Dear Friends, Greetings! I am sending you a special message with an urgent request for prayers for the people of South Sudan. As you may know, the government and opposition, who have been fighting since the end of 2013, have been engaged in implementing a peace agreement which is to result in a Transitional Government of National Unity to be installed on November 12th.
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Who knows where the time goes? It’s hard to believe that we are now on our second break day and have been engaged in the Chapter now for 12 days. The name tags, the initial introductions of persons, places, and schedules are well behind us and we stand poised and ready for a deeper plunge into the realities of our world and a consideration of actions.
On January 19th, Sr. Rose Kelly, RJM, and Sr. Nazareth Ybarra, RJM, were presented with the prestigious William Jefferson Clinton Goodwill for Haiti Award which honors outstanding individuals who have undertaken extraordinary work and dedicated their lives to the people of Haiti. The distinguished award was presented to them in Dublin Ireland, by Haven, the leading non-governmental Irish charity working on the ground in Haiti.
YOUTH STRIKE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE : On September 20, 2019, young people will kick off a worldwide week of action with an international strike. September 20th will be the largest mass mobilization for climate action in human history. This time, adults will be joining the youth-led call for climate action to demand world leaders take meaningful steps to address this crisis with the urgency it requires.
CATHOLIC NON-VIOLENT ACTION
On September 4th, I shared in a hope-filled experience with over 400 people in a Catholic Non-Violent Action for Immigrant Children in Newark, New Jersey.
The call throughout the event was to end the abuse, trauma, and detention of migrant children and was echoed in prayer, ritual, and a call to action by Catholic leaders. Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Archbishop of Newark, accompanied the group through the whole experience from St. Mary’s Church, through the streets of Newark, to the Federal ICE office.
JUSTICE, PEACE, INTEGRITY OF CREATION… Please see the Bridges attachment with a reflection and prayer for the Season of Creation.
LOOKING AHEAD... The World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR), on 29 September 2019, will soon be here. On this occasion, Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass in Rome, and asks us to join him with the slogan “It is not just about migrants”. This theme has been developed into the sub-theme “it is about the whole person and all people”.
CONGRATULATIONS TO MIDDIA DOUTE, RJM
On August 10th, Middia Doute made her temporary vows (left), as a Religious of Jesus and Mary, in Canape Vert, Haiti. On the right, she is presented with the Constitutions of the Congregation by Sr. Marge Perron, RJM, Provincial. You may have already received Sr. Marge’s letter detailing the ceremony, but to make sure, a copy is attached to the email accompanying Bridges. Also attached are beautiful photos of the ceremony that you‘ll certainly want to see!
Jesus-Mary School - Gros Morne, Haiti: Maryknoll Lay Missioner Abby Belt brought us a DVD copy of "Taking Root" about Wangari Maathai's life and the Greenbelt Movement in Kenya. So, on June 5, International Day for the Environment, the Lekol Jezi-Mari student body learned about Wangari Maathai and her Greenbelt Movement by watching “Taking Root”, on the screen by the red door.
The Pre-Chapter assembly in Port-au-Prince, Haiti was an enriching experience of interculturality with our sisters from every part of our congregation. We worked hard in listening, understanding, sharing in both large and small groups - with the help of our translator, Paloma, a volunteer from our community in Jean Rabel. Thank God for her and the new translation equipment that Monica and team purchased. A wonderful spirit of bonded us together.
MIGRANT MINISTRY REFLECTIONS - Sr. Norene Costa, RJM
In the darkness of the night, white vans transport migrant families to the shelter. Approximately 125 mothers, fathers and children arrive at the shelter, located in an unoccupied school named in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Upon arrival, there is a background check of the migrants by border officials, followed by a medical examination of each newcomer. What was once a school auditorium now serves as a bedroom furnished with cots and a blanket, but no pillow.