CALENDAR - Sisters of Mercy of the Americas_ Omaha Regional Community

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					CALENDAR                                                                                                May 7, 2004
Upcoming Events
Become a conscientious consumer for fair trade.            New Equation for Troubled Times.” Following a
Encourage your community or ministry to purchase           brief ritual, panelists, including Louise Akers, Ginny
fair trade coffee. Call Transfair USA at (510) 663-        Froehle, and Mary Hunt (among others) will speak
5260 or visit them at to find fair       to the theme. Those gathered will have time to
trade coffee and retailers in your location. For a         discuss the theme and interact with the panelists.
listing of fair trade products and stores in your          Registration flyers are to be released soon. You
location visit or call (800) 58-        may contact Tina Geiger, RSM from the Sisters of
GREEN.                                                     Mercy Institute Justice Team at
                                                  or Ruth Steinert at
May 12-14, 2004
September 6 & 7, 2004                                      May 15, 2004
January 26-28, 2005                                        Spring eARTh Harmony Retreat
Orientation Days to the United Nations                     This eco-spirituality retreat is the third in a series of
An invitation to learn more about the workings of          four seasonal gatherings. Our celebration of the
the United Nations. This orientation is designed to        season of spring will focus on the theme of
provide basic information regarding the United             Greening. We will observe nature and the gifts she
Nations system including the participation of              mirrors for us about greening. Simple art rituals will
Secretariat, the Nation States, and the Non-               help us reverence the earth and her spring
Government Organizations (NGOs) and other                  transformations as well as our own. Reflections
groups that form the UN community. It will include         from the Earth Charter will be woven through our
an overview of the current UN agenda and a                 time together. There will be time for interaction with
reflection of how your congregation might be able          the land, ecological literacy education, a whole
to participate in the UN activities. This gathering is     food lunch, and conversation. Co-leaders of the
designed for those who are involved in justice and         retreat are: Sr. Elaine Lopez Pacheco, RSM,
peace ministry and who are interested in learning          Omaha Regional Social Justice Coordinator and
more about the workings of the UN. It is for those         Spiritual Director; Sr. Catherine Kuper, RSM,
in leadership positions that would like to include         Mercy Earth Project Director, Sr. Rita Connell,
the UN agenda in their worldview. It is for those          RSM, artist and liturgist; and Sr. Colette Baldwin,
involved in communications work for congregations          Associate Director of Programming at Knowles
and groups who have responsibility to provide              Mercy Center and spiritual director. Cost: $35
information to people that includes global                 includes lunch and materials. Come with layered
perspective. It is for individuals who are interested      clothing, comfortable walking shoes and your
in broadening their understanding of the United            Bible. Contact Knowles Mercy Spirituality Center at
Nations system so that they can integrate it in their      402-359-4288 or email Rosie Volkmer at
understanding of the world. Meetings will be held          r o s i e v @ m e r c y o m a . o r g or check out their website
at the Church Center and at United Nations                 at w w w . k m s c e n t e r . o r g
Headquarters, New York City. Registration must be
received two weeks before the workshop. Cost:              May 22-23, 2004
$115 for Religious Orders Partners; $100 for each          International Festival of Hope
of two or more from the same community who are             The International Festival of Hope will be held at
ROP members; $140 for non-members of the                   Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ. Pax
ROP. Participants are responsible for their own            Christi USA sponsors this festival of workshops
housing and meals during the Orientation Days in           and displays from member organizations from
                                                           around the world. Attendees all observe a global
New York. Please contact: Religious Orders                 consultation on essential issues facing the peace
Partnership; 180 Grand Street; Jersey City NJ              movement internationally. Contact Heather Lipinski
07302; 201-333-2454; L s i e r s 6 7 2 0 @ a o l . c o m   at 814-453-4955, ext. 221 or
May 15, 2004
Women – Church Convergence Meeting                         June 2-4, 2004
The Institute Justice Office wishes to announce a          2 Symposium in Victimology, sponsored by the
Women – Church Convergence meeting. They will              American Society of Victimology in Topeka, KS.
meet in the Cincinnati area from 9 a.m. to 1:00            For info: 785-281-1010, ext. 1242. w w w . a m e r i c a n -
p.m. to discuss “Women, Religion, and Justice: A 
June 25-27, 2004                                                  “There are beautiful wild forces within. Let
Earth Spirit Rising                                               them turn the mills inside and fill sacks that
A conference celebrating Earth as teacher. Midway                 feed even heaven."             Francis of Assisi
College, Midway (Lexington), Kentucky. A
weekend with Theologian, Diarmuid O’Murchu and                    Please do not contact the conference site with
naturalist Connie Barlow.                                         program or registration questions. Direct all
                                                                  questions to Toni Nash, CSJ at
July 14-18, 2004
Sustainable Communities Conference,
Vermont, USA
The Sustainable Communities Conference will be
held in Burlington, VT. This event, sponsored by
Earth Charter USA, will feature a variety of
sessions and workshops that highlights the cutting
edge of sustainability planning, collaboration,
implementation, and evaluation, and will include
everything from hands-on problem solving to                       July 17-19, 2004
inspirational talks and conceptual models that can                Witness in Washington. Building the Movement
guide strategy development. Please visit                          for Change: A Past Peace in Colombia & Fair to learn more                 Trade in the Hemisphere
about this event or see,                                          Catholic University, Washington, DC. Sponsored>                                by Witness for Peace; includes lobby visits.
                                                                  Contact Carol Richardson
July 15-18, 2004
       th                  th
The 10 Anniversary and 6 International                            July 20-22, 2004
Conference of the Sisters of Earth invites you                    STOP: Stop the Trafficking of People
to: Sharing the Wisdom, Shaping the Dream of                      Conference for Catholic Women against Human
the Beautiful wild forces within…                                 Trafficking
                                                                  This conference is co-sponsored by the U.S.
The S i s t e r s o f t h e E a r t h is an informal network of   Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of Migration
women who share a deep concern for the                            and Refugee Services (MRS) and the National
ecological land spiritual crises of our times and                 Conference of Catholic Women (NCCW). The
who wish to support one another in work toward                    issue of human trafficking has been at the center
healing the human spirit and restoring the earth’s                of concern for women religious for several years.
life support systems. We are teachers, gardeners,                 Individual communities have worked to effect
artists, writers, administrators, workshop and                    justice in this area in a variety of ways: through
retreat givers, mothers, monastics and activists                  direct service to victims; through dissemination of
…in the United States, Canada and beyond. This                    informative newsletters; through education of the
network of sharing and support is open to all                     public in local conferences and national meetings,
women whose life and work would identify them as                  as well as by in-service for key personnel in
Sisters of Earth. Check the website                               sponsored institutions. These are among the                                            ongoing ways members of religious congregations
                                                                  work to prevent trafficking, helps its victims, and
So make plans to join us this summer, in                          identify the perpetrators. In the summer of 2004,
Fayetteville, AR, where we will celebrate the                     MRS intends to offer their second conference
beautiful wild forces within … the soul forces                    designed to provide basic introductory information
that Francis of Assisi says can feel even heaven.                 to parish communities about the anti-human
Now is the time to unleash this vast spiritual                    trafficking efforts of the Catholic Church.
energy of our souls, hear the good works that
others are accomplishing, network for collaboration               The conference will take place in Baltimore, MD.
with those who share your passion. In the heart of                Participation is limited to 30 women religious and
Arkansas, “The Natural State,” we will deepen our                 30 laywomen. MRS will cover the cost of the hotel
spiritual powers and face the challenges together.                and meals; participants will be responsible for their
                                                                  own transportation. Contact: Migration and
We will share ceremony, song, and poetry with the                 Refugee Services; Office of Refugee Programs;
women of the south. Bring your drum or music                      3211 Fourth Street NE; Washington DC 20017;
maker, your voice, and your heart. Earth and                      202-541-3170; REFPROG@USCCB.ORG
Heaven need us to listen and make noise…                          website: WW.USCCB.ORG/MRS or Jean Schafer,
                                                                  SDS –
July 30-August 1, 2004
Politics and Prophecy: Challenging the Idolatry
                                                           New Material on Website
of Empire – National Assembly of Pax Christi
USA. Barry University, Miami Shores, FL.                   •   Consult the Mercy website for new and                                          updated material:

DATES TO OBSERVE                                           •   Eco-Justice Ministries, Denver CO
                                                               Rev. Peter Sawtell, Executive Director

        Each year spring                                       Eco-Justice Ministries is an independent,
        breaks through                                         ecumenical agency that helps churches
                                                               answer the call to care for all of God’s creation,
        to remind the                                          and develop ministries that are faithful,
                                                               relevant, and effective in working toward social
        haunted human                                          justice and environmental sustainability.
        heart that
                                                           •   Tending the Holy: Daily Reflections on
                                                               Caring for the Earth
May 9            Mother’s Day                                  LCWR booklet for use April 22 (International
                 See Someone You Love and Lift                 Earth Day) to June 15 (World Environment
                 From Within                                   Day)

May 15           International Day of Families --          •   UN World Day for Water
                 Play with Family – Enjoy a Picnic             See

May 20           Ascension of Jesus                        •   Women, Food, and Agriculture Network
                 Write Your Eulogy and Live!         

•   In October 2003, Nature and Progress, an               •   USA Elections 2004
    organization devoted to sustainable                        The website features the button: USA
    agriculture, decided to adopt the Earth Charter            Elections 2004
    as a tool and thereby connect their local efforts
    to a global movement. In March and April               Other good sources include:
    2004, the members in their respective
    provinces will give a series of introductory               •
    sessions on the Earth Charter. Articles and the                 Americans for Democratic Action
    bi-monthly edition of Valerianne, the magazine
    of Nature and Progress (15,000 issues printed)             •
    insure visibility of these activities. In the latest            Bill of Rights Defense Committee
    edition of March/April 2003, a 2-page article
    was dedicated to the Earth Charter. The                    •
    Charter has also been included in their                         Center for Democracy and Technology
    website. Find more information in French at                        •
                                                                    Center for Economic Justice

BOOKS                                                          •
                                                                    Center for Public Integrity
The Buying of the President in 2004
By Charles Lewis and the Center for Public                     •
Integrity – paperback $15                   Center of Constitutional Rights

    •    Who’s Really Bankrolling Bush and His                 •
         Democratic Challengers and What They                       League of Women Voters
         Expect in Return?
                                                                    Project Vote Smart
See the Friends Committee on National
Legislation for justice-centered analysis 2004.htm

For information and analysis based on
Catholic Social Teaching, see NETWORK
and NCCB

For earth issues, and ratings of candidates
on the environment, see the League of
Conservation Voters

                         Earth Action Network
                         Send monthly-
                         personalized letters to
                         elected representatives
                         and world leaders on
                         environmental and social
US International Women’s
Initiatives Fact Sheet

The Institute Justice Team received this          Resource Centers in over half of
information from Mercy Global Concern,            Afghanistan’s provinces.
the Mercy office at the United Nations.
The information may be of interest to you.    •   Iraq: Women’s rights and opportunities
It is a fact sheet about the U.S.                 are a major focus of U.S. support for
government’s initiatives and funding for          Iraq’s transition to democracy.
women’s programs in other countries.              Examples: With strong U.S. backing,
                                                  Iraq’s Governing Council repealed a
Respect for women is a Bush                       decree imposing discriminatory
Administration foreign policy priority. The       religious laws on women, and adopted
United States is in the forefront of              a new basic law providing equal rights
advancing women’s causes around the               for all. In addition to other aspects of
world, helping them become full                   reconstruction that will help women,
participants in their societies through           Congress set aside $27 million for
various initiatives and programs that help        special programs targeted at women.
broaden their political and economic              On March 8, 2004, the U.S. announced
opportunities and increase access to              a new $10 million Iraqi Women’s
education and health care.                        Democracy Initiative, along with
                                                  a new public-private partnership, the
•   Afghanistan: Overview: U.S.                   U.S.-Iraq Women’s Network.
    commitment to accelerated success in
    rebuilding Afghanistan includes major     •   Trafficking in Persons: In FY 2003,
    women’s components in political               the U.S. devoted nearly $93.5 million
    participation, economic opportunity,          to combat trafficking in persons
    health, education, and overall                worldwide. At the 2003 UN General
    reconstruction. Examples: Over 3              Assembly, President Bush committed
    million children in school, of whom           an additional $50 million to accelerate
    nearly 40% are girls – by far the             efforts to rescue women and children
    highest number in Afghan history. U.S.        from exploitation.
    providing $45 million to support 2004
    Afghan national election, with 20% of     •   Millennium Challenge Account
    parliamentary seats reserved for              (MCA): In this major new aid program
    women.                                        which increases current levels of core
                                                  development assistance by 50% over
•   Afghanistan: Public private                   the next years, providing an annual
    Partnership: The U.S.-Afghan                  increase of $5 billion by fiscal year
    Women’s Council (USAWC) links our             2006 -- the treatment of women is a
    governments, private sectors, and             factor in determining each country’s
    NGOs on behalf of practical projects          eligibility for funding.
    benefiting women. Example: The
    Council is providing $1 million and       •   W o m e n ’ s P o l i t i c a l P a r t i c i p a t i o n : The
    expert advice for literacy and job            U.S. mobilized 100 cosponsors at the
    training programs in 17 new Women’s           2003 UN General Assembly
    for a resolution promoting concrete           •   Middle East Partnership Initiative
    actions to increase women’s political             (MEPI): This innovative program
    participation around the world.                   budgeted at $129 million in FY 2004,
                                                      pays particular attention to women’s
•   HIV/AIDS: The U.S. is committing $15              roles in political, economic, and
    billion over five years to combat this            educational reform across the region. It
    threat, paying special attention to the           also includes a dedicated “fourth pillar”
    gender dimensions of this disease,                focusing on women’s programs.
    which increasingly has a female face.             Examples are: special scholarships for
    In 2002, President Bush announced a               Arab girls; a regional “campaign
    new $500 million International Mother             school” for women candidates;
    and Child HIV Prevention Initiative that          and a new MEET US (Middle East
    seeks to prevent the transmission of              Entrepreneurs Training in the U.S.)
    HIV/AIDS from mothers to infants and              Initiative.
    to improve health care delivery in
    Africa and the Caribbean. One key             •   Women in Conflict: The U.S.
    element in efforts to reduce women’s              sponsors both government and public-
    vulnerability to HIV/AIDS is to promote           private partnerships for women helping
    property rights for women. When                   their societies recover from civil strife.
    women have control over their                     Example: a new project in the Congo
    economic assets, they are better able             will link aspiring businesswomen
    to avoid risky, sexual and abusive                through the Fortune 500 “Women
    relationships.                                    Leading Women in Peace” network,
                                                      with U.S. counterparts.
•   Women Refugees: The majority of
    refugees and displaced persons today          •   Economic Development and
    are women and children, and the U.S.              Microcredit:
    provides major funding and technical              Each year for the past five years, the
    support for their humanitarian,                   U.S. has provided $155 million in
    resettlement, and rehabilitation. In FY           global microcredits for which 78% of
    2003, the U.S. gave $9 million to                 the clients are women starting their
    support African women refugees.                   own small businesses.

                               The Social Justice Quarterly Report
                                     “Celebrate Justicing”
                               January – February – March, 2004
                                            was created by
                                     Sr. Elaine Lopez Pacheco
                                        Sandy Elsasser

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