2017 Lenten Reflection Guide: A Journey with Gospel Nonviolence: The season of Lent is March 1 – April 15. Download the 16-page guide produced by the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns with the support of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative. It contains reflections, questions, prayers, and actions based on each week’s Gospel reading and topics raised by Catholic peacemakers at the Nonviolence and Just Peace conference held in Rome in April 2016. http://maryknollogc.org/resources/lenten-reflection-guide-2017
National Migration Week will be observed in the U.S. from January 8 – 14. The theme for this year’s celebration draws attention to Pope Francis’ call to create a culture of encounter, and in doing so to look beyond our own needs and wants to those of others around us. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops web site has a list of resources including a downloadable toolkit that has ideas for prayer petitions, samples of letters to editors, homily suggestions, and talking points for media engagements. http://bit.ly/2hWbzoR
World Day of Migrants and Refugees is on January 15. Pope Francis has chosen the theme to be “Minor migrants, vulnerable and voiceless.” In a statement released last June, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples said that with that theme, Pope Francis “wants to focus attention on the smallest of the small.” The statement noted that children, who often arrive unaccompanied in their destination countries, “are unable to make their own voices heard” and “easily become victims of grave violations of human rights.” Read and share the Pontifical Message by Pope Francis to mark the occasion at http://bit.ly/WDMR2017
I Have a Name/Yo Tengo Nombre: is an online searchable database in Spanish and English by the Texas Observer of personal items found with deceased migrants in South Texas, where hundreds of migrants have died trying to get around an internal Border Patrol checkpoint 70 miles north of the border. https://yotengonombre.com/
International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking: The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has designated February 8 as an annual day of prayer and awareness against human trafficking. February 8 is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once Josephine was freed, she became a Canossian nun and dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering. She was declared a Saint in 2000. Resources for prayer and action are available from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at http://bit.ly/2hXHo3Y and from the Interfaith Working Group on Human Trafficking at http://bit.ly/2jgaVYG
Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2017: Plan now to attend Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) in Washington, D.C., April 21 – 24. The theme is “Confronting Chaos, Forging Community.” Together, we will grapple with the intersectionality of racism, materialism, and militarism - the ‘triplets’ named by Dr. King in his speech fifty years ago at Riverside Church in New York. We will learn more about the impact they have around the world, in our communities, and in our own lives. Through prayer, worship, advocacy training, and networking with other Christians, we will face the current manifestations of these ‘triplets’ and together advocate for change in public policy that better reflects the Beloved Community about which Dr. King spoke. More information is available at www.advocacydays.org, or contact the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.