Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Representing Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, Maryknoll Sisters, and Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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March-April 2016 NewsNotes

Vol. 41, No. 2
Read the PDF version here

Laudato Si’: A prophetic challenge - On February 28, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns brought Columban Father Sean McDonagh to the Maryknoll Mission Center in New York, to speak at an event celebrating the release of Fr. McDonagh’s Orbis book, “On Care for Our Common Home, Laudato Si': The Encyclical of Pope Francis on the Environment.”

Global migration crisis: Update from the UN - The following article was written by Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns staff member Sr. Claris Zwareva. Sr. Claris serves as Maryknoll’s representative at the United Nations where the Maryknoll Sisters and the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers have consultative status with the Economic and Social Council. 

Trade: WTO rules against climate action - The World Trade Organization ruled against India’s national solar mission, a major initiative to promote ecologically sustainable growth while addressing India’s energy security challenges.

Trade: Customs bill and human trafficking - The customs and trade enforcement bill recently signed by President Obama stymies progress to combat human trafficking, climate change, and occupied territories.

Nuclear disarmament and the Francis factor - Since the beginning of his papacy three years ago, Pope Francis has repeatedly named nuclear disarmament as a major goal, alongside addressing climate change and welcoming migrants. All three issues are essential to Francis’ vision expressed in Laudato Si’, for a “culture of care which permeates all of society.”

Mexico: Pope Francis calls for open heartsIn February, Pope Francis completed a six-day pastoral visit to Mexico. With five key moments, the pope addressed the full spectrum of Mexican society and delivered a clear moral message about corruption and poverty, violence, and migration that transcends national boundaries and speaks to the whole world.

Guatemala: Indigenous peoples’ rights - In February, Maryknoll Sister Ann Braudis joined fellow Maryknoll Sister Eva Canales in Guatemala to investigate human and land rights violations perpetrated against poor and indigenous people. The following article was writing by Sister Ann.

Guatemala: Political transition and protests - Since his inauguration in January, former comedian and now President Jimmy Morales has faced an intense Congressional transition and renewal of mass protests in Guatemala. The following article was written by Sustainable Pathways to Peace and Security intern Nicholas Alexandrou.

El Salvador: Breakthrough in case of Jesuit martyrs - After almost thirty years of impunity, there may finally be some measure of justice for the six Jesuit priests and two women murdered by the Salvadoran military in San Salvador in 1989. The following is an excerpt from an article written by Geoff Thale and Sarah Kinosian that was originally published by the Washington Office on Latin America.

Bolivia: End of the Evo era - In February, voters in Bolivia rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed President Evo Morales to run for president for a third term. Maryknoll Fr. Gene Toland, director of the Maryknoll Center in Cochabamba, Bolivia, wrote the following reflection on this historic vote.

Brazil: Update on the mining dam disaster - An update on the environmental crisis in Brazil caused by a dam that burst in November, killing 17 people, displacing thousands, and polluting the River Doce with toxic mud. See our previous article, Brazil: Worst environmental disaster in history, in the January-February issue of NewsNotes. 

Honduras: ¡Berta Cáceres presente! - The statement by the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns on the assassination of Berta Cáceres in Honduras on March 3.

Nepal: One year after the earthquake - An update on the work of Maryknoll Father Joe Thaler in Nepal, one year after a massive earthquake struck the country. 

Philippines: First environment summit Maryknoll Sister Marvie Misolas reports on the “First Philippine Environment Summit: Breakthroughs and Innovations toward Sustainable Development” in Manila in February to address environmental issues that impact sustainable development. 

Israel/Palestine: Life in a Palestinian village - The mayor of Wadi Foquin, a Palestinian village in the West Bank, spoke at a congressional briefing on the living conditions for the residents. He and other speakers appealed to the U.S. Congress to put pressure on Israel to halt the expansion of  illegal settlements in the West Bank. 

Africa: U.S. launches trade policy review - Last June, Congress mandated that U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman examine ways to advance trade relations with African nations beyond one-way trade preferences. In response, Ambassador Froman held a hearing in Washington, D.C. in January.

Africa: A continent on the rise - A look at eight positive trends on the African continent.

Resources - Read and share a new Orbis book about Laudato Si', Read and share the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns' Lenten Reflection Guide and Path from Paris, a two-page summary of the Paris Climate agreement, read a share a new eight-part series about violence in El Salvador, and plan to attend Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C.
Photo: Mountains in Nepal by Flickr/Wild Walker, licensed in the creative commons 2.0, and available at
March April 2016 NewsNotes3.02 MB