Stand with Starving Children Around the World

Mar 1, 2013


Catholic Relief Services reaches into the lives of children in Mali and Sudan, Central American countries and beyond, being the hands of Christ, and extending our reach to make a difference. Thanks to U.S. poverty-focused international assistance children in war-torn Mali, for example, will eat staple grains, beans, and oil five and not just three days per week. The program has also helped their community farm better so that it now contributes ingredients to the children’s meals including salt, peanut paste and meat. School enrollment in areas served by CRS in Mali has increased by 6 % for boys and 16 % for girls since the program began.


TODAY call on President Obama and Congress to protect U.S. poverty-focused international assistance. Urge them to avoid an automatic 5 percent reduction to this lifesaving assistance that will go into effect on March 1 if they don’t act now. This aid is less than 1% of the federal budget, yet this little bit of funding saves millions of lives around the world. Cutting this assistance will not balance the federal budget, but it will cost lives.


Our nation’s fiscal challenges are significant and reducing future unsustainable deficits is important; however, we must address these issues in morally responsible ways that give priority to poor and vulnerable people. As the Catholic bishops of the U.S. and CRS have repeatedly stated, our nation should resolve our fiscal crisis by considering all options, including increased revenue, cuts to unnecessary military and other spending, and just and fair entitlement reform.


Your vocal support for lifesaving international assistance over the last several years has prevented cuts and even restored funding. Your voice is now needed again. Contact President Obama and your members of Congress today and urge them to support poverty-focused international assistance.



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Our Lenten Project of Life

Mar 1, 2013

Phil Lloyd-Sidle
Pastor, James Lees Memorial Presbyterian Church
originally published in the Sowers of Justice newsletter, Louisville, KY

In the midst of so much that calls to us — so much activity, so many emails asking for response, so many actions for peace, for environmental integrity, for economic justice, for racial justice, for the end to senseless wars, for a just immigration reform, for gender equality, and fairness — we find ourselves in the liturgical season of Lent. Lent is construed so often as an interior time; the season of “repentance.” Is it only inward? Is “repentance” only an interior concept? Surely not.   Our traditions understand it as both. I like Marcus Borg’s understanding of the word “repentance” as “going beyond the mind you have.” Surely this is true for our society as well as us as individuals.

Lent does not have to be grim. It is that time of invitation to go beyond our small minds, to expand our horizons to include an ever-growing care of the world, and to respond to Life with our own “Yes,” as we dare believe God embraces us all.

This great Mind and Heart and Project of Life is powerfully expressed and witnessed to in the following prayer composed by Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw.  It was drafted for a homily by Cardinal John Dearden for a celebration of departed priests and as a reflection on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Bishop Oscar Romero.


It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction

of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.

Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying

that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith.

No confession brings perfection.

No pastoral visit brings wholeness.

No program accomplishes the church’s mission.

No set of goals and objectives includes everything.


This is what we are about.

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted,

knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation

in realizing that.

This enables us to do something,

and to do it very well. It may be incomplete,

but it is a beginning, a step along the way,

an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference

between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.

We are prophets of a future not our own. Amen.


Jun 9, 2011

Changing Seasons, Changing Details!

In the summer of 2011 the National JPIC Office of the Passionist Community was re-visioned, becoming the Passionist JPIC Desk located at the Passionist Earth and Spirit Center in Louisville, Kentucky.  In the process of this major transition, connections were temporarily lost.

Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation remain integral focal points of the Passionist mission. We have  a renewed commitment to bring to our readership core issues of this time.  We deepen our commitment to the Gospel that calls us to seek out the forgotten, open our hearts to those who are marginalized, and challenge the systems that harm or neglect any of God’s children or creation.