Words of Hope
words of hope

“The care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all, our most pleasing responsibility.  To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.”

---Wendell Berry
Take Action
Sr. Donna Graham, OSF
April 9, 2014
Greetings friars and friends,

The OFM JPIC Office in Rome has announced a new website, Franciscans for Ecology, http://francis35.org .  It includes resources for celebrating the 35th anniversary of St. Francis being named the Patron Saint of Ecology by Pope John Paul II on Nov. 29, 1979.

Franciscans worldwide are being asked to celebrate this anniversary in some way, to help promote among all people a spirit of care for creation in the spirit of St. Francis.  The celebration could also be linked with that of the Spirit of Assisi, which occurs every year on the 28th of October, to commemorate the meeting of Pope John Paul II in 1986 with leaders of world religions to pray for peace.

Peace and all good,
Sr. Donna Graham, OSF
Franciscan Justice and Peace Office
OFM Province of St. John the Baptist
Cincinnati, OH, USA
513-721-4700 ext. 3229
sjbjpic@franciscan.org
www.franciscan.org


April 2, 2014
Greetings friars and friends,

May God give you peace!  Yesterday a number of bishops, led by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, celebrated Mass at the border in Nogales, Arizona, to point out the need for comprehensive immigration reform. The day before the bishops had celebrated Mass at San Xavier del Bac Mission outside Tucson, walked along desert paths used by migrants, met with the Border Patrol, and served dinner at a soup kitchen in Mexico, which serves people who have been deported or are deciding if they want to migrate to the U.S.  The bishops were following the lead of Pope Francis, who last summer visited the Italian island of Lampedusa, where Middle Eastern and African migrants try to enter Europe. Cardinal O’Malley quoted Pope Francis saying, “We have lost a sense of responsibility for our brothers and sisters. We have fallen into the hypocrisy of the priest and the Levite whom Jesus described in the parable of the good Samaritan.”

The bishops have been encouraging us to contact our congresspersons urging them to pass compassionate, just, comprehensive immigration reform. You can send a letter at the bishops’ Justice for Immigrants website or at NETWORK’s website

Peace and all good,
Sr. Donna Graham, OSF
Franciscan Justice and Peace Office
OFM Province of St. John the Baptist
Cincinnati, OH, USA
513-721-4700 ext. 3229
sjbjpic@franciscan.org
www.franciscan.org


March 11, 2014
Greetings friars and friends,

May God give you peace!  If you’re looking for a Lenten practice, here are some suggestions. A "Caring for Creation” calendar from the Archdiocese of Washington can be found at http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/ADW-LENTEN-CALENDAR-2014.pdf . It suggests eco-friendly practices for each day of Lent.
 
Below are some resources suggested by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
 
 
Lenten Resources on the Death Penalty and Care for God's Creation
 
Are you still looking for great resources this Lent on urgent social justice topics?  Consider these two items that have been reviewed and approved for use by the Archdiocesan Catholic Social Action Office.

 
Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center's Death Penalty Study, Prayer and Action Guide

This resource, compiled by Archdiocesan Social Action Commissioner, Sr. Christine Pratt, and staff of IJPC, provides a helpful array of Catholic Church teaching, prayers, intercessions, facts, sample prayer cards, and more.  This Lent, please consider using these ideas at appropriate places in parish liturgies, as bulletin announcements, and for your own understanding of this important life issue.  To access this resource, click here

  
Marianist Environmental Education Center Lenten Energy Fast Booklet

The Lenten Energy Fast booklet produced by the Marianist Environmental Education Center is available for viewing or download by clicking here.
 
This resource includes the science of climate impacts, Scripture form Sunday Lectionary (Cycle A), reflection and prayer suggestions to guide the reader through the Lenten Season in consideration of climate justice.  It features Catholic Social Teaching on the Environment and quotes from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Popes Francis and Benedict.  Included are suggestions for an Energy Fast and Forty Ways in Forty Days to cut personal energy use.  Suitable for individuals or communities.


Peace and all good,
Sr. Donna Graham, OSF
Franciscan Justice and Peace Office
OFM Province of St. John the Baptist
Cincinnati, OH, USA
513-721-4700 ext. 3229
sjbjpic@franciscan.org
www.franciscan.org


September 11, 2013
Greetings friars and friends,
May God give you peace! The ESC Provincials have issued a statement calling for a nonviolent resolution of the conflict in Syria. It can be found on the OFM English Speaking Conference website.

Though there is now hope that the conflict can be resolved without violence, please continue to let the White House, your Senators and Representatives know that you oppose any military effort in Syria and support a non-violent, diplomatic resolution of the conflict. You can learn more and send letters at the USCCB website.

If you receive e-mails from the Franciscan Action Network (FAN), you may already have seen this. There is an article in the August 12 newsletter about the Song and Spirit Institute in Berkley, MI, where some of our friars live and work. If you don't receive the newsletter and would like to, you can sign up for it on the FAN website by clicking on Receive Our Updates on the right hand side. You'll find the most recent Newsletter from Sept. 9 online.

Peace and all good,
Sr. Donna Graham, OSF
Franciscan Justice and Peace Office
OFM Province of St. John the Baptist
Cincinnati, OH, USA
513-721-4700 ext. 3229
sjbjpic@franciscan.org
www.franciscan.org


June 11, 2013
Greetings friars and friends,
May God give you peace!  Last week, on Tuesday, June 4, the seven provincials of the U.S. provinces sent a letter to President Obama and all Senators and Representatives encouraging them to support comprehensive immigration reform. You can find the letter on the new web page of the English Speaking Conference, http://www.escofm.org/1/post/2013/06/provincials-speak-out-on-immigration-reform.html.

 On May 30, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) issued a statement expressing their concern about the use and proliferation of armed drones. The statement can be found at http://www.cmsm.org/documents/05-30-13_CMSM_Statement_Armed_Drones.pdf.

 The Senate is currently considering S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. You can send a letter to your senators at the Justice for Immigrants website.

Our US Bishops support comprehensive immigration reform.  You'll find a recent statement by Cardinal Timothy Dolan in USA Today.  Further information on the USCCB position can be found in an NCR article. 

A new Vatican document calls Catholics to recognize refugees as brothers and sisters.



Peace and all good,
Sr. Donna Graham, OSF
Franciscan Justice and Peace Office
OFM Province of St. John the Baptist
Cincinnati, OH, USA
513-721-4700 ext. 3229
sjbjpic@franciscan.org
www.franciscan.org


January 17, 2013
Greetings friars and friends,
May God give you peace! The JPIC Animators of the U.S. provinces sent a letter to President Obama encouraging him to advance comprehensive immigration reform in his second term. This was done with the support and encouragement of the ESC provincials. You can read the letter at http://www.franciscansforjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Immigration-letter-President2.pdf .
 
The epidemic of gun violence in the U.S. has finally led to action as President Obama is now proposing stricter gun control measures, background checks, mental health resources, etc.  Our U.S. bishops called for a strengthening of firearms regulations and improved mental health treatment following the Newtown tragedy.  CMSM, LCWR, and other Catholic groups have signed an interfaith letter to Congress calling for more stringent gun control laws. In an editorial the National Catholic Reporter says gun control is a pro-life issue and calls for an assault weapons ban. 
 
NETWORK is also calling for action on gun violence prevention. Read more and send a letter to your congresspersons on NETWORK's website.
 
You may also be interested in the following articles:
 
US preoccupation with guns is the enemy within by Joan Chittister
 
Boston researcher: Public health strategies could help reduce gun violence
Peace and all good,
Sr. Donna Graham, OSF
Franciscan Justice and Peace Office
OFM Province of St. John the Baptist
Cincinnati, OH, USA
513-721-4700 ext. 3229
sjbjpic@franciscan.org
www.franciscan.org



Help Congress Support the Environment
 
There are several environmental organizations that make it easy to write to Congress in support of legislation that protects the environment. Some recommended ones are:
Union of Concerned Scientists, www.ucsaction.org;
Natural Resources Defense Council, www.nrdc.org/action/default.asp;
Write Congress
 
NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, has an easy way to stay updated on the issues in Congress and let your Congresspersons know how you want them to vote.You can go to the NETWORK web site, www.networklobby.org, click on Legislative Action Center and get information about bills and issues and also NETWORK’s position on each.You can then directly write your senator or representative, even if you’re not sure who they are. All you need is your zip code. You can go directly to the letter-writing site at capwiz.com/networklobby.
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has a similar site at capwiz.com/fconl/home/.
Government Contacts
 
White House Comment Office: 202-456-1111
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

White House Comment Office: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461
Send E-mail at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
Capital Switchboard number for all Members of Congress: 202-224-3121
Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520
202-647-4000
http://www.state.gov/secretary/