From Pax Bob
You know the glorious military that we practically worship these days? Well,
the Pentagon reported 26,000 cases of sexual assault happened in our glorious military in 2011—service members assaulting
service members. The technical term for this horrific phenomenon is Military Sexual Trauma, a phrase created by the elite
Joint Euphemism Command at the Pentagon. The vast majority of the victims, of course, were women, though plenty of men were
assaulted, too. This, of course, is a nasty side effect of teaching large numbers of people to overcome their normal human
aversion to wholesale slaughter, in order to “serve” the nation. Once you dull their consciences to the point
where they will take a human life on command, it follows inevitably that a certain number of our trained killers won’t
scruple at rape, even when it involves members of their own unit.
That 26,000 number does not adequately reflect the true reality, because many
victims simply don’t bother to report sexual abuse. They believe that their commanders—who are too often either
the actual abusers, friends of the abusers, or simply enablers of the abusers—will cover up. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
is sponsoring a bill to address that issue, by taking the prosecution of sexual abuse out of the hands of commanders and assigning
it to professional prosecutors who don’t have a built-in conflict of interest. The old boys club that still runs the
United States Senate is not exactly lining up meekly behind her proposal. Even some of her Democratic colleagues have gone
AWOL on her. But I think it has real merit, and I hope you’ll think so, too. If you agree, please follow this link and
pass on the word, as a possible vote approaches:
it seems that the powers that be in Nassau County are balancing the budget on the backs of our youth ["Closed down,"
News, July 16]. County Executive Edward Mangano's budget targets the social agencies that provide training, rehabilitation
and education to the most vulnerable members of our community. They have too little as it is. These programs should be enhanced
and multiplied, not gutted and devastated.
Joseph A. Volker, Point Lookout
Editor's note: The
writer is the director of the Nassau Affirmative Action Project, a nonprofit organization opposed to systemic racism.
Dear all, In case you missed it, here is a letter printed in Newsday
written by Pax Christi member, Eleanor Krebs.
the lives and money lost in Iraq.
we enter the ninth year of our war with Iraq, it is a time of mourning for all Americans. First, let us mourn the 4,439
U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and the thousands more wounded, the suicides and the traumatized.
Next, let us mourn the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed and the tens of thousands
wounded and the homes and hospitals , factories, roads and bridges destroyed in Iraq. All this in a war based on a threat
that did not exist.
Finally let us mourn our waste
of dollars for this war. Let us reflect on how else we could have used this money; for our young people who graduate from
college and cannot find a job that use their education. For middle-aged people who find themselves ut of work after many
years of faithful employment. For Children whose class size is increased. For children with both paresnts working but inadequate
child care. For working families without enough to eat after they have paid the rent.
Lastly, let us weep for our country, whose roads and railways and bridges and water
systems are falling apart.
Dear friends, Since many of us didn't get Newsday today, here's
The political climate of hate may or may not have something to do with the shootings
in Tucson. We can't know that for sure. But this we know: The bullets did kill, did cause damage,
did cause our country to recoil in horror.
This too we should know:
The political climate of hate can kill the rational discussion of important issues. It can unfairly damage
careers in public service. It can cause good, talented well-motivated people to recoil in horror from the thought of entering
into that political climate of hate. And our nation is the worse off for it.
115 Gordon Road
NY 11581 516-561-2247
From: Arnold Streisfeld
Sent: Saturday, November 06, 2010 9:43 PM
Luna Kaufman/Christian Friends of Yad Vashem Event a TREMENDOUS success!!!!
Dear Leaders, Brothers and Sisters:
Praise God in all His glory, that He brought upon us the blessing
of this most wonderful presentation this past Wednesday by Luna Kaufman, Holocaust survivor and Dr. Susanna Kokkonen, Director
of the Christian Friends of Yad Vashem (Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem).
I think it fair to say that this moving event was nothing short of awe-inspiring!
In my opinion, much was revealed to us about the heritiage, heart and minds of our Jewish brethren. Further, how could
we not be inspired by Luna Kaufman, a person who took the experience of all the horrors that she and millions of others herded
into concentration camps suffered and synthesized it all with a message of love, resolution and healing? She touches
the entire world with her book, "Luna's Life", and tirelessly works in strengthening Christian-Jewish relations
and, in fact, all relations among the human race by example, not just words.
Please I remind and urge you again to purchase a copy of her
book "Luna's Life" ; probably one of the greatest exercises in her conciliatory attitude that can be demonstrated
in writing. ALL proceeds go to the Sister Rose Thering Endowment, established in the same vein; to educate and
conciliate between Christians and Jews. It can be ordered online at www.ComteQpublishing.com or by telephone at (609)487-9000. I also still have a
number of order forms for doing this that I can mail to you, upon request to use to mail in an order or to FAX it in!
Also, a heartfelt thank you and salute to our new colleague,
Dr. Susanna Kokkonen. I think it incumbent to suggest that we all think about becoming supporting members of "Yad
Vashem", to underscore our commitment to contributing to and working on this earth towards standing up for the Jewish
people worldwide. You can either make a donation to Dr. Kokkonen's organization, "Christian Friends of Yad Vashem"
at http://www.icej.org/articles/yad_vashem_christian_desk (see the "donation page" link at the bottom
of the home page) or directly to Yad Vashem itself at https://secure.yadvashem.org/donation/
We look forward to continuing
our work with Dr. Kokkonen and Luna Kaufman and are pleased to make them our "partners" in the work we do!
God bless you all abundantly.
Arnold R. Streisfeld, Esq.
Leader, Jewish Friendship Ministry
an Outreach of TIMES SQUARE CHURCH
York, New York
Thnks for all the work you do on your web site.Apparently you must spend a great deal of time
updating it and putting in all the great links to other resources.I really need to check
it out more often than I do! A great informational tool for local and national and international issues!Dennis *******************************************************************************
Fr. Louie's letters from prison
Created Jun 15, 2010
On June 1, Fr.
Louie Vitale celebrated his 78th birthday in Lompoc Federal Prison, near Vandenberg Air Force base, north of Los Angeles.
A Franciscan priest and one of our great voices for peace and disarmament, he is currently serving six months for crossing
the line last November at the gates of Fort Benning, Ga., to call for the closing of the notorious “School of Americas.”
Louie has spent many years in prison for peace. His life has become one long prayer for peace, like his teacher St. Francis.
Last year, he visited Iran, Hiroshima and Egypt with me, in the hopes of getting into Gaza. He expects to be freed July 24.
been writing a series of letters from prison, and I thought, in his honor, I would share excerpts from some of his writings.
Readers can write to him at: Louis Vitale #25803-048, FCI Lompoc, Federal Correctional Institution, 3600 Guard Road, Lompoc,
Franciscan Father Louis Vitale in a CNS 2007 file photo.My initial experience as a Franciscan was as a penitent, but a strong conviction and love of this pathway of Jesus
and Francis engaged me at a very deep level. After novitiate I was ordained as a Catholic priest and took on the life-long
commitment to poverty, chastity and obedience.
Major currents were sweeping through
society and the church at this time. For the church it was the Vatican Council and the new insights coming from scripture,
liturgy, and history — with new understandings of religious life and the role of Bishops. Most amazing and hopeful was
the presence of the Bishops from the emerging cultures — Latin America, Africa and Asia. With this came new languages,
new forms of worship, and new understanding of scripture.
From this came the
breakthrough document, “The Church in the Modern World” and an awareness that the church was a church of the poor.
The Spirit was moving within the poor to change history. Many of us experienced this as intoxicating. We Franciscans were
especially blessed to have far-sighted mentors who already were immersed with the poor throughout the world. Francis’
charism for the poor and for all creation was our legacy. Then came the revolutionary movements of the 1960s. I joined with
others in mounting the Federal Court House steps and challenging the U.S. government’s war in Vietnam. We Franciscans
were close to Cesar Chavez and experienced a new form of pilgrimage when we marched to Sacramento under the banner of our
Lady of Guadalupe.
When the Vietnam War finally ended, I was in Las Vegas, Nevada,
working with farm workers and for welfare mothers’ rights. As part of this process, we did a sit-in on the famed Las
Vegas Strip, temporarily halting traffic. A journalist covering the event commented to me that though the Vietnam War was
grinding down, the nuclear arms race was heating up.
It came to my attention
that the leading edge of the arms race was the testing of new weapons, which was going on right near us in the Nevada desert.
If we could stop the testing, we realized, that might stop the arms race. So in celebration of the 800th anniversary of the
birth of St Francis, the Franciscan community organized a series of nonviolent vigils and actions at the Nevada Test Site,
culminating in an arrest action on Good Friday and a joyful welcoming of the resurrection at the test site on Easter morning.
A new church was being born.
Over the years, we did succeed in influencing a
moratorium on testing that still holds today, and we helped create an outbreak of nonviolence. It is amazing how this keeps
growing. The Nevada Desert Experience, almost 30 years old, is still going. It gave impetus to the Pace e Bene Nonviolence
Service, which recently celebrated 20 years of providing resources and training in the spirituality and practice of active
nonviolence. These days, we face a new breakthrough — Creation Theology. Christians believe that the all-compassionate
love which fills our universe fills all creation, and is the presence we name “God.” Christians see this presence
made present in the human world in Jesus. As we learn more and more, our understanding of this amazing universe enlarges.
Some say the giant Hubble telescope has revealed to us more of God’s creation than any previous book, scriptures or
story. Francis of Assisi is now seen by scientific and ecumenical ecologists as the first person to understand this all-embracing
unity — “Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Sister Water, Brother Fire — All Creation.”
This creation theology fascinates me, even here in this lock-down near the counter sign — Vanderbilt Air Force
Base, gateway of world-destroying missiles and rockets — as the United States seeks “Total Global Dominance.”
From behind prison bars, but with the confidence of glimpsing the truth which makes us free, we say, “Not in our name!
Not in the name of Jesus.”
have been here a little more than two months. I am completing a six month sentence for federal trespass at Ft. Benning, Ga.,
concerning the School of the Americas. I was sentenced in late January at the Federal Court in Columbus, Ga. I declined self-reporting,
even when the magistrate offered no bail given my lack of income. I preferred to start my sentence immediately, knowing that
meant some time in county jail(s), and some time in transport. I spent the first night at the county jail in Columbus, then
was picked up the next morning by Crisp County Sheriff’s Deputies and taken to Crisp County Detention Center in Cordele,
Ga. I went the same route in 2005, but had my trial then after three months in Columbus. I remained the last three months
awaiting transportation in Cordele, and then was released. This time, since I had six months to go, I was told by the marshals
that I would probably be moved to a federal facility in about a month. This is what happened.
After one month, I was transported by federal bus to Atlanta under “transit” status. I was there three
weeks. Since there is a wide range of prisoners at Atlanta, there is some segregation according to security needs.
I was in the larger population. We had two man cells and were locked down 23 hours a day. We had an hour for showers,
cleaning, phone, recreation, TV and commissary. The key is to have money on your books via the Des Moines Bureau of Prisons
account which is good at every federal facility. So commissary was available and I had funds for phone calls. You are not
allowed visitors unless you have a very long sentence.
After three weeks we were
suddenly put on a plane and flown to the transit center at Oklahoma City Airport. The planes taxi right up to the facility.
It is large and relatively new, and has about five floors of cell blocks. Again, there were two to a cell, but we had more
time in the open area and the rec area.
After a few days we flew out to Victorville,
Calif., where we transferred to buses. Ours was destined for Lompoc. We then had a five-hour ride (during which we were handcuffed
and shackled). Personally, I found the ride delightful -- through the high desert, across the fertile citrus groves and avocado
trees. We then had a beautiful drive up the Pacific Coast past Ventura and Santa Barbara, seeing the beaches filled with surfers
and the sun beginning to set in the brilliant blue Pacific Ocean.
here at the “F.C.I. Low,” we were processed and assigned to various units. These do not seem to be segregated
according to security. There is a fairly tight schedule. When you are confined in your area, your unit is locked except at
move times. During the day, most inmates have jobs, at least half of the day. Many are orderly jobs in the dorms. I am assigned
as an orderly in the chapel. There are kitchen jobs, such as dining room clean-up, yard jobs, painting, and even barbers.
There are also classes. One must demonstrate high school graduation, otherwise one must participate in G.E.D. classes.
I had to attend classes until I received a copy of my transcripts from Loyola High School and U.C.L.A. grad school. We have
a nice chapel for worship and music. They have A.V. materials, various classes, Bible studies and worship services, and also
an outdoor area used by Christians, Muslims, Jews and Wicca. What is the population here? Ethnically it is “mixed”
(with 1,100 inmates) but at present time it is said that we are 75% Latino. There is a special structure for immigration cases
which is very intense and heavy.
The facility has a lot of fences with razor
wire, so it would not be easy to escape. They have had occasional “riots.”
Last weekend was Memorial Day. There were many athletic events and a rather festive meal. I was out for a visit on
the day itself, but did see some of the activities. We actually saw “Avatar” (the only movie I have watched here).
For the most part, the inmates seem friendly, even to an old man. I get a lot of razzing about my mail (especially
with my recent birthday), but it seems friendly.
I am particularly pleased with
the chapel environment and programs. I came to Lompoc just before Holy Week. Caphucin Fr. Harold Snyder arrived on the scene
as an answer to prayer, to preside at the Catholic services, first for Palm Sunday and Holy Week, and then for ongoing Sundays.
He has services in “Low,” at the nice chapel, but also at the “Medium” and at the “Camp.”
He is a good presider with a real openness to the inmates. Bishop Thomas John Curry, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, came
recently and officiated at Confirmation and was very gracious and friendly. There are also Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and
The visiting facilities are quite nice both inside and outside
with a large grass yard and vending machines. It is a pleasant atmosphere. The weather is mild. Some ocean winds and fog represent
the ocean on three sides. Many of us enjoy walking some miles daily on the track. The food, while being a uniform, institutional
menu, has a fair amount of variety, including a vegetarian alternative (my choice).
course we cannot forget it is a prison. There are restrictions and consequences. The climate in our country focuses on repression
and punishment. The sentences seem in many cases outrageously long (with many double digit sentences for nonviolent crimes).
The court systems seem arbitrary. The trauma to the families for these long absences seems violent in itself. Here in the
midst of Vandenberg Air Force Base, where missiles and rockets of war are launched, we dream thoughts of ever greater efforts
at peace and nonviolence. We are ever ready to share those dreams and join in the efforts to bring about the “Peaceable
Kingdom,” predicted by the prophet Isaiah.
People ask me, “How do you cope?” Especially since most of my time in prison in recent years has been
for protesting torture. If I start to feel sorry for myself, I think of the suffering experienced in the horrific situations
around the world. How can I really complain? As labor leader Eugene Debs said, “So long as there is a soul in prison,
I am not free.” When I think about these situations (often at night in bed), I am able to cope with my own deprivations.
I try to use these experiences and reflections to create empathy with all of those who suffer these horrific experiences.
We are all part of this created world. Each person is a sister and a brother to me. Their suffering is my sorrow as well.
The gift of compassion grows as I contemplate such misery. My situation becomes a gateway into the compassionate energy that
fills all creation and opens me to transforming experiences that I hope to share with the world. And so, for this I am grateful.
I value this precious time.
Pace e Bene,
To contribute to Catholic Relief Services’ “Fr. John Dear Haiti Fund,”
go to: http://donate.crs.org/goto/fatherjohn . John will speak on “Gandhi, King and Day,” at Loyola in Chicago, June
25-26 (see: www.asrenewal.org ), and teach a weeklong course, “Gandhi, King, Day and Merton,” Aug. 2-6,
at Ghost Ranch Center, Abiquiu, NM, (see www.ghostranch.org .) John’s latest book, Daniel Berrigan: Essential Writings (Orbis),
along with other recent books, A Persistent Peace and Put Down Your Sword, as well as Patricia Normile’s
John Dear On Peace, are available from www.amazon.com . For further information, or to schedule a lecture, go to www.johndear.org .
Dear Pax Christi friend,
In case you do not receive the Long Island Catholic, we thought you would like to read Sister
Mary Beth's letter which was published this week. It is the only "letter to the editor" in this edition which
is quite unusual and signifies its importance and relevance.
Long Island Catholic April 21 , 2010
Letters to the Editor
Pax Christi Long Island, ever faithful to its mandate from Bishop Murphy to
be protagonists for peace, is collaborating with peace groups in Nassau and Suffolk to insure that Long Island is well represented
at the "Disarmament Now" march to begin at Times Square at 2 PM Sunday, May 2. Together with us locals, people traveling
across the country , and several thousand from around the globe will call attention to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Review Conference to take place at the United Nations during May.
The conference represents a historic opportunity for nations
to move closer to abolishing these terrible weapons. Though the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was signed by 189 countries
and ratified by the US in 1972, the pledge of nuclear states to negotiate the complete elimination of their arsenals has not
been fulfilled. The march is an effort to insure that our leaders pay attention to the people's deep desire for an end
to nuclear weapons. In addition, hundreds of signatures have been gathered on the petition to President Obama which urges
him to announce, "....your initiation of good faith multi-lateral negotiations on an international agreement to abolish
nuclear weapons within our lifetimes."
Throughout the months of planning, it has been a joyful experience
to collaborate with persons from other faith traditions and non-believers who long for the "thoroughgoing and complete"
process which Pope John envisioned. His beautiful words in Pacem in Terris, were written in 1963, but they have lost none
of their urgency. They challenge us as Catholics to go beyond the recent news about disarmament, such as the renewal of the
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, ( START) and the attention to securing dangerous nuclear materials. Though these efforts
are positive, they do not meet the criteria that Pope John set forth. More than 20 years after the Cold War, nine countries
still possess nuclear weapons , and the US itself has 2,700 active nuclear weapons deployed around the globe. No wonder the
message continues with the pleas of Pope Benedict XVI on World Peace Day, January 1, 2010:
" I firmly believe that, during the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference
to be held this May in New York, concrete decisions will be made towards progressive disarmament, with a view of freeing our
Pax Christi invites the people of the Rockville Centre Diocese to come
together Sunday, May 2 in Manhattan - 42nd Street and Times Square at 2 PM for the rally and march to abolish nuclear weapons.
Jump on the LIRR - first car of the train that gets into Penn nearest to noon. - and meet fellow Long Islanders . And don't
forget to visit the Pax Christi tent at the end of the march. (Dag Hammarskjold Plazaw 46th and 1st ) . For more information,
Sister Mary Beth Moore,
(Sister of Charity Mary Beth Moore is former coordinator of Pax Christi Long
Contact us with your thoughts of peace.
|Fr. Anton Ploem, Kinshasha, Republic Congo
On this page we feature the words of encouragement from our friends working for peace & justice here on
Long Island & from around the world
i'm sending you a
message that i suspect you'd be interested in AND that the organization(s) you work/volunteer(ed) for may want to sign on
the organization where
i used to work on the border (annunciation house) is issuing this urgent call for protection for the people of juarez, mexico,
who are being denied u.s. protection as they flee the incredible violence in their city. (this call eerily echoes the
call of central americans during the 1980s sanctuary movement, who were frequently deported by the u.s. gov't, only to be
raped, tortured, and killed upon arrival.)
please consider signing on to the petition -ASAP!- and please forward ruben's email to anyone else you think
may be interested.
Forwarded message ----------
From: Ruben Garcia <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 3:04 PM
Subject: "Petition for Protection" Call for Signatories
To: "Garcia, Ruben" <firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Human Rights Advocates,
During the past several years, we have witnessed an unprecedented
crisis of violence in Mexico and especially in the border city of Juarez. Tens of thousands have been killed or wounded
and reports of kidnappings, extortion, carjacks are staggering. The crisis has forced tens of thousands to flee their
homes, many making the decision to relocate in other parts of Mexico in an attempt to find safety. But countless others
have fled their country entirely and sought refuge in the United States.
A significant number of Mexican nationals
directly affected by the violence and who have crossed into the United States have petitioned for political asylum in the
US. The response to these petitions has been an almost wholesale denial of asylum applications. What Mexicans fleeing
the violence in Mexico are discovering is that there is no legal support or relief available to them. In addition, they
are discovering that there is no political will to find ways of applying existing law and regulations to afford some measure
of protection to individuals affected by the violence.
The wholesale denial of asylum to Mexicans fleeing the violence
and the almost total absence of the use of alternative measures to afford some basic level of protection to individuals and
families victimized by the violence has led to the preparation of a Petition for Protection demanding that the Obama
Administration and DHS respond and act.
The Petition for Protection is attached.
and endorsements are now being sought and you and the organization you represent are being asked to sign-on.
Petition for Protection will be released at a news conference that will be held on:
DATE:SATURDAY, APRIL 24, 2010
TIME: 2:30 PM
LOCATION: CASA VIDES
ADDRESS: 325 LEON STREET, EL PASO, TEXAS
Organizations are asked
to participate in the News Conference and send a Representative.
Ruben L Garcia
Ruben L Garcia
---Ed Ciaccio's letter in Newsday. Hooray!!
This letter appeared in Sunday's Newsday, March 21, 2010
Billions for Iraq war could be better spent
marked the seventh year of U.S. occupation of Iraq. In addition to the human costs of more than 4,300 U.S. troops, 300 other
coalition troops, and 1 million Iraqis killed in this war and occupation, there are financial costs that are nearly as intolerable
Since 2003, according to the National Priorities Project, taxpayers in Nassau County have paid $7.8
billion, taxpayers in Queens have paid $7.7 billion and taxpayers in Suffolk County have paid $7.5 billion for this illegal,
unnecessary war that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney lied us into, and which President Barack Obama
is continuing by planning to station 50,000 U.S. troops there after the supposed 2011 withdrawal of most U.S. forces.
much health care, infrastructure repair, needed housing, tax relief, and how many jobs could have been provided on Long Island
by this total of $23 billion wasted on the Iraq war and occupation?
Andrea S. Libresco, Ed.D.
Graduate Director of Elementary Education
Curriculum and Teaching
LI Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives
38 Old Country Road
Garden City, NY 11530
Celebrating 25 Years of
Peacemaking on Long Island, 1985-2010
Dear Pax Christi friend,
As you know, two major letters have recently been sent to our religious
the first, from the Interfaith Alliance asks
them, as religious leaders, to sign a petition to the President and Congress to end the
war in Afghanistan .
the second, from the World
Peace March asks the religious leaders to publicize the NPT ( Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) petition in their
place of worship .
Pax Christi has been an
active partner in these important endeavors and we hope you can follow up by bringing the petitions ( see attachments)
to the rectory . A personal visit can bring excellent results. For example, the Kellys spoke with the pastor
of St. Rose of Lima and as a result they will be collecting signatures on the NPT petition after all the Masses on
March 7! Actually, they could use some help. If you can, please email email@example.com
"Nothing ventured, nothing gained." So please venture out, if
End Afghan War Now!
--- On Tue, 2/2/10, Fr.
Roy Bourgeois, SOA Watch <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
From: Fr. Roy Bourgeois, SOA Watch <email@example.com>
Subject: March 19-26,
Romero Legacy Delegation to El Salvador
Date: Tuesday, February 2, 2010, 3:09 PM
March 24, 2010 marks the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Monseñor Oscar Romero, Archbishop
of El Salvador, on the orders of a graduate of the School of the Americas.
The life and words of Monseñor
Romero have been among the greatest inspirations of my life. His commitment to the poor and his ability to speak truth to
power helped me commit my own life to peace. That decision has not always been easy, nor has the path always been clear. But,
time and again I find myself returning to the words and inspiration of Monseñor Romero to give me strength on this
sacred journey of peacemaking.It is with great joy that I will be traveling to El Salvador to participate
in the commemorative activities of this 30th anniversary of "San Romero de las Americas."
would like to invite you to consider joining me in El Salvador, as part of the SOA Watch Romero Legacy Delegation, from March 19-26, 2010
(to download the delegation information flyer, click here
). Together, we will walk in the footsteps of many of the martyrs of this tiny and prophetic land, and reflect on how many
lives have influenced us, and continue to call us in new directions.
We will also visit Salvadoran communities
and learn how lives continue to be lost in the struggle for justice, such as the case of the recent assassinations of anti-mining
Together with Lisa Sullivan
, Coordinator of SOA Watch Partnership Latin America, we will meet with government leaders of El Salvador to ask that they
consider joining other countries in withdrawing their troops from the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC).
is a special benefit delegation. All proceeds will go to facilitating the participation of our Latin American partners at
the "South-North Encuentro", scheduled to take place in Venezuela this June. This special SOA Watch gathering will
bring together peace activists from South, Central and North America to work together to close the School of the Americas
and open new doors of just relationships.
In order to facilitate quality sharing, this delegation will be limited
to a small size. If you are interested, I invite you to fill out an application
, and return it by February 15 to Lisa Sullivan at LSullivan@soaw.org
. Click here to download the application form
. Lisa is also available to answer any questions you may have about the delegation.
Thank you for all that you
do to work for a world of peace and justice.
Father Roy Bourgeois SOA Watch
SafeTALK: Suicide Alertness for Everyone
“In September of this year I attended a Suicide Prevention
workshop run by Dr. Max Banilivy of Pedersen-Krag. Though I have been a pastor for over thirty years and worked with people
around issues of attempted suicide and the loss of family members to suicide, this workshop taught me to develop antennae
for those contemplating suicide. When someone shares a deep personal discouragement with us, you and I become frontline helpers.
Though the situation is obviously awkward, Suicide Prevention encourages us to engage a person in sensitive conversation and
direct them to seek help. Through this workshop, I became a better informed and more skillful listener.”
Hulsey, First Presbyterian Church, Smithtown
SafeTALK: Suicide Alertness for Everyone
Tuesday January 19, 2010
First Presbyterian Church, 175 East Main Street, Smithtown, led by Dr. Max. Banilivy, Ph.D., Director
of Family Wellness Center, Administrator, Pederson-Krag Center
SafeTALK is a training course that prepares anyone to
identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources. Most people with thoughts of suicide
invite help to stay safe. Alert helpers know how to use these opportunities to support that desire for safety. As a safeTALK-
trained suicide alert helper, you will be better able to:
Move beyond common tendencies to miss, dismiss or avoid suicide;
Identify people who have thoughts of suicide
Apply the TALK steps (Tell, Ask, Listen and KeepSafe)
Fee, $10 Prior
Registration is required; this workshop has a minimum of 15 registrants
8th December 2009.
These days with Christmas and New Year approaching you may wonder where on earth your friend
missionary is faring. Yes, I am back to my old Congo again! A full year I stayed in Belgium for the convalescence of my
left knee. I had been planning also not to return to the Congo but then I would be screwed down in a Jesuit residence without
any priestly work. In Flanders the Jesuits have no direction any more of colleges (there were 7) or parishes. Most of the
Jesuits are seniors as my self. There are even two houses for special care of them. The last years the Flemish Province
(I had belonged to) had just one candidate every year. They enter the novitiate in England where Ireland, England, Holland
and Flanders send their ‘boys’, most of them older then 25. As you can see, the encyclical “Spe salvi”
about Hope was very much to the point!
Whatever, the Congolese Provincial who saw me in Belgium wanted me back and gave me the choice
of six possible places somewhere in this country. Finally it was Kimwenza (where our Fathers started in 1893) where I had
been before from 1985 to 1996. I am quite happy to be here again, this time as the assistant priest and the parish and community
(6 of us) accountant. Maybe I will be able to go out to the bush occasionally. There I will meet many of the Christians
I cared for quite a few years ago. In the meantime Kimwenza
has been changing a lot. As it is only 20 km from the heart of Kinshasa, becoming a mega town of
6 to 7 million, all sorts of people settled down in our place. The local language Kikongo is shifting to Lingala, the more
popular language of the capital and the whole of the Congo, where there are about 250 languages. (though 4 main languages)
Another difference is also the problems of ownership. Twenty years ago one could not acquire a property because the land
belonged to the ancestors. This has changed very much, which is disastrous for the originally local people who are rather
is nearly no industry, even not much in Kinshasa. Mining of gold, diamonds, copper, cobalt, coltan , tin etc. is of course
mainly in the East of the Congo (1500- 2000 km from where we live). This “geological scandal”,
as it was called, is also the cause of a lot of trouble and strife among the different tribes and international companies.
There was a billion contract, in fact a sort of a barter of raw material with structural works and buildings as roads, rail,
school, hospitals etc. two years ago between China and the Congo. America and Europe are jealous; the Congolese are afraid
of their own local trade and negligence of their social laws. They are informed by earlier experience in Cameroon and Zambia.
there were lawful democratic elections two years ago, It is disheartening to see how
the country is regressing in many ways e.g. average life expectation is down to 45 years, primary education
is only accessible to 50% ( It was 80% in 1960, the highest in Africa !) Teachers earn only about 50 dollars a month. The
rest is to be paid by the parents or Family. I have a dream! I am looking for an opportunity to create
a possibility for some older children who missed school putting them together into
some class with a special teacher who teaches them “the 3 R s:” Read, wRite, Reckon”, a
goal of the Millennium Goals ( 2015)
Dear Friends, this rusty scribbling is meant to keep contact with you and to tell you that I am
still thinking of you in America. Therefore I also wish you a Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year.
bless, Father Anthony Ploem s.j.
c.o. Procure des Missions s.j. Avenue de la Reine
141 1030 Brussel Belgium.
firstname.lastname@example.org ( if it works !)