Western Dominican Promoters Meeting; October 23-25, 2008


 

 

Western Dominican Promoters of Justice, Peace, and Care of Creation

MSJ Motherhouse in Fremont – October 23-25, 2008

 

 

Present: Marion Irvine OP (SR), Stella Goodpasture OP (MSJ – North), Mary Sean Hodges OP (MSJ – South), Mary Pat Murphy OP (Tacoma)

Gloria Escalona OPL (St Albert Chapter) – arrived Thursday afternoon

Kate Martin OP (SR Communicator) – arrived Saturday Morning

John Savant – Friday guest speaker

Sisters Cecilia, Mary Virginia leach, Lisa Martinez, and Ellen Mary Cunningham – MSJ local promoters attended Friday Afternoon session

 

Excused: Patricia Erickson OP (Adrian), John Keenan OPL (Western LPC Justice Promoter), John Morris OP (Friars, Holy Name Province), Barbara Larner OP (MSJ Communicator)

Invited but unavailable for this meeting: Elizabeth O’Donnell OP (Promoter of Preaching, MSJ), Pat Farrell OP (Preacher & Vocation Promoter, San Rafael)

 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23

 

9:00 Opening Prayer: The Common Good Prayer – Reflection led by Marion Irvine.

 

Topic

Actions

Decisions / Assignments

Common Good Agenda

S. Marion report: reported on attendance at the Convention for the Common Good, July 11-13, 2008 in Philadelphia. See www.vote…good.com

Recommendations:

Review the Platform booklet which Stella will send us.

Care of Creation / Water

 

(Earth Charter)

SR Dominicans have a corporate stance on the Earth Charter. Implementation is guided by an Implementation Committee, which meets monthly.

 

MSJ Dominicans affirmed the Earth Charter. Application is seen in Congregational action for responsible use of their property at Marywood. Working with the Santa Cruz Land Trust to explore feasibility of entering into a land trust agreement – need congressional approval

Recommendations: (Mary Pat Murphy, Tacoma) Six Session Process for Faith Communities: Care for All of Creation (Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center)IPJC, 1216 NE 65th St., Seattle, WA 9815 60 pg. booklet – $5; for quantity discount contact: ipjc@ipjc.org or 206.223.1138

Request from John Keenan and the Western Lay Provincial Council (LPC) – Executive Committee to add abortion to the Dominican Call to Action

We have all received John Keenan’s e-mail. We all recognize abortion as contrary to support for all life, and we all support the life of the unborn.

Following discussion, we agreed with Fr. John Morris, that abortion is not the central issue of social justice (although it is an important issue). In the past the overemphasis by some groups on the issue of abortion to the exclusion of other life issues, has been discussed. The group assembled decided we would recommend that abortion not be included in the new North American Dominican Call to Action.

 

We understand that John Keenan will be attending the Adrian meeting as the new Justice Promoter of the Western Lay Dominican Province and plans to put forward this issue himself. We acknowledge his right to do so.

Issues to recommend for inclusion in the New Dominican Call to Action.

Call to Action items are all in the Earth Charter:

Care of Creation: 1 – Global Warming

Culture of Peace:

2 – Africa; 3 – Colombia; 4 – Death Penalty;

5 – Disarmament; 6 – Iraq; 7 – Israel / Palestine

Global Partnership:

8 – Human Trafficking; 9 – Migration; 10 – UN

Recommend:

The majority decided to put forth the Earth Charter as the single unifying focus, with the understandings enumerated below in the rationale.

Rationale for inclusion of the Earth Charter in the New Dominican Call to Action:

1. Allows the North American Dominicans to continue the works in which we are already active. Would help us better understand and advocate from the truth of the interconnectedness of the issues of the present issues of our Call to Action. It is a unifying instrument, organizing as it does, our issues of the North American Call to Action within 4 areas of principles. Our congregations have identified the Call issues within the Earth Charter, and some of us have taken corporate stances, and by other methods affirmed the principles of the Charter.

2. Taking the Earth Charter as a focus would help the individuals within our congregations who ask for simplicity; that is, a focus on fewer issues.

3. Focused emphasis by all of us Dominicans together would enrich our common resources.

4. We agree with the statement in the Preamble to the Earth Charter, that: “We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one earth community within a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.”

 

“Therefore, together in hope we affirm the following interdependent principles for a sustainable way of life as a common standard by which the conduct of all individuals, organizations, businesses, governments, and transnational institutions is to be guided and assessed:

1. Respect and Care for the Community of Life;

2. Ecological Integrity;

3. Social and Economic Justice; and

4. Democracy, Nonviolence, and Peace”

 

5. We feel that taking the Earth Charter as a unifying instrument would:

  • Allow the local groups (i.e. Western Dominican Justice Promoters, etc.) to plan and follow up activities with actions.
  • Allow us to utilize the educational materials of the Earth Charter to emphasize interrelationships.
  • Allow us to work with interfaith communities and in intercultural alliances with organizations that work successfully on issues we have named.
  • Emphasize our kinship with others on earth, rather than our dominance over them.
  • Support the efforts of millions of people from whose aspirations the Earth Charter has been developed.
  • Emphasize our call to Care of creation, which emphasizes our value and care for all life.

 

DEATH PENALTY, PRISON ISSUES, & RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

Topic

Actions

Decisions

Death Penalty including Prison Conditions & Incarceration

MSJ – South: Office of Restorative Justice in the LA Archdiocese was redesigned. New programs are underway

 

S. Marion: explained that despite our general opposition to prison construction, the new Death Row facility at San Quentin in San Rafael was necessary to create more healthful and humane housing for the prisoners and prison staff alike

 

S. Mary Sean reported on the effectiveness of letter writing to the Parole Board in a number of cases (12) in which response to a letter writing to the Parole Board had made the difference in the granting of parole.

Recommendations:

Continue sending letters to prevent executions in other states

 

Stella is working on political prisoners in Haiti.

 

DISARMAMENT

 

Topic

Actions

Decisions / Assignments

Disarmament of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction

S. Marion, S. Stella and Gloria attend the 2 events annually at

1. Livermore Nuclear Weapons site on Good Friday morning including stations of the cross, speeches, civil disobedience (CD) See www.trivalleycares.org

2. August events surrounding the anniversaries of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

 

SR and MSJ Dominicans have a corporate stance on nuclear weapons. S. Stella gives testimony when public hearings are held.

 

S. Mary Pat working on Tacoma Dominicans’ taking a corporate stance. A Tacoma stance may be the one needed by the Dominican Sisters, USA (Federation) for its publication of a Federation Corporate Stance.

Recommendations:

Western States Legal Foundation – www.wslfweb.org

Also see Jacqueline Cabasso, Executive Director’s talk in our meeting binder under: Iraqi refugees, peace & read, “disarmament”

 

 

COLOMBIA

 

Topic

Actions

Decisions / Assignments

US Trade Agreements are very important regarding justice in Colombia, as is also advocating against further US military aid

SR has point persons for issues, e.g. S. Bernadette is the point person for Trade Agreements. She states that action related to justice aspects of agreements is being considered.

 

SOA

MSJ / WDJP Representative at the November 2007 SOA event in Georgia was Gloria

 

Communities continue to send delegations to The School of the Americas, which opposes US training of Latin American military in repressive tactics including torture of their own citizens. Three MSJ High school will send delegations this year.

 

 

AFRICA

 

Topic

Actions

Decisions / Assignments

8 Millennium Development Goals: each country has the goal of giving 7% of its GNP to help overcome poverty in developing nations. The US is at 2% of its goal.

 

1) S. Marion is working on this in conjunction with other groups, i.e. the Marin Interfaith Council. Her job is to advocate with Congress. Both she and Stella attend the Social Justice Coordinators Meetings.

 

2) MSJ – SOUTH: Sr. Mary Sean attended “Faces of Poverty” event sponsored by the Millennium Commission of the LA Archdiocese

Recommendations:

Keep congresspersons informed of the importance of meeting their obligations

Review of Minutes: Western Dominican Promoters of Justice, Peace, and Care of Creation Bolinas – October 11-12, 2007. WDJ Promoters requested briefer minutes: concentrated on Topics, Decisions, Actions, Assignments, Follow-up. Stella took minutes for most of Thursday. Gloria will use new format for these minutes.

 

3-3:40 PM: Break – MSJ Community invited the group to the 70th Birthday Party for the Sr. Mary Jarlath.

  • Sr. Marion announced that she is retiring next year. Retirement Party October 19, 2009 – 80th birthday. Also remember Congregational Jubilee the last Saturday – July 25, 2009

 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24

 

9:15 AM Opening Prayer – Gloria presented a Prayer for Peace in Iraq and the Middle East

 

IRAQ /MIDDLE EAST, PEACE

 

Topic

Actions

Decisions / Assignments

October 4th event on Iraq

 

Financials: Financial support received from San Rafael, Tacoma, MSJ, Oakford & Adrian Congregations, as well as from the Holy Name Province of Friars. Registration income: a little over $1000. Donation box income: $30. Formal Financial Report is in progress. Total funds are intended to cover 3 events: 10/4, Immigration (March 21), and Human Trafficking.

Location: S. Marion suggests same venue – St. Mary Magdalen–for our next event. Other suggestions: more intimate environment; open and close event with a ritual. Plan on double capacity.

Length: OK, wanted more variety in the speakers

Audience evaluations: all liked and enjoyed the event “great day”; would like more on how this connects with local events and agencies; ended too abruptly, was rushed at the end. Next time need to use a more formal evaluation form.

Thanks are due to all WDJP who worked on 10/4.

1. Stella – Reserve St. Mary Magdalen Parish for March 21st

2. Finance Report: Budget Committee

3. Outreach Plan:

- Secure contact information for all attendees – Stella

- Divide up among WDJP committee members

- Develop phone rap,

- WDJP committee call all attendees of 10/4 (Include: Thanks for coming; encourage attendance on March 21; bring one new person; invite participation on planning committee)

4. Media / Advertise sooner

5. Develop evaluation forms for next time

September 21st International day of Peace

San Rafael usually dedicated to Iraq. Tacoma and MSJ South are putting up peace poles.

 

Washington DC April Lobby Day

Very effecting coalition effort (24 organizations).

Iraqi Refugee Act: got the Iraqi refugee quota increased to 12,000.

 

Plight of Christians in Iraq and elsewhere

Christians have been kidnapped, killed, and driven from Iraq. Rep. Anna Eshoo gives leadership to an advocacy committee on Persecuted Minorities, within the Appropriations Sub-Committee on State and Foreign Operations.

Continue ladvocacy on behalf of Iraqi refugees, and persecuted Christians.

 

PALESTINE AND ISRAEL

 

Topic

Actions

Decisions / Assignments

 

1) S. Marion suggests as resources:

- S. Bernadette Wombacher (SR) is participating on Sabeel delegation to Israel and Palestine. She will report back.

email resource on Palestine: Albert Hazbun an Israeli Peace activist

2) Focus on: Christians in Palestine; peace movement in Israel is growing, especially Refuseniks and conscientious objection choice for Israeli conscripts

3) There is currently a boycott Israeli products

4) US responsible for manufacturing most of the weapons currently being used in the world. (John Savant: “US good at solving pragmatic problems – US mistake is thinking that pragmatic solutions are good for solving moral problems.”)

1 – informational cards can be purchased at www.ifamericansknew.org

2 – Support peace movement in Israel

3 – Suggestion to boycott personal care products from Israel: i.e. nail care products, jewelry (some found on breast cancer website), etc.

 

IMMIGRATION / TRAFFICKING

 

Topic

Actions / Assignments

Decisions / Follow-up

 

S. Mary Pat: The Tacoma Dominicans have taken a Corporate Stance on Trafficking. Their first! Mary Pat shared copies of their packets.

DVDs:

1. Demand and Domestic Minor Sex trafficking: How to Identify America’s Trafficked Youth both DVDs by Shared Hope International www.sharedhope.org

2. I Just Keep QUIET: Voice of Human Trafficking by Refugee Women’s Alliance and the Seattle Police Department. Weeklong study done on trafficking.

Recommend: obtain additional information from the newsletter “A Matter of Spirit” from the Interfaith Peace and Justice Center in Seattle.(IPJC)

capwiz.com/aila2/ www.domlife.org

Immigration: Church Teaching and the Current Debate – 4 PowerPoint presentations

“Uprooted and Criminalized: The Impact of Free Markets on Migrants” Backgrounder, (binder)

Juarez Conference – “By What Right.”

Presentations by Marion and Stella

 

Mary Pat presented 30- minute DVD – The Invisible Chapel

1. Stella and Marion attended (Aug 1-4, 08, Juarez MX): Dominicans from Latin American and North America are working together to address migration / immigration.

2. New Federal law on undocumented immigrants is filled with punitive measures.

3. Marion: Plans that April May and June issues of Options be dedicated to Immigration.

 

Sr. Marion: SR Dominicans risked by declaring Sanctuary for a Salvadorian family, the first time. Now: Legally may give aid to undocumented workers until the immigrant receives the actual deportation document.

ESBC does Asylum; Catholic Charities does not.

Recommend: The document: “By What Right” by Conference Participants

( binder)

 

Contact legislators: Oppose punitive measure in current immigrant legislation; sample handout. www.network….ration/

Support H.R. 5950/S. 3005

 

Marion will initiate development of a corporate stance at the SR Chapter of Affairs in June 2009.

GUEST SPEAKER O. JOHN SAVANT spoke on the EBSC: retired English professor and a new volunteer with the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant and is also involved with the SOFIA Group on cosmology. Evolution – great support for the existence of God: moving us always and constantly toward beauty and the divine. Only sin is the failure to connect. We need a theology of personal relationships: to reach out in wonder to creation and to God, the evolving universe, understanding of the constant and periodic migration of peoples. The needs of human beings is sacred and above the State and any other considerations. Patriotism is a hindrance to a true love of God.

 

EBSC exists to reestablish America as a sanctuary. Need to mature spiritually to discover God in the miracle of the universe and in the migrant. May 1982 – EBSC started, and expended expanded to 31 member churches… EBSC works with has won approximately 94% of its asylum cases (840), affecting more than 5,000 family and dependents. EBSC works with people from 51 different countries in five continents. EBSC has a medical clinic in Guatemala, and supports popular schools throughout Haiti. To John the words of deceased Bill O’Donnell hold meaning: 1) Be there, show your support in deeds 2) At each event, meet someone new – network 3) Have fun!

 

7:00 pm – viewed DVD “Standard Operating Procedures” – a full length documentary film focusing on interviews with US military police and other US military personnel involved with the Abu Ghraib scandals. Movie did not include interviews with any Iraqi prisoners of Abu Ghraib.

 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13

 

9:50 am Opening Prayer – Kate Martin

 

COMMUNICATORS – October 4th event

All commented on the excellence of the San Rafael monthly magazine, OPtions, which shows so well how formatting, pictures, and printing size lends to reading and promotes our Call issues. Kudos to Marion and to Kate Martin! This is a great example of the working together of communicators and justice promoters. We thank you for sharing this with us.

 

Topic

Actions

Decisions / Assignments

Logo: successful creation of a visible “brand” for WDJP

 

Advertising: difficulty finding appropriate pictures for diocesan papers, e.g. fine pixel count

Bookmarks were impressive and helped highlight the logo. Our October 4th event had all the right elements of good communications, and was relevant and focused.

 

Communicators to provide DomLife with pictures and reports of events after the event. Kate took pictures, which are now available for future use. Stella follow-up with Pat Farrell for DVDs

 

Encouraged those involved with local organizations to continue: Gloria is on the Board of EPI/CALC.

Recommend:

1) Investigate uses and cost of listserves

2) Focus advertising on SF and Oakland dioceses – not the parishes or parish bulletins

3) Our events should emphasize what makes us unique and highlights Dominican experience / spirituality

Planning for March 21st – need to focus the subject of the seminar better. Biggest issue locally is the ICE raids.

 

Suggestions for Speakers:

Sr. Elizabeth Lang, OP, Vietnamese Dominican from Oakland Catholic Charities Immigration Office – immigration issues in Oakland;

Sr. Maureen Duigan, OSF – human rights asylum work as Director of EBSC; Kay Ashe at Sinsinawa may have suggestions.

Recommend:

1) No Spanish translators until a commitment is received for a certain number of Spanish speaking attendees

2) Speakers to keep focused on their personal story not theology.

 

NORTH AMERICAN MEETING IN ADRIAN, MICHIGAN NEXT YEAR, JUNE, 18-21, 2009

 

Topic

Actions

Decisions / Assignments

Suggestions for presentation at Adrian meeting

Need a Call to Action that encourages response to timely issues, and has local application.

Recommend: Present The Earth Charter to the North American Promoters at our June ’09 meeting at Adrian, as our new Call to Action.

 

Stella will contact the North American Co-promoters about this matter. She will also investigate the attendance of Gloria Escalona at the June meeting.

 

Next annual meeting – Not set. Please send Stella suggestions of times you can meet in the fall. stellamsj@igc.org

 

 

Closing Prayer –

Meeting adjourned at 12 pm

 

Minutes submitted by Gloria Escalona, OPL, and Stella Goodpasture, OP

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