Holy Creation

The snap peas in our garden are reaching toward the sky–a constant reminder of the miracle of life. Every morning as I pass our backyard garden, I am reminded of the few days I spent at the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice (WVC) with the St. Joseph Worker Program.

Seven of us packed the green mini-van to full capacity and headed to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. We knew we would see Alpacas, we heard there were two rocking CSJs there, but beyond that we were left to wonder and wait. A few naps and several car games later, we arrived in Indiana and were greeted by Sister Mo and a loaf of pumpkin bread from Sister P.B.

The next morning, Alyssa and I had the task of weeding the potato field and covering the seedlings in hay to reduce the amount of weeds over the season. It frosted the evening before, and we witnessed resiliency and strength from the tiniest of sprouts. Some had lost their fight with the frost, but an overwhelming number had survived and were showing a healthy green stem under a brown-spotted leaf. A miracle. Awe-inspiring still were the rutabaga roots that had populated the same plot last year and survived the winter. These little plants had not been fostered by the gardeners, yet they grew–with support from the soil, rain, themselves and God they were actively growing. I couldn’t help being continually amazed as we worked.

Throughout the weekend, all seven of us had the chance to garden and to work with the Alpacas. Observing the great reverence the WVC staff has for the land, plants and animals under their care is incredible. Sister P.B. told me of illnesses that have befallen the Alpacas, and the compassion and empathy for the animals was palpable. Sister Mo when showing us the compost had great pride and admiration for the created dirt–the beautiful, black pile of dirt that would foster the growth of many more plants.

This is the beauty of the White Violet Center, and the lesson I have brought back with me–the created world is to be revered, loved, and protected, after all…this too is our dear neighbor.

To learn more about the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, visit their website.

–Elizabeth Fairbairn, St. Joseph Worker & Justice Office Intern

LCWR Justice and Peace Alert: May 17 ACTION

Greetings great people  of justice: 

We received this Justice and Peace Action Alert from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and encourage you to take action as you are able on behalf of the “rights of immigrants who continue to suffer from Congress and President Obama’s lack of Action.”

LCWR Justice and Peace Alert
We are asking you for 5-10 minutes of your time on Thursday, May 17, to contact President Obama and Speaker Boehner about the rights of immigrants which is part of our congregation’s corporate stance.
The United We Dream network is calling for a day of action with events across the country to secure rights for all immigrants because they continue to suffer from Congress and President Obama’s lack of action.
Please contact President Obama and  Speaker Boehner and tell them to honor the dreams of immigrant youth!
President Barack Obama
John Boehner, Speaker of House
Phone 2020-465-1111
Phone: 202-225-0600
Letter/post card:
President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC 20500
Letter/post card:
Office of the Speaker
H-232 The Capital
Washington DC 20515
Possible comments for President Obama and Speaker Boehner:  
                              Support the DREAM Act
Our Immigrant youth have the right to live without fear.
Our Immigrant youth have the right to live with their families.
Our Immigrant youth have the right to move freely.
Our Immigrant youth have the right to be educated.
Our Immigrant youth have the right to give back to the community.
Our Immigrant youth have the right to build a strong sustainable economy.
Our Immigrant youth have the right to build their dreams.
An Immigrant’s Prayer
O holy God, Heart of heaven and earth, praised be your holy name.
Your daughters and sons, from all peoples of the world,
regardless of boarders, praise you.
We praise you and give you thanks
because you have placed in our hands the immigrant pilgrims
who make the earth flourish and produce,
to bring food to the table of the rich and poor alike.
We praise you and give you thanks because you walk always
with those who cross borders in search of wellbeing,
doing their part in building the world you entrusted to us.
On our way, we are mindful of your Presence
in the promise to Abraham and in the liberation of your people, Israel.
We praise you and give you thanks for your blessings on all immigrants,
on those who cross all the borders in the United States.
And you, O lady of Guadalupe, empress of the Americas,
be always our protector and intercessor for reconciliation
and the building of equality and peace. Amen.
 Ann Scholz, SSND, PhD
Associate Director for Social Mission
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
8808 Cameron St.
Silver Spring MD, 20910
301-588-4955 (W)
443-570-2606 (M)

Food Justice at St. Catherine University

In September, the Justice Commission agreed to co-sponsor the first St. Kate’s Food Week. This quickly planned collaboration resulted in over 30 events in one week all focusing on the injustices that surround food. That week spurred into a Food Justice movement on campus and has now been formalized into the Food Justice Coalition.

Two student organizers have led the charge at St. Catherine University in hopes of creating a greater sense of community on campus, engaging community members in action for justice, and producing a more socially just campus.  Cirien Saadeh and Liesl Wolf have poured time and energy into this effort, along with being busy students as well! On May 8th they had the chance to celebrate the progress of this year and publicly announce the Food Justice Coalition.

The Food Justice Coalition will serve as an organizing force of the Food Justice Movement. Individuals and groups will work in committees focused on key issues (currently they are Awareness & Outreach, Dining Services: Relations & Contract and a Community Garden). A Leadership Board will hold the big picture of the movement and coordinate the efforts of the task groups. The Food Justice Coalition is opened to “anyone and everyone committed to food justice at St. Catherine University.” I am impressed with the commitment to fostering student leadership within the Food Justice Coalition and the commitment to the values of St. Kate’s and the CSJ community. I am very excited to see how this will move forward.

If you are interested in learning more about the Food Justice Coalition at St. Catherine University, please contact Liesl Wolf at lwolf@stkate.edu or me at emfairbairn@gmail.com.

-Elizabeth Fairbairn, St. Joseph Worker & Justice Office Program Assistant