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CMN August 2013 Newsletter

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August 15, 2013 Volume 3, Issue 12


Dear Friend,

The signs of summer coming to a close have begun, and planning for the new academic year is in motion. As we look towards Respect Life Month in October and Advent in November, please review CMN’s varied educational and inspirational materials - and consider using them in your parish, study group or for personal reflection.

Our dignity as God's image is God's gift of creation. ...To proclaim the gospel of life and the reality of creation and the redemption is the task of the church today. From the earliest times of our Church, saints such as St. Clement of Rome and St. Justin Martyr were absolutely opposed to Christian involvement in the application of the death penalty. Saint Clement put his opposition this way: "To witness a man's execution, regardless of the justice of his prosecution, is forbidden by the moral law of Christ, for to assist at the killing of a man is almost the same as killing him."

~ Msgr. Stewart Swetland in
Where Justice and Mercy Meet:
Catholic Opposition to the Death Penalty

Proclaiming the good news of hope is our call. Let us all work for life in restorative ways and challenge our society's laws that take life.

In this August 2013 newsletter you will find:

Karen Clifton
Executive Director

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Facebook like logoRemember to "like" CMN on Facebook and follow CMN on Twitter to catch CMN in the news and keep up with latest in Church efforts to end the death penalty. CMN was featured in the National Catholic Reporter during a Q&A with Cathy Jarboe, and just this week, our Executive Director Karen Clifton was interviewed in Religion News.

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CMN and The Catholic University of America School of Law in Washington, D.C., will be hosting a national conference entitled "Where Justice and Mercy Meet: Catholic Opposition to the Death Penalty." There will be panel discussions featuring Mount Saint Mary's University professors and authors, including CMN's Vicki Schieber. There will also be a keynote address by noted Catholic anti-death penalty advocate Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ. More information will be forthcoming soon on our website about this exciting educational event.

In the meantime, you can purchase the book of the same name, which was co-edited by Vicki.

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Renewing A Culture of Life

This October the Catholic Church throughout the United States will observe Respect Life Month, a commemoration that is now in its 42nd year. Beginning October 6, Respect Life Sunday, our nation's Catholics will be called to renew their personal commitment to defend all human life. Our resources can help your parish community consider the sanctity of all life: 

  • Our booklet - Renewing the Culture of Life: The Death Penalty, Restorative Justice and Catholic Social Teaching - shares Church teaching against the death penalty referencing recent papal statements and the Scriptures. It is a great resource for distributing after Mass or at pro-life exhibit tables and is available in English and Spanish. You may order these via our mail / fax form here. CMN also has prayer cards (English and Spanish) and prayer vigils.

  • Share our Spanish language podcasts – 2- to 3-minute educational pieces – in your communities or with your local Catholic Spanish radio station. Exoneree Juan Melendez also shares his powerful story in Spanish in this video.

View more resources. 

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By Rachael Hudak, Special Projects Manager for Sister Helen Prejean, DePaul University

As public support for the death penalty declines and more states move toward ending the death penalty, DePaul University in Chicago has joined the national effort to change hearts and minds. DePaul has formalized its relationship with Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, and the Ministry Against the Death Penalty (MADP), joining in the organization’s mission to create systemic change through education, advocacy, discourse, prison reform, and abolition of the death penalty throughout the United States.

The Office of Mission and Values at DePaul University will coordinate national programs and events surrounding the 20th anniversary of the book Dead Man Walking, share a monthly e-newsletter to expand discourse on the death penalty, and promote engagement with Sister Helen’s archives, now stored at DePaul Unriversity.

Read more.

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We are grateful for the gift of a $50,000 Matching Grant Challenge from the Congregation of St. Joseph. Their loving actions are in their gift. Please join the Sisters and help us continue our mission to teach the heart of the Gospel on the dignity of all life and the need to restore communities to wholeness. Each CMN donation received (now through July 1, 2014) will be equally matched by CSJ Ministries. All individual contributions will be doubled. Now, more than ever, your donation will help us continue to create and distribute our many educational and inspirational resources – like the new ones in this newsletter. With your help, CMN continues to lift up the Catholic voice to end the death penalty. Click below to donate today!

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What's Happening Nexit for CMN

August 16-18: Bi-national Respect Life and Evangelization Hispanic Congress (Dallas, Texas)

CMN’s Sr. Ilaria will be participating in the Bi-national Respect Life and Evangelization Hispanic Congress, organized by the Dioceses of Dallas and Phoenix. The conference will provide an opportunity for the Hispanic community to reach those in other dioceses and spread the pro-life, anti-death penalty message. For more information, visit their website.

August 26-29: National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors for Hispanic Ministry Conference (Las Vegas, NV)

CMN’s Sr. Ilaria will be exhibiting at the National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors for Hispanic Ministry Conference. At the event, those in Hispanic ministry will have the opportunity to learn from each other and participate in a dialogue about ways to further the mission of Christ in the United States. To register, visit their website.

September 13-14: North Carolina Eucharistic Congress (Charlotte, NC)

CMN’s Sr. Ilaria will be attending this event, themed “The Mystery of Faith, Open the Door to Christ.” In the past, the Congress attracted more than 10,000 attendees each year. Topics presented at the event include Catholic parenting, myths about the Catholic church, opening your heart to Christ and more. View the conference website.

November 9: Where Justice and Mercy Meet: Catholic Opposition to the Death Penalty Conference (Washington, DC)

Be sure to save this date and view additional information about this event elsewhere in this newsletter.

Want to know what else we're up to? Check out our full Calendar of Events.

Take Note: Upcoming Events

South Dakota: The ninth annual South Dakota Pax Christi Peace Conference Sept. 28 will feature keynote speaker, Marie Dennis, President of Pax Christi International and Ambassador of Pax Christi USA. There will be a “Readers Rendition of Dead Man Walking” to introduce South Dakotans for Alternatives to Death Penalty, presented by Deacon Denny Davis. The event is open to the public and all those interested in peace and justice are encouraged to attend. For more information or to register, contact Sr. Kay O’Neil by e-mail or by phone at (507) 665-6135.

If you have an event that your local Catholic organization is presenting or sponsoring on the death penalty or on a restorative justice topic and you would like it to appear in our CMN newsletter, please send us the relevant information, including flyers and complete descriptions of the event at least four weeks in advance. CMN may edit or choose not to publish any submission.



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Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Use of the Death Penalty
3025 4th Street, NE
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(202) 541-5290
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