We are reminded this “Respect Life Month" of the dignity of all life. Our Pope Francis sums it up with clarity: “I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else — God is in this person’s life.”
Pope Francis also has called us to be prophetic and to work on the edge. The marginalized live on the edges of our society. We are called to be the voice for the voiceless and comfort for the afflicted. CMN thanks you for all of the work you do to educate others about all the life issues during Respect Life Month. At CMN we continue to work to create effective materials for lay leaders, religious congregations, clergy, youth ministers, teachers, and everyone working to end the death penalty. This month, we highlight CMN’s special event on November 9, open to all (and streaming online), “Where Justice and Mercy Meet: Catholic Opposition to the Death Penalty,” as well as updated resources in English and Spanish. We hope you will consider supporting our mission with your prayers and contributions.
We are energized by our Pope’s words. Let us know how we can help you.
In this October 2013 newsletter you will find:
JOIN US FOR "WHERE JUSTICE AND MERCY MEET: CATHOLIC OPPOSITION TO THE DEATH PENALTY" CONFERENCE
Register today for November 9 event in D.C. - or make plans to view the event live stream
The schedule is set for “Where Justice and Mercy Meet: Catholic Opposition to the Death Penalty,” Saturday November 9 at Columbus School of Law at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. The day-long conference, sponsored by Catholic Mobilizing Network and the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at Catholic University, features Vicki Schieber and Sr. Helen Prejean, and other Catholic leaders.
The event is free and open for all – but registration is required here. If you are not in Washington, this thought-provoking event will be streamed online.
Read more and view the full schedule.
MATCHING GRANT CAMPAIGN TAKES OFF!
Donors choose “CMN Stewards Circle”
“I’m proud to donate because CMN has given life to the Bishops' campaign to end the use of the death penalty. Thank you!”
Since the Catholic Mobilizing Network announced our $50,000 matching grant challenge two weeks ago, we’ve gone from having raised just under 3% to over 20% of our goal to raise $50,000 by December 31st!
We are thankful that a number of you have generously stepped up to contribute an amount that makes sense for you. The Catholic Mobilizing Network has received dozens of contributions ranging from $5 up to $300, and because of the matching grant from the Congregation of St. Joseph Ministries, each dollar donated will be doubled once we hit the goal of $50,000.
Here are some of the ways CMN members can participate:
- Plan now to make a special personal or family gift toward this campaign before the end of the year.
- Today, join the CMN Stewards Circle by committing to a monthly contribution. Think of it as if the collection plate is coming around while you are at Mass. What will you put in the plate? All you have to do is click here, and check the box indicating that you want to make a recurring contribution. It’s that simple.
- If you can't make a monthly commitment, please make a contribution today in whatever amount works for you to help us boost the momentum for this campaign!
- Ask your Parish Respect Life and Social Justice committees to make a special effort to raise funds specifically during Respect Life Month, and split those funds between CMN and the main anti-death penalty organization in your state if your state has the death penalty, or a local agency providing services for the survivors of homicide victims. Contact us for assistance finding organizations to consider.
- Ask your Priest to write a check to CMN (or give online) from his discretionary fund.
- Ask others to join you in supporting CMN. When you make your contribution online, you will receive the tools to send e-mails to your friends, family, and colleagues, and to post about the campaign using Twitter and Facebook.
- Donate stock. (Contact us for details.)
And the new name is…
As you know, the other goal with our capacity-building campaign is to develop a sustaining network of more than 100 monthly donors who each support CMN with at least $5 every month. There are now 10 members of the CMN Stewards Circle giving at $5(x3), $8.50, $10, $18, $25(x2), $35, and $50 every month! Thank you to all of the CMN donors who participated in the survey to help us determine the name of our new monthly donor program. And because of your suggestions, we’ll have some more exciting news about the CMN Stewards Circle coming soon.
With nine recurring donors so far, we're looking for at least 90 more by Dec 31st. Are you one of the first 100 CMN Stewards? Get in on the ground floor now - just select the recurring donation button when prompted as you make your donation. Thank you!
A VICTIM'S SISTER WORKS TO END DELAWARE'S DEATH PENALTY
By Kristin Froehlich
When my brother David and four of his friends were murdered in Connecticut in 1995, I was traumatized and depressed. I lost my beliefs that life was predictable and that people were trustworthy.
In 2001, I attended Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation’s “Healing the Wounds of Murder Conference” in Boston. I recently re-read the essay I wrote after that conference. It was titled, “A Life-Changing Experience.” It described some of the tools the conference gave me to regain my sense of power and hope. I learned that grief and pain can be transformed into compassion and strength.
After the conference, I returned to Delaware and joined Delaware Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty. There, I joined with others to find more effective responses to murder.
FAITH COMMUNITY CENTRAL TO DELAWARE REPEAL EFFORTS
By Anna Schuck, Communications Director for Delaware Repeal
Sister Helen Prejean was working with poor communities in Louisiana when she was asked to correspond with a death row inmate Patrick Sonnier. She never knew that starting this relationship would lead to a lifelong journey of working to end the unjust practice of the death penalty in America.
It has been 30 years since then, and Sister Helen has become a prominent leader in abolishing the death penalty. This month she visited Delaware to advocate for Senate Bill 19, the legislation to repeal the death penalty which passed the state Senate in March and is currently tabled in the House Judiciary Committee. Sister Helen joined together with political, religious, and nonprofit leaders, representing the broad and diverse coalition of Delawareans that support repealing the death penalty. The message was simple – with such overwhelming support, Senate Bill 19 deserves the chance to be debated and voted on by the full Delaware House of Representatives.
"WHAT EVERY CATHOLIC NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT THE DEATH PENALTY" UPDATED IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH
This popular, downloadable fact sheet has been updated in English and Spanish. Distribute it at your next Respect Life or social justice fair. Sr. Ilaria Buonriposi, the director of Hispanic Outreach, has just finished crisscrossing the Denver Archdiocese sharing educational workshops, speaking with legislators, and doing media interviews. Check our website often for her latest interviews, podcasts and CMN Spanish-speaking resources.
Esta popular hoja informativa ha sido actualizada Y traducida al español. ¡Descárgala aquí, y repártela en la próxima reunión Pro-Vida o de Justicia Social! La Hna. Ilaria Buonriposi, CMS, - quien dirige nuestro ministerio en español- acaba de recorrer la Arquidiócesis de Denver animando talleres, hablando con legisladores y dando entrevistas. Visite a menudo nuestro sitio web para sus últimas entrevistas, podcasts y recursos en español.
CHRISTMAS CARDS DESIGNED ON DEATH ROW SUPPORT THE POOR
David Paul Hammer spent his 50th birthday in a room with four cement walls, one door and a food slot. For presents, he received a chocolate cupcake and a watch. Once, Hammer was a drug user and a thief. In April 1996, he took another man's life. Today, he’s a paralegal, an artist and on death row at a federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind. For the past eight years Hammer and other death row inmates, have been putting their art skills to use, designing Christmas cards to raise money for children in need. Cherish Life Circle Director Sr. Camille D’Arienzo manages the program. To view this year’s 11 designs ($15/box of 50) email Sr. D’Arienzo.
register early for the national catholic social ministry gathering
CMN will participate in this annual event sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C, February 2-5, 2014. Connect with Catholic social ministry professionals from around the country. Exciting plenary presentations, briefings, workshops, and strategy sessions will focus on pressing domestic and international social concerns and our response as Church. Speakers will include John L. Allen Jr., senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and Rev. James Martin, S.J., Editor-at-Large of America Magazine and author of numerous books. Act now to be part of special initiatives developing diverse and young leaders in Catholic social ministry.
A special early bird registration rate for the Gathering is available until October 31, 2013. To register or for more information, visit their website.
October 17-23: Vicki Schieber Presents on Death Penalty (Kansas)
CMN’s Vicki Schieber will be visiting Kansas to speak with local citizens and government officials about the Catholic Church, the death penalty, and her experience as the mother of a murder victim. Read more.
October 19: North Carolina Catholic Convocation (Cary, North Carolina)
CMN’s speaker Cathy Jarboe will present “CMN’s Catholic Teaching and the Death Penalty Workshop” at this event sponsored by the Diocese of Raleigh and held at St. Michael’s Parish. Read more.
October 25-26: University of Dallas Ministry Conference (Irving, Texas)
CMN’s Sr. Ilaria Buonriposi will be exhibiting at the University of Dallas Ministry Conference. At the Conference, entitled “Walking Together in Faith,” speakers will address relevant topics of faith, catechesis, education, theology, prayer and ministry. Read more.
November 2: Ohioans To Stop Executions 25th Anniversary Tribute (Columbus, Ohio)
CMN state partner Ohioans To Stop Executions (OTSE) will honor their past and look ahead to the future at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. Join them for a remarkable evening featuring Sister Helen Prejean, CMN co-founder, and other notables. Hors d’oeuvres and dessert will be provided. If you plan to attend, please register here.
November 9: Where Justice and Mercy Meet: Catholic Opposition to the Death Penalty Conference (Washington, D.C.)
View additional information about this event elsewhere in this newsletter.
November 16: Vicki Schieber Presents to Maryland Prison Volunteers (Jessup, Maryland)
CMN’s Vicki Schieber will be presenting to Maryland prison volunteers at their Day of Enrichment about her experience as a Catholic and the mother of a murder victim, her daughter Shannon Schieber. The Prison Office of the Archdiocese of Baltimore will be hosting the event.
Want to know what else we're up to? Check out our full Calendar of Events.
New Hampshire: Join the New Hampshire Council of Catholic Women on October 19 for a day of reflection with Kristin Froehlich, a licensed clinical social worker, who will discuss Catholic teaching on the death penalty and share her personal journey. Read more.
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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