Friday, September 30, 2016

The Catholic Nonviolence Initiative Presents Jesus’ Way of Nonviolence

The second in the series of four webinars from the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative is scheduled for Tuesday, October 11 at  9:00 am ET. Entitled “Jesus’ Way of Nonviolence” speakers will explore how recent experiences of nonviolence help illuminate our understanding of Jesus’ way of engaging conflict.
The one-hour webinar will include and introduction by moderator Ken Butigan, senior lecturer in the Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies Program at DePaul University in Chicago, as well as brief presentations by Fr. Jamal Khader, Rector of the Latin Patriarchate Seminary in Jerusalem; Sr. Anne McCarthy, OSB, Retreat director and and justice activist; Dr. Terry Rynne, Professor of Peace Studies and founder of the Center for Peacemaking at Marquette University. There will also be time for questions and comments from participants. Register here.
The Catholic Nonviolence Initiative is continuing the work begun at the Nonviolence and Just Peace Conference, held in Rome in April 2016. The conference brought together more than 80 people for an unprecedented gathering to discuss the Catholic Church’s historic commitment to nonviolence. It continues to stimulate conversations and engage people of faith around the world. Conference papers have been published, articles written, and resources gathered in support of the efforts to promote nonviolence.  Resources and papers are available at on their website
At the conference participants affirmed an outcome document that appeals to the Catholic church to recommit to the centrality of Gospel nonviolence. It is a commitment to further Catholic understanding and practice of active nonviolence on the road to just peace
The is inviting other organizations and individuals to join them in endorsing the statement from the conference, “An Appeal to the Catholic Church to Recommit to the Centrality of Nonviolence.” Read and endorse the statement here


“Rahamim” is a word that translated means “The Bowels of Mercy”.  The name of the network  "bowels of mercy" is a concrete and courageous response to the criminal violence and insecurity caused by all forms of violation of human rights, which are certainly among the main causes of trafficking in Mexico.

In order to continue educating about the reality of human trafficking and its causes, the Talitha Kum commission from Rome and Latin America, in coordination with the Conference of Major Superiors of Religious in Mexico (CIRM) realized a week long workshop September 18-24th.

During the workshop they covered ways to respond to this crime, ranging from prevention to care for the victims.  There were many powerful and moving experiences and stories shared.

It is worth mentioning that representatives of over 20 Congregations attended the event, as well as Sr. Carmela Gibaja, representative of Talitha Kum and coordinator for the network in Latin America, trainer Stefano Volpicelle, Sr. Eurides Alves de Oliveira coordinator of the network “Un Grito por la Vida” in Brazil, and Sr. Lourdes Medina Vega representative of CIRM.  From our CCVI Congregation sisters Covadonga Suarez and Ofelia Lozano participated.  

“It was a rich experience and the beginning of a network here in Mexico,” share Sr. Covadonga.  That is because the group of participants felt more and more involved and willing to join in the mission working against human trafficking in Mexico as a collaborative network, because without a doubt this crime is “a sore in the suffering body of Christ” that demands a prophetic response as women religious today.

The religious who participated in the creation of the Network Rahamim  pledged themselves: to witness the values of mercy, compassion and freedom; to prevent trafficking by deepening their understanding and further training; to care for those most vulnerable to trafficking and to accompany the victims.  

“We were anxiously waiting for this first gathering of Talitha Kum in Mexico and we are confident in the effort and dedication of all the participants to form a network with strong fundamentals that will make the network a powerful voice and an effective agent in the fight against human trafficking in this country where human rights are so often ignored,” wrote the Talitha Kum coordinator Sr. Gabriella Bottani. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Red Rahamim frente a la Trata de personas en México

Con el objetivo de seguir formando sobre la realidad de trata de personas y sus causas, la comisión Talitha Kum de Roma y América Latina en coordinación con la Conferencia de Superiores Mayores de Religiosos en México (CIRM) realizó un seminario-taller del 18 al 24 de septiembre.

Durante estos días se profundizó las formas de hacerle frente a este delito, desde la prevención hasta la atención a las víctimas. Se presentaron muchas situaciones y experiencias significativas y desafiantes.

Como conclusión al curso, se decidió crear la Red Rahamim, palabra que significa 'entrañas de Misericordia'. La red forma parte de la CIRM y es miembro de Talitha Kum. Con ello Talitha Kum, la red mundial de la vida consagrada comprometida contra la trata de personas añade un nuevo miembro, con lo que ya cuenta con 19 redes, todas ellas comprometidas en la promoción de acciones para la prevención, protección y asistencia a las vítimas y de abogados contra la trata de personas en todas sus formas, en el propio país y en el mundo entero. 

'El nombre de la red “vísceras de misericordia” es una respuesta concreta y valiente a la violencia criminal y a la inseguridad provocada por toda forma de violación de los derechos humanos que figura seguramente entre las principales causas de la trata en México'. 

Las religiosas que han participado en la creación de la Red Rahamim se han comprometido a dar testimonio de los valores de la misericordia, de la compasión y de la libertad, cuidando la vida de las personas más vulnerables a la trata a través de acciones de acompañamiento de las víctimas y de la prevención sostenidas por un mejor conocimiento y estudio de la realidad y formación. 

El compromiso en red contra la trata de personas se inserta en la dimensión profética de la vida consagrada que ya comparte la propia vida y misión con los que viven en situación de vulnerabilidad, emigrantes, mujeres explotadas sexualmente, niños y jóvenes en territorios que sufren la violencia de organizaciones criminales responsables del narcotráfico y la trata de personas.

Cabe destacar que durante el evento estuvieron representadas más de 20 Congregaciones además se contó con la presencia de la Hna. Carmela Gibaja representante de Talitha Kum y coordinadora de la red en América Latina, el formador Stefano Volpicelle, la Hna. Eurides Alves De Oliveira coordinadora de la red Un grito por la Vida del Brasil y la Hna. Lourdes Medina Vega representante de la CIRM. Por parte de nuestra Congregación Religiosa, participaron nuestras hermanas: Sor Covadonga Suarez y Sor Ofelia Lozano.

‘Fue un compartir muy rico  y nació una pequeña red en México’ comparte Sor Covadonga. Y es que el grupo de participantes, se sintieron cada vez más involucradas(os) y dispuestas(os) a asumir la misión de trabajar frente a la trata de personas en México como Red, porque sin duda este crimen es 'una llaga en el cuerpo del Cristo Sufriente' que nos exige una respuesta profética como Vida Consagrada hoy.

Esperábamos con impaciencia este primer encuentro de la Talitha Kum en México y confiamos en el esfuerzo y dedicación de todos los participantes para consolidar la red, con sólidos fundamentos que hagan de la red un grito potente y una lucha efectiva contra la trata de personas en este país en que los derechos humanos son tantas veces ignorados’ escribió la coordinadora de Talitha Kum (Red Mundial de la Vida Consagrada contra la trata de personas),  Hna. Gabriella Bottani.

Fuente: Talitha Kum

Monday, September 26, 2016


Peace for Colombia

Today the Peace Accords between the government of Colombia and the FARC are signed, after more than 50 years of armed conflict.  These Peace Accords are without a doubt the first step on the long road to reconciliation.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Colombia and all those working for peace around the world.  May peace reign in Colombia.

After every war

someone has to clean up.
Things won't
straighten themselves up, after all.

Someone has to push the rubble
to the sides of the road,
so the corpse-laden wagons
can pass.

Someone has to get mired
in scum and ashes,
sofa springs,
splintered glass,
and bloody rags.

Someone must drag in a girder
to prop up a wall,
Someone must glaze a window,
rehang a door.

Photogenic it's not,
and takes years.
All the cameras have left
for another war.

Again we'll need bridges
and new railway stations.
Sleeves will go ragged
from rolling them up.

Someone, broom in hand,
still recalls how it was.
Someone listens
and nods with unsevered head.
Yet others milling about
already find it dull.

From behind the bush
sometimes someone still unearths
rust-eaten arguments
and carries them to the garbage pile.

Those who knew
what was going on here
must give way to
those who know little.
And less than little.
And finally as little as nothing.

In the grass which has overgrown
reasons and causes,
someone must be stretched out
blade of grass in his mouth
gazing at the clouds.

*Wislawa Szymborska- Polonia
Transl. by Joanna Trezeciak

Que Reine la Paz en Colombia

Hoy, 26 de setiembre, se firma de la Paz en Colombia entre el gobierno y las FARC después de lo que ha sido más de cincuenta años de guerra. Un acuerdo que es, sin duda, el primer paso para iniciar un largo proceso de reconciliación. 

Nuestra oración y compromiso con este proceso de paz y justicia en el mundo.

Fin y Principio* 
Después de cada guerra
alguien tiene que limpiar.
No se van a ordenar solas las cosas,
digo yo.

Alguien debe echar los escombros
a la cuneta
para que puedan pasar
los carros llenos de cadáveres.

Alguien debe meterse
entre el barro, las cenizas,
los muelles de los sofás,
las astillas de cristal
y los trapos sangrientos.

Alguien tiene que arrastrar una viga
para apuntalar un muro,
alguien poner un vidrio en la ventana
y la puerta en sus goznes.

Eso de fotogénico tiene poco
y requiere años.
Todas las cámaras se han ido ya
a otra guerra.

A reconstruir puentes
y estaciones de nuevo.
Las mangas quedarán hechas jirones
de tanto arremangarse.

Alguien con la escoba en las manos
recordará todavía cómo fue.
Alguien escuchará
asintiendo con la cabeza en su sitio.
Pero a su alrededor
empezará a haber algunos
a quienes les aburra.

Todavía habrá quien a veces
encuentre entre hierbajos
argumentos mordidos por la herrumbre,
y los lleve al montón de la basura.

Aquellos que sabían
de qué iba aquí la cosa
tendrán que dejar su lugar
a los que saben poco.
Y menos que poco.
E incluso prácticamente nada.

En la hierba que cubra
causas y consecuencias
seguro que habrá alguien tumbado,
con una espiga entre los dientes,
mirando las nubes.

*Wislawa Szymborska- Polonia
De "Fin y principio" 1993
Versión de Abel A. Murcia

Join the Pilgrimage Remembering CCVI History in San Antonio

A Pilgrimage Remembering Incarnate Word Sisters History and San Antonio Mission History in this Year of Mercy
For young people, for elders, and for all to learn, pray, make friends, and be renewed as we visit historical treasures in our city.
October 1, Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm
Let us recommit ourselves to mercy and to service as we visit where Franciscan priests came in 1731 and where Incarnate Word Sisters came in 1869.
Enjoy two of the Missions which UNESCO has designated World Heritage Sites and San Fernando, the oldest cathedral sanctuary in the United States.
Reflect in the beautiful Chapel of the Incarnate Word, a contemplative space which has given Sisters strength for mission and see the new Sisters Heritage Center Museum. 
Explore San Francisco de la Espada Mission where Incarnate Word Sisters taught.
Pray at Mission Concepcion where Father David Garcia, Director of the San Antonio Missions will celebrate a special Eucharist with the pilgrimage group.
Visit the San Fernando Cathedral Museum which has the chalice of Bishop Claude M. Dubuis who wrote a letter with an invitation that brought French young women to Texas to care for those in need and start the I.W. Congregation,  “Our Lord Jesus Christ suffering . . . seeks relief at your hands.” Learn of the Sisters orphanage and hospital down the street. Go through the special doors of the Cathedral praying that we might be transformed in this “Year of Mercy.”
As the number of orphan children increased in the 1800’s,  the Sisters built the downtown St. John’s Orphanage. In 1912 a terrible fire broke out. Eighty-nine orphan boys were saved, but two boys were killed. Five Sisters who were searching for the children in the fire were killed.
Seeking a place for the children, the Sisters build St. Peter’s  right across from Mission Concepcion in 1913. Children from the home, now called St. Peter-St. Joseph’s Home still attend worship in the mission.
Acclaimed Texas Historian and Chair of the initiative to document UIW’s role in San Antonio Tricentennial History, Dr. Gilberto Hinojosa will share information and insights.
Cecilia Elizondo Herrera, Global Service Coordinator in the UIW Ettling Center for Civic Engagement and a member of the San Antonio Mission Board invites you on this journey through time to open our hears to serve others. See and hear her at
Sister Martha Ann Kirk, University of the Incarnate Word Professor of Religious and Sister Marichui Bringas, Incarnate Word Sisters Vocation Director, invite you to learn more of the deep roots of the Incarnate Word Sisters because those can give us strength to grow, flower, and bring forth fruits of service today.                             

To register for the pilgrimage, please click here . For questions or issues, please call the Ettling Center 210-283-6423. 

To be assured bus transportation and lunch, register by September 26, 2016.  

Original Posting at: 

Basta de Impunidad en la Trata de Personas

En el marco de actividades por el Día Internacional Contra la Trata de Personas (23 de setiembre), la Red Kawsay (Vida Consagrada frente a la Trata de Personas) del cual formamos parte, organizamos un Acto Público en rechazo al fallo del juez Villa Stein frente al caso de Trata de Personas en Madre de Dios.
El mencionado juez  absolvió a la ciudadana Elsa Cjuno, presunta tratante de personas, que opera en uno de los campamentos mineros de Madre de Dios. Y es que el tribunal consideró que los cargos en su contra no habían sido probados por el Ministerio Público. No obstante, Fiscalía de la Nación informó que no fueron notificados para la audiencia donde se vio este caso. Lo que generó controversia es que en el fallo se consideró probado que la víctima, una adolescente de 15 años, trabajó 13 horas al día como "dama de compañía", promoviendo y consumiendo licor, pero que no había delito de trata de personas porque esa actividad no le producía ningún agotamiento físico.
Además, porque supuestamente cuando la captaron para trabajar en el bar, la administradora no le dijo que la iba a explotar laboral y sexualmente. Luego, que solo en una ocasión le sugirió realizar "pases", lo que en la jerga de la zona significa tener sexo con los clientes. 
Frente a estos hechos, como Congregaciones Religiosas nos paramos frente al Palacio de Justicia (Perú) para demandar justicia y mostrar rechazo a la impunidad que muchos jueces ofrecen en las sentencias de Trata de Personas. También oramos por todas las víctimas e hicimos un llamado a las autoridades para poder frenar estos atropellos. 
Por parte de nuestra Congregación, Hermanas de la Caridad del Verbo Encarnado en Lima, estuvieron presentes las hermanas: Ivon Ramirez, CCVI; Katty Huanuco, CCVI y nuestra asociada laica Martha Zea. 

Join Oct 5 Webinar: Faithfully Engaged in the 2016 Election

IIC WEBINAR: October 5th at 4pm 
Faithfully Engaged in the 2016 Election

We are one month out from election day! And candidates, trying to get your vote, want to hear your perspective. What will you tell them? How can you best get your message across?

Join the Interfaith Immigration Coalition on Wednesday, October 5th at 4 pm EST for a special webinar. We’ll outline ways that communities of faith can meaningfully participate in the final month before the election, key for building support for compassionate action on immigration in 2017.

Civic engagement is a key component of integration and building welcoming communities. Participating in civil society by voting, understanding the issues of the day, and engaging in civil and productive conversation with others is one of the many strengths of the United States and an important part of integration for new Americans.
  • How can we strengthen our democracy by ensuring that more people are registered to vote, including new American voters?
  • How can people of faith ensure better access to the polls for disenfranchised voters?
  • How can we talk about the election from a faith perspective to our neighbors, faith communities, the media, and directly to candidates for public office?

Speakers include a first-time voter, and representatives from Church World Service, the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, and the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

Join in Prayerful Solidarity during the Border Convergence

Congregations of Women Religious and Other Organizations are Invited to join Giving Voice Sisters in Prayerful Solidarity with the Border Convergence October 7-10 and All Catholic Sisters Attending the Border Convergence in Nogales are invited to the “Encuentro de Hermanas” on Oct 8th. 

Interested congregations of women religious, Church groups, faith communities, and other concerned organizations are invited to join members of Giving Voice in prayerful solidarity with the SOAW Border Convergence in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico the weekend of October 7-10th, 2016. Giving Voice has prepared a prayer service and media kit that can be printed out and used as it is or tweaked for your setting and group. In order for a copy of the prayer service and media kit to be emailed to you, please sign up HERE

Participants are encouraged to connect with the network of groups praying in solidarity with the border convergence by promoting and sharing their prayer service on social media. Groups are encouraged to post videos and photos of their prayer service on Facebook Live, Twitter, Instagram and other social media channels using the hashtags/caption: We pray with #GivingVoice in solidarity with the #ConvergenceAtTheBorder and adding the name of their group and location.

Catholic sisters who will be attending the SOAW Border Convergence in Nogales are welcome to join Giving Voice for "Encuentro de Hermanas" on Saturday, October 8th, 2016 from 2:00-3:30 at the Kino Border Initiative "Comedor," Bulevar Luis Donaldo Colosio 55, Nogales, Mexico. Sisters will share about ministers, discuss how they might collaborate further around immigration issues and pray together. An optional tour of the Kino Border Initiative will follow the gathering. It is suggested that Sisters at the Border Convergence who attend the Encuentro de Hermanas bring their passports and cross into Mexico by foot on Saturday morning for the Rally at the Border Wall then eat lunch on the Mexican side of the border before coming to the encuentro. For more information about the Encuentro de Hermanas contact Sister Tracy Kemme, SC at

Giving Voice is an inter-congregational peer-led organization for women religious under the age of 50. Giving Voice sisters are from several different congregations of women religious throughout North America. These “young nuns” are often times the youngest members of their religious orders. Members center their lives on living the Gospel and live communally while being committed to service and social justice. Many of the sisters serve in the trenches with immigrants and refugees most impacted by the outdated and unjust policies.

The goals of the Border Convergence program are to expose the root causes of immigration, end the U.S. intervention in the Americas, resist border militarization, and engage in non-violent direct action, education, art and culture. The Convergence is sponsored by School of Americas Watch (SOAW), the organization that has previously hosted November protests at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), a combat training school for Latin American soldiers, located at Fort Benning, Georgia.