Teresa Phillips
Director of Office of Justice Peace and Care for Creation

August Update

Last week I came upon this article in the Global Sisters Report. In it, high school teacher Jane Marie Bradish explains her struggle to find the real application, so easily found in her calculus classes, in her moral theology class. After lessons and classroom conversations on the Beatitudes, her students wrote their own. They are Beatitudes for modern times - a real application for moral theology class.

One of Sister Dorothy Stang's Beatitutes.

These new Beatitudes made me think of the story of our own Sister Dorothy Stang, who was reading the Beatitudes aloud when she was martyred. I wonder what she would think of these additional modern beatitudes.

Blessed are those who dream and believe, who influence and inspire.
Blessed are those having trouble figuring out what to do with their lives.
Blessed are those who feel/are broken.
Blessed are the moody teens.
Blessed are those who struggle to find God.
Blessed are the problem solvers.
Blessed are those who are toxic.

I think she would love these additional thoughts created by teens, who are the future of our world. It feels like there are so many more anxieties these days. I’m sure every generation feels that. But, never before have we faced the possibility of a drastically changed climate within the lifetimes of those now being born. Let us look for inspiration in the life of Dorothy Stang and the many other eco-warriors who came before and who continue the work.


Take Actions with us:

On the last week of August, the Biden Administration released its update on DACA. Unfortunately, it is more of the same and does not address the concerns of many in the immigrant community. The fact is, DACA is still not law. The struggle is not over. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to rule soon on the appeal of the Texas case from last summer that said DACA was unlawful. The case is likely to continue on to the Supreme Court of the United States, where it faces a very uncertain future. United We Dream is asking the Biden Administration to do more. Would you sign their petition?

If you're in Cincinnati, the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center has published an Immigration Volunteer Guide. Check them out!

Good News! The Inflation Reduction Act has passed both houses in Congress. It will head to President Biden’s desk soon. We called our elected officials two weeks ago about this legislation. Among other provisions, it contains many things that will help the US reach our fossil fuel reduction goals. However, while this legislation is critical to building a clean energy future, it also includes potentially harmful provisions that could continue to perpetuate our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels. Its provisions could subject frontline communities, especially communities in Alaska and on the Gulf of Mexico near oil and gas infrastructure, to further pollution and harm. The job isn’t done yet. We will celebrate these gains and continue to advocate for our earth. You can send an email regarding proposed drilling off the coast to Alaska right now through the League of Conservation Voters. Feel free to add to or edit the body of the email so the logarithms will see it as different from others.

Do you have concerns about voting rights in our current reality? Would you like to volunteer to help protect voting rights for all? The Ohio Voter Rights Coalition and the League of Women Voters or Ohio are looking for volunteers. Many opportunities are available, some you can do without leaving home. There are many reasons to be concerned about the ability of people to vote. You can help ensure access to the polls for many.

The USCCB is calling on Catholics to contact their elected officials and demand action to address gun violence. LCWR has released a statement as well. You can sign a letter to your elected officials through the USCCB website. I encourage you to add a personal statement to your letter where the form allows. 

There have been 212 mass shootings so far in 2022, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive. If you would like to find advocacy opportunities, please visit Moms Demand Action / Everytown for Gun Safety.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) just proposed a groundbreaking rule that all publicly traded companies measure and disclose greenhouse gas emissions in a standardized way for the first time. This is a big deal. You can take action by sending support to the SEC for this rule.

The USCCB has issued an action alert on climate legislation. They are asking American Catholics to sign this petition to legislators to enact pending bills concerning fossilfuel emissions

Join us in prayer for the increasing numbers of people finding it difficult to feed their families. The Jesuits have several prayers to choose from HERE.

Consider contact your elected officials to request the increase of the refugee admission goal for FY 2023. More info at Church World Service's website.

Join NETWORK to ask Congress to expand and extend the Child Tax Credit. Send a note through NETWORK's website.

Would you join Amnesty International’s call to President Biden? We watch the horror unfolding in Ukraine and we support President Biden’s plan to accept Ukrainian refugees. Join the call HERE.

Join the Laudato Si' Climate Action Platforms. More info HERE

Catholic Charities of Southwest Ohio’s Refugee Resettlement Program will help at least 50 Afghans settle in the area over the next few months. CCSWO needs volunteers and donations of money and household items. Click here for more info.

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