Attending the ACRATH conference in Sydney recently was Sr Margaret Vaney from New Zealand. The theme of the conference was End the Scourge of Human Trafficking Now. Conference participants were given presentation on the presence of slavery in supply chains and how we can use our consumer power to bring about change. Margaret is a member of ANZRATH (Aotearoa-New Zealand Religious Against Trafficking in Humans). During the conference she spoke on the work ANZRATH is doing in New Zealand.
Pope Francis has delivered a message entitled Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace for the 2017 World Day of Peace which occurs on 1st January. He urges us to imitate Jesus who marked out the path of nonviolence putting an end to hostility (cf. Eph 2:14-16). Quoting the words of St John Paul II Pope Francis reminds us of the fact that “momentous change in the lives of people, nations and states had come about by means of peaceful protest, using only the weapons of truth and justice”.
As we celebrate the World Day of Peace on the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, let us ask Mary to guide us that we might be instruments of peace and nonviolence in our world.
Read the full text of the Pope’s message here.
A number of Marist Sisters in the Asia-Pacific region minister to prisoners. We pray for all prisoners and for those who minister to them especially on the 6th November – the Year of Mercy Jubilee for Prisoners.
“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.”
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
The Day’s theme for 2016 is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.” Sustainability addresses the fundamental needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Modern challenges of poverty, hunger, diminishing natural resources, water scarcity, social inequality, environmental degradation, diseases, corruption, racism and xenophobia, among others, pose challenges for peace and create fertile grounds for conflict. Click here for a prayer service.
Loving God, guide us to be your artisans of peace,
To use the talents and skills you have so generously given us
To creatively educate and advocate for others who are denied a voice.
Help us to be present to members of the global human family
And to recognize the systems and structures
That deny the dignity of the human person.
Help us to be engaged and fully focused
So we may envision and develop effective strategies
To further justice and to be your artisans of peace in our world. Amen.
As we celebrate Migrant and Refugee Sunday on 28th August we are invited to have the response of the Gospel of Mercy. Pope Francis reminds us that “migrants are our brothers and sisters in search of a better life, far away from poverty, hunger, exploitation and the unjust distribution of the planet’s resources which are meant to be equitably shared by all….it is important to view migrants not only on the basis of their status as regular or irregular, but above all as people whose dignity is to be protected and who are capable of contributing to progress and the general welfare.” Like Mary, let us respond to the needs of our brothers and sisters with compassion and love.
In 2014 the United Nations General Assembly designated 30th July to be the World Day against Trafficking in Persons aware of the need for “raising awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.”
Human trafficking is a global problem. No country is immune from this crime. People can be enslaved and exploited in situations of sexual slavery, forced labour in agriculture, hospitality, construction, mining and fishing industries; people can be enslaved and exploited in domestic servitude, by having their organs harvested, and in times of conflict and following natural disasters.
A number of Marist Sisters in the Asia-Pacific region are involved in counter human trafficking work. We invite you to take action against this heinous crime by joining with us in prayer on this World Day Against Human Trafficking. Click here for a prayer service.
Urged on by the commitment of the Marist Sisters’ General Chapter 2015
“to networking with other groups working for justice in order to counteract the violence being inflicted on people and the environment,”
Marist Sisters in Australia are working towards divesting
from fossil fuels.
Dependence on fossil fuels is contributing to adverse climate change which affects everyone but especially the poor and vulnerable. In his encyclical, Laudato Si, Pope Francis calls on us to reduce carbon emissions and develop sources of renewable energy. Divesting of fossil fuels is one way that we can be stewards of God’s gift of creation so that life in all its forms can be sustained now and into the future.
Refugee week is an annual week-long celebration of the positive contributions of refugees to Australian society. This year, Refugee Week will be celebrated from Sunday, 19 June to Saturday, 25 June, which includes World Refugee Day on June 20. The theme is “With courage let us all combine”, which is taken from the second verse of the national anthem and celebrates the courage of refugees and of people who speak out against persecution and injustice. It serves as a call for unity and positive action, encouraging Australians to improve our nation’s welcome for refugees and acknowledging the skills and energy that refugees bring to their new home. Let us give thanks for the contribution that refugees have made in Australia and extend a welcoming hand to those currently seeking asylum.
Marist Sisters are committed “to networking with other groups working for justice in order to counteract the violence being inflicted on people and the environment.” (General Chapter 2015)
On June 18th it will be one year since Pope Francis released his historic encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home. During Laudato Si Week, 12th – 19th June, let us ask ourselves to what extent we have taken the message of this encyclical to heart. How will we journey forward as stewards of God’s creation sustaining life in all its forms now and into the future?
First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day is an annual global event celebrated on April 22. On Earth day we are encouraged to reflect on what we are doing to make our planet a more sustainable and liveable place. The theme for the 2016 celebration of Earth Day is Trees for the Earth: Lets get planting.
On Earth Day 2016, the landmark Paris Agreement is scheduled to be signed by the United States, China, and some 120 other countries. This signing satisfies a key requirement for the entry into force of the historic draft climate protection treaty adopted by consensus of the 195 nations present at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.
Thank you to the Presentation sisters in Australia for sharing a prayer resource prepared by Presentation Sister Elena Hoye, Networker at the UN, “Standing with Pope Francis: Caring for Our Common Home.”