Update from the Office of Justice, Peace and Care for Creation, June 22, 2023

Image of a refugee camp with the text that says "Their cry, your cry, resounds through the ages: “Will you let me in?” Give us hearts that break open When our brothers and sisters turn to us with that same cry." Prayer for Refugees by Catholic Relief Serv


Keeping the Ohio Unit in prayer during the Assembly 2023.

Advocacy and Action

The Senate will soon vote on SJ Res 20, a resolution that will backtrack the little ground we have gained in regulating assault weapons. Alarmingly, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown may be one of the deciding votes. He has not indicated he will vote no. This resolution would repeal the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ rule against guns equipped with arm braces. These guns have been used by shooters in multiple high-profile mass shootings. PLEASE CALL your senators ASAP (regardless of the state you live in, but especially if you live in Ohio) and leave this, or a similar message:

Dear Senator,

I urge you to vote no on S.J.Res. 20, which would repeal ATF's arm brace rule. I am writing to you as a constituent filled with grief, fear, and anger. I am fed up as countless acts of preventable gun violence continue to threaten the safety of communities across the country. Arm brace-equipped firearms have been used in a number of high-profile mass shootings, including in Dayton, Ohio, in 2019; in Boulder, Colorado, in 2021; in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 2022; and in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2023. ATF's rule is common sense and life-saving. I urge you to protect our communities by opposing the extreme attempts to attack ATF, including efforts to repeal ATF's arm brace rule.

The EPA is taking public comments until July 31, on their Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution. You can read it here. Our friends at Beyond Plastics are asking us, as an affiliate group, to submit a public comment. I have included text below for your use, but please change it up a little. The program’s algorithms will group identical text as one comment. You can click here, then click the blue “comment” box in the upper left of the page. Copy, paste and change the following:

The actions that are most important for the EPA to address in regard to plastic pollution, and that would have the greatest impact on all levels of the U.S. government, are those that drastically reduce the unfettered production of plastics and more quickly ban and regulate the over 10,000 toxic chemicals currently present in plastics. Federal agency time and money is best spent regulating the process “upstream” by reducing plastic packaging through Extended Produce Responsibility requirements. For the “mid-stream” part of the process, we need to ban toxic chemicals, create truth-in-labeling requirements (clarifying and defining terms such as “curbside recycling”, “biodegradable”, and “compostable”) as well as explicitly banning so called Chemical Recycling. For the “downstream” part of the process, we need to include reuse and repair infrastructure, as well as, tracking of plastics with the help of NGO groups already doing this work. Plastics are hazardous at every stage, from production to their degradation. Creating the raw material for plastics has a large carbon footprint. Plastic pollution, especially microplastics have been proven to be harmful to the health of humans and animals.


The recording of Building the Beloved Community: Addressing Racial Injustice and Finding Ways Forward from the Initiative on Catholic Thought is now available. You can see the video here.

DON’T FORGET: The National Partnership for New Americans’ Climate Justice Collaborative will host a webinar titled: Immigrant Communities on the Frontlines of Environmental Disasters on Monday, June 26th 2:00 PM (ET), 11:00 (PT). Climate change is affecting marginalized communities the most. This webinar, will highlight how immigrant justice organizations have been responding to extreme weather in a way that keeps communities safe, builds power, and fights for racial and economic justice in our disaster response policies. You can register here.