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Southern Africa Trip Report December 11th, 2012
Mary O’Herron, a long-time staff member of the JPIC Office, recently traveled to South Africa with her family. She wrote up some reflections on her time visiting Oblates in Durban. Read her trip report (Download PDF)
Peace & Life Connections: November 20, 2012 December 1st, 2012
We are now reproducing the Consistent Life “Peace & Life Connections” weekly newsletter on our website. If you are interested in more information, or in subscribing to the e-newsletter, please visit www.consistent-life.org/
In the largest single-year drop since legalization, the Centers for Disease Control report the U.S. abortion rate dropped 5% in 2009, the latest year for which it has figures.
The number of abortion clinics plummeted more in the 8 years when Bill Clinton was president than during any other 8-year period. Now the first year of Barack Obama’s term has offered another steep decline of another kind. But unlike that in the Clinton years, this decline can’t be attributed to relative economic prosperity; 2009 was the worst year of the Great Recession.
There are many ideas on why the abortion rate fell. One is that grassroots pro-life people take more action when not relying on presidential lip service.
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A Visit to Mongu, Zambia November 29th, 2011Early November, JPIC Office colleague Kate Walsh, who works with the TRI-State Coalition for Responsible Investment (CRI) in New Jersey, visited Oblates working in Zambia. She writes about her reflection on the trip and experience in Zambia:
Two weeks ago, I traveled to Zambia to speak at conference co-sponsored by Catholic Relief Services and CAFOD on Extractives in Southern African. My task was to speak about ICCR’s work and run a session on Shareholder Advocacy. However, I had a few days to explore the region, visit, before the conference began.
That first weekend, I went to Mongu in the Western Region. This is the poorest region of the country. After a 7-hour bus ride from the capital, I arrived and went to visit the Diocese of Mongu Development Centre (DMDC).
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CHA Videos Record Benefits of the Affordable Care Act July 15th, 2011
Watch these powerful short videos produced by the Catholic Health Association featuring people whose lives have been improved by the Affordable Care Act. Statistics and studies can tell one story but nothing is quite as powerful as the true, touching accounts given by real families working to stay healthy and contribute to our country.
The series of video stories is available at www.YouTube.com/HealthReformWorks
They represent part of CHA’s effort to correct misinformation on health reform and show how the law is already assisting individuals and families all over the country. Please take a few moments to view these videos and share the information with others.
Oblate Organic Community Supported Garden Lauded in Local Press February 14th, 2011
The Oblate-supported organic garden in Godfrey, Illinois has received a nice write-up in The Telegraph, Alton, Illinois’ local paper. Now in its 9th year, the CSA at Godfrey continues to provide its share owners and a local food bank with bountiful supplies of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. The CSA shareholders and core team are committed to preserving the land, educating people about the health benefits of eating produce grown in a sustainable manner and the ecological benefits of eating locally.
The garden regularly over-produces, ensuring leftover produce to take to local food pantries, which fulfills its other mission – to help feed the poor. La Vista also offers 10 to 12 community outreach shares at a discounted price to low-income members of the community.
Reflection on the Rescue of the Chilean Miners October 26th, 2010Renee Yann is a Sister of Mercy and VP for Mission and Values at Mercy Keystone Health Plan in Philadelphia. She wrote this reflection in anticipation of the rescue of the Chilean Miners, which we wanted to share with you.
Last night and today, the world’s thoughts and prayers are even more closely focused on a small town in Chile where thirty-three men have been trapped deep in the darkness of the earth.
One by one, over the course of the forty-eight hours, these men will be delivered to light, resurrected to the life they left, unsuspecting, one morning over two months ago. They will be extracted from the earth through a passageway barely shoulder-wide. Like any birth, each of their transitions will be accompanied by that strange mix of agony and hope that yields new life. And with each one of them, we will experience vicariously what it means to be reborn.
On a brilliant October days such as these, when even the leaves seem made of sunshine, we might more deeply appreciate the longing of the Chilean miners to return to the light. Each of us, at sometime in our lives, has spent time beneath the surface of life. Perhaps we have known the darkness of depression, bereavement, addiction, mental illness or economic desperation in ourselves or those we love. Time spent in the cavern of these burdens is exponentially longer than normal time. We expend enormous amounts of energy looking for a way out, until we finally abandon ourselves to the realization that the only way “out” is “through”.
Over these hours, these miners will complete their passage “through”. As each one comes back to his family, let us thank God with them. And may we use the time as a meditation and thanksgiving for our own passages, whether completed or on-going. May we use it as a time of prayer for our world that we may be delivered from war, poverty, tyranny, terrorism and selfishness. Whether or not these men knew it, our Creator has held their hands through the weeks of suffering. God will rise with them in the narrow cage of their deliverance. And God is always with us as we are continually born to newness in our own lives. Today, as we watch the newsreels, holding our breath in anticipation, remember the One Who is always holding your hand.
Renee Yann, RSM