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									Presentation Sisters Union                    News Update October 2009                         Print Version


Sr. Fatima addresses United Nations
Sr. Fatima Rodriguez, IPA representative at the United Nations, addressed the United Nations on 19 October
2009 on the theme Children and Families Speak Out against Poverty:

Sisters and Brothers, On this very important day, I feel humbled and privileged to bear testimony to a
children‘s endeavor in building a world of equity and dignity. This is in fact the principal aspiration of the
United Nations. I bring you the saga of the children of Tamilnadu, Kerala and a few other States in India
where there are what are called ―grassroots parliaments‖. Children of about 30 families from a neighborhood
form as neighborhood parliaments and hold sessions. There they discuss together issues that affect the
neighborhood, be it individual or collective. Their resolutions are carried out very responsibly under the
leadership of respective child-ministers who have specific portfolios i.e. responsibilities. They talk about
questions such as child rights, school dropouts, child labourers, poverty eradication, human rights, water and
sanitation, street lights, garbage disposal, pollution, and care for members of the community with special
needs (e.g. the elders, the mentally and physically challenged).

Says Aishwarya, Education Minister of a Neighborhood Parliament of Children: ―Sathish stopped going to
school in the middle of his second standard to join his parents in begging. We talked about the problem in
our children‘s parliament. Accordingly the Education Minister spoke to the Child Protection Committee and
to the president of the Local Governance Council. With their help, we met the parents. We approached the
school headmaster and got for Sathish notebooks and textbooks. Now he is going to school.‖ These
neighborhood parliaments are guided by five basic principles: numerical uniformity, smallness of size, recall
scope, subsidiarity, and convergence. The parliaments do not function as isolated entities; they are federated
at the levels of the village, local governance body, sub-district, district and State. The most recent session of
Tamilnadu State Parliament of Children produced a Charter of Demands by children, well-covered by the
media and submitted to the government.

 The Neighborhood Community Network (NCN), an NGO in Tamilnadu, and the State Government in
Kerala have facilitated this innovative initiative of the children Parliaments. UNICEF-Chennai also helped
the Neighborhood Parliaments of Children when they were first beginning. Early this year, the Tamil Nadu
State Parliaments of Children received the global UNICEF San Marino Alexander Bodini Award for the best
Child-led Organization for Child Rights Action.

The Children‘s Neighborhood Parliaments dream of the day when children of the whole world will be
federated from the neighborhood on a global level. They believe that the participatory forums at
neighborhood level linked together in a multi-tier global federation will provide an enabling environment for
children to exercise their rights and responsibilities as present and future global citizens. This would promote
good governance for a life of dignity for all. No one should be left out, most especially those living poverty.
We need to help them realize their dream, should we not? To find out more about them, please visit
www.ncnworld.org

I thank you for this opportunity to share with you what children in India are doing to create a society where
all people can come together to work to make a better world- one where no one lives in poverty.

[Fatima Rodrigo, PBVM (International Presentation Association of the Sisters of the Presentation)]


Charter for Compassion to be launched
The Charter for Compassion will be launched across the world on 12th November 2009.In February
2008 Karen Armstrong won the TED Prize and made a wish: for help creating, launching and
propagating a Charter for Compassion. Since that day, thousands of people have contributed to the
process which has led to the Charter.

The launched will be marked at All Hallow's College, Dublin with an event from 19.30 - 22.30. The
Guest Speaker will be Patrick Jordan - Managing Editor, Commonweal & Editor of 'Dorothy Day:
Writings from Commonweal'. The title of the lecture is Dorothy Day: Poverty, Protest, and Prayer.

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Dorothy Day was an American journalist and social activist who co-founded the Catholic Worker
Movement, a non-violent, pacifist movement which combined compassionate aid for the poor and
homeless with non-violent action on their behalf.


Celia Griffin Children‘s‘ Memorial Park, Galway
One of the first events that I was invited to attend in Galway after my return in August was the dedication of
the Celia Griffin Memorial Park on Grattan Beach. But who was Celia Griffin and why remember her by
creating a Childrens‘ Park? Celia‘s story is closely associated with the Presentation Sisters but it is a sad
story. She lived during the famine years with her parents and seven brothers and sisters in Corindulla, Ross
not far from picturesque Oughterard. The potato crop having failed once again in 1847, the family walked
the six miles to Galway to beg on the streets in the hope of avoiding starvation and death.

Celia and two of her sisters were brought to the Convent in Presentation Road by Rev. George Usher where
the community was already providing breakfasts for the poor of the city. Celia was only six years of age and
her tiny body was so exhausted that she was unable to use the food. The post-mortem examination carried
out after her death revealed that ―there was not a particle found in her stomach.‖

The ceremony on Sunday, September 27th was a poignant one. Two local children, Chloe and Joseph
unveiled the ‗Name Stone‘ at the entrance to the Park and following words of welcome and an address by the
Mayor of Galway the crowd moved through the Park to unveil the Mutton Light Memorial Stone. This
elevated place, where we stood, was the last sighting of Galway that the famine emigrants would have seen
as they left in their ‗coffin ships‘ to look for a better life in a new world.

The Project Leader, Mark Kennedy in his address reminded the children and all of us that ‗famine and
starvation is not a thing of the past- that one billion children will go to bed hungry every night and thousands
die from starvation every day‘ It is hoped now that school children, Celia‘s age will be involved in their own
inimitable way in fundraising for park benches where older people can rest and in providing equipment for
children who will play there. If the enthusiasm with which the children sang and entertained us later in the
old Claddagh School, is something to go by, then I am sure that Celia Griffin‘s memory will be kept alive in
this and future generations. [Submitted by Helen Hyland]


Water Week Celebration in Tando Allah Yar, Sindh
Sr. Rozie Younas describes their ―Water Week Celebration‖ which took place in St. Mary‘s Presentation
School, Tando Allah Yar, Sindh recently. The mass media like newspapers, radios and televisions regularly
cover the threatening situation of our planet due to global warming and climate change. Approximately 71%
of our planet is covered with water. In some part of the globe, heavy rains and floods threaten not only
human life but also animals and properties. In Pakistan, we have a shortage of water. Unfortunately,
throughout the world the same phenomenon is taking place. The natural free gift of water is now processed
and on sale in shops by big companies. These multi-earner companies are also one of the contributors to the
pollution that caused global warming that dries up our rivers, dams and glaciers.

Water comes to us through many natural sources. This ‗water week celebration‘ makes us aware of these
sources. It moves us to appreciate importance of water in our daily life and challenges us to take care of it.
We are very much aware of the scarcity of water that threatens not only us but the future generation. The
global climate change adds to this problem. We see the effects of the shortage of water in our daily life like
the shortage of electric/power supply, lack of water for agricultural and domestic needs, droughts, and food
shortage. Water shortage hinders the overall development of the society.

Our school children in St. Mary‘s Presentation School celebrated ‗water week‘ on 17th – 23rd August 2009.
It was a meaningful week for all the children when they were given time to express their experience of the
importance of water in their daily life. With the help of their teachers they prepared skits, drew pictures, sang
songs, and performed dances all pertaining to water. They read from the Holy Bible verses where Jesus used
the symbolism of water as the source of our spiritual life. Jesus said, ―I am the living water‖.

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The week-long celebration concluded with the Sunday Eucharist in the parish church. The children
participated in the liturgy and highlighted in many ways the value of water for every churchgoer to
understand. At the end, we all felt challenged to save our ‗mother earth‘ and to take care of the natural
sources of water. Indeed, if life bubbles through the natural gift of water in us and in our surrounding, then
we have to do something to preserve it. Water is life that refreshes us and cleanses us. Thank God for the gift
of WATER!

[Submitted by Sr. Rozie Younas, pbvm, St. Mary's Presentation School, Tando Allah Yar, Sindh]


Global Schoolroom
Global Schoolroom is an initiative designed to help Irish teachers share their educational experience with
their counterparts at primary and secondary level in the Developing World and vice versa. Global
Schoolroom was founded by Dublin teachers Dr. Garret Campbell & Gwen Brennan in 2006. Gwen is
Deputy Principal at Presentation Secondary School, Warrenmount, Dublin and Garret is Transition Year Co-
ordinator at St. Conleth‘s College, Dublin.

The aim of Global Schoolroom is to improve teaching standards thus raising the quality of education
provided which in turn will help to eradicate poverty and increase living standards in the Developing World.
Now, in partnership with University College Dublin (UCD), Global Schoolroom offers an accredited
Diploma in Teacher Education to teachers in the Developing World who complete the programme.

Global Schoolroom has five guiding principles:

       The power of education to enlighten one another and expand each individual‘s scope for opportunity.
       A primary education for every child to achieve the UN‘s Millenium development goal for universal
        education.
       Sharing good educational practices to enrich the collective educational experience and widen the
        cultural horizons of everyone involved.
       Working directly with teachers and communities to build a strong framework for high standards of
        teacher training which, once in place, can then be delivered by sustainable local networks.
       Forging respectful links between educational partners to their mutual benefit.

Global Schoolroom is a signatory to the Comhlamh Code of Good Practice. The organisation is sponsored by
Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd. and will complete its charitable registration in 2009. It is
supported by the ASTI, TUI, and INTO.

Can YOU help?: We are currently recruiting primary and secondary teachers from Ireland, who would
become Tutors for the month of July 2010 on the Global Schoolroom Diploma in Teacher Education in
Northeast India and Uganda. The selected Irish Tutors will work with Indian or Ugandan teachers for one
month in 2010; formal contact with tutors to include lectures, seminars, workshops and classroom
observation. Indian and Ugandan teachers will carry out autonomous learning through tasks set by Global
Schoolroom Tutors for periods in between formal contact time.

In partnership with University College Dublin, Global Schoolroom has developed a Diploma in Teacher
Education. University College Dublin will offer those participating teachers who successfully complete the
three-year programme, as set out by Global Schoolroom, 60 European Credit Transfer System credits and an
undergraduate Diploma in Teacher Education. In addition to the UCD accredited Diploma in Teacher
Education, the volunteer Tutors from Ireland will have the opportunity to apply for a place on a specially
designed one year part time Masters in Education (Mentoring), also accredited by UCD, where their
experience as Tutors will form the basis of their thesis.

Application forms are available here and completed applications should be returned by Monday, 16th
November 2009..... so get working! Please check out our website for further information. Alternatively,
contact Breda O‘ Driscoll on 01 4084116.


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Success to date in India and Uganda: At present, 170 Indian teachers from the Northeast are currently
enrolled in the Diploma in Teacher Education, which began there in 2007. The first group will graduate in
2010. It is hoped that a number of these graduates will then be sufficiently enabled and confident to deliver
this programme to their colleagues, thus ensuring sustainability. Those who show promise and interest in
further training will be given the opportunity to travel to Ireland on a scholarship to UCD.

With four years experience in India and following fact-finding visits to Ethiopia in April 2008 and Ethiopia
and Uganda in October 2008, Global Schoolroom believes that its Teacher Education Programme can be
developed to address local needs in other countries throughout the developing world. In partnership with Self
Help Africa, Global Schoolroom delivered a Teacher Education Pilot Programme in Uganda in July 2009.
Following on the success of this programme, it is hoped that the three-year Diploma in Teacher Education
will be established in Uganda in July 2010.


Chennai School Stands Up Against Poverty
On World Poverty day,16/9/09 Sacred Heart Students from Chennai in India took the pledge to stand up and
fight poverty.

The Pledge reads as follows: ―We are standing now with millions of people around the world on this historic
day, to show our commitment to the fight against extreme poverty and inequality. We only have six years
left to the 2015 deadline to realize the Millennium Development Goals.

Today, we Stand Up together to tell our leaders: Act now to achieve and exceed the Millennium
Development Goals Commit to removing hunger and end environmental damage to the earth
We will continue to Stand Up, not just today but every day, to say: No more Excuses, End Poverty and
Inequality Now!‖



A play, accompanied by visuals and music, was enacted by the students of the school. The play showcased
the significant message that children should organize their voices voices and take action against the
devastating effects of the financial, food and climate crises.

The message was very clear. It is a time for us to show our political leaders that we do not accept their
indifference, we do not condone their negligence, and we do not allow them to play havoc with the
environment .

As part of the day, visits were organised to an Orphanage at Neelankarai and a home for the destitute and
mentally challenged at Anna Nagar. The children distributed food, notebooks, toys, pencils and other useful
things. They played and interacted with the inmates of these homes. When the time came to leave, tearful
goodbyes and hugs were exchanged with promises to meet again.

A slogan-writing competition and a Poster competition were held in school to raise awareness and sensitise
the children about the less privileged sections of society. The best slogan was ―Want to become rich
overnight? Give yourself to the poor.‖

Such activities are an ongoing process at Sacred Heart. "To Serve With Love‖ this, in a nutshell, is the aim
of social service activities of the School.

Community Development Programmes have always been integrated into the school‘s curriculum with a view
to stimulating social awareness in the students. A period is set apart for Community Development Studies in
the Std. XI time-table, where students discuss and debate socially-relevant issues like poverty, inequality
and climate change.

The students stay back after school hours to teach and interact with the less-privileged children in the
campus. Visits to orphanages, old-age homes, destitute homes and scholarships for the under privileged and
the marginalized are a part of the annual activities organized by the school.
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During Christmas, the school regularly collects money, clothes and food for distribution among the poor and
the deserving. Overall, the school takes pains to sensitise students to the conditions and needs of the
underprivileged, so that they realise their responsibilities and are motivated to translate this realization into
action. [Submitted by Gita Das]


Religious add 'green' vow to consecrated life
Heads of Catholic Religious congregations in India have decided to let environmental concerns shape their
lifestyle and activities. They did so at the national assembly of the Conference of Religious India on 28
September 2009 in New Delhi. They have resolved to examine the moral and religious imperatives in their
lifestyle including ―insensitive use of natural resources‖ and a tendency to destroy habitable lands in the
name of development. Based on this, they will strive for ―a more habitable earth for all species of nature.‖ As
practical steps, the Religious leaders have committed to avoid consumerism and to lead a simple, nature-
friendly life. They want congregation members to speak out when they see the environment being destroyed
and organise people to protest such destruction.

They have also urged their members to shun a focus on future rewards in heaven and encourage people to
work together to change the world.
―Greening consecrated life is the most demanding theme, and it has to be incorporated into every aspect of
religious life,‖ the leaders said in a document issued on Oct. 1 by the Conference of Religious (CRI), the
national association of Religious major superiors.

Some 550 general and provincial superiors attended CRI‘s national assembly from Sept. 27 to Oct. 2 on the
theme, ―Toward harmonious India.‖ The assembly, which is held every three years, noted that one-third of
India‘s population of more than 1 billion now face water shortages, with this proportion expected to rise to
two-thirds by 2025. It cited soil contamination through non-degradable plastic and pesticides, air pollution
and deforestation as serious threats to the environment.

The CRI wants to empower its more than 125,000 members to promote a consecrated life that ―experiences
the wholeness of cosmic reality and a mission that proclaims the integrity of creation.‖ The document
acknowledges that spirituality of Catholic Religious used to be ―other-worldly, uncomfortable with the earth
and its temporal issues.‖ It described the traditional Christian mindset as oriented toward fleeing a world
mired in evil, with Christians being taught their reward lay in heaven and not on earth. ―Such spirituality
viewed God as being far beyond the Earth,‖ which it considered ―a godless place, a fallen world that one has
to transcend to attain union with God,‖ the Religious leaders pointed out.

Conversely, the need today is to search for God dwelling ―inside every reality of nature,‖ they continued.
Therefore, people who dedicate their life to God should be taught that religious activity includes
environmental preservation and conservation. ―Ecological spirituality is religious spirituality,‖ the document
asserts. The Religious leaders pledged their support for government environmental initiatives and their
intention to get involved in projects such as reforestation. They also want congregation members to reduce
consumption of electricity, fuel and water, start nature walks and nature meditations, and give eco-friendly
gifts to friends and benefactors.

Another recommendation is for Religious to spread awareness by introducing environmental studies in their
schools ecological themes in camps and other special programs they run for students.
Meanwhile, the superiors want congregational properties to have at least 40 percent green cover including
gardens. They also want Religious to avoid the use of plastics, introduce solar energy systems, start
harvesting rainwater and publish articles on ecology and eco-spirituality. For their own part, the leaders plan
to make ecology and eco-spirituality an important part of Religious formation programs, to include
ecological concerns in their annual budgets and to actively safeguard indigenous groups' knowledge of the
natural world. [Submitted by Gemma Pires]




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Who Controls Access to Food - Key Report
Failure by national governments and international institutions to ensure the right to food has led to rising
numbers of malnourished and starving people, as documented in the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch
2009. The report was launched on 12th October 2009 in Geneva by a consortium of human rights
organizations, faith-based organizations, social movements and development agencies including the World
Organization against Torture, FIAN Switzerland, Bread for All (Pain pour la prochain) and the Ecumenical
Advocacy Alliance (EAA).

The 2009 report focuses on ―Who controls the governance of the world food system‖ through contributions
from Olivier De Schutter, United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food; David Nabarro,
Coordinator of the UN High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis; and Flavio Valente, FIAN
International General Secretary, and others. Reports are included on the state of the implementation of the
right to food and nutrition in nine countries: Benin, Brazil, Cambodia, India, Guatemala, Kenya, Nicaragua,
Uganda and Zambia. The country reports highlight how the right to food and nutrition are connected to such
issues as agro-fuel production, poverty or the right to land. In analyzing the failures of the current system, in
which over 1 billion people are malnourished, the report stresses that critical changes related to international
bodies and the implementation of national policies are needed.

As an annual evidence-providing monitoring tool, the Watch aims to put public pressure on policy makers at
the national and international level to take the right to food seriously, and to provide a systematic
compilation of best practices for the realization of the right to food, while documenting where violations take
place. As Ester Wolf, Policy Advisor on the Right to Food for Bread for All and member of the EAA Board
of Directors states, ―Right to food violations and chronic hunger are closely linked. Most victims of hunger
and malnutrition are also victims of discrimination and exclusion, with no voice to be heard. The Watch is an
important tool to make this silent hunger visible and to challenge decision makers to assume their
responsibilities.‖


Presentation School Wins International Prize
A group of students from a Presentation secondary school in Drogheda, Ireland, have won a prestigious
international 'mock trial' competition in New York. Ten fifth-year students from Our Lady‘s College in
Greenhills, Drogheda, beat 18 other schools from across the United States, the UK and South Africa. As
transition-year students last year, the girls won the all-Ireland mock trials competition in May, which took
place in the Four Court. The Irish girls defeated the reigning champions, Mainland Regional High School
from New Jersey in the final, having defeated a number of other teams over the previous days. The final
decision was made by 13 attorneys serving as jurors. The Chief Justice of the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of New York, the Honorable Raymond J. Dearie presided over the round.

Each student on the team played a role in the courtroom trial during which they had to argue both sides in the
case of a kidnapping. One of the winning students, Aoife Downes, said she and two other students from the
team hope to go on to study law when they finish school. Making their accomplishment even more
impressive was the fact that Our Lady's College only had 4 weeks to prepare their case due to potential
funding issues. "In addition to their incredible talent, the Irish girls were the heart and soul of this year's
Empire," said Assistant Tournament Director David John Hommel, "from their passion in the courtroom, to
their enthusiam on the cruise and at the hotel, this group is truly special".

"We were given 85 pages of case material and we had to do both sides of the kidnapping, to say how the
defendant was guilty," said student Emily Walker. "And then we had to switch it completely and show how
she was completely innocent," she added. The full team comprised Emily Walker, Aoife Downes, Katie
Casey, Niamhin O'Dowd, Theresa McKenna, Tara Gallagher, Aine Carolan, Jessica Taggart, Jessica Reilly
and Derbhla Kerr. ―We‘re absolutely delighted. We weren‘t really expecting to win. We didn‘t know what
the standard would be like and it was really tough. We were up against really good teams.‖ So said the girls
after the news broke of their fantastic achievement.

Greenhills principal Pádraig O‘Broin said mock trials, where students grapple with the rigours of the justice
system, are excellent ways of teaching young people to think on their feet and to apply the knowledge they

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have learned. ―It will be a great boost to their confidence, and an example of what hard work and long hours
of practice could do,‖ he said. Our Lady's College, formerly under the trusteeship of the Northern Province
of the Presentation Sisters, is now under the trusteeship of CEIST.


A Reality Check From the Brink of Extinction
Writing in Truthdig.com this month, Chris Hedges argues that industrial civilization is functionally
incompatible with life on earth. He writes:

We can join Bill McKibben on Oct. 24 in nationwide protests over rising carbon emissions. We can cut our
consumption of fossil fuels. We can use less water. We can banish plastic bags. We can install compact
fluorescent light bulbs. We can compost in our backyard. But unless we dismantle the corporate state, all
those actions will be just as ineffective as the Ghost Dance shirts donned by native American warriors to
protect themselves from the bullets of white soldiers at Wounded Knee.

‗If we all wait for the great, glorious revolution there won‘t be anything left,‘ author and environmental
activist Derrick Jensen told me when I interviewed him in a phone call to his home in California. ‗If all we
do is reform work, this culture will grind away. This work is necessary, but not sufficient. We need to use
whatever means are necessary to stop this culture from killing the planet. We need to target and take down
the industrial infrastructure that is systematically dismembering the planet. Industrial civilization is
functionally incompatible with life on the planet, and is murdering the planet. We need to do whatever is
necessary to stop this.‘

The oil and natural gas industry, the coal industry, arms and weapons manufacturers, industrial farms,
deforestation industries, the automotive industry and chemical plants will not willingly accept their own
extinction. They are indifferent to the looming human catastrophe. We will not significantly reduce carbon
emissions by drying our laundry in the backyard and naively trusting the power elite. The corporations will
continue to cannibalize the planet for the sake of money. They must be halted by organized and militant
forms of resistance. The crisis of global heating is a social problem. It requires a social response.
The United States, after rejecting the Kyoto Protocol, went on to increase its carbon emissions by 20 percent
from 1990 levels. The European Union countries during the same period reduced their emissions by 2
percent. But the recent climate negotiations in Bangkok, designed to lead to a deal in Copenhagen in
December, have scuttled even the tepid response of Kyoto. Kyoto is dead. The EU, like the United States,
will no longer abide by binding targets for emission reductions. Countries will unilaterally decide how much
to cut. They will submit their plans to international monitoring. And while Kyoto put the burden of
responsibility on the industrialized nations that created the climate crisis, the new plan treats all countries the
same. It is a huge step backward.

‗All of the so-called solutions to global warming take industrial capitalism as a given,‘ said Jensen, who
wrote ‗Endgame: The Problem of Civilization‘ and ‗The Culture of Make Believe.‘ ‗The natural world is
supposed to conform to industrial capitalism. This is insane. It is out of touch with physical reality. What‘s
real is real. Any social system—it does not matter if we are talking about industrial capitalism or an
indigenous Tolowa people—their way of life, is dependent upon a real, physical world. Without a real,
physical world you don‘t have anything. When you separate yourself from the real world you start to
hallucinate. You believe the machines are more real than real life. How many machines are within 10 feet of
you and how many wild animals are within a hundred yards? How many machines do you have a daily
relationship with? We have forgotten what is real.‘

The latest studies show polar ice caps are melting at a record rate and that within a decade the Arctic will be
an open sea during summers. This does not give us much time. White ice and snow reflect 80 percent of
sunlight back to space, while dark water reflects only 20 percent, absorbing a much larger heat load.
Scientists warn that the loss of the ice will dramatically change winds and sea currents around the world.
And the rapidly melting permafrost is unleashing methane chimneys from the ocean floor along the Russian
coastline. Methane is a greenhouse gas 25 times more toxic than carbon dioxide, and some scientists have
speculated that the release of huge quantities of methane into the atmosphere could asphyxiate the human
species. The rising sea levels, which will swallow countries such as Bangladesh and the Marshall Islands and
turn cities like New Orleans into a new Atlantis, will combine with severe droughts, horrific storms and
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flooding to eventually dislocate over a billion people. The effects will be suffering, disease and death on a
scale unseen in human history.

We can save groves of trees, protect endangered species and clean up rivers, all of which is good, but to
leave the corporations unchallenged would mean our efforts would be wasted. These personal adjustments
and environmental crusades can too easily become a badge of moral purity, an excuse for inaction. They can
absolve us from the harder task of confronting the power of corporations.

The damage to the environment by human households is minuscule next to the damage done by corporations.
Municipalities and individuals use 10 percent of the nation‘s water while the other 90 percent is consumed
by agriculture and industry. Individual consumption of energy accounts for about a quarter of all energy
consumption; the other 75 percent is consumed by corporations. Municipal waste accounts for only 3 percent
of total waste production in the United States. We can, and should, live more simply, but it will not be
enough if we do not radically transform the economic structure of the industrial world.
‗If your food comes from the grocery store and your water from a tap you will defend to the death the system
that brings these to you because your life depends on it,‘ said Jensen, who is holding workshops around the
country called Deep Green Resistance [click here and here] to build a militant resistance movement. ‗If your
food comes from a land base and if your water comes from a river you will defend to the death these
systems. In any abusive system, whether we are talking about an abusive man against his partner or the
larger abusive system, you force your victims to become dependent upon you. We believe that industrial
capitalism is more important than life.‘

Those who run our corporate state have fought environmental regulation as tenaciously as they have fought
financial regulation. They are responsible for our personal impoverishment as well as the impoverishment of
our ecosystem. We remain addicted, courtesy of the oil, gas and automobile industries and a corporate-
controlled government, to fossil fuels. Species are vanishing. Fish stocks are depleted. The great human
migration from coastlines and deserts has begun. And as temperatures continue to rise, huge parts of the
globe will become uninhabitable. NASA climate scientist James Hansen has demonstrated that any
concentration of carbon dioxide greater than 350 parts per million in the atmosphere is not compatible with
maintenance of the biosphere on the ‗planet on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is
adapted.‘ He has determined that the world must stop burning coal by 2030—and the industrialized world
well before that—if we are to have any hope of ever getting the planet back down below that 350 number.
Coal supplies half of our electricity in the United States.

‗We need to separate ourselves from the corporate government that is killing the planet,‘ Jensen said. ‗We
need to get really serious. We are talking about life on the planet. We need to shut down the oil
infrastructure. I don‘t care, and the trees don‘t care, if we do this through lawsuits, mass boycotts or
sabotage. I asked Dahr Jamail how long a bridge would last in Iraq that was not defended. He said probably
six to 12 hours. We need to make the economic system, which is the engine for so much destruction,
unmanageable. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta has been able to reduce Nigerian oil
output by 20 percent. We need to stop the oil economy.‘ The reason the ecosystem is dying is not because we
still have a dryer in our basement. It is because corporations look at everything, from human beings to the
natural environment, as exploitable commodities. It is because consumption is the engine of corporate
profits. We have allowed the corporate state to sell the environmental crisis as a matter of personal choice
when actually there is a need for profound social and economic reform. We are left powerless.

Alexander Herzen, speaking a century ago to a group of Russian anarchists working to topple the czar,
reminded his followers that they were not there to rescue the system. ‗We think we are the doctors,‘ Herzen
said. ‗We are the disease.‘ [Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Truthdig.com. Hedges graduated from
Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign correspondent for The New York Times.[


IPA Patchwork Tapestry now finished
At the IPA (International Presentation Association) Assembly at Bangalore, India in 2007, it was decided to
produce a patchwork tapestry based on the life and work of each Unit. Sr. Julianna Purcell from Castlecomer
agreed to put the pieces together that were sent in from each unit representing their story in fabric. There is a
photo online with an explanation for each panel.
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Promotion Director sought by Northern Province
The Presentation Sisters (Northern Province) wish to appoint a Presentation Promotion Director. This is a
full time position with a 2 year fixed term contract. The Promotion Director will be required to promote
awareness of presentation life and mission by visiting schools, third level institutions and parishes. S/he will
organise reflection weekends for women interested in exploring a religious vocation. S/he will have a
relevant third level qualification, excellent communication skills and a recognised qualification in spirituality
and / or theology with a capacity to motivate individuals and groups.

For a complete job description and further details please contact the secretary at +353 (0)90 647 2186 or
email the province. The Provincial Office for the Northern Province is located in Garden Vale, Athlone, Co.
Westmeath, Ireland. Closing date for receipt of applications is 13th November 2009.


United Nations Video Contest - Indian Entry
Some time ago the United Nations launched a video competition inviting young people to producer a short
video on a topic they felt should be given attention by world leaders.

Maalavika Manoj, who is 16 years old, from the Presentation High School in Chennai, India submitted an
entry on Female Infanticide. She calls it 'Callous Genocide' and it may be viewed on You Tube. [Submitted
by Gita Das]


World Food Summit 2009
The 2009 World Food Summit, convened by the United Nation‘s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO),
will take place in Rome, Italy, 16 -18 November 2009. World leaders will discuss the total eradication of
hunger from the planet. The FAO has stated its aim to put in place a more coherent and effective system of
governance of world food security. The aim of the Summit is also to make sure developing countries have a
fair chance of competing in world commodity markets; to mobilize substantial additional public and private
sector investments in agriculture and rural infrastructure; to agree on more effective mechanisms for early
reaction to food crises, and to ensure that countries are prepared to adapt to climate change and mitigate
negative effects.

The FAO says the global food insecurity situation has worsened and continues to represent a serious threat –
the number of hungry people could increase by a further 100 million in 2009 and pass the one billion mark.
Food prices remain stubbornly high in developing countries, while the global economic crisis is aggravating
the situation by affecting jobs and deepening poverty irrespective of the commitments made by governments
on the right to food.

Governments have been invited around the world to negotiate a declaration for adoption by the Summit. We
need to speak out for solutions that promote just and sustainable production, trade and distribution systems;
address unsustainable consumption; and ensure the right to food for all people. It is up to us to hold our
governments accountable to the commitments they make to eradicate hunger.


Results of Online Survey re eNews
Many thanks to all who responded to our Online Survey. A summary of the results is posted below.

    1. Asked if they looked through the eNews every month, 87% said Yes and 13% said Often.
    2. Respondents were asked about how they read the eNews….. 30 % read every story every month and
       40% did so often; 26% read the most interesting stories every month and 37% do so often; 54%
       click on all the Highlight Buttons always or often each month and 46% do so rarely or never.
       72% click on all the most interesting Highlight Buttons always or often each month and 28% do so
       rarely or never; 6% print the full eNews always or often while 94% do so rarely or never; 42% share
       the printed eNews with their community while 58% do so rarely or never; 35% sometimes give
       feedback through the Feedback button while 65% never do so.
    3. 13% of respondents advised that someone prints out the eNews for Sisters who do not have access to

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Presentation Sisters Union                   News Update October 2009                         Print Version

         computers; 8% sometimes do so and 21% never do so while this question was not applicable to 58%
         of respondents.
    4.   Overall, 79% gave the eNews an Excellent rating and 21% a Good rating. No respondent rated it as
         fair or poor.
    5.   A number of statements about the eNews were rated. 97% strongly agreed or agreed that the eNews
         helped to keep them in touch with Presentation life and 98% looked forward to receiving it every
         month; 38% strongly agreed that the stories were well-linked to the mission and vision of the
         congregation and the remaining 62% agreed with the statement. One respondent considered the
         stories were, by-in-large, inconsequential; 100% found it easy to use but 15% found it a little long.
         While no one felt the eNews should be discontinued, just 31% felt it should be published more
         often; 91% felt it covered all important Presentation events while 9% disagreed; 68% said they
         regularly visit the website in between editions while 32% do not; 62% said they visit the Reflection
         pages regularly while 37% do not; 52% said they visit the Sacred Space regularly while 48% do not;
         43% say they have already subscribed a friend to the eNews while 57% have not; 69% said they will
         do so while 31% said they will not.
    6.   In Questions 6, 7 and 8 respondents were asked to make suggestions for improvements to eNews or
         the webpages or to comment on any aspect of Presentation Communications. There was no strong
         message arising from these responses but respondents did express their appreciation for the eNews
         and webpages.
    7.   We would like to thank all of our respondents for taking the time to respond. If you haven't done so
         and would like to, you can do so online.


Global Education Experience Reflection Day
Students from Ireland who took part in this year's Global Education Experience came together recently to
reflect on their experience and to share their stories. The GEE programme consists of three phases; (1)
Preparatory - the preparation for a school visit, (2) The actual visit itself – which happened during May/June
of this year when three schools went to Zambia. The third phase, a day of follow-up and evaluation, took
place in Mount St. Anne‘s Retreat and Conference Centre, Killenard, on Saturday 3rd October 2009.

The event was organised by the GEE co-ordinating group for the three schools which were Mountmellick
Community School and Colaiste Chiarain (Leixlip) - who travelled to Kalomo - and Presentation College
(Carlow) which undertook its second visit to Kaoma. Also present were representatives of the Presentation
trustees, WorldWise (Irish Aid), teachers and (now third level) students from past participating schools. Sr.
Mary Lucey on home leave from Zambia also came along. Mary‘s presence was greatly appreciated by all
but especially by those who had met her and had seen the village project in Pemba.

Each school made a brief presentation outlining their experience and saying what they had learned from it.
All found it to be life-transforming and had developed a very good understanding of how the partnership
between Zambia and Ireland had real benefits for both parties.

What wonderful stories / reflections were shared with us! What a privilege it was to hear these young people
speak of how the Zambian people and the Presentation Sisters touched their hearts and lives. They spoke of
meeting extraordinary people who impressed them with their sense of joy. They spoke of helping on the
farms, planting, harvesting and working with the women, most of them widows, in ensuring that families
would have food for at least part of the year. They spoke of being with the children in both Kalomo and
Kaoma but very special memories were shared of their time with the children in the orphanages and of
course the joy of dancing, singing and of playing games with the locals.

What inspired us most was their own deep reflections on what the experience meant for them. Many
mentioned how they had grown as people in understanding how other people live in very different
circumstances; how wonderful it is to work as a community showing care and concern for each other; how
they learned to work as a group and how deep friendships formed over the duration of the visit; how one
could happily be together without multi-channel T.V. and other items considered essential for living in
today‘s western teenage world; experiencing life where water and electricity were scarce.

While the written evaluations are a very helpful tool for the co-ordinating team in advancing the project, it
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was the interest, enthusiasm and concern these young people that was most enriching as they expressed their
desire to never to forget and to keep connected.

Many thanks to all who came along to the day and shared but very special thanks to all who made it possible,
the teachers in the schools, local communities who supported the project and special thanks to the sisters in
Lusaka, Kalomo and Kaoma for their wonderful encouraging support for the project. Very special thanks to
the people of Kalomo and Kaoma who welcomed us into their communities and lives.
At the end of the day each student and school was presented with a certificate of participation. [Submitted
by Sr. Mary Rossiter]


TÓIR 2009 - One Pilgrim's View
I had the great privilege to participate in TÓIR 2009 as a Presentation Associate. TÓIR is an Irish word
which means – SEARCH – QUEST – TO BE ENERGISED. And what a life changing and challenging
experience I had! ‗From now on I will tell you new things, even hidden things you have not know before.‘
[ISAIAH 48:6-8]

I live in Nuneaton, have never moved and am very BRITISH. I felt very special to be the only person from
England on Tóir 2009! I thought everyone accepted Pounds sterling so I never took any Euros! I did have a
difficult time getting a taxi! Well I finally arrived at EMMAUS, in Dublin, to be greeted by Br Peadar, the
Team and many of the participants - it was all quite overwhelming. As I was shown to my room I thought at
least this would be my escape, my space! We were told to ‗be yourself‘, to shed off all our roles and to live
and NOTICE THE PRESENT MOMENT. Then we were divided into small groups; our facilitator was Ann,
and I called her ‗the action lady‘.

All the Speakers were excellent. Derek Poole (from Northern Ireland) told us that we were in the mist of
Babel; explaining conflict he quoted Seamus Heaney, ‗Whatever you say, say nothing‘, and we all have a
desire to remove that which threatens. He explained Irish History in Nano‘s time and on that day I didn‘t feel
very proud of being English. He used four points to describe conflict:

1. Demonic possessiveness
2. Our want to take-over
3. Take more than we need
4. Control, manipulate

Fr Peter McVerry challenged us. Who are the homeless? – they are usually damaged by their childhood
experiences and take drugs to forget, to suppress their feelings; and he asked us to ponder on why the Poor
aren‘t flocking to us who are supposed to have the Good News! He quoted the Gospel of Luke: How Jesus
began with the Temple at the centre of his life at the Presentation; how he was 'lost' in the Temple but as
Jesus went through his life he distanced himself from the Temple, from the hierarchy and looks to the Poor.
"How do I enter the Kingdom of God? Through following the LAW?" Jesus made it clear this was not the
way. There was only one door and that was COMPASSION. Compassion is God‘s Passion – God is the
Giver of Life. He stood for those on the margin; He became the margin which led Him to the cross.
 After these talks we had the 'History of Edmund Rice' by Daire Keogh; 'Nano Nagle' by Sr Claude Meagher
and the 'Cosmic Dance'. This ended the teaching session at Emmaus, and we moved on to the pilgrim part of
TÓIR: Visiting Glendalough, Callan, Waterford, Ballygriffin, South Pres and Cork.

I am changed and challenged; I can accept and take on board that "God is Love". God is COMPASSION.
‗There are many rooms in my Father‘s House‘. [JOHN 14:2] Wishing all the best to my fellow pilgrims, lots
of Love and Prayers. [Lorraine Payne, Pilgrim on Tóir 2009]




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Presentation Sisters Union                    News Update October 2009                        Print Version

Our Way of Life
Early in October the Congregational Leadership team met with the commission for updating and rewriting
the constitutions. The purpose of this meeting was to affirm the work that the group are doing, to respond to
the draft prepared by the commission and do some planning towards the future. The Commission continued
to meet throughout the month and have submitted the following update for the October eNews:

The Commission for the Updating and Rewriting the Constitutions met in the Mission House, Lucan and in
Mt. St. Anne‘s during the month of October. The meeting was a ‗follow up‘ to the one held in Daphne,
Alabama (in May 2009). Its purpose was to listen to the insights and wisdom of the Congregational
Leadership Team and of those who reflected with them in relation to the initial document created in Daphne.

This became a ―circle of conversation‖ a ―sitting down‖ together to hear, to share, to re-think and re-create.
Part of the meeting was facilitated by Sr. Anne Codd, pbvm. She enabled us to envision our movement
towards 2012 and to sharpen up the steps we need to take to get there. It seems a long way off but lots of
steps are part of the journey ... The meeting included times of reflection, prayer, sharing of insights, laughter
and relaxation. The group was truly interactive. Each one‘s voice counted and there was a great sense of
community. The environment of Mt. St. Anne's was itself a visible expression of nurture and life. The sisters
and staff enabled us in every possible way.

The commission returned to Lucan and to the ongoing task with renewed energy and hope, enlivened by the
blessing of the Congregational Leadership Team. We thank them for their affirmation and support in what is
a sacred and difficult journey ‗in updating and rewriting the Constitutions.‘ We are aware that you – the
whole Congregation – are those we serve. The words ―This is your life........This is our life‖ are central to our
approach. We continue to reflect on the first part of the Constitutions up to and including the section on
Formation. We are trying to give newness and freshness to language and content. Our hope is that a renewed
spirit of joy and enthusiasm may be created among us all as we try to live Nano‘s charism in today‘s reality.

We are separating the Inspirational words of the Constitutions from the more practical norms to make
reading and reflecting easier. We hope that these two documents will reach all of us in a few weeks time.
We will then be inviting all into further reflection and feedback. The weeks have been characterised by the
usual ―ups‖ and ―downs‖ one associates with creating something new. At times we have been full of energy,
and at other times, we have been downcast, struggling for life-giving words to express inspiration. Through
it all we have been strengthened by the companionship of the three of us and by knowing we are in the
prayer of many at this time. We are very grateful for that.

The community at Lucan has been a wonderful support by their care, their interest and their openness to our
presence. Even in the midst of celebrating the life and death of Sr. Marie Therese Fagan here in the
community, with all the funeral arrangements involved, they have been sensitive, warm and welcoming.
And so we continue ...

The commission comprises Srs. Aurea Dias, Rosaleen O‘Connell and Louis Meeneghan.



HEALING TOUCH THERAPY
A very inspiring workshop on Healing touch was held in Nagle House, Marondera from the 19th-22nd
August 2009. Sr. Eileen Kearney who is working in Peru came to facilitate it. About 22 participants were
able to do Levels 1 and 2.

Healing Touch is a bio field therapy that is an energy- based approach to health and healing. It uses touch to
influence the human energy field that surrounds the body and the energy centres that control the flow from
the energy to the physical body. These non-invasive techniques utilize the hands to clear, energize, and
balance the human and environmental energy fields, thus affecting physical, emotional mental and spiritual
health and healing

I found this workshop very informative and life giving on the aspect of bringing healing to self and to others.

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Presentation Sisters Union                   News Update October 2009                       Print Version

We learnt about different techniques to balance the energy centres and to enhance the flow of energy in the
body using the Chakra Connection, Magnetic clearing and the use of a pendulum, which was the high light.

It was a time of healing to many of us when we did the mind clearing, Headache techniques, pain
management, spiral meditation etc. We all expressed how grateful we are for the opportunity we got and
hope to continue The Healing Touch in our communities, areas where we work and to all who are in need of
this Great exercise. We hope to continue meeting as a group to practice on each other as well as to encourage
each other in order to be more effective.

Special thanks to Sr. Eileen Kearney for her commitment, enthusiasm and hard work during the Workshop.
Her presence among us was also a blessing. We will always remember her as our great teacher. I
acknowledge with gratitude, the South American Province who asked and provided the air fare for Sr. Eileen
to come and teach us on Healing Touch, the Zimbabwean Vice Province for allowing us this opportunity,
providing the food and all support during the Workshop.

We all got Certificates at the end of the Level 2, which is internationally recognized. This means we can
proceed to Level 3. [Submitted by Nyasha Nyandoro, PBVM]



Presentation Novena 2009
Dear Sisters, Brothers, Associates, Co-workers and Friends of Nano,

We join together again across the world to celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of our Lady and to pray for
nine days, so that we may be in communion with each other and with the very heart of God.

May the fire flaming forth from the heart of God enflame the hearts of all people of every nation, especially
those at the margins of society. May it empower us in our work for justice so that we may not rest while
there are still people trapped in the web of poverty and discrimination. May it give courage and strength to
all of us to care for the earth for as we know where the earth is most wounded the poor suffer most.

As we near the end of the jubilee year of Nano‘s death we are grateful for the encouragement her life gave us
to fan into flame the gift of God all over the world. We wish all of you the continued joy of walking by the
light of her lantern and the consolation of knowing the great love of the compassionate heart of God.

We thank the sisters of the North American Conference for preparing the Novena this year.

Blessings on all of you as we celebrate Presentation Day. The Novena may be downloaded by clicking here
or on the image.




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