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Blessed Sacrament Province

From Our Leadership Team

Celebrating the feast of the Assumption during our August 14-15 meeting invited us to pray: “You have changed my life . . . and spread before me your vision of fragile simplicity.”[1] We felt the presence of Mary, our sister and mother, as well as all our sisters who have gone before us.

In other matters,

  • The President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization has invited Sr. Joan Curtin to give a Breakout Session at the II International Congress on Catechesis in Rome September 20-23. Congratulations, Joan!
  • Sr. Mary Anne Foley will replace Sr. Carmel Caputo on the Board of the Hartford-based Collaborative Center for Justice.

YEAR OF CELEBRATING THE 150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE

ARRIVAL OF CNDs IN WATERBURY

  • Inaugural Liturgy
  • Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Waterbury
  • Saturday, September 8, 2018 4:15 p.m.
  • Light refreshments downstairs afterward

ASSOCIATE NEWS – Sr. Joan Mahoney & Donna Wuhrer

Central Committee of CND Associates Meeting

A highlight of the meeting was a Purification Ceremony performed by Mohawk/Ojibway elder Tom Dearhouse..  After a litany of prayer to all of creation, we were blessed with the burning of sweetgrass to live in peace and harmony with all. The whole meeting was an experience in interculturality. July 31 to August 3, Sr. Joan, Donna Wuhrer and Maria Vazquez attended the meeting of the Central Committee of Congregation de Notre-Dame Associates at the Congregation Mother House in Montreal.

PEACE & JUSTICE NEWS – Sr. Rose Mary Sullivan

Pope Francis’ recent revision of the Catholic Catechism with regard to the Death Penalty has been most welcomed news to the Catholic Mobilizing Network, a key advocate against the death penalty and for restorative justice. It is also good news for the members of Blessed Sacrament Province, since one of our Corporate Stands is to abolish the death penalty. In stating that the death penalty is “Inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” the Church is honoring its commitment to a preferential option for the poor and vulnerable. Careful analysis of the use of the death penalty reveals that it:

  • Disproportionately affects the poor
  • Disproportionately affects people of color
  • Disproportionately affects those with severe intellectual disability and severe mental illness

Today, over 2800 people sit on death row in the United States and fourteen executions are scheduled for the remainder of 2018. Since 1973, 160 people exonerated from Death row and released.  19 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia have abolished the death penalty.  More and more U.S. states are abandoning the death penalty.  Here are some causes for hope from CMN:

Since 2014, Washington has been in a Governor-imposed moratorium, and thanks to bipartisan efforts, the chance to end the death penalty in Washington State this year is strong.

  • In Kentucky, death penalty repeal bills have been filed in both the House and Senate. Utah is also considering a repeal bill in its House. Local partners in both states are encouraged that the death penalty is in its final days.
  • In addition, both New Hampshire and Louisiana are preparing for death penalty repeal efforts as part of their upcoming legislative sessions in the coming weeks.
  • Severe mental illness (SMI) exemption bills have been filled in Ohio, South Dakota, and Kentucky. These bills would ban capital punishment for those diagnosed with a severe mental illness before the time of their crime. Strong coalitions of mental health advocates and death penalty activists are leading the efforts to protect a vulnerable population.

However, it is also important to note that in Iowa and New Mexico there were unsuccessful attempts to restore the death penalty. Both the Federal and Military Codes of law provide for the use of the death penalty.

I think it is important to review this information because the revision of the Catechism will have a great impact on many Catholics in the US.  Our conversations with them might give us an opportunity to affirm our commitment to the poor and vulnerable as well as to “Walk where we talk.”

 

[1] from A Magnificat of Waiting by Ann Johnson in Miryam of Nazareth - Woman of Strength and Wisdom

 

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