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The Issue: Peace-filled responses to the Targeted U.S. killing of Qasem Soleimani of Iran and increasing risks of war

REQUEST FOR ACTION: Ask your federal representatives to work for peace with Iran, not war



The recent targeted killing of Qasem Soleimani, a senior military general in the service of Iran, by the United States and the escalating actions toward war by both the U.S. and Iran bring with it a serious risk of war.  This LAP Alert proposes three actions we can take:

1. Ask  your elected members of Congress to promote peace building efforts with Iran, and not an escalation towards war.

Pope Francis in his 2020 World Day of Peace Message, shared that peace is “the object of our hope and the aspiration of the entire human family.” People of faith are committed to peace and active non-violence as a way of life.  Congress needs to hear that the people are not swept up in war fever. We understand that the safety of our country depends on the safety of all countries, and the arts of diplomacy, not war, must be exercised on behalf of us all.

2. Remind our representatives of their power to rein in this heedless rush to violence.

The Constitution gives the power to declare war to Congress because so weighty a decision should not be left to one man, even the President.  Urge your Senators and Representative to use the power that is rightfully theirs to stop the current march to war with Iran. Ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 2354 or S. 1039, that would ensure that President Trump cannot take military action against Iran without congressional authorization – except in response to an imminent threat to or actual attack on America or its armed forces.

To date, both of Minnesota Senators and Representatives Betty McCollum and  Omar Illhan have cosponsored these bills.  It is still important to let these cosponsors know that their constituents share their concerns and approve their actions.

You can use the following free number — 1(844)872-0234 — to easily connect with all your members of Congress with one simple call. Tell them that now is the time to exercise real courage and choose diplomacy over violence and peace over war.

3. Join others in prayers for peace. 

This Saturday, January 11, 2020,  Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates are holding their 11th Day of Prayer for Peace.  Come to Our Lady of the Presentation Chapel, 1890 Randolph Avenue, Saint Paul at 6:30 pm, or find other opportunities for prayer in your faith tradition.

Past Actions

Thank you for supporting our dear immigrant neighbors.

We are grateful to the CSJ Immigration Task Group’s continued advocate to support compassionate immigration policies and laws. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops support compassionate immigration policies for families. The U.S. Catholic Bishops have “urge courts and policy makers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life.”  And condemn the irreparable harm and trauma to young children, because “Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.”

Continue to:

  1. Be Persistent and Call your elected officials! Contact Minnesota’s congressional representatives and contact them often. Keep telling them you support Immigrants and Refugees. Contact them EVERY DAY even if they already support this view.  Ask them to support welcoming and compassionate immigrant legislation, and to vote NO on any anti-immigrant legislation.
  2. Be a Voice for Justice! Speak up against laws and policies that negatively impact immigrants and refugees including actions separating families and negatively harming immigrant children. Write a letter to the editor and/or editorial for publication in any newspaper that prints an article about the family separation policy.  Seize every opportunity to have intentional conversations on these issues within your personal circles of family, friends and co-workers.  Be a witness at local vigils showing our support of immigrants and compassionate immigration policies.
  3. Be a Champion! Ask local corporations and companies, as well as the professional associations to which you belong, to stand up in vocal support of the Dream Act and legal protections for immigrant and refugee community members.
  4. Be a Supporter! Donate or volunteer for organizations directly serving and supporting immigrants and refugees, especially those working with the children separated by the government’s “zero tolerance policy.”
  5. Be Persistent! Finally, fatigue is not an option. Distraction is not an option. Now is our time to act. Now it is time to do something!
  6. And Vote!

(Suggestions adapted from John Keller, former executive director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota [ILCM])

Thank you for advocating to Stop Rule to Bar Immigrant Medicaid and SNAP Users from Legal Residency Status  

Thank you for everyone that submitted a public comment with Department of Homeland Security in opposition to this proposed rule in December of 2018.

Anti Human Trafficking Response to 2018 Super Bowl

Minnesotans can be proud of the thoughtful and diligent response of dedicated community members to support victims of human trafficking and raise awareness of the issue during the 2018 Super Bowl. The CSJ Anti Human Trafficking Working Group (AHTWG) began working on a response plan in spring 2016. A large focus of the work has been preparing for an emergency shelter for trafficked victims in partnership with Breaking Free, an agency AHTWG has been collaborating with since 2002. The very active sisters, consociates, laywomen, St. Kate’s students & alumnae, and sisters from several religious communities: O.P., OSB, Congregation of CSJ’s, OSF, and SSND have formed a community of giving by collecting items to stock an emergency shelter in the Twin Cities. The group is pleased to report that the cash donations, gift cards, clothing, bedding, air mattresses, ear warmers, etc. will be used during the Super Bowl and beyond to support the needs of the victims Minnesota agencies serve every day of the year.

Although some members of the working group are prepared to help where needed up to the 10 days prior to the Super Bowl, we also encourage your prayers for all victims of human trafficking during this time and beyond the Super Bowl.

Thank You for Advocating for CHIP

Thank you to everyone that advocated for Federal money for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Congress approved on Monday, January 22, a six year extension of the program. State funding for these children exists from other sources but they are insufficient to provide coverage alone to the approximately 125,000 children in Minnesota. Thank you for advocating with your members of Congress.

Continue Advocating for DACA Youth

Continue to contact your elected officials in Congress TODAY asking for their support for DACA youth and to pass clean DREAM Act bi-partisan legislation. There are many ways to get involved and one simply way is to take action NOW with NETWORK, Advocates for Justice inspired by Catholic Sisters  or get involved with the CSJ Immigration Task Group.


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