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Office of Peace, Justice and the Integrity of Creation, Advisory Board
Notes from The OPJCC Director

Comboni Events Calendar

NOVEMBER 2018

INTERNATIONAL

• November 1-7, 2018: 7th Parliament of the World's Religions: The Promise of Inclusion, The Power of Love will meet in Toronto, Canada this year at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC), 222 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3L9, Canada. It will feature more than 500 programs and events across six major tracks: Women's Track; Countering War, Hate and Violence; Climate Action Track; The Indigenous Peoples' Track; The Next Generations Track; Justice and Sustainability Track. The expected attendance will exceed 10,000 persons of faith and conscience from 80 nations. Visit the website, here, to learn more.

• November 2-4, 2018: The 8th World Social Forum on Migrations (WSFM), scheduled in Mexico City has a vision of migration based on respect, equality, recognition and valuing of differences, in rejection of a perspective founded on detection, deportation, detention, displacement and denial of migrations. Click here.

• November 14-17, 2018: JPIC Promoters Formation Workshop: Building Right Relationships takes place at the Casa per Ferie Enrico De Osso, Via Val Cannuta 134 Roma. This four-day workshop provides new JPIC Promoters with the tools needed to animate members of their congregation. Others engaged in JPIC-related ministries are welcomed to attend the full workshop or individual sessions. The workshop is in both English and Spanish. For a flier and to register, click here.

• November 16-18, 2018: International Conference Against U.S./NATO Military Bases will be held in Dublin, Ireland. This is a first in an effort to join together to oppose all forms of war and aggression against sovereign nations. It's hosted by the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA). Learn more, here.

NATIONAL
• November 7, 2018: The Intersection of Financial Risk and Climate Resilience is a webinar from Security and Sustainability Forum that takes place from 1:15-2:45 pm. Panelists will explore the questions such as What are the risks and opportunities in the resilience finance marketplace? and What financial mechanisms are available to identify, evaluate, and manage climate risk? They include Joyce Coffee and Samantha Medlock, Kurt Forsgren and James McMahon. Email Edward Saltzberg, esaltzberg@securityandsustainabilityforum.org.

• November 8, 2018: Dedication and Reception to Inaugurate New Office for Jubilee USA Networkin Washington, D.C. takes place during its national meetings at 4 pm at 110 Maryland Avenue, NE, Suite 210.

• November 9-11, 2018: Call to Action (CTA) National Conference 2018: Sanctuary - Resistance - Sacrament takes place at the Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas. Since 1976, Call to Action has been the host of the largest conference of progressive Catholics in the United States. This year's speakers include Elvira Arellano, an activist for the rights of migrant people; Heidi Schlumpf, a national correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, Robyn Henderson-Espiinoza, PhD, an activist-theologian Transqueer Latinx; and CTA's Young Leaders Cohort. Register, here.

• November 11, 2018: Armistice Day at Year 100. On November 10, Donald Trump hopes to hold a war-glorification weapons parade in Washington, D.C. Take action to stop this, here.

• November 14, 2018: Death Penalty Advocacy Day will be held at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, OH. Please google!

• November 14-16, 2018: Space for Grace 2018: Thy Will Be Done is the national conference of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies. Join us at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia. Christians will gather to consider the critical issues facing them today and seek God's lead for creating social transformation. It's an urban retreat offering refreshment and renewal. Get more information at (800) 222-3872, ext. 2394.

GREATER CINCINNATI AREA
• November 6, 2018: The Future of Failed, Failing, & Fragile States: Where Nuclear Weapons Exist is a talk by Moeed Yusuf, Vice-President of the Asia Center of the U.S. Institute of Peace. The talk runs from 5:30-7 pm at Graydon, Head & Ritchie, Scripps Center, 312 Walnut Street, Suite 1800, downtown Cincinnati. In the past, the U.S. has taken the lead role and collaborated with other strong powers in influencing the behavior of regional nuclear powers to ensure de-escalation. Yusuf will discuss the resurgence of this great nuclear power competition. Sponsored by the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council, the Foreign Policy Leadership Council and the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue. Wine and Appetizers provided. $25, members; $35 nonmembers; $10 educators & students. Register, here.

• November 8, 2018: National Philanthropy Day will be held at 11:30 am at Music Hall. Three speakers include Greg Landsman of Preschool Promise, Dr. Anita Shah of Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Andrea White, a Habitat for Humanity homeowner who will address the three core areas of adverse childhood experiences. Tickets are $75. Contact: tinyurl.com/2018NPD.

• November 11, 2018: Presentation on Pope Francis' book, Amoris Laetitia, by national speaker, writer and theologian Fr. Robert Hater. The book deals with the need for strong families, which in turn change neighborhoods, churches, and the world. 12:15 pm at St. Clement Church, 4536 Vine Street, St. Bernard. Mass at 10:30 am, breakfast at 11:30 am. To register for the meal, please call (513) 641-3176 or email cgerke@stcschool.org or register online, here.

• November 13, 2018: Immigration Learning Community Meeting takes place from 6:30-7:30 pm at the Intercommunity Justice & Peace Center's Office at 215 E. 14th Street. Free parking in the Peaslee lot. Meaningful conversations and a powerful gallery walk. Contact: Samantha Searls at samantha@ijpccincinnati.org.

• November 14, 2018: 18th AJC-Cincinnati Annual Thanksgiving Diversity Lunch will celebrate our area's unique roots and shared values. The feast and talk take place at the Schiff Family Conference Center at the Cintas Center of Xavier University, 1624 Herald Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45207, from 11:45 am-1:15 pm. The featured speaker, Kevin S. Aldridge, Opinion Editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati.com and local pastor, will talk on the theme "United States of America: The Five Freedoms of the First Amendment." $20 includes lunch. Register, here.

• November 15, 2018: Free Walk-in Consultations from 10 am-4:30 pm. Sponsored by Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio and Immigration Legal Services Department, this service is at 7162 Reading Road on the Seventh Floor. (513) 672-3746. There is also an opportunity at St. Julie's Church on Dayton St., in Hamilton, OH at the same time.

• November 15, 2018: Intercommunity Justice & Peace Center's Annual Gathering: Belonging: Undocumented and American will take place at 7-8:30 pm at Xavier University's Cintas Center, 1624 Herald Ave., (45207). Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas will be the keynote speaker. He is the founder and chief executive officer of Define American, the nation's leading non-profit media organization that challenges injustice and anti-immigrant hate through the power of storytelling. Through his story, and the stories of young immigrants in Greater Cincinnati, the evening will highlight the paradox that exists for so many in our community today. Find out more from Allison Reynolds-Berry, Executive Director, (513) 579-8547; www.IJPCcincinnati.org. Get tickets, here.

DECEMBER 2018

INTERNATIONAL
• December 9-10, 2018: 9th Annual Sustainable Innovation Forum 2018 will take place at the Vienna House Easy Angelo Hotel in Katowice, Poland. It will welcome over 600 carefully selected delegates over two packed days to establish partnerships between business, government and public bodies to accelerate international sustainable development and advance the "green economy." Find out more at info@climateactionprogramme.org.

GREATER CINCINNATI AREA
• December 20, 2018: Free Walk-in Consultations from 10 am-4:30 pm. Sponsored by Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio and Immigration Legal Services Department, this service is at 7162 Reading Road on the Seventh Floor. (513) 672-3746.

October 18, 2018

Prayer for Voters

Loving Creator,
Bless us as we prepare to vote.
Give us wisdom as we vote conscientiously.
Help us to lay aside our self-interests for the common good of all of your creation.
We give thanks for the courage of the women of the suffrage movement who laid down the path to the 19th Amendment to ensure women had the right to vote.
We give thanks for those who risked and sacrificed their lives to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to allow all our citizens, regardless of the color of their skin, to vote.
We also pray for forgiveness, because for many, their right to vote in our country has been suppressed, denied and tampered with.
We pray for protection of all the voters and the votes of this election.
We pray for all civic volunteers, who make their communities, and democracy, better by their work before, during and after Election Day.
We pray for the candidates, their families and their staff. Give them rest and a sense of peace, no matter what the outcome of the election.
And we pray, no matter what the election results may be, that we will continue to build bridges and work together for peace, justice and the well being of all.
Amen.

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


October 4, 2018

The SC Corporate Responsibility Committee (SC-CRC) meets semiannually to report on SC stocks each committee member watches. We highlight corporate policies and actions in line with, or contrary to, Catholic Social Teaching.

Our ownership of these stocks allows us to advocate for policy changes by joining with other investment coalitions in signing letters to corporations and other entities. These letters support or challenge the moral, social and/or environmental consequences of the corporation or organization’s actions.

The SC-CRC met Sept. 26, 2018 and the following are three recent examples where the SC-CRC joined others in signing-on to letters:

Sept. 7, 2018
Support of an investor statement encouraging global home goods, apparel brands and retailers to take action to address the risk of human rights abuses in the cotton fields of Turkmenistan. Companies using Turkmen cotton face legal, financial and reputational risk and are confronted with grave moral concerns.

Sept. 12, 2018
Letter to Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart Stores, Inc., congratulating the company for its recent commitment to phase out the sale of paint removal products containing toxic chemicals in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America by February 2019.

Sept. 23, 2018
Letter to Congress asking that the Farm Bill include funding programs that support local and regional food systems, beginning farmers and farmers of color, organic and sustainable agriculture research, and healthy food incentives for families. In addition, that the bill protect the SNAP program from cuts.

Jim Weber
Chair, SC-Corporate Responsibility Committee
SC Associate


September 20, 2018

The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on Sept. 21. Established in 1981 by a unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a culture of peace.

International Day of Peace is also a day of ceasefire – personal or political. Consider taking this opportunity to make peace in your own relationships, to quiet the quarrels in your day-to-day life. Personal ceasefire may be about making room in your heart and speaking peacefully with those with whom you disagree. Imagine what would happen if aggressiveness were transformed into openness and confrontations were turned into thoughtful conversations. Imagine what a whole day of ceasefire would mean to humankind.

If you live in the Greater Cincinnati area, consider attending the Culture of Peace Walk on Sunday, Sept. 30. The Nonviolence Alliance of Greater Cincinnati has planned an afternoon of celebration, community building, meditation and nonviolent communication training.

Culture of Peace Walk
(and program)
Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
50 E. Freedom Way, Cincinnati, 45202

Program:
Proclamation of Peace - Cincinnati becoming an International City of Peace
Peace Skills Practice - nonviolent communication
Peace Builder Expo - organizations working for peace
Peace Walk - from the Freedom Center to Piatt Park and back
Group meditation
Community sharing

Sources:
Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center
United Nations

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


September 6, 2018

Celebrate the “Season of Creation” following the example of other Christian denominations and the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines.

Starts: Sept. 1 – World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Pope Francis has proclaimed it as a day of prayer for creation, as the Orthodox Church has done since 1989, to “draw from our rich spiritual heritage the reasons which feed our passion for the care of creation.”

Ends: Oct. 4 – Feast of St. Francis. The feast of St. Francis of Assisi is a major day of celebration, to reflect on the life of the Patron of Ecology and author of the Canticle of the Creatures.

“Human beings too are creatures of this world, enjoying a right to life and happiness, and possessed of unique dignity. So we cannot fail to consider the effects of environmental deterioration, current models of development and the throwaway culture on people’s lives.” Pope Francis

During this Season of Creation, consider some of the following actions:
• Include a prayer for all of creation when your faith community gathers.
• Reflect on your vocation as a steward of God’s creation.
• Explore ways to reduce your ecological footprint.
• Pray for the world and specific climate-related situations.
• Plant a native shrub that flowers for pollinators and produces berries for birds and other animals.
• Reflect on the Pope’s concept of integral ecology: “A sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings.”

Sources:
Global Catholic Climate Movement
Laudato Si’: Care For Our Common Home
Marianist Social Justice Collaborative
Season of Creation

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


August 23, 2018

Nicaragua Presentation
Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018
3:30 p.m.
SC Motherhouse, Cedars Auditorium

You might have read or heard that Nicaragua has been under unusually violent times recently. It is a very serious situation and many people, including Catholic Sisters and priests, have been threatened. Parishes and schools are no longer safe places, as they have been subject to violent raids.

Amnesty International claims that Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has engaged in a violent oppression campaign against people who started protesting in April of this year, as well as those who protect(ed) them and attend(ed) to the wounded. As of this writing, an estimated 260-plus people have been killed and more than 2,000 injured. Government officials and government-owned media have denied these claims.

S. Jean Miller and I have had contact with people who have sources in Nicaragua. Their stories of repression, torture, disappearance, and murder are heart wrenching. Our contacts have asked to be anonymous because their safety and the safety of those serving in Nicaragua would be at risk. However, we are blessed to know three Nicaraguans living in the U.S. who volunteered to share their knowledge of the current reality in their homeland.

Please join us on Tuesday, Aug. 28 for prayer, an emotional video from Monseñor Silvio Báez, and dialog with our three Nicaraguan friends. We will begin at 3:30 p.m. in Cedars Auditorium and end in time for supper.

Sources:
Amnesty International
Anonymous sources
Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights
Organization of American States

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


August 9, 2018

August 9 is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

According to the United Nations, there are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. They make up less than 5 percent of the world’s population, but account for 15 percent of the poorest. They speak an overwhelming majority of the world’s estimated 7,000 languages and represent 5,000 different cultures.

Indigenous peoples are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and
the environment. They have retained social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. Despite their cultural differences, indigenous peoples from around the world share common problems related to the protection of their rights as distinct peoples.

Indigenous peoples have sought recognition of their identities, way of life and their right to traditional
lands, territories and natural resources for years, yet throughout history their rights have always been violated. Indigenous peoples today are arguably among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of people in the world. The international community now recognizes that special measures are required to protect their rights and maintain their distinct cultures and way of life.

Let us recognize and honor the strength, resilience, dignity, and pride of indigenous peoples around the
world.

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


July 12, 2018

Mary of Magdala was a faithful witness and a prophet of her time, yet she has endured centuries of mistaken identity and slander. Thankfully today, many know her as the “Apostle to the Apostles.”
We will be celebrating the Feast Day of St. Mary of Magdala at a prayer service in the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse chapel Sunday, July 22 at 2 p.m. Fellowship and refreshments will follow at 3 p.m. in the Motherhouse dining room. All are welcome!

Mary of Magdala’s heart was afire with compassion, love and faith. If our hearts are open, her fire will continue to burn within each of us. Two very special people received Mary’s fire and led us in celebration of Mary’s feast day for many years. We will be dedicating this prayer service in loving memory of Betty Schmid and S. Louise Akers.

In recent years, this prayer service has included a social action for all who attend. This year we are asking that attendees bring a school supply to donate to St. Boniface School in Northside. This Catholic, inner-city school serves pre-K to 8th grade students. Drop-off boxes will be available the day of the service. If you wish, you may drop off school supplies before the prayer service at the Office of Peace, Justice and Care for Creation (OPJCC), 2nd floor, Motherhouse.

We are also honoring Pope Francis’ request to Share the Journey by standing in solidarity with our migrant sisters and brothers. We are making an effort to personally invite our migrant neighbors to experience this celebration of Mary of Magdala with us. We hope you will too.

Peace and solidarity,
Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


June 28, 2018

In 1883, while visiting Pike’s Peak in Colorado, Katharine Lee Bates wrote “America the Beautiful.” Her poem became a song and has undergone several revisions and adaptations.

An example of an adaptation of this famous song is Medical Mission Sister Miriam Therese Winter’s stanzas that clearly include all of the Americas.

How beautiful, our spacious skies,
our amber waves of grain.
Our purple mountains as they rise
above the fruited plain.
America! America! God’s gracious gifts abound.
And more and more we’re grateful for
life’s beauty all around.

Indigenous and immigrant,
our daughters and our sons;
Oh, may we never rest content till all are truly one.
America! America! God grant that we may be
a sisterhood and brotherhood
from sea to shining sea.

How beautiful, sincere lament,
the wisdom born of tears.
The courage called for to repent
the bloodshed through the years.
America! America!
God grant that we may be
a nation blessed, with none oppressed,
true land of liberty.

How beautiful, two continents,
and islands in the sea
That dream of peace, non-violence,
all people living free.
Americas! Americas! God grant that we may be
a hemisphere where all people here
all live in harmony.

Words by Miriam Therese Winter, MMS Hymns Re-imagined, 1993

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director

June 14, 2018

According to the United Nations, every minute 24 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror. There are several types of forcibly displaced persons:

Refugees flee their home and country for fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Many refugees are in exile to escape the effects of natural or human-made disasters.

Asylum Seekers flee their homes as refugees do, but their claim to refugee status is not yet definitively evaluated in the country to which they fled.

Internally Displaced Persons have not crossed an international border but have moved to a different region than the one they call home within their own country.

Stateless Persons do not have a recognized nationality and do not belong to any country. Statelessness situations are usually caused by discrimination against certain groups. Their lack of identification — a citizenship certificate — can exclude them from access to important government services, including health care, education or employment.

Returnees are former refugees who return to their own countries or regions of origin after time in exile. Returnees need continuous support and reintegration assistance to ensure that they can rebuild their lives at home.

World Refugee Day is held every year on June 20. Let us commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of our refugee sisters and brothers. Let us stand in solidarity with them.

“It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help. If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.” - Pope Francis, 2016

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


May 31, 2018

MCincinnati area Sisters and Associates, you may be interested in attending these two June events:

Laudato Si’ Communities Recognition Prayer Service
Date: Monday, June 18
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
Location: Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 8815 E. Kemper Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45249

All are invited to this special prayer service to recognize the recipients of the Archdiocese’s Laudato Si’ Community recognitions. The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati are one of the communities that will be recognized! The service will be followed by a showing of the Archdiocesan Climate Change Task Force’s new promotional video and a social, catered by Venice on Vine (Power Inspires Progress).
RSVP by contacting Catholic Social Action at 513-421-3131, Ext. 2660 or csa@catholiccincinnati.org.

Cincinnati Festival of Faiths
Date: Sunday, June 24
Time: 1-5 p.m.
Location: Cintas Center at Xavier University, 1624 Herald Ave, Cincinnati OH 45207

The first-ever Festival of Faiths will celebrate the religious and cultural diversity of our city. This gathering will bring together people of faith from all the different religious communities in the area. The theme is “Compassion through Action” in recognition of the role that faith communities have historically played – and continue to play – in advancing a civil, social, just and welcoming community for all who live, work and visit Greater Cincinnati. Over 70 diverse religious communities will be present to pray, to reflect, and to collaborate.

For more information: cincifestivaloffaiths.org/program or cincifestivaloffaiths@gmail.com.

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


May 17, 2018

May 21 is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialog and Development. The day provides an opportunity to help individuals and communities understand the value of cultural diversity and learn how to live together in harmony. It was adopted in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development.

Below are a few things we can do to celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21 – and every day:

  • Speak up when you hear inappropriate cultural or ethnic jokes or comments. Don’t be a “silent supporter.” Let people know that biased speech is always unacceptable.
  • Volunteer with and/or support an organization working for diversity and inclusion.
  • Visit an art exhibit or a museum dedicated to other cultures.
  • Be culturally sensitive toward our sisters and brothers who have been recently forced to flee their homelands. They may be in culture shock and grieving over the “loss” of their home, language, culture, family and friends. Ask yourself, “How would I feel if I were in their shoes?”

“In societies increasingly made up of people of different cultures and religions, people must learn the art of dialogue and reach out to others with respect and friendship.” - Pope Francis, 2013

Sources:
Catholic News Service
United Nations

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


May 3, 2018

Care for the earth is not just an Earth Day slogan, it is a requirement of our faith.
- Catholic Social Teachings

Although Earth Day has come and gone, Catholic Climate Covenant is asking us to take action in our families, parishes, schools and communities to reduce our carbon footprint, care for “the least of these” (Mt 25), and raise our voices on behalf of all of creation by:

LEARNING about the causes and moral dimensions of climate change.

ASSESSING how we, as individuals and in our families, parishes and other affiliations, contribute to climate change by our own energy use, consumption, waste, etc.

ACTING to change our choices and behaviors to reduce the ways we contribute to climate change.

ADVOCATING for Catholic principles and priorities in climate change discussions and decisions, especially as they impact those who are vulnerable.

PRAYING for all of God’s creation and for the protection of those who are vulnerable.

The Earth is our environment to protect and our garden to tend to. We must care for the Earth so that it may continue, as God willed, to be a source of life for the entire human family. I exhort everyone to see the world through the eyes of God the Creator. - Pope Francis

Sources:
Catholic Climate Covenant
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Vatican Radio
Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


April 19, 2018

Dear SC family and friends,

Thank you for the outpouring of love and compassion during the Lenten Collection For Our Migrant Neighbors. The donations of culturally appropriate food and personal care items filled my office and our resource room next door!

During Lent, OPJCC partnered with Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio (CCSWO) by collecting donations of specific food items that our migrant sisters and brothers might need.

Our new neighbors enrich our culture and join the long line of German, Irish, Jewish, Polish, Asian and Eastern European migrants who came to Greater Cincinnati looking for a fresh start and a better life. They often have limited access to employment and social services. With our help, CCSWO can make sure that if our neighbors come to them for food assistance, they will receive food that fits their dietary customs.

Caritas International, Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, Pope Francis, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have invited us all to Share the Journey by walking with our migrant sisters and brothers in prayer and support. Our Lenten Collection was one way our SC family and friends could participate.

Again, thank you for your generosity during Lent. Our migrant neighbors in the Greater Cincinnati area will appreciate your support.

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


April 5, 2018

Equal Pay Day is Tuesday, April 10, 2018. This date symbolizes how far into the year U.S. women must work to earn what U.S. men earned in the previous year. Because women earn less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. The wage gap is even greater for most women of color and is found in every state.

Despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963 that aimed to abolish wage disparity based on sex, the gender pay gap persists. Women are typically paid just 80.5 cents for every dollar paid to men - a gap of about 20 percent. That number has barely changed in a decade.

Pay inequality is not just a women’s issue. It is a family issue. Recent research has found that 42 percent of mothers with children under the age of 18 are their families’ primary or sole wage earners. Wage discrimination limits women’s choices and has real consequences. It impairs their ability to buy homes, pay for college education and often healthcare. It limits their total lifetime earnings, thereby reducing their retirement savings and benefits. Pay equity is the key to families making ends meet.
Pay equity is evaluating and compensating jobs based on skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions, and not on the people who hold the jobs. It is a solution to eliminating wage discrimination and closing the wage gap.

National Committee on Pay Equity
The American Association of University Women
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


March 22, 2018

Every person is entitled to human rights without discrimination.

The Catholic Church proclaims that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. This belief is the foundation of all the principles of Catholic Social Teaching.
The rights to equality and non-discrimination are cornerstones of human rights law. Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Yet racism, xenophobia and intolerance are problems prevalent in all countries, and discriminatory practices are widespread, particularly targeting migrants and refugees as well as people of African descent.

The United Nations (UN) is urging all countries to take comprehensive measures to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and to promote tolerance, inclusion, unity and respect for diversity.

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is Wednesday, March 21. Stand up for someone’s rights. Stand up against racial discrimination, but also against all forms of discrimination. Take the UN’s Pledgeto:
• Respect and uphold someone’s rights regardless of whom they are and/or if you disagree with them.
• Stand up when anyone’s rights are denied.
• Raise your voice, take action and use your rights to stand up for another’s rights.

Sources:
United Nations
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


March 8, 2018

March 8 is International Women’s Day

One-hundred eighty-nine governments participated in writing and signing the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995, and according to UN Women, it is the “most progressive blueprint ever for advancing women’s rights. It envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination.” This document continues to serve as an influential guide and source of inspiration.

Because of the Declaration and Platform for Action, “more women and girls than at any previous point in time serve in political offices, are protected by laws against gender-based violence, and live under constitutions guaranteeing gender equality.”

However, the Declaration and Platform for Action intended gender equality in all scopes of life, and no country has yet finished this agenda. Worldwide, “women earn less than men and are more likely to work in substandard jobs. A third will suffer physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Gaps in reproductive rights and health care leave hundreds of women dying in childbirth each day.”
Let us move forward by celebrating women’s achievements, recognizing challenges, and focusing attention on gender equality, empowerment of women, and women’s full enjoyment of human rights.

Sources:
United Nations
UN Women

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


February 22, 2018

Seton High School is hosting a speaker – and you won’t want to miss!

Jeannie Opdyke Smith shares the story of her mother, Irene Gut Opdyke, a Polish Catholic woman who risked her life to save Jews during the Holocaust.

The story she tells speaks to the horrors of the Holocaust, but it also brings a message of faith, love, and hope that good can triumph over evil. It proclaims the conviction that one by one, we can say no to hatred, persecution and prejudice.

The story highlights the power of love and leaves the audience with the undeniable truth that, “One person can and does make a difference!” There is no charge for this event.

Event: One Person Can Make A Difference: The Irene Gut Opdyke Story
Date: Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Time: 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Venue: Seton High School Performance Hall, 3901 Glenway Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45205
Cost: Free, but please register at: holocaustandhumanity.org/event/one-person

Co-Sponsors:
Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati
Seton High School
Polish American Society
Holocaust and Humanity Center
Brueggeman Center for Dialogue
Bridges of Faith Trialogue
Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


February 8, 2018

Share the Journey … A Lenten Collection for our Migrant Neighbors

Our neighbors live across the street, throughout our country, across oceans and hemispheres. Millions of our migrant neighbors were forced to flee violence, religious or political persecution, and extreme poverty in their homelands.

Caritas International, Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, Pope Francis, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops invite us to Share the Journey by walking with our migrant sisters and brothers in prayer and support.

One way the Sisters of Charity family can support our Greater Cincinnati migrant neighbors is through food. OPJCC is partnering with Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio (CCSWO) during Lent by collecting donations of specific food items that our migrant brothers and sisters need. A detailed list can be found at: http://www.srcharitycinti.org/opjcc/images/OPJCC%20Collection%20List%20.pdf.

Our new neighbors enrich our culture and join the long line of German, Irish, Jewish, Polish, Asian and Eastern European migrants who came to Greater Cincinnati looking for a fresh start and a better life. They often have limited access to employment, education, and social services. With our help, CCSWO will make sure that if our neighbors come to them for food assistance, they will receive food that fits their dietary customs.

OPJCC, located in the SC Motherhouse, will be the holding room for your donations of food. If the office is closed, a collection box will be located next to the door and we invite you to leave your donations there.
Thank you for your compassion and generosity during Lent. Our migrant neighbors will appreciate your support and prayers.
Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


January 25, 2018

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was enacted by Congress in 1990. It protects immigrants in the United States (U.S.) who are unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing-armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary conditions. They can legally live and work in the U.S.

Sept. 18, 2017: The administration ended TPS protections for approximately 1,000 Sudanese. They must leave the U.S. by Nov. 2, 2018, or face deportation.

Nov. 6, 2017: The administration ended TPS protections for approximately 2,500 Nicaraguans. They must leave the U.S. by Jan. 5, 2019, or face deportation.

Nov. 20, 2017: The administration ended TPS protections for approximately 45,000 Haitians. They must leave the U.S. by July 22, 2019, or face deportation.

Jan. 8, 2018: The administration ended TPS protections for approximately 200,000 Salvadorans. They must leave the U.S. by Sept. 9, 2019, or face deportation.

The administration is considering ending TPS protections for approximately 50,000 Hondurans. It is expected that the decision will be made by July of this year.

Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security

NOTE: TPS holders are our neighbors and friends. They have been contributing members of our communities for decades. Rescinding TPS protection for citizens of El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan, and threatening Hondurans with the same, places us all at risk. Ending their protection will tear families apart, fragment our communities, and disrupt local economies
- Excerpt, Leadership Conference of Women Religious statement, Jan. 11, 2018

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director


January 11, 2018

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. And, Jan. 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. These are two powerful reminders that slavery continues to be a moral and human rights issue in the United States.

Keeping in mind that the Sisters of Charity made a Congregational Stand to abolish human trafficking in October 2015, and the Associates supported that stand, consider making a personal commitment in 2018 to take action to end human trafficking. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Visit Polaris to learn more about human trafficking: www.polarisproject.org
  • Learn how you can be a smarter consumer: www.endslaverynow.org/act/buy-slave-free
  • Urge the Senate to stop online human trafficking by passing the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act: www.polarisproject.org/action/
  • Pray for those who are trafficked that they might know healing and justice. Pray for traffickers that they will have a conversion of heart. Pray for the coming of the day when all people will be treated, not as commodities, but as unique and radiant images of our Creator God.
  • Report any suspected trafficking, exploitation, or suspicious activity to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline 888-373-7888. If a victim is in urgent need of assistance, please contact law enforcement immediately.

Debbie Weber, OPJCC director