Wishing you a New Year filled with delight.
The reading of this past Sunday speaks of Jesus' baptism. Our Father looks down on Jesus with delight and says, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." We are reminded of our baptism when we were reborn into life through Jesus Christ. Just as Isaiah prophesized about Jesus, "coming to bring about justice to the nations without violence, opening the eyes of the blind and those who live in darkness" (Isaiah 42:1-4,7), we are baptized and commissioned to be missionaries of peace and justice through prayer, service and community. Let us work this year for the recognition of the sanctity of all life and an end to senseless violence.
In this January 2013 e-newsletter you will find:
LOOKING FORWARD: CMN SETS AGENDA FOR 2013
In the past five years, five states have overturned the death penalty. Last year, California came close to replacing the death penalty, nearly passing a referendum in which 48% supported ending its use. Catholic support for the death penalty is significantly dropping around the country — and CMN’s work to educate Catholics, collaborate with secular and faith leaders, and lift up Catholics in the dialogue continues in earnest. This will be another busy and important year.
PLANNING FOR LENT
CMN has developed some useful Lenten resources for personal, parish, community and institutional use that invite us to reflect on capital punishment and how we can achieve the goal of ending its use. We invite you to make use of these resources and distribute them widely. These free resources, including our Good Friday Reflection to End the Use of the Death Penalty can be found on our Lenten Resources page. We are all working to promote the sanctity of all life in Lent. Please send us your proven Lenten materials, like this Walking Stations of the Cross service from the Diocese of Columbus. You can e-mail these to us here.
new RESOURCES: ONLINE WORKSHOP AND LEGISLATIVE TALKING POINTS
CMN’s popular “Introduction to the Death Penalty for Catholics” is now online! A revamped, updated workshop, including a PowerPoint presentation and interactive activities, is now available on our website. We invite you to register to receive a copy of the workshop so that we can continue to be a resource to you. CMN has also posted sample workshops online, as well as Vicki Sheiber’s incredible story.
In response from requests from key states, CMN has also drafted "Legislative Talking Points," brief one-page listings that share Catholic teaching and state-specific information on the death penalty. These are designed to educate Catholics attending diocesan or parish advocacy days in your state. These documents also work well in small group legislative training sessions. Talking points are available for Maryland, Montana and Georgia. Let us know if you’d like to have one prepared for your state.
WHERE JUSTICE AND MERCY MEET: CATHOLIC OPPOSITION TO THE DEATH PENALTY
By David Matzko McCarthy, Trudy D. Conway, and Vicki Schieber, Editors Forward by Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ
Next month brings the release of this new book - a comprehensive exploration of the Catholic stance against capital punishment. The broad perspective of this book has been shaped in conversation with CMN, through the witness of family members of murder victims, and the spiritual advisors of condemned inmates. It offers the reader new insights into the debates about capital punishment; provides revealing, and sometimes surprising, information about methods of execution; and explores national and international trends and movements related to the death penalty. It also addresses how the death penalty has been intertwined with racism, the high percentage of the mentally disabled on death row, and how the death penalty disproportionately affects the poor. There is still time to pre-order the book for a 25% discount, a special offer to friends of CMN. You can read more about the book here.
NEW SPANISH LANGUAGE MATERIALS: SR. Ilaria AUDIO INTERVIEWS
CMN’s Sr. Ilaria Buonriposi, CMS, was interviewed by Abriendo Puertas, a Spanish language radio show produced by the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and hosted by Andrea Acosta. The radio show is broadcasted every Sunday to dozens of stations nationwide. Sr. Ilaria recorded her interview and also eleven segments (4-5 minutes each) highlighting different topics related to Catholic teaching on the death penalty. These will be made available over the coming weeks. The first of the audio recordings is available now and others are coming to our website soon. Be sure to check back soon for scripts of these recordings as well.
DEAD MAN WALKING PLAY PROJECT UPDATE
By Greg Callaghan, Dead Man Walking Play Project Coordinator
Dead Man Walking is more than just another play that a school produces; it is an experience where art and life — and life issues — intersect in a profound way.
Sister Helen’s words in the play’s final moments present these values to the audience for consideration: “Love for everyone, even those that inflict pain. For the family of a victim this is an emotion that seems unattainable, impossible. But perhaps there is some peace in not letting the hatred overtake you, in not letting those that have hurt you continue to do so after they’re gone. If we reconcile, do our memories of our loved ones fade or do we honor our loved ones with a wish for everlasting peace?”
Over the nine-year history of our project, countless students and audience members at over 220 schools have heard these words. Since I began working for the project in 2011, I have often wondered what the impact has been for other participants, and whether or not the experience of “putting on a play” can be life changing. What do the students think? What does the audience feel? Does the discernment end when the play closes?
Quick Quiz: Who's Who?
After reading the January CMN Newsletter, can you name the following persons?
1. _____________ is the Democrat of the state of _______ who has pre-filled a bill to abolish the death penalty and replace it with a maximum sentence of life without parole.
2. ________________ asked, “If we reconcile, do our memories of our loved ones fade or do we honor our loved ones with a wish for everlasting peace?”
3. ________________ is the governor of the state of _________ who has vowed to sign a death penalty bill when it reaches his desk.
For answers, click here.
January 25: CMN will be participating in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., representing the church's unconditional pro-life message of love. For more information about the march visit its website.
February 2: "Captial Punishment: Who Is It Serving?" This discussion, to be held at the Spiritual Life Center, 7100 E. 45th St. North Bel Aire, Kansas, will be hosted by the Diocese of Wichita Pro-Life Office and will feature CMN’s Fr. Pat Delahanty as presenter and panelist. For more information, click here.
February 10-13: CMN will be participating in the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering (CSMG) sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The theme for this year's gathering is "Promoting Human Life and Dignity in the Year of Faith." For more information about the CSMG, visit its page on the USCCB website.
February 11-14: CMN will be exhibiting at the Leadership Conference of Women Religious Justice and Peace Directors Meeting in Tucson, Arizona.
Want to know what else we're up to? Check out a full list of CMN Events.