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Justice and Peace and the Integrity of Creation (JPIC)

All is Connected

Early in the pandemic of Covid-19, life began changing for all of us, and I do mean ALL of us. Worldwide, we began to view things differently, or at least from a different perspective. We had a sense of shared experience…

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April 22 is Earth Day 2021.  Begun in 1970 as a secular celebration, it is also a day for awareness and action by many faith communities.  Indeed, it is a worldwide day of remembering our common home.  This year’s theme is RESTORE OUR EARTH; Catholic Climate Covenant is participating with the theme, RESTORE OUR COMMON HOME.

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Our pastor was recently on a virtual retreat for the priests of the diocese and one day shared something which had been mentioned about the Good Samaritan from Pope Francis’ encyclical, Fratelli Tutti.

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Daily our media flashes before us the ills of our world – from the anger, hatred, bigotry, violence, exploitation, homelessness,  the environmental disasters that are slowly eroding our planet to the indifference and numbness which sometimes comes from such sad news.

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In Pope Francis’ encyclical letter, Laudato Si, he reminds us that we have a fundamental right to access clean water. On March 22nd we marked World Water Day with many people examining their daily water usage and still others gathering to bring public awareness to our water crises.

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Pope Francis sent out a challenging message for the occasion of the second annual World Day of the
Poor to be remembered on Sunday, November 18th.

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When mercy seasons justice

“When mercy seasons justice”! I have been reflecting on the apparent desperate need for mercy and justice in our world today. They are both God-qualities. Might this be one of the reasons that mercy and justice seem so absent in many places?

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Comfort My People… Says Your God

As we look over this year that is still young, many words and phrases come to my mind that continue to dominate the media – Trump, North Korea, nuclear war, Rohingya, #me too movement, storm devastations, terrorist attacks, politics at the Olympics, human trafficking, sexual harassment, youth suicides, killing of innocent children and the list goes on and on!

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Is Depression Increasing?

More and more I find myself in situations where people of any age are suffering from mental illness. We encounter the man, woman, child or teen either showing signs of distress or, worst yet, acting like everything is okay in the midst of a chaotic lifestyle. Is depression increasing?

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Get Involved, Make a Difference

Pope Francis continues to remind us that we are to help bring justice, peace, practical assistance, and support to others as they search for home, safety, happiness and dignity.

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We are an Easter people living in a Good Friday world

Does this sign on a Church raise an important reality that we are, in fact, an Easter people living in a Good Friday world?…

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Let us think of this little girl: what was her name?

In an article by Denise Simeone that was reprinted in The New Wine Press, January 2017, I was profoundly moved by the quotes about and from Pope Francis…

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Is my interior life closed?

2017 has begun and the news continues to be filled with stories that can shake the most hopeful person. As I reflect personally on Pope Francis’ questions I need to acknowledge the struggle to ‘walk with hope’ and to have ‘a drawer open to hope’.

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A Ray of Hope

Do you ever have the feeling that life is generally and specifically out of control? Recently, I was asking the question, “What next will happen in our world?” as I reflected on the divisiveness that came from the American election…

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Overcome Evil with Good

Recently, Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, writer, teacher, political activist, Nobel Laureate and a moral voice, died. I was impressed by an interview that Professor Wiesel had with Oprah Winfrey a few years ago…

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As we look around our world today, we witness numerous incidents of both individual and communal anger. Anger can give the passion to accomplish necessary and great works…

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STOP Suicide

What is heart breaking, especially as I write this reflection, are the numbers of children and youth who struggle with suicidal and self harm thoughts.

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World Day of Prayer & International Women’s Day

The text for this year’s world day of prayer was written by women from Cuba. This seems most appropriate after recent efforts from Church and Political leaders to reach out to help heal years of separation and hardship.

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Excerpt from Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy Message to Young People

The Church is celebrating the Holy Year of Mercy, a time of grace, peace, conversion and joy. It is meant for everyone: people of every age, from far and near. There are no walls or distances which can prevent the Father’s mercy from reaching and embracing us…

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International Day of Prayer & Awareness Against Human Trafficking

Pope Francis is an ardent advocate for the needs of the suffering, the poor and those unjustly treated. As a result of his pleas, the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, February 8th, has been set aside as a special day of prayer and awareness for the men, women and children who are horribly impacted by traffickers.

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The Gift of Life

Some argue that certain human lives are better than others depending on the value and worth to society. The Catholic Church proclaims something else.

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World Day of Prayer for Migrants

As we move into a new year, it is not too early to remind ourselves about the world day of prayer for migrants and refugees.

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Christmas and Consumerism

No one can celebrate a genuine Christmas without being truly poor… The self-sufficient, the proud, those who, because they have everything, look down on others, those who have no need even of God – for them there will be no Christmas…

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What gives the Pope joy

At a time when our media is filled with war, violence and the massive movements of peoples seeking a safe haven and home, it is heart warming to discover “What gives the Pope joy”

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All is One – Weaving A Single Cloth For Justice.

A summary of Sr. Carol Zinn SSJ presentations at the JPIC conference, June, 2015)

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JPIC Conference Toronto

In The Joy of the Gospel Pope Francis points out some of the challenges of today’s world, and encourages us to say “No to an economy of exclusion…no to the new idolatry of money…no to the financial system which rules rather than serves…no to the inequality that spawns violence… Yes to the challenge of a missionary spirituality…no to selfishness and spiritual sloth… no to a sterile pessimism… yes to the new relationship brought by Christ… no to spiritual worldliness…no to warring among ourselves.”

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Laudato si

Fr. James Martin S.J. of America and Anthony Annett of Commonweal have shared the following four summaries of “Laudato si” by Pope Francis.

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Let us put the Pope’s concerns into our daily lives.

“Only a decisive collaboration of everyone can help. Words are not enough.” Pope Francis

These are only some issues which relate to the men, women and children who seek a new and better life. Please have a look at the Jesuit Refugee Centers websites for more information.

Our prayer, being most important, invites us to advocacy and action.

How might advocacy and action look for us?

“The Church is mother, and her motherly attention is expressed with special tenderness and closeness to those who are obliged to … exist between rootlessness and integration. This tension destroys people. Christian compassion – this ‘suffering with’ compassion – is expressed first of all in the commitment to obtain knowledge of the events that force people to leave their homeland, and where necessary, to give voice to those who cannot manage to make their cry of distress and oppression heard. By doing this you also carry out an important task in sensitizing Christian communities to the multitudes of their brothers and sisters scarred by wounds that mark their existence: violence, abuse, the distance from family love, traumatic events, flight from home, and uncertainty about the future.”

(The Church of Mercy by Pope Francis, page 104)

These are only some issues which relate to the men, women and children who labour that many nations can have abundant food supplies, clothing made cheaply, and other areas that require migrant workers.

How do we measure up in terms of the just and compassionate treatment of our workers?

A recent research in Canada from the Angus Reid Institute found some interesting results, including the following:

In this research almost three-quarters “believe the Ten Commandments still apply in this day and age, including more than half of the people who reject religion, though a recent study shows more than 50 percent of Canadians believe right or wrong is a matter of personal opinion.” (Catholic Register, April 12, 2015, page 5)

Whether we believe the ‘facts’ from research studies or not, the above gleaned information gives us cause to reflect and respond. What is our response of faith to the above finding that more than half of those interviewed believe that “right or wrong is a matter of personal opinion”?

At this writing we are grieving the horrific rape and murder of Sister Stefani CPS. After a life of religious commitment, prayer and service some men sought to totally degrade this woman of faith.

The media is filled with stories of abduction, rape, abuse, confinement and forced marriage. My immediate response – have we as a humanity gone stark-raving mad??

“As religious leaders, we are called to be true “people of dialogue”, to cooperate in building peace not as intermediaries but as authentic mediators…the mediator is one who retains nothing for himself but rather spends himself generously until he is consumed, knowing that the only gain is peace. Each one of us is called to be an artisan of peace, by uniting and not dividing, by extinguishing hatred and not holding on to it, by opening paths of dialogue and not constructing new walls! Let us dialogue and meet one another in order to establish a culture of dialogue in the world, a culture of encounter.” (The Church of Mercy; Pope Francis; page 128)

What is your response?
Please share your thoughts, prayers and experiences.

Sr. Teresa Morrison CPS

(shalomtmm@yahoo.ca or 1-519-290-3404)