Philippine Church Leaders Petition against Pork-barrel Spending: “A nationwide campaign for 10 million signatures to pass a bill that will abolish the pork-barrel system kicked off here in Luneta Park Aug. 25 with a rally co-organized with the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines. The campaign is part of an effort to enact a law drafted through a ‘people’s initiative’ that would prohibit all forms of pork-barrel budgeting, explained Benedictine Sr. Mary John Mananzan, co-convener of Abolish Pork Movement group. ‘Even when the court declared that legislators’ Priority Development Assistance Fund or President Benigno Aquino’s Disbursement Acceleration Program [were] unconstitutional, the officials can put in the budget millions of pesos of discretionary funds by other names,’ the nun told thousands of people gathered at the park. …
“Rally participants earlier in the day split up to sign the petition at designated tables for cities where they are registered as voters. … ‘We define pork barrel as any undesignated lump sum amount that would be placed under the discretion of one to three persons,’ Mananzan said. ‘We do not like this because this is the source of corruption and irregularities, political patronage and other problems.’… Common people are angry about the Priority Development Assistance Fund and the Disbursement Acceleration Program because they feel betrayed by broken promises and being told that prevailing poverty is due to lack of funds, [Fr. Wilfredo] Dulay added. ‘Abolish the pork, and the true leaders would emerge – not those who are engaged full time in self-service, but leaders who would want to serve the people and build up the nation,’ the priest said.”
(From National Catholic Reporter, Sept. 12-25, 2014)
Young Households Losing Ground in Income: “Young families are better educated than ever before, but they are earning lower real incomes. The Federal Reserve Board’s newly released 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances indicates that the median family headed by someone under 35 years of age earned $35,509 in 2013 dollars. Adjusted for inflation, that is 6 percent less than similar families reported in the first such survey, in 1989. …younger families have fallen further and further behind older families as time has passed. Nearly a quarter-century after the first survey was taken, families headed by people over 55 generally have higher incomes, after adjusting for inflation, than their predecessors did. But those in groups under 55 generally earn less than their predecessors. In the first survey, the younger group included families headed by people born after 1954, and so was dominated by baby boomers. The latest group includes families headed by people born after 1984, and they seem not to have done nearly as well early in their careers.
“The earlier group came of age in a stronger economy and its members were generally not burdened by education loans as many of the latter group are. …Median incomes tell only part of the story, of course. But the relative decline of the young can also be seen in the distribution of high-income families. In the first survey, nearly a third of younger families had incomes that put them in the top 40 percent of all families. That figure has been steadily falling, and in the latest report just over a quarter of young families are in that group. The age group whose real income has grown the most over the last quarter-century covers those age 65 to 74. The median income of that group used to be lower than that of younger families. Now it is higher. People past the traditional retirement age of 65 are much more likely to be working now than they used to be, but higher pension income may also be a factor.”
(From The New York Times, Sept. 12, 2014)
New EPA Rules Address Climate Change: “On June 2, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy announced the next phase in the Obama administration’s war on carbon pollution. The Clean Power Plan aims to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions from existing fossil-fuel power plants (the largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S.) 30 percent by 2030. That same day the stock market closed with record highs, and more than 173 companies and investors sent a letter to President Obama in support. Business understands that these regulations are good for long-term economic health. State governments have welcomed the new plan because while the carbon limits are fixed, the path to achieving them is flexible. It allows both ‘rate-based’ and ‘mass-based’ methods of reduction, something unusual for the EPA, thus allowing some states to target specific industries and others to aim for overall carbon reductions. Catholic social teaching includes the principle of ‘subsidiarity’ – let the most competent authority closest to the problem determine what works best in achieving a common-good goal. The Clean Power Plan that McCarthy, a Catholic, has rolled out does that. Yet it’s not enough and it’s not fast enough to beat our ecological endgame.
“President Obama has pledged to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. …This fall he may launch a low-intensity war on methane pollution from fracking and landfills. It’s not enough. There are too many loopholes. If we had a working Congress, Obama might take giant steps toward his promise of cutting U.S. greenhouse gas pollution. But a key component for that to succeed would be ending handouts to fossil-fuel companies and passing a common-good, integrity-of-creation, pro-life carbon tax. …The low-risk, conservative goal [for greenhouse gases] – where we get a planet that’s healthy for children and other living things – is 350 ppm or lower. Currently, our carbon levels are at 401.8 ppm. It’s not enough, but the ship is turning. In mid-June, Union Theological Seminary announced it was divesting investments in fossil fuels from its $108.4 endowment, becoming the first seminary in the world to do so. A week later, the Catholic University of Dayton announced it was divesting fossil fuels from its $670 million investment pool. Christians don’t just look for hope in desperate times; we are the hope in desperate times.”
(From Sojourners, September-October 2014)
Water and the Keystone XL Pipeline: “The tar sands of Alberta, Canada, are a tantalizing proximate source of crude oil that can be deployed to help sate the rather gluttonous energy appetite of the United States. Extraction of bitumen from Alberta’s tar sands is controversial on social and environmental fronts in the U.S. and Canada – even as it is considered desirable by strong economic and political interests in both countries. Recently, a new concern has crested into public consciousness: What is the water impact of KXL? Two themes percolate here: the question of fresh water depletion, and the possibility of contamination. As Yale E360 pointed out, the extraction process uses profligate quantities of fresh water. In 2011, companies mining the tar sands siphoned approximately 370 million cubic meters of water from the Athabasca River alone, which was heated or converted into steam to separate viscous oil, or bitumen, from sand formations.
“That quantity exceeds the amount of water that the city of Toronto, with a population 2.8 million people, uses annually. Moreover, this use of water is known as ‘consumptive use’; it cannot re-enter the watershed in meaningful ways after production of crude oil. (Even if the water is re-used in the extraction process, it is not suitable to re-enter ecosystems and is certainly not potable for domestic use.) Like mountaintop removal for coal, extraction of Alberta’s tar sands is a form of strip mining that has destroyed ancestral lands and left toxic byproducts that pollute the area’s remaining ecologically sensitive Boreal forests and wetlands. And this form of crude oil burns dirtier – emitting more greenhouse gases – than other types of fossil fuels.”
(From NewsNotes, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, September-October 2014)
Carbon Tax Yields Results: “As the global community begins to recognize the dangers of climate disruption, some industrialized nations are starting to implement policies to help alleviate some of the stress put on our planet. … The Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) implemented a carbon tax in 2008 with the support of the business community and environmentalists. The tax began at $10 per metric ton of CO2 and other greenhouse gases and increased at a rate of $5 per year up to a cap at $30 per metric ton reached in July 2012. At the tax’s launch, all BC residents received a Climate Action dividend which was a one-time payment of $100. The government also provides a Climate Action Tax Credit (CATC) to assist low-income residents.
“The CATC awards $115.50 for each parent and $34.50 for each child annually. The carbon tax has been so successful in BC due to its revenue neutral design, meaning that the money gathered from the tax is then returned to the populace via tax breaks. Since its implementation in 2008 the carbon tax has generated roughly $1 billion a year in revenue with most of that money returned to the populace in the form of personal tax breaks and business cuts. BC’s carbon tax is proving successful in raising revenue, dropping refined petroleum consumption by 17 percent since its inception, and reducing CO2 emissions by six percent over the course of five years (2007-2011).”
(From NewsNotes, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, September-October 2014)
Pope Francis Promotes Peace: “Pope Francis spoke on Saturday at a cemetery only a few miles from where his Italian grandfather fought in the trenches along the Isonzo River near the Slovenian border in World War I. … ‘Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction,’ he said after strolling among the identical grave markers of the 100,000 Italians who perished in World War I. ‘In today’s world, behind the scenes, there are interests, geopolitical strategies, lust for money and power, and there is the manufacture and sale of arms.’ …the pontiff … touched on the indifference of warmongers. ‘Whereas God carries forward the work of creation, and we men and women are called to participate in his work, war destroys,’ the pontiff said, according to a transcript of his remarks distributed by the Holy See Press Office.
“‘It also ruins the most beautiful work of his hands: human beings. War ruins everything, even the bonds between brothers. War is irrational; its only plan is to bring destruction: it seeks to grow by destroying.’ …The pontiff ended his homily with an emotional plea for world leaders, warmongers and terrorists alike to stop the bloodshed and take a moment to reflect and mourn the dead their actions have left behind. With ‘the heart of a son, a brother, a father,’ he said, the pope demanded that these people move on from indifference to tears. ‘For all the victims of the mindless wars, in every age, humanity needs to weep,’ he said. ‘And this is the time to weep.’”
(From The Daily Beast, Sept. 13, 2014)
Migration Crisis in U.S.: “In recent weeks, the ‘crisis’ of undocumented minors migrating into the U.S. has been given prominent media coverage. The increase in the number of minors crossing the U.S. – Mexico border has not only reinvigorated the debate over immigration reform, but it has also exposed the inadequacies and often inhumane conditions that migrant detainees are kept. However, the story that is often missing from the news is the violence, instability, and a lack of opportunities that are driving migration from Central America into the United States. Responding to the inadequacies of detention facilities, President Obama has proposed a massive increase in funding to better house detained migrant children. Without examining the conditions that these minors are fleeing, the proposed funding increase does very little to reunite children with family already living in the U.S., and it entirely avoids the fact that the majority of these children ought to be considered refugees rather than ‘illegal aliens.’
“By U.S. law, persons fleeing violence, likely torture, death, or persecution due to being a member of a definable at-risk group should qualify as refugees with the protections and services that entails. A recent report published by the Immigration Policy Center overwhelmingly points to violence as the reason for migration – leaving a situation of near certain death, sexual abuse, or physical violence for a journey through Mexico that is harrowing and fraught with risks….The stories of migrant children have reinforced the notion that compassion and peace building are desperately needed within all of our communities….The current focus then ought not be on the ‘crisis’ of child migration as seen from the U.S., but rather on the conditions in home communities, the dangerous journey that migrants must make through drug cartel controlled territories, and the role that U.S. policy plays in fomenting violence and instability.”
(From NewsNotes, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, September-October 2014)
The Minority Majority: “If you want to know what the United States will look like in 30 years, consider the changing complexion of its public schools. This fall, Latino, African-American and Asian students will outnumber their white K-12 peers for the first time. According to projections by the U.S. Department of Education, non-Hispanic whites will make up slightly less than 50 percent of the student body in 2014-15, and their share will continue to shrink for the foreseeable future, thanks in large part to the population growth of U.S.-born Latino and Asian children. But students settling into new classrooms this September are unlikely to notice this enrollment milestone. That is because, despite the greater diversity of the school age population overall, individual schools and districts have become increasingly segregated by race and income. According to a report by the U.C.L.A. Civil Rights Project in 2012, three-quarters of black children and 80 percent of Latino children attend mostly non-white schools, and both groups are likely to go to schools where roughly two-thirds of the students qualify for free or reduced price lunches.
“On average, black and Latino students are more likely to attend under-resourced and failing schools, be taught by less experienced teachers, have fewer advanced classes and be less likely to graduate from high school. The growth of majority-minority schools presents unique challenges. In the short term, districts will need to invest in more English as a second language programs, diversify mostly white workforces and reach out to minority parents, who often feel alienated from their children’s schools. Moving forward, the United States must continue to address the persistent geographic segregation and racial inequalities that are at the root of the academic achievement gap. Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, separate is still unequal.”
(From America, Sept. 15, 2014)
U.S. Poverty Rate Declines Slightly: “The poverty rate declined slightly last year for the first time since 2006, the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday, but there was no statistically significant change in the number of poor people or in the income level of the typical American household. Over all, the bureau said, 14.5 percent of Americans were living in poverty last year, down from 15 percent in 2012. In addition, it said, the poverty rate for children under 18 declined for the first time since 2000. Charles T. Nelson, a Census Bureau official, said an increase in the number of people working full-time year-round was partly responsible for the decline in the poverty rate. In particular, he said, there was an increase in full-time year-round employment among adults in households with children. The bureau estimated that 45.3 million people were living below the poverty level in 2013. …Poverty thresholds vary with the size and composition of a family. A family of four was classified as poor if it had income less than $23,830 last year; for one person, the threshold was $11,890. Poverty levels are updated each year to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index.
“The official income figures do not reflect the value of noncash benefits like food stamps and Medicaid. Census officials said that while income inequality did not change in a statistically significant way from 2012 to 2013, inequality has increased substantially in the last two decades. The most common measure of household income inequality, known as the Gini index, has increased 4.9 percent since 1993. Median household income in the United States was $51,940 last year, the bureau said. …The National Center for Health Statistics said … that the number of Americans without health insurance had declined substantially in the first quarter of this year, in part because of the expansion of coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The center said that the number of uninsured Americans fell by about 8 percent, to 41 million people, in the first quarter of this year, compared with 2013, a drop that represented about 3.8 million people.”
(From The New York Times, Sept. 16, 2014)
Baltimore Parish Serves Homeless, Poor: “Father Dick Lawrence doesn’t see homeless people through rose-colored glasses, but he doesn’t close his eyes to them either. ‘They didn’t get there overnight and you’re not going to get them out (of homelessness) overnight,’ said the pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Church in downtown Baltimore. ‘Sometimes the best you can do is to treat them like human beings and provide effective support services to keep them from declining further and faster.’ Father Lawrence and the congregation of his urban parish, in partnership with the congregation of suburban Our Lady of the Fields Church in Millersville, Maryland, have been doing that for more than 20 years. Every Friday night, St. Vincent de Paul hosts a dinner for anyone who wants a hot meal. Deacon Ed Stoops and his cadre of volunteers from Our Lady of the Fields bring the food and join St. Vincent parishioners in setup and cleaning up each week. ‘Tonight we are expecting to serve about 150 poor and homeless,’ Deacon Stoops told Catholic News Service on a recent Friday. ‘Last week at the end of the month we had 316 people, but now it’s the beginning of the month and the checks are in, so we’ll have fewer people.’ …
“But the meals are just a small part of the services provided at St. Vincent de Paul for the poor and homeless. When the city of Baltimore put a small park next to the church up for sale, the parish bought it and it has now become what outreach worker Dwayne Tony Simmons calls ‘a safe zone’ for the homeless. ‘This church is like our safe haven,’ said Simmons … ‘If you’re hungry, you can come here,’ he added. … And it protects you. It gives you a sense of peace when you’re sitting in this park.’ … The parish also provides clothing for the homeless and helps to find furniture and household goods when someone is able to find housing. Homeless people are welcome at Masses and at the parish’s Sunday coffee hours, although there are two rules: ‘You can’t leave with more than two doughnuts and a cup of coffee, and we don’t ask each other for money,’ Father Lawrence said.”
(From Catholic News Service, Sept. 4, 2014)
Senators Seek Gun Violence Study: “Senate Democrats are asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) how research is coming on gun violence. Democratic Sens. Ed Markey (Mass.), Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Brian Schatz (Hawaii) sent a letter to CDC Director Tom Frieden on Friday asking for a progress report on the current state of research at the agency on the causes and prevention of gun violence. ‘Gun violence kills or injures more than 10,000 children a year. It kills more than 30,000 people each year. It destroys families and damages communities. It is a public health crisis in every sense of the word, and it is critical that we treat it as such,’ the senators wrote.
“Last year, President Obama asked the CDC to research gun violence after the shooting in Newtown, Conn., where 20 first-graders were killed. Lawmakers asked the CDC if they have a budget and timeline for conducting studies on guns. ‘Part of these efforts must include serious substantive research into the problem of gun violence in order to better craft additional strategies with which to confront it,’ the letter stated. ‘Unfortunately, there have been no clear signs that the CDC is beginning to implement this agenda.’ Markey has also called for legislation that would provide the CDC with $10 million a year for six years in order to conduct research on gun violence prevention and firearms safety.”
(From The Hill, Sept. 12, 2014)
California Decreases Water Use: “Facing acute water shortages in some communities and mandatory restrictions on watering lawns, Californians saved 17 billion gallons of water in July, enough to fill 26,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, the state said. The amount saved falls short of the 20 percent reduction in use called for by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, but represents significant cutbacks in water use as the most populous U.S. state struggles through its third year of a devastating drought. ‘Every action, from taking a shorter shower, to putting a lawn on a water diet, to replacing turf with drought-tolerant landscaping, contributes to every community’s water security,’ Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board said Tuesday. California is in its third year of a devastating drought that has forced farmers to leave fields unplanted and left communities reliant on well water with little to drink. The data released Tuesday is the first monthly information on water use gathered by the state since it began requiring local water agencies to file monthly conservation reports earlier this summer.
“It showed that overall, Californians cut water use by about 7.5 percent over July of 2013. In some communities, including stricken regions in the northern part of the state, consumers and businesses saved far more than that, cutting consumption by half over last year, the water board said. Overall, the water saved was enough for 1.7 billion people to each take a five-minute shower, the state said. The mandatory conservation measures forbid such actions as letting sprinklers drench driveways and concrete walkways while watering the lawn, using a hose without a shut-off valve to wash a car and using drinkable water in fountains that do not recirculate it. Some communities have banned residents from filling their swimming pools, and in Southern California, residents have removed 2.5 million square feet of turf from their front and back yards, replacing water-thirsty grass with drought tolerant plants and other landscaping.”
(From Reuters, Sept. 10, 2014)
Pope Francis Condemns ISIS: “‘Thousands of people, including many Christians, driven from their homes in a brutal manner; children dying of thirst and hunger in their flight; women kidnapped; people massacred; violence of every kind’ – Pope Francis was clear in his condemnation of the actions of the militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in his remarks on Aug. 10: ‘All this greatly offends God and humanity. Hatred is not to be carried in the name of God. War is not to be waged in the name of God.’ In a letter to U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon on Aug. 9, Pope Francis appealed to the international community ‘to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway.’ He added, ‘The violent attacks that are sweeping across Northern Iraq cannot but awaken the consciences of all men and women of goodwill to concrete acts of solidarity by protecting those affected or threatened by violence and assuring the necessary and urgent assistance for the many displaced people as well as their safe return to their cities and their homes.’”
(From America, Sept. 1-8, 2014)
U.S. Catholic Bishops Committed to Dialogue with Muslims: “The Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reasserted their commitment to dialogue with other religions and Muslims in particular in a statement developed between October 2013 and its release on August 19 this year. The committee, which is chaired by Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden of Baltimore, listed tensions between Christians [and] Muslims in different parts of the world as a primary reason for reaffirming the need for dialogue. ‘We understand the confusion and deep emotions stirred by real and apparent acts of aggression and discrimination by certain Muslims against non-Muslims, often against Christians abroad,’ the bishops wrote.
“‘Along with many of our fellow Catholics and the many Muslims who themselves are targeted by radicals, we wish to voice our sadness, indeed our outrage, over the random and sometimes systematic acts of violence and harassment – acts that for both Christians and Muslims threaten to disrupt the harmony that binds us together in mutual support, recognition and friendship.’… The bishops affirmed Pope Francis’ words of November 28, 2013, to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, that ‘dialogue does not mean renouncing one’s identity’ nor accepting compromises on faith and morals. They wrote: ‘Like the pope, we are convinced that the encounter and dialogue with persons different than ourselves offers the best opportunity for fraternal growth, enrichment, witness, and ultimately peace.’”
(From Independent Catholic News, Sept. 2, 2014)
Between Iraq and a Hard Place: “The deepening crisis gripping Iraq is a clear and present danger to global security. The crisis is fundamentally political in nature, however, not military. It cannot be resolved through the use of force, least of all by external military action from the United States. In the past, U.S. intervention has been the problem in Iraq, not the solution. Indeed many of Iraq’s current problems can be traced to the consequences of the U.S. invasion and occupation. The United States now has a responsibility to help the Iraqi people, having contributed so much to their current travails, but our involvement should be diplomatic and humanitarian, not military. We should work through the United Nations to exert pressure on the violent extremists who are threatening the region and to mobilize international support for political and diplomatic solutions to the conflicts.
“A major center of concern today is the extremist group called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, now identifying as the Islamic State. This group led the military takeover of Mosul and other Iraqi cities. It is a direct offshoot of the al Qaeda forces that emerged during the armed resistance to the U.S. invasion, but is now a rival to, and even more extreme than, al Qaeda. Prior to 2003, al Qaeda did not exist in Iraq. …Rather than taking unilateral military action, the United States should take this crisis to the U.N. and work with other nations to seek a global response. …U.N. engagement will not magically resolve the deep crises afflicting Iraq, Syria, and the region. More concerted multilateral action can help, however, and at a minimum can heighten global involvement and help to broaden the global alliance against the Islamic State. There is nothing to lose, and perhaps much to be gained, by bringing this crisis to the U.N. The time to act is now, before the fire becomes a regional conflagration.”
(From Sojourners, September-October 2014)
Pope: War is Senseless Slaughter: “War is just ‘senseless slaughter’ and should never be seen as inevitable or a done deal, Pope Francis said. ‘War drags people into a spiral of violence which then proves difficult to control; it tears down what generations have labored to build up, and it sets the scene for even greater injustices and conflicts,’ he said in a written message to a world summit of religious leaders. ‘War is never a necessity, nor is it inevitable. Another way can always be found: the way of dialogue, encounter and the sincere search for truth,’ he wrote. …More than 300 leaders representing the world’s religions participated in the global summit, which was being held Sept. 7-9. Its aim was to create an international alliance of religions dedicated to peace and dialogue and to countering fundamentalist ideologies and violence. …The pope urged the world’s religious leaders to cooperate in ‘healing wounds, resolving conflicts and pursuing peace.’
“Among those speaking at the summit in Antwerp was Ali Abtahi Sayyed Mohammad, a former vice president of Iran and current president of Iran’s Institute for Interreligious Dialogue. ‘Radicalism is the product of an alliance between tyrants and ignorant followers,’ Abtahi said Monday. All conflicts based on presumably religious motives have shown that political leaders are the ones fomenting the violence, trying to convince ‘the devout that they are the only authentic religious group in the world and that the other religions are deviant and false.’ True religious believers, he said, ‘are those who understand the essence of religion’ and are ‘always against war and the hostility that religious radicalism spreads in the world.’”
(From National Catholic Reporter, Sept. 8, 2014)
SJB Friars Commit to Eco-Friendly Practices:
At their Chapter in May 2014,
the Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province passed the following proposal:
“We commit to increasing our personal and communal efforts regarding environmentally-friendly practices so as to
promote, in concrete ways, more sustainable lifestyles. Each friary will choose and commit to at least two practices,
either from the provided list or another source, and share these with the JPIC Office by October 2014. The JPIC Office
will monitor this initiative and annually report its findings to the Province at large.”
SJB Friars Commit to Refugees, Migrants and Victims of Human Trafficking: The
Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province based in Cincinnati, Ohio, held their 2008 Chapter
at St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana May 19-23. Of the many proposals passed, the Chapter delegates
affirmed a resolution to learn more about the issues of migrants, refugees and victims of human trafficking
in order to better be able to respond to their needs. The resolution says:
“We, the Franciscans of St. John the Baptist Province, commit ourselves to increase our
awareness of issues surrounding refugees, migrants and victims of human trafficking in order to develop
more proactive Franciscan responses on the provincial, friary and personal level.”
SJB Friars Commit to Non-violence: The
Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province based in Cincinnati, Ohio,
held their 2005 Chapter at the University of Dayton, May 23-27. Among the many
proposals that were passed, the Chapter delegates affirmed a resolution
introduced by their JPIC Office in which they committed themselves to
continued conversion to a life of Franciscan non-violence in support of a
consistent ethic of life. The complete resolution follows.
As Franciscans, we affirm the sacredness of all human life
and the inherent value of all creation. In a world where violence is rampant, we wish to be a sign of hope,
actively promoting the preservation of life, peace among people and nations,
justice for all and reconciliation. We commit ourselves to continued conversion to a life of Franciscan non-violence
in support of a consistent ethic of life.