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Just Peacemakers, by Mary Evelyn Jegen, SNDdeN; Paulist Press; 2006
Mary Evelyn reminds us in her Introduction that this book comes out of her “long years of teaching and learning.” She has for many years been living out Catholic Social Teaching by her involvement in numerous national and international religious peace and justice movements, including Pax Christi, Bread for the World and Fellowship of Reconciliation. The book begins with a discussion of what it means to be Church, a community of disciples of Jesus “characterized by intimacy with God and inexhaustible, unrestricted compassion for people.” The Gospel calls us to non-violence and reconciliation and to action on behalf of justice. She describes the need to understand the various contexts in which we live, including our primary one, Earth community. Also discussed is “how active non-violence, rooted in the Gospel, is developing in social thought and practice.”  Arranged for personal or group study, this book includes reflection questions at the end of each Chapter.

In addition to explaining Catholic Social teaching and the nature of the social problems we face today, she gives methods for addressing these concerns of our time. Written in a very readable manner, readers new to peace and justice advocacy will find easy understanding, while veterans will be renewed in their commitment and perhaps even discover new ways of thinking and acting.

Bright Ideas

Animal Antibiotics

About 80% of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used in the livestock and poultry industries. Studies have shown that using antibiotics in animal feed leads to higher levels of antibiotic-resistant infections in the animals themselves and that these bacteria can make their way into manure, soil, air and water. They can also be passed on from the animals to meat-processing workers, and resistant bacteria can even “teach” other bacteria to fight off antibiotics. Health organizations have raised the alarm about the rising rate of antibiotic resistance – pointing to both human and animal use as contributing to the problem. The solution is to move away from raising livestock in crowded and unsanitary conditions. Denmark no longer uses antibiotics to speed growth and prevent disease, and has reduced its antibiotic use by more than 45%, with no significant effect on their agricultural economy, animal health or food prices. Meat production has actually increased by 12%, and antibiotic resistance has declined. You can improve your own health and that of the planet by purchasing only meat and poultry products labeled “certified organic” or “no antibiotics administered.” Encourage your local grocer to carry meat from animals raised without antibiotics.
(Natural Resources Defense Council)

Resources / Links
Ethical Eating: This booklet in the “live simply” series from Franciscan Media offers facts, encouragement and practical tips for seeking simplicity in the food we eat.  It helps with choosing more wholesome foods, appreciating the land, animals and farmers that provide it, and understanding the social, economic and environmental ties between physical and spiritual nourishment.  You can order it at
Wholly Healthy: This booklet of the “live simply” series from Franciscan Media offers tips to help you live a simpler life, and to balance your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Cost is $1.99.  Order from Franciscan Media at .
Instruments of Christ: Reflections on the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi: In this booklet, the author, Albert Haase, OFM, reflects on each phrase of the Peace Prayer of St. Francis, offering the reader ideas of what it means to truly be a peacemaker. He challenges us to look beyond ourselves and toward God and all of humanity. Published by Franciscan Media. Cost is $8.99. You can order it at .

The Holy See
National Catholic Conference of Bishops (NCCB) and the United States Catholic Conference (USCC)
Franciscan Media
Zenit: Catholic News from Rome
Order of Friars Minor (OFM) International Web Site
Consistent Life (formerly Seamless Garment Network)
Earth Ministry
Secular Franciscan Order’s Ecology Commission
USCCB Environmental Justice Program
Union of Concerned Scientists
Web of Creation
St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor
Franciscan Action Network (FAN)
The Franciscan Center for Social Concern at St. Bonaventure University
Franciscans International at the United Nations (Geneva and New York)
Bread for the World
Center of Concern in Washington, D.C.
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Friends Committee on National Legislation
National Right to Life Committee
Network: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Catholic Peace Fellowship
Global Peace Services USA
The Institute for Peace and Justice
Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service
Pax Christi USA
1,000 Years of Peace, sponsored by St. Anthony Messenger Press
Teaching Tolerance
Los Alamos Study Group