Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


As you may know, a robust international peacekeeping force is one of the most crucial steps to saving Darfur.

However, a central question has been: what should a "robust" force look like?
1. A strong mandate to protect civilians.

2. Management of the mission by the United Nations.

3. A sufficient level of troops and police drawn from around the world.

4. Mobile resources and equipment needed for quick response across Darfur's challenging terrain.

5. A strong emphasis on civilian and humanitarian needs.

6. Sufficient funding from the international community.

Now is the time to take action. For more information, go here.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Those who died in Iraq from Jun 17 to 23:

Pvt David Wilkey Jr 22 Elkhart IN
Sgt Eric Snell 35 Trenton NJ
Pvt Larry Parks Jr 24 Altoona PA
Pvt Jacob Tracy 20 Palestine IL
Spc Darryl Linder 23 Hickory NC
Maj Paul Harding 48 Winchester UK
Pvt Joshua Modgling 22 Las Vegas NV
Sgt William Zapfe 35 Mudraugh NJ
Sgt Stephen Wilson 28 Duluth GA
Sgt Shawn Martin 30 Delmar NY
Sgt Darrell Hubbell 38 Tifton GA
Pvt David Bentz 20 Newfield NJ
Spc Joe Charfaurous 33 Rota Mariana
Maj Sid Brookshire 36 Missouri
Pvt Thomas Leemhuis 23 Binger OK
Pvt Anthony Hebert 19 Lake City MN
Sgt Ryan Wood 22 Oklahoma City OK
Pvt Daniel Agami 25 Coconut Creek FL
Sgt Alphonso Montenegro 22 Far Rockaway NY
Pvt Raymond Spencer 23 Carmichael CA
Spc Karen Clifton 22 Lehigh Acres FL
Pvt Jeremiah Veitch 21 Dibble OK
Cpl John Rigby 24 Rye UK
Spc Dominic Rodriguez 23 Klamath Falls OR
Spc Carter Gamble Jr 24 Brownstown IN
Pvt Shane Stinson 23 Fullerton CA
Sgt Chris Davis 35 Lubbock TX
Sgt Michael Moody 31 Richmond VA
Spc Derek Calhoun 23 Oklahoma City OK
Sgt Jimmy Malone 23 Wills Point TX
Sgt Joel House 22 Lee ME
Lt Daniel Riordan 24 St Louis MO
Airman Jason Nathan 22 Macon GA
Sgt William Brown 25 Phil Campbell AL
Sgt Joe Kenny 20 Veneta OK
Spc Eric Palmer 21 Maize KS
Sgt Michael Montpetit 31 Honolulu HI

75 were seriously wounded and maimed.

Monday, June 25, 2007


We want to make you aware of a retreat at the Spiritual Life Center in Greenwich, New York on July 26-29.
ReMembering is awakening to the presence of God that abides within us.

ReMembering is welcoming all of ourselves—Body Mind Soul Spirit, even our Shadow, so as to attune to the longings of our deep heart, to the dream we came with.

In ReMembering the Divine Indwelling, we are moved to love God and to serve others as never before, to become co-creators of the kingdom of God—starting right here, right now.

Throughout this retreat—and an optional year of follow-up workshop/retreats and support, we will share integrated practices for our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves. Our approach is based upon our collective 200+years of education, training and teaching experience in disciplines, ranging from yoga, Pilates and weight lifting, to martial arts, holistic nutrition, psychotherapy and shadow work, music and chant, centering prayer and contemplative living.

We trust that this retreat will initiate the adventure of a lifetime. Our intent is that you will come to the heartfelt experience that with a deepening “yes “ to God’s presence and action in your live, new possibilities open—possibilities which, graced with Holy Daring, lead to the transformation of body, mind, soul and spirit—and our world.

We do not claim to be gurus, but fellow travelers. And we invite you to join us on pilgrimage to the Heart of Love.

You can learn more here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mother Teresa

For not only do people need food, but they need also the touch of a hand, the sound of a voice. For food lasts but a day, but love is for always.

- Mother Teresa

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Building Peace with Justice

Building Peace with Justice is a brief, weekly bulletin reflection written by members of a Public Policy sub-committee of the Diocese of Rochester that links the Sunday readings to Catholic social teaching. Many parishes publish them as space allows.

For Sunday Bulletins on June 24
John the Baptist follows a long line of prophets like Jeremiah, sent by God to the Israelites whenever they strayed from the Covenant; when they would become so focused on their desires for wealth, power, and pleasure that they forgot to care for the orphans, widows and strangers among them. Prophets are always among us, but our ears aren’t always open to hear them.

In the early 1980s, author and priest, Henri Nouwen, returned from Latin America and began touring the United States, determined to awaken his audiences to the violence against the poor that was being funded by their tax dollars. He warned that if we continued to gather in the wealth of the world at the expense of the southern hemisphere, we would need to build walls to protect our wealth from the world’s poor.

Reflection: The walls now exist. Henri Nouwen might agree with those who say the walls along the border are immoral and ineffective. Is it possible that we have become so protective of our wealth and comfort that we, like the Israelites, are ignoring the widows, orphans and strangers? Who is my neighbor?

For Sunday Bulletins on July 1
“Busy” is the virtue of the twenty-first century. Ask ten people how they have been and six of them will reply, “Oh, busy.” We fill our days with work, our evenings and weekends with errands, housework and family activities, and collapse, exhausted, in front of the television or computer at night. Who has time to pray or even think?

In today’s readings, Elisha and the would-be follower of Jesus request time to tend to family responsibilities before answering the call to follow, not an unreasonable or particularly self-centered request. But they’re missing the immediacy of the call. Jesus is off to Jerusalem now and if Elisha returns home to wait until his parents die, he will miss his prophet apprenticeship. Work is good, but without time for prayer and reflection we operate on automatic pilot, moving from one demand to another, not ready to hear the call when it comes.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Building Peace with Justice

Building Peace with Justice is a brief, weekly bulletin reflection written by members of a Public Policy sub-committee of the Rochester Diocese that links the Sunday readings to Catholic social teaching. Many parishes publish them as space allows.

For Sunday Bulletins on June 10
An ancient tradition teaches that gems of wisdom, grace and love rest on our hearts at all times. It is when our hearts are broken that these gifts seep in and change and enrich our lives. The readings for this Sunday all speak of bread that is broken among the believers, loaves split to be shared with the community, food that feeds the hungry in whatever ways are needed – the same act as opening up our hearts to grace.

The act of breaking open the loaf, releasing the energy and abundance of the bread and producing wholeness out of brokenness is the message of Jesus life. Jesus is with us most completely when we are open, when our hearts are broken. Jesus takes the broken pieces and heals us, blesses us and sends us to do the same in community. Hearts and bread, blessed and broken, for the sake of the community.

For Sunday Bulletins on June 17
Today’s gospel provides wonderful insight into the important role genuine hospitality has in being Church. The Pharisee, a person of power and influence in the community, had a very rigid understanding of the law. He believed that the law required him to exclude those who would be considered “sinners” from being a part of the community. Consequently, as the dinner’s host, he was caught off guard by the actions of a woman who society had deemed a “sinner”. The Pharisee was even more shocked by Jesus’ non- judging acceptance of her offer and of his extending forgiveness to her. Furthermore, Jesus, using a parable of a creditor, considered the woman’s acts as being more welcoming than the host!

This reading causes us to take notice of who we are excluding from our own faith communities. Are we as a parish being hospitable to those who society has labeled “sinners?” Do we offer hospitality to people whose presence may cause us some discomfort?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

This is nice

The current issue of The Evangelist has a front-page story about one of the newest members of the Commission on Peace and Justice, who founded the Franciscan Ecology Center.
If you turn off the water while you're brushing your teeth, Dr. Riobart "Rob" Breen admits, you're not saving much water.

But, if you tell 20 friends about that practice and get them to copy it, and then they bring the idea to their parishes and tell others, a small change starts to have a larger impact.

And if those friends and parishioners then get interested in environmental issues and attend a lobby day at the State Capitol to talk to politicians about them, a few drops of saved water can become a flood of change.

You can read the rest of Kate Blain’s excellent article on-line here.