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Independence Day Issue

July 4, 2020

Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Office
Priests of the Sacred Heart, US Province
"Jesus, Immigrant and Worker" (the Catholic Worker)
Reflections on Faithful Citizenship and True Patriotism

The President delivers an annual State of the Union Address highlighting the past year and suggesting priorities for the coming year. But it’s a speech from one to many. The People’s State of the Union is an annual civic ritual open to every voice, rooted in the truth that democracy is a conversation, not a monologue.

The PSOTU helps build bonds of empathy and connection by bringing us together in our own homes, schools, houses of worship, and community organizations to share our own take on the state of our union. Thousands of people in more than 500 communities have taken part.

This year, in order to journey toward “a more perfect union,” in which we root out and rectify the enmeshed evils of racism, anti-immigrant policies, environmental destruction, militarism, and a profit-driven economy that are woven into this country’s fabric, the
U.S. Department of Arts and Culture is partnering with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival for the 2020 People’s State of the Union.

Members of your Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Commission felt the following "poetic address" from a Native American perspective was especially powerful for us to reflect on this year. Below that is a public letter on the November Elections the Commission just published, which will be sent to newspapers in the places SCJs minister. Finally, we offer a couple of "easy actions" you can take this coming week to protect the Republic whose founding we celebrate today.
 

3" Poetic Address: Is "America" just a concept in our minds?
US Province JPR Commission Issues Public Letter on the November Elections

The following press release will be sent to papers in
Florida, Mississippi, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin


Catholic Group Issues Open Letter on 2020 Elections, Urges
Taking “Existential Threats” Seriously in Voting Booth

 
Franklin, WI – The social justice commission of a male religious order based in Wisconsin has published an open letter to “all people of faith and good will” regarding the November elections. They urge voters to form their consciences in light of the “existential threats” of climate change and the increasing threat of nuclear war, as well our "common humanity" which "recoils" at things like suffering migrants and systemic racism.
 
Notably, the letter does not directly mention abortion, which the U.S. Catholic Bishops have for years referred to as the “pre-eminent issue” for Catholic voters. But it calls on both parties to be more “pro-life in the fullest sense of the term,” and admits that no "candidate or party has the monopoly on respecting life and increasing the common good."


The letter is signed by members of the U.S. Province of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, which has missions in Wisconsin, Mississippi, South Dakota and Texas. The letter was approved by Provincial Superior Fr. Edward Kilianski, SCJ.

The full letter can be found here.
Use Your Citizen Power!

It's About More Than Voting

And sometimes it's about the right to vote...
At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787,  Benjamin Franklin was leaving Independence Hall when someone shouted out, “Well Doctor what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”  Franklin replied, A republic... if you can keep it.” Here are two steps you can take to help ensure that we do keep it:
First, watch this 8 minute Video: How voting by mail could save the US election

Next, sign this petition by Change.org: Protect the November 2020 Election by Offering Vote-by-Mail in all 50 States
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