Justice & Peace eLetter, No. 2, November 2008


Justice & Peace eLetter

Western Dominican Province

Peace & Justice

Vol. I, No. 2, November, 2008

TO SEE ATTACHMENT, SEE POST BELOW THIS POST. 

 

 

Dear Lay Dominicans & Friends:

 

The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church is named well, as it seeks to set out a complete text about the issues of social justice and peace in the modern world.   One method of tackling such a large subject is to take “small bites” with one subject, chapter, or page at a time. 

In this edition of Justice & Peace eLetter, the first attempt at writing about topics addressed in the Compendium, the article below addresses the subject of the Trinity, our relationship with God and with each other.   God willing, the Compendium will be examined in this forum, Justice & Peace eLetter, one subject at a time over the next three years.

  The second article in this eLetter, along with one attachment, is a brief review of a Saturday October, 23, 2008 justice and peace promoters meeting held in California.   My attendance was not possible.  Regardless, I asked the promoters to include the issue as one of their “call to action” issues.  That request was rejected as explained below.  Please review and write if you have any comments or questions.  John[at sign]Keenan.org. 

 

                         In peace & faith,

                         John Keenan, JD, OPL

                          

—- 

 On the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church :

 

The Love Shared among The Trinity, is the Charity that Christians should Share,

in the Social Action and Goal of Perfecting Society.

 

Whatever you wish men should do to you, do so to them.  Matthew 7:12.    After our love and duty to God, the social doctrine of the Catholic Church begins here, the GOLDEN RULE.    The Golden Rule applies from the dark cavernous caves beneath the earth to the heights of lofty buildings and magnificent mountains and everything in between.  It can be carried about like a well-remembered proverb that has penetrated the heart and soul, when considering the dignity and hope that each human person brings to you and the realization that each human encounter is no coincidence. 

The purpose here is to commence a series of thought-provoking articles and dialog about the Church’s social doctrine among members of the lay chapters of the Order of Preachers that may impact their lives, families, and communities.   It is also an effort to develop and form consciences in a distinctly Catholic worldview about peace and justice, based on the Holy Scriptures, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church,[1] among other core sources.

It commences with the Ten Commandments, or Decalogue as otherwise known, that forms a bond and fidelity to the One True God.  The Ten Commandments teaches “us the true humanity of man.  They bring to light the essential duties, and therefore, indirectly, the fundamental rights inherent in the nature of the human person.”[2]   The Ten Commandments “describe universal human rights.”[3]  It deals with the reality that the members of humankind not only have a relationship with the Lord, our God, but with each other.   As Our Lord said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Matthew 22:37-39.  See, also, Deuteronomy 6:5[4]

The expression of this love for God and other persons was initially expressed in the Old Testament, where it states “you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him, and lend him sufficient for his need,”[5]  Deuteronomy 15:7-8.  See, also, Leviticus 19:33-34.  As the Compendium articulates well, the regular jubilee year (every 50 years) was established for the “social and economic life of the people of Israel.”  Compendium p. 12.   Fields lied fallow, debts were cancelled, and there was a general release of persons and goods.  Compendium, p. 12.  The purpose of these laws was not only the founding cornerstone of Israel but its social and economic life as well, and it dealt with economic poverty and social injustices of the Nation of Israel.  Compendium, p. 13.   The early Prophets of God articulated and preached a type of justice and solidarity, qualities “which reside in the Lord’s heart” which we should nourish in ourselves, “[t]hen God’s will articulated in the Decalogue given on Sinai, will be able to take root creatively in man’s innermost being.”  Compendium, p. 13.

As so well stated, “[t]he process of internalization gives rise to greater depth and realism in social action, making possible the progressive universalization of attitudes of justice and solidarity, which the people of the Covenant are called to have towards all men and women of every people and nation.”   Compendium, p. 13 (emphasis original).   It is an irrational error to view this statement from a political worldview, because the concept quoted above is voicing a religious perspective that is ageless and Godly. 

This is social action grounded in the love of God, i.e. charity, which can be and should be fulfilled in this world.  It is not political in action, seeking to satisfy the shifting sands of power, worldly desire, and personal fulfillment, but true love of God in action for the care of one’s person, his or her family, neighbor, and for all of humankind, and thereafter to steward and conserve all of creation.

Jesus Christ is the par exemple of and the fulfillment of the Father’s plan of love.  Compendium, p. 14.    That which opens the heart of all persons and gives inspiration from the Holy Spirit, is that love which “inspires Jesus’ ministry among men is the love that [Christ] has experienced in his intimate union with the Father.  Compendium, p. 14 (emphasis original). 

This love between the Divine Persons of the Trinity should be shared by us all, in that “there is a certain parallel between the union existing among the divine Persons and the union of the children of God in truth and love.”  Compendium, p. 16. 

In the present order of the world, there are those who facially seek social change through various means but for wrong reasons.  Often motivated politically, or for gain whether monetary or prestige, or for the sheer activity involved, these people seek political ends by religious means, thus injecting their own will (as opposed to God’s) and worldly dogma of political correctness.   Our Lord rejected these politically-motivated purposes, for after He fed the five thousand, “Jesus, knowing that [the crowd] intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.”  John 6:15.  Consider also the motivations of Judas Iscariot.

Therefore, Christians should be motivated to social action by the Love of God and of neighbor, not for political, social, or other worldly motivations.  This certainly requires a careful examination of conscience after much prayer. 

The next time your receive this newsletter, God willing it will address more on God’s plan of love for humanity as expressed in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.   [John Keenan, JD, OPL, Promoter of Peace and Justice, Lay Dominicans, Western Dominican Province].

 ——

 

On the Dominican Call to Action [SEE ATTACHMENT IN POST BELOW:

 

The “Justice Elephant” in the promoter ‘kitchen’: incorporating the issue of “abortion” as part of the Dominican Call to Action.

 

On October 23, 2008, the peace and justice promoters for the Western Dominican Province, including religious congregations, friars, and the lay folk, met in California to discuss the current North American Dominican Call to Action.  [See link, http://domlife.org/DLC/Justice/JusticePage.htm].  Gloria Escalona, OPL attended as the secretary but did not represent the lay people of the Dominican Western Province.    I could not attend.  Regardless, in an effort to represent the lay people of the Order of Preachers in the Western United States, with the consent of the executive committee of the LPC, I submitted a proposal to the peace and justice promoter meeting, to include the issue of abortion as part of the “Call to Action.”

 

Prior to that meeting, the following text of the request regarding the issue of abortion, was forwarded to all members of the meeting, but addressed to Sr. Stella Goodpasture, OP:

 

Dear Sr. Goodpasture:

I have attached a copy of a recent newsletter called Idaho Domincana.   I would kindly ask that the promoters at the upcoming meeting would consider the issue of abortion as a vital part of the agenda for promoters.  The attached document includes an article explaining our chapter’s position on this issue.   This is such an important and fundamental issue facing our society today.   The newsletter also explains the pope’s position on preserving and protecting the Native Americans when the European first came to our great land here: to respect their freedom, their right to property, and not to enslave them.  He also admonished them to respect these native people because they were fully able to receive the Gospel.  I pray that the third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit, be with you this coming meeting and that He may guide you in all good things. 

You have my best wishes and prayers. 

Thanks kindly,

John Keenan, JD, OPL, Peace & Justice Promoter, Lay Members, Western Dominican Province.

A copy of the article addressing the issue of abortion and position taken by the Blessed Margaret Chapter in Boise is set forth here:

The 2008 Election:

The Unborn, First in Public Policy

The Scriptures say, that when we obey Christ and transform our minds to conform to His, that “there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.”  Colossians 3:11.  Over history, by development of ideas, and by transformation of minds and hearts by the grace of Him, mankind and the law have also accepted this elevated thinking. 

Before God, as is the goal of modern human law, there is no distinction between groups of people.  In principle, it is “justice for all.”   This is well established in the founding principles and laws of the United States, where it was written:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,  (Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776).  

This elemental legal cornerstone of the United States of America proves we are a Godly nation at our founding, and are based upon two principles: (1) that no man is above the law, and (2) that there are fundamental laws grounded in the natural law, or that law which is derived by nature.  For instance, any human legislative body cannot repeal the law against murder, assault, battery, robbery, stealing, and lying, among others.  These laws are written into our very beings, and if the state were to allow such infringements, the state’s laws are void because they violate the natural law that is written on our minds and upon our hearts. (Hebrews 10:16)  St. Thomas Aquinas says such governmental enactments are not law, but are a type of violence.  Without just men and women serving in governmental posts and without just laws, tyranny will soon follow.  

Public policy and public laws must be rooted in and guided by the natural law and the concept that no man or woman is above the law.   God has called many people to advocate for good public policy.  These are advocates, jurists, and activists who work in the political arena for the common good, seeking to perfect society through the cooperation of public and private officials and entities.  There is many a laudable goal, when these activists advocate for the homeless, the disenfranchised, the naked, the voiceless, and the poor, among others. 

The foremost principle in our modern social culture is that all such advocates and activists should first advocate justice for unborn persons.  The unborn share in the characteristics of all other disenfranchised groups.  In other words, the unborn persons are naked, voiceless, innocent, unseen, disenfranchised, blind, choice-less, and marginalized.    Based upon present U.S. law as stated by the Nation’s highest Court, the unborn have no rights or guarantees to pursue happiness, to own property, to make love, to have children, or to simply live and breathe.    The unborn children who are aborted will never see the sunset, or be guided by the Scriptures, or see, or feel, or touch those about them.    Innocent of personal sin, the unborn child has made no choices, has not failed or succeeded, or responded to God’s grace or sinned. 

Advocacy for good public policy is not grounded in a proverbial woven cloth, but a priority rooted in justice first for the most innocent and voiceless in our society.   Effective advocacy starts with the rights of the innocent unborn, which fruitfully legitimizes and encourages advocacy for the homeless, the disenfranchised, the disabled, the marginalized, the poor, the sick, and the suffering. 

Under the present law in the United States, the pure power of choice trumps the rights of persons (unborn) granted under the natural law—in other words, God-given rights—and life becomes cheap in all its forms; whether unborn, old, sick, homeless, hungry, blind, poor, voiceless, powerless, or disabled.   When men and women of good will seek legal justice and public policy based upon fundamental rights and not for political purposes, it will result in clarity and priority of purpose for all other advocacy. 

Therefore, as a matter of justice, as a matter of true concern and Godly charity, it is essential that Christian advocates and activists, whether for political, religious, or social purposes, and Christian public officials, concern themselves by prioritizing their effort for life; firstly the unborn, and secondly other persons.  To bring justice to all the disadvantaged, we must first bring it to the most humble and poor first.  In modern America, that is the unborn.

The ‘petition’ asking that the promoters, among other issues, to include the issue of abortion among the “Call to Action” issue and agenda, was considered by the promoters,  In the minutes to the meeting regarding the ‘petition’ the email to Sr. Goodpasture, OP was acknowledged where it states:

“We have all received John Keenan’s email.  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.”

A copy of the minutes of the Western Dominican Promoters of Justice, Peace, and Care of Creation is attached to this document for your review and reference [PLEASE SEE POST BELOW ENTITLED “MINUTES’].   The minutes noted of my desire to present the issue next year at the promoters meeting in Adrian, Michigan.

Of course, it is without hesitation that one should take exception to the idea that “abortion is not the central issue of social justice.”   Whether that statement is correctly attributable to Fr. Morris, charitably such a statement reflects a profound negligence of the understanding and purpose of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church.  It cannot stand, “for the absolute inviolability of innocent human life is a moral truth clearly taught by Sacred Scripture… .”  Evangelium Vitae, No. 57 (1995).

 

Factually, the killing of innocent children whether born or unborn, the old and infirm, are the most fundamental monstrosities of modern life.  Among the issues that the promoters seek, many seek a political ends by religious means, failing the most fundamental of social justice rigors: charity first, second … and last.

We must acknowledge that laws and decrees that permit the commission of abortions are not the only issues of peace and justice, but the shedding of innocent blood is an abhorrence to God.  Psalm 106: 35-40.  Further, with the federal elections behinds us, the president-elect has made a clear record that he will sign the Freedom of Choice Act—proposed legislation that would eliminate any and all state and federal restrictions on abortion (parental choice, informed consent) and mandate public funds be expended in the killing of innocent unborn life.

With hope and prayers, let’s continue to work for true charity, and peace and justice in our society as lay members of the Order of Preachers.  If you wish to discuss this matter, do not hesitate to contact me via my email address at john[at sign]Keenan.org.  I pray all goes well with you. 

In peace & faith,

John Keenan, JD, OPL

Promoter, Peace & Justice

Lay Members

Western Dominican Province.

 

—-

 


[1] © 2004, Liberia Editrice Vaticana, USCCB Publishing, Washington, D.C. [hereinafter Compendium] [also internet link, www.vatican.va].

[2] Compendium, p. 12. (Quoting, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2070). 

[3] Compendium, p. 12.

[4] Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength. 

[5] Compendium, p. 12.

 

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