
3. Jenna Jambeck, et al., "Plastic Waste Inputs from Land into the Ocean," Science, February 12, 2015.

Donate today. A cleaner, greener future is within our reach. Your donation today can help us bring the vision we share a little closer to reality.

Environment America, Inc.
1543 Wazee Street, Suite 410, Denver, CO 80202, (303) 801-0581
Federal Advocacy Office: 600 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20003, (202) 683-1250
Member Questions or Requests: 1-800-401-6511.
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Monday, February 11, 2019

Establish background checks through HR 8

Good news.
The House held its first hearing on gun safety reform in eight years. It’s about time.

While President Trump will have you believe there’s a national emergency at the border that requires a “big, beautiful wall” paid for by American taxpayers, the real crisis facing our country is the epidemic of gun violence.
We must take action to reduce gun violence, and establishing universal background checks is a commonsense measure that 90 percent of Americans support. 

While this legislation moves forward in the House, we need to make it clear to the Republican-controlled Senate that this expansion of background checks on all gun sales and most transfers is what the American people want and, more importantly, deserve.

That’s where you come in: will you add your name today to send a strong message to the Senate in support of establishing universal background checks through HR 8?


Friday, February 8, 2019

Nuns, Priests and the Bomb Panel Discussion

Nuns, Priests, and the Bomb is a Helen Young documentary that follows several activists, including 82-year-old Sister Meghan Rice, who risked long jail terms in their efforts to move the world away from the nuclear brink. This film follows two cases: the July 2012 break-in at the site known as America’s “Fort Knox of Uranium” in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and the 2009 Plowshares action at a US naval base near Seattle, Washington. It follows the activists’ legal efforts to justify their actions under international law and highlights the power of their moral conviction. 

The breach in security was the only concern of a congressional hearing that followed the incident at Oak Ridge. International law that prohibits the production of weapons resulting in indiscriminatory casualties was not addressed.  Neither was it in the courts, which prohibited any evidence backing the contention or the motives of the protestors. 

A question that surrounded the trials and stiff sentences for the protestors was also posed to the panel that followed the screening of the film. Does “blind justice” rule out any consideration of the morality behind creating, stockpiling, and updating weapons that could annihilate Earth? The courts said “yes,” as did the lawyer on the panel who himself agreed that nuclear weapons should not exist. He asked if it was possible to maintain any sense of order if the morality of a law or action could be argued in a trial situation.  An audience member suggested that perhaps our justice system needs a “little chaos” to raise awareness about its shortcomings.  

When asked if she thought that their act of civil disobedience had any impact, Sister Meghan said that she did not know, but perhaps its impact was yet to come.  What do you think?  Is it time for another protest action?

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

You can make a public comment on SNAP through April 2.

In spite of SNAP being preserved in the budget by congress, the Administration has proposed a rule that would take away SNAP eligibility for 755,000 unemployed and underemployed adults. That means cutting SNAP food benefits by $15 billion over 10 years. This would make hunger and poverty in this country far worse.  The link enables you to make a public comment through April 2.  A public comment cannot be a cut and paste message.  It must contain about 1/3 of your own words. You can click on proposed a rule to read the rule, then continue below.  The rest of document contains additional information on food assistance.

Monday, February 4, 2019

From The New York Times: End Forced Labor in Immigrant Detention

Here is a another issue to raise when you contact your senators and representatives. The piece is short.
From The New York Times: End Forced Labor in Immigrant Detention
Why is Congress allowing private contractors to exploit detained immigrants?

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Celebrate Community

The public is invited to Celebrate Community on Saturday, February 16, 2019.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Things to Know About DACA Right Now

Attached is an update describing the current DACA reality since the Supreme Court decided not to take DACA up during this term of hearings.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Nuns, The Priests and The Bomb

Dear Friends,
The Nuns, The Priests and The Bombs is the title of film that is being shown on January 31, 7 pm, at the Norbertine Center for Spirituality, St. Norbert Abbey, 1016 N Broadway, De Pere. 
In July 2012 three persons broke into a secured nuclear storage site in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, that housed enough uranium to create 10,000 nuclear bombs. It happens that these three were an 82-year-old religious sister and two other peace activists. Trying to advocate for peace through the Plowshares Movement, Sr. Megan Rice and the two peace advocates are chronicled in this film as they share their story.
Following the film there will a panel discussion.  Members of the panel include: Fr. Joseph Mattern, Mr. David Mueller, Mr. James O'Neil, and Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
  • Facilitator: Br. Steve Herro, O. Praem.
  • Cost: Tickets available at the door: Adults $7, Students $5, Children (12 and under) $2
  • All proceeds go to the Green Bay Film Festival
  • Registration appreciated.  Open the link, scroll down to Bookings, and fill in the blanks.
Please register for one person at a time. This helps us maintain accurate registration numbers! If you have any questions, please contact the Norbertine Center for Spirituality office at or call 920.337.4315.

Monday, January 21, 2019

A Forward: Tell the Army Corps: The Line 3 tar sands pipeline puts us all at risk.

We've got just four days left on our only chance to officially tell the federal government to protect us from the risks posed by Line 3. Larger than Keystone XL, it's a massive tar sands pipeline that would transport 760,000 barrels of dirty tar sands oil through our communities and waterways every day. Tell the Army Corps to put the brakes on a project that could devastate our fresh water supply and critical Indigenous cultural resources for generations to come.
More than 20,000 Sierra Club supporters stepped up like we haven't seen in a long time to ask that the Army Corps extend the public comment period for Enbridge's Line 3, a massive dirty tar sands pipeline that's larger than Keystone XL.
No word on an extension yet, but with the public comment period closing in only 4 days, we can't wait. We need to submit as many official comments as we can telling the Army Corps not to grant Enbridge one of the few federal permits they need to start construction until adequate environmental review has been done.
Tell the Army Corps: The dirty tar sands Line 3 pipeline puts our water at risk..
Line 3 would transport 760,000 barrels of dirty tar sands oil through our communities every day. It would cross the Mississippi River, northern Minnesota lake country, pristine wild rice lakes, the Lake Superior watershed, Chippewa National Forest, and the Fond du Lac Reservation -- home to the Ojibwe people who have lived in the Great Lakes region since before 800 A.D.
Enbridge, the Canadian company pushing Line 3, has a terrible track record of devastating pipeline spills. Between 1999 and 2010, it was responsible for more than 800 pipeline spills, including the Kalamazoo River disaster which saw 843,000 gallons of toxic tar sands crude dumped into Michigan's waterways -- costing more than a billion dollars in cleanup costs and making local residents sick.
The truth with these hazardous pipelines is it's not a matter of if a pipeline will spill, but when. Tar sands are one of the dirtiest sources of oil on the planet, and when they spill into water they are nearly impossible to clean up. For a massive project like this where so much is at risk, we need a robust environmental review.
Tell the Army Corps: No fast tracked permit for the dirty Line 3 tar sands pipeline.
The Army Corps federal Clean Water Act permit (called a Section 404 permit) is one of the only chances all of us across the country will officially have to weigh in against this massive tar sands pipeline. Because Line 3 puts so many major bodies of water that all of us rely on at risk, the Army Corps shouldn't be rushing this permit..
If we are going to stop the Army Corps from moving forward as planned, we need to show just how many people are on our side. The more of us that step up, the better our chances of fighting back against this dirty tar sands pipeline. 
Tell the Army Corps: put the brakes on the dirty Line 3 tar sands pipeline.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Vatican Publications on Human Trafficking

Vatican releases publication for Catholics combatting trafficking - Please share!
The Migration and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has released a set of guidelines to help the worldwide Catholic community eradicate human trafficking. The publication, Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking, offers Catholic dioceses, parishes, religious congregations, schools and universities an in-depth reading and comprehension of modern day slavery to serve as much needed encouragement to anti-trafficking ministries.   The publications’ points can be leveraged in homilies, education, and media.
Feel free to share this publication widely!  To facilitate dissemination, please find social media graphics attached and sample twitter and FB posts below.
  • The Vatican’s release of pastoral guidelines for Catholics dedicated to the eradication of human trafficking  is a source of inspiration and support. Don’t wait any longer – download “Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking”.

Firearm Safety Expo

What am I doing at a Firearm Safety Expo? Having consistently opposed the possession of guns, except as needed by government, law enforcement and hunters, I initially felt out of place at an event designed for manufactures to promote gun safety products. 

I was one of five members of Seventh Generation Interfaith, a socially responsible investing group, attending the Firearm Safety Expo at the Milwaukee Area Technical College on January 16, sponsored by Common Ground, Do Not Stand Idly By and several other local groups. As Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, and Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber spoke, it was clear that the purpose of this gathering of legislators, law enforcement, medical and health leaders and investors was to educate us about the emerging field of firearm-relate safety technologies in hopes of a future of far few suicides, accidental deaths and injuries caused by use or theft of firearms. 

I understood then that in the current political climate around gun control, this is an approach that is already gaining widespread support. The government is the largest purchaser of guns at 40%. Their united support for gun-safety technology, along with support from medical leaders and investors concerned about gun control, can push gun companies to engage in research and development on smart guns and other safety products. This is a good first step. 

Religious communities of women have already gained recognition for their wins on gun safety proposals, notably with a victory in convincing shareholder of American Outdoor Brands, formerly known as Smith & Wesson, to require the company to report on what it’s doing to advance gun safety. 

You never know what you might learn at a firearm safety expo.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

CSA Sisters Lend a Hand at Catholic Charities Respite Center (US Southern Border)

Sisters Clare, Patricia and Julie Ann are at the Catholic
Charities Respite Center at the US southern border.
Day 1

We were hoping to be helpful and we were. I helped to prepare baggies of toiletries, make sandwiches, and pack lunches for refugees to take on the bus. Four bus loads of refugees arrived from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Staff processed the adults while volunteers helped serve soup and salad, provide a change of clothing, a shower, and a mat. I took children by the hand to the dining area and they followed me trustingly. I got so chocked up that I could barely breathe. Children ran out to the yard and played while the parents were processed. Young families, some mothers were breast feeding. A doctor and health care professionals provide limited medical care. People want refugees to be admitted. Workers are needed in farms, restaurants, and hotels. I gave thanks that I am here.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

National Migration Week

Friday, January 11, is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. You are welcome to participate in a prayer service in the chapel at 4:30 pm tomorrow. You can also in pray wherever you are for these intentions. 

This week we have been observing National Migration Week. We know that immigrants are vulnerable to labor and sex trafficking, among other dangers and struggles they face.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Committee commits to co-creating a just society

From a contemplative spirit we will promote systemic change by 
> Seeking guidance from the Gospels, Catholic social and environmental teachings and CSA justice statements 
> Educating ourselves and others about justice 
> Engaging in action for the common good
                                                        Approved: November 13, 2018

At their November meeting the Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation committee adopted a new mission statement which was subsequently approved by the general council.  The committee has acted on its goal to care for water in several ways:
·      Through a PowerPoint presentation to sisters and associates highlighting the negative impact that large cattle farms are having on the nutrition of our food and the availability of clean water, which in turn harms human life
·       Sending a letter to the EPA objecting to the roll back of its protections for clean water and asking them to regulate large cattle farms
·       Writing to state and federal legislators asking them to provide the necessary funding for agencies entrusted with protecting our water; to require polluters pay for cleanup rather than having taxpayers pay or passing costs on to consumer; and to be truthful and transparent in providing information to the public
·       Evaluating our own every day usage of water