News

OBAMA'S LONG WAR 

IN THE MIDDLE EAST

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By William Greider

Do not be misled by White House double-talk: the United States is embarking on another Long War in the Middle East. This one will belong to Barack Obama, and it may extend beyond his presidency. Secretary of State John Kerry said as much. “It may take a year. It may take two years. It may take three years. But we’re determined it has to happen,” Kerry vowed.

Actually, it may take ten years, or longer. Read more...

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PCUSA CRITICIZES 

IMMIGRATION DELAY

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Pax Christi USA joins its voice with the many that had great hopes that President Obama, in September, would use his executive authority to address the broken U.S. immigration system as he had promised. Those hopes have been seriously dashed over the weekend by the President's announcement that he will delay his decision until after the November elections, lest the decision have an impact on those seeking reelection. In essence, the President has yielded to political pressure and has bartered with the lives of immigrant children and families. PCUSA finds this not only profoundly disappointing, but also unacceptable for a country that boasts such high ideals. Read more.

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AN OPEN LETTER ON GAZA

By Jacqueline Jill Rito

Pax Christi Long Island

Esteemed Leaders of Egypt, Israel, Palestine, the United States, and the United Nations:

I teach children, adolescents and young adults. I am a mother. Wherever we live, whatever our background, wanting peace in our families, in our lives, in our classrooms, in our communities, in our countries and in our world is not too much to ask. It is our right without shame to ask and to be ready and willing to work for peace, for nonviolent resolutions to conflicts.

Gaza mothers in mourning.

Gaza mothers in mourning.

As teachers, we are bound by state laws to report conflict in our schools (and have continuing training mandated to resolve conflict) or face losing our license. We are bound to resolve conflict, not exacerbate it. Why are government leaders not held to a commensurate level of accountability and transparency? Where is the empathy for humanity that all factions need to employ?

How would anyone react in a situation in which water is withheld from the home, where families are without work, where land and crops are razed, where some are scrutinized under restriction, denials and surveillance for years? People living in desperate situations for years sometimes seek desperate measures for change. This is the premise upon which much of the current dynamic rests. Yet, this does not and will not ever exonerate the sacrifice of children and a people from either side of a conflict. This horror must cease. People of kindred mind, heart and spirit, from ALL backgrounds must join a call for an end to violence and extremism on all sides. A solution will come only from multilateral diplomacy, and I daresay, a spiritual consciousness of the detestable destruction that is being inflicted.

It is long overdue that parties involved in these atrocities fully understand, recognize and reckon with the spiritual level of their actions which is an eternal law across cultures, religions and through all time. This spiritual law is a truth that many still cannot or refuse to recognize. Being complicit on any side, as part of the destruction of innocents, will have its psychological, emotional and consequently social and economic repercussions.

As mother, teacher, professor, advocate for peace, worker for justice and believer in a higher good for all people, I take these early morning hours to beseech you to organize international leaders to do all possible in terminating the atrocity that is destroying the people of Palestine.

Thank you for agreeing to review and feel these heartfelt words on behalf of mothers everywhere.

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ON THE USE OF FORCE

PARSING POPE FRANCIS

ON THE USE OF FORCE

By Rev. Thomas Reese, S.J.

When it comes to the use of military force, Americans tend to be in two camps: those who want to use overwhelming force to defeat our enemies and those who oppose the use of force for one reason or another. Read more...

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GUN SENSE:

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Richard Martinez lost his young son, Christopher, in one of the endless mass shootings that have plagued the nation for so long. This one, in May, took place in Santa Barbara, California. Now Martinez is a strong and outspoken advocate for gun sense in America. Recently, he sent out a message from Everytown for Gun Safety, with a questionnaire meant for federal candidates for public office. We recommend that you check out both the Everytown website and the questionnaire. Who knows, maybe you will have a chance to meet with a congressional candidate this year, and you can ask those questions of the candidate, face-to-face. Make sure you get the right answers.

If the candidate hesitates, you might want to remind him or her what Martinez said about members of Congress who had been expressing their condolences to him about the loss of his son. "I don't care about your sympathy. I don't give a s--- that you feel sorry for me," he tearfully told the Washington Post. "Get to work and do something."

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WANTED: PEACEMAKERS.

NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY

All you really need is a strong belief in the peacemaking role that Jesus has assigned all of us. Peacemaking isn't optional, but you do have options in choosing the peace and justice issues that you care about most deeply, and for which your talents suit you best. Nuclear weapons, drones, gun violence, immigration reform, racism, global warming, solitary confinement , excessive military spending. There’s no shortage of important issues that Pax Christi tries to address, but usually each of us has one that grabs 99 percent of our attention, seems the most critical, the most deserving of our support. Is yours listed here? Do you have any ideas or time you could devote to the one issue that means a lot to you? If you want to get connected to Pax Christi Long Island and get started working on that issue, please send an email to JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING .

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Events

AN ACTION PLAN FOR

FARMWORKER JUSTICE 

Farmworkers in New York State—and here on Long Island—don't have the workplace protections they should have, such as a minimum wage, a day of rest, and the right to collective bargaining. Long Island Jobs with Justice and the North Fork Spanish Apostolate will addres those issues at an event called "Undocumented and Unprotected: An Action Plan for Farmworker Justice on Long Island" on Sunday, September 14.

The event takes place at St. John the Evangelist Church, 546 St. John's Place, Riverhead, from 4:30 to 7 PM. It will include a light supper and entertainment. Discussion will focus on the impact of stalled immigration reform on undocumented farmworkers; the conditions farmworkers are facing in our state; the proposed state farmworkers' fair labor practices act, and a call for community action. 

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GET READY FOR THE 

PEOPLE'S CLIMATE MARCH

On September 23, the United Nations is holding a one-day Climate Summit at UN Headquarters in the City of New York. Leaders of the world's governments will gather to discuss the dire urgency of the climate crisis and to seek to build momentum towards an international climate treaty.

The People's Climate March, two days before the summit, offers all people an important opportunity to demonstrate their support for such a treaty. On Sunday, August 24, there will be an event at the Motherhouse of the Amityville Dominicans to plan for the People's Climate March. At Homecoming Farm, we are committed to the belief that the human and natural world is one sacred community of life. We believe that, as we care for Earth, we care for ourselves, each other, and future generations, while creating sustainable communities. We believe that our life community is under threat from climate change, and that there is an opportunity for all of us to make our concerns heard through the People's Climate March.

So please plan to attend the march on September 21. Even if you can't make it to the march itself, please join us at the Motherhouse, 555 Albany Avenue, Amityville, at 2 PM on August 24, to make plans to attend the march as a united group. We will begin with a showing of the film, "Chasing Ice," and focus on the ways in which we can respond to this crisis in love and generosity, knowing that together we are involved in The Great Work.

For more information on the march, go to the website, www.peoplesclimate.org/march. For more information on the planning meeting, or to RSVP if you want to attend it, please contact Elizabeth Keihm at JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING or Sister Jeanne Clark at JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING . We look forward to seeing you as we engage in unison in The Great Work. 

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ADULT FAITH FORMATION:

THE WISDOM TO SURVIVE 

In a world where problems are escalating and many are losing hope, there is a need to discover "The Wisdom to Survive." In a spirit of hope and joy together, we will learn how to connect to Earth’s wisdom through the writings of Thomas Merton, Thomas Berry, Joanna Macy, and Wendell Berry.  Sister Jeanne Clark and Elizabeth Keihm will share their experiences of being present to soil, seed and Earth’s wisdom at Homecoming Farm. On Saturday, October 18, through film, discussion and sharing, we will participate in a deepening understanding of The Great Work we are called to in these challenging times.

About the presenters:

Sister Jeanne Clark, a Sister of St. Dominic, is the founder of Homecoming, an organization committed to the understanding that the human and natural world are one sacred community of life.  She is an educator who has been instrumental in the creation of Homecoming Farm, a community supported agricultural project or (CSA) that helps humans to heal through the nurturance of soil and seed and producing vegetables without the use of chemicals. Homecoming also offers programs for children and adults in understanding themselves as part of Earth and as intricately connected to the land they call home. Sister Jeanne has been a teacher for over forty years, has been a campus minister, a pastoral associate in parishes and a long-time activist for human and earth rights. She attributes her coming home to the land to the Salvadoran people, whom she accompanied in El Salvador during the war there in the 1980’s. In 2005 Jeanne was awarded the Peacemaker of the Year award by Pax Christi Long Island.

Elizabeth M. Keihm is executive director and farmer at Homecoming Farm, a NOFA-certified organic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm on the grounds of the Sisters of St. Dominic in Amityville. Elizabeth holds a certificate in floral design from The New York Botanical Garden. She is the former owner and president of MM Fenner Company, a prestigious floral design and special events firm in New York City. For the last eight years, she has been a part of Homecoming and is committed to its mission of growing beautiful, healthy, organic vegetables, herbs and flowers for its CSA members. In the farm’s 2012 season, they began an initiative with local businesses to enable them to begin a partnership with The INN (The Interfaith Nutrition Network), to grow food for The Mary Brennan Inn in Hempstead. In addition to the organic farm, Homecoming offers programs and workshops on issues of sustainability, local food, spirituality, The Universe Story, and holistic living. Elizabeth is a St. John’s University graduate with a degree in theology. She has a certificate from the Adelphi University Center for Nonprofit Leadership and is currently completing a certificate in Biodynamic Agriculture from The Pfieffer Center.

This learning opportunity will take place on Saturday, October 18, from 10 AM to noon, in community room 2 at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish in Centerport. Preregistration is required one week before the program. The suggested donation is $10. You can mail a check—with your name, postal address, phone number and email address—to Sister Eileen Corcoran, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish, 53 Prospect Road, Centerport, NY 11721. For further information, you can call Sister Eileen at 631-757-6250, or email her at JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING .

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PCLI ANNUAL FALL RETREAT,

SAVE THE DATE: OCTOBER 25

This year's retreat day will take place on Saturday, October 25, at St. Bernard Church, Levittown. Registration begins at 9:30, and the retreat runs from 10 to 2:30 PM. The presenter will be Father Ralph Sommer, the pastor St. Bernard. As the date gets closer, we'll put further details right here in the Events column of the website.

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