Peace & Justice

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

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Building Peace with Justice

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

For Sunday Bulletins on September 2
Often powerful political and business leaders gather over meals to make decisions. Often the results of such meetings benefit the powerful at the expense of those whose voice is absent from such meetings - those who are poor and powerless.

In today's Gospel Jesus is invited to a home of a Pharisee for a meal. The Pharisee probably wanted to use the opportunity to persuade Jesus to us his influence in a way that supported the status-quo. However, Jesus uses the analogy of being invited to a wedding feast to remind the Pharisees that it is those who are poor and powerless that the powerful are called to serve.

Reflection: Do the decisions/choices we make benefit us at the expense of someone else's well being?

For Sunday Bulletins on September 9
Jesus certainly gets our attention in today’s Gospel: How can a God of love require that we hate those who are most dear to us? Jesus often challenged his followers with these hard sayings, urging them to shake off old ways of thinking so they could begin to envision a Kingdom where all are our brothers and sisters.

CNN recently ran a three-part series called "God's Warriors" that examined fundamentalism and militarism within Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Many people share this view that religion is to blame for much of the violence in today’s world. In his 1988 World Day of Peace Message, Pope John Paul II reminded us that “Differences of religion must not be a cause of conflict; the shared quest for peace on the part of all believers is a vital source of unity among peoples.”

Reflection: Does your faith set you apart from others or is it a source of unity that binds you with all who share our earth?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Put away your sword

Highlighting the Christian faith of today’s youth and the ways in which they integrate Jesus’ teachings into their lives, Maryknoll is sponsoring a student essay contest for grades 6-12. Winners will receive nearly $3,000 in scholarship money, as well as coverage in Maryknoll magazine and on the Maryknoll Web site.

The theme is taken from the Gospel of John (18:1-11), when Jesus told Peter, “Put away your sword.” Contestants should de-scribe a situation in the world today or in their own lives in which Jesus would say, “Put away your sword,” and explain what they would do to promote peace instead of violence. Essays must be 500-750 words. First place winners in each of two divisions will receive $1,000. Entries must be postmarked by Friday, Nov. 30, 2007. Instructions and a cover sheet are available here or at

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Quotes of the day

Pax Christi offers daily quotes on its website here. This is today’s:
"O Lord, open my eyes that I may see the needs of others, open my ears that I may hear their cries, open my heart so that they need not be without comfort. Let me not be afraid to defend the weak because of the anger of the rich."
- Alan Paton

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

No Centering Prayer mini-retreat

Bruce Gardiner informs us that there will be no Centering Prayer mini-retreat this Saturday.

I am out of town, so for the first time in nearly two and a half years, we will not be having a retreat.

We will continue on the Third Saturday in September. With the exception of September, the rest of the upcoming year will be at the Hubbard Interfaith Sanctuary.

I will be in touch soon about September location.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


The Catholic bishops stepped up their efforts to end the war in Iraq by seeking to meet with both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, according to a news release on the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:
The U.S. bishops have asked to meet with Republican members of the House of Representatives to discuss a “responsible transition” to end the war in Iraq. The bishops also reiterated their call for members of Congress and the Administration to break the political stalemate in Washington and to pursue a bipartisan policy to end the war as soon as possible.

The request was outlined in a letter from Bishop Thomas G. Wenski of Orlando, Florida, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on International Policy, to Rep. John A. Boehner (R/Ohio), House minority leader.

The letter followed a similar one in response to Rep. Tim Ryan (D/Ohio) and 13 other House Democrats who had sent a letter June 28 asking to meet on Iraq.

“Too many Iraqi and American lives have been lost. Too many Iraqi communities have been shattered. Too many civilians have been driven from their homes. The human and financial costs of the war are staggering,” Bishop Wenski said.

“The current situation in Iraq is unacceptable and unsustainable, as is the policy and political stalemate among decision makers in Washington. Our Conference hopes to work with the Congress and the Administration to forge bipartisan policies on ways to bring about a responsible transition and an end to the war,” he added.

The rest of the article is here. Several statements the bishops issued regarding Iraq may be found on their website here.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

You are invited . . .

Peace at Pearl, a service of prayers for peace, and worship in the Christian tradition, 7 -8 p.m. each Friday evening through August in the park next to the First Church in Albany, 110 North Pearl Street.

All are welcome.