Poverty and the Recession

NETWORK, Catholic Social Justice CONNECTION Third Quarter 2010 magazine is a tremendous resource providing a deep look into poverty on many levels.

The Executive Summary: TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) Tested: Lives of Families in Poverty during the Recession opens the publication introducing the reader to:

Chapter 1: NETWORK’s 15-Year Review of TANF: Chapter 2: “Work First” during a Recession?”; Chapter 3 Increased Hunger; Chapter 4 Access to Job Training and Education; Chapter 5: Barriers to Employment and to Getting Help; Conclusion: NETWORK’s Recommendations for Improved Services; RESOURCE LIST for readers to utilize.

This issue serves as a powerful tool as we strive to eliminate poverty. Visit http://www.networklobby.org/ to learn more about NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby’s report on poverty and read past issues of CONNECTION.

Minnesota Gubernatorial Primary Election, August 10

The Gubernatorial Primary is rapidly approaching. Mid-term elections historically have low voter turnout. It is imperative for us to work even more diligently to ensure that voters have access to information on all candidates running for office. When you use the websites below, your vote on Primary Election Day, August 10 and the Gubernatorial Election Day, November 2 will be an informed vote.

The Non-Partisan Get Out the Vote Task Group of the Justice Commission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates will have voter information tables (absentee ballots, non partisan issue based information, copies of the U. S. Constitution, I WILL VOTE stickers, etc. on the entrance level of Carondelet Center and in the reception area of the Administration Center by Thursday, July 29.
Check out these websites:
InvestInMinnesota: http://www.investinmn.org/
A Minnesota Without Poverty:

Support Justice for Darfur

DARFUR – The media hardly noticed that last month was the deadliest in the last two years: 600 were killed! Few headlines and fewer TV reports, yet this situation is urgent and needs our prayers. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued a second warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for three counts of genocide. We can take action to prevent further retaliation, protect civilians and support justice for Darfur.

25th Anniversary of Peace House

July 19th more than 75 people gathered at Peace House, 510 East Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Peace House Community. The event was planned by Larry Tillemans, “baby brother” of Rose Tillemans, CSJ, Peace House Founder. Peace House Community continues to flourish as a place of hospitality and community, a place for people to be supported and gather life resources.

Sister Rose lived in the neighborhood and loved all the people, she was a writer and a poet. Below is the song Simple Gifts: Rose’s Version

Tis the gift to recognize the gifts that you prize
And to know you yourself are a gift on the rise
If people look sideways at you’re all about
Turn, turn, turn and shout, shout shout.
God knows the GIFT that you IS
Even on the days when you don’t pass the quiz
And know you are a star midst that galaxies above
Or even ameteor proclaiming your love!

Tis the gift to rebel, tis the gift to dissent
When things are’nt going the way they should’ve went
And if you’re rocking a boat or a fort
Rejoice in your cause or any support.
Speak out the truth in your heart
Be glad for this gift even tho’ you fall apart
Dance when you win and dance when you lose
Even if you must buy a new pair of shoes.

To learn more about Peace House visit http://www.peacehousecommunity.org/

United Nations will vote on a Resolution for the Right to Water

Mary Kaye Medinger and Joan Pauly Schneider of the Consociate Services Team of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates recently attended the Sisters of Earth Conference at the Passionist Retreat Center, Bronx, New York. An outcome of that conference is becoming aware of an upcoming United Nations vote on the Right to Water. Background information can be found at http://www.blueplanetproject.net/RightToWater/index.html

Poem: "The Way I See Him"

Catholic Social Teaching calls us to be in solidarity saying “We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be…” http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/projects/socialteaching/excerpt.shtml

This poem was written by and posted with the permission of Reginald S. Lewis, a man imprisoned on death row in a Pennsylvania prison.


Across the endless coils of shark-teethed razor wire–
over the high stone wall of Babylonia,
and on down the frigid dark corridors
of death row–
Bright orange fingers of sun
caress the cold, blue steel bars, and in its
crucible a warmth slowly reveals
the mystery of the Creator.

That’s the way I See Him.
In the fathoms of a blue sky,
In the helixes of a green earth, and in the
shimmers of pink and burst
of a magenta moon — He is not a painting
splayed across the sweat-stained canvas
of the wall–
nor a mirage, visible or invisible,
seen or unseen, wavering in and out of my cold reality.
He’s my Homeboy–a Presence beyond my shoulder,
when the wicked convict plots,
when the guard’s evil glare cuts through stones,
and when death’s infinite hand looms,
he is there, yeah, over there.

In the twinkle of a child’s sweet angelic eyes,
on the swift wings of pleasant dreams
carried in the night–
and even in the kind and compassionate
words of the Christians who write
to me–a castaway, the wretched, and
the condemmed–
That’s the Way I see Him
~Reginald Sinclair Lewis, AY2902
Waynesburg, Pennsylvania


Joint Religious Legislative Coalition: only one in the nation

Kate Knutson, assistant professor of Political Science at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN, is researching the work of religious advocacy groups in the political process. Jackie Schwerm, a student at Gustavus conducted an interview today with Joanne Tromiczak-Neid, Justice Coordinator (pictured) and Ginger K. Hedstrom, Justice Associate regarding the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC) that will be included in a book about the 40 year history of the JRLC which is the only organization of its kind in the nation bringing together people from the Jewish, Muslim, Catholic and Protestant faith traditions across Minnesota to engage in legislative advocacy.

For more information on the work of the JRLC visit http://www.jrlc.org/