Opinions

Adorers to Appeal Judge’s Decision in Pipeline Case

The Adorers are disappointed that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania determined on Sept. 28 that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the claims they filed against Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line (Transco) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The Adorers’ claims arise out of Transco’s decision to condemn the Sisters’ property in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to construct its Atlantic Sunrise pipeline to transport fossil fuels being extracted through fracking.

At issue in this case is the Adorers’ deeply held religious belief that the Earth is God’s creation.

Pockets of Peace

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

On Friday, Sept. 15, the city of St. Louis erupted in protests after a judge acquitted a white, former St. Louis police officer of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a black man in 2011.

While most of the protests were peaceful by day, once darkness fell, some demonstrators resorted to violence and destruction of property in some city and inner-ring suburban neighborhoods. On Saturday, the city block where I live had its annual block party, and it was a scene of calm, neighborliness, and fun on a warm September evening.

The American Ideal of Liberty: Help the Dreamers

Our Sisters have plenty to say about President Trump’s recent decision to rescind DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — that protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children. The matter is now left to Congress, but with hurricane relief, tax reform and everything else on its plate, can Congress act in time?

We’re posting some thoughts and concerns (in this order) from Sisters Maria Hughes, Kris Schrader, and Bernadine Wessel.

 

Sister Maria Hughes showing her support for “Dreamers”

Remembering Nallely and other Dreamers

On Tuesday, President Trump rescinded a government program known as DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — that protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children. Sister Cecilia Marie Hellmann, ASC, who worked with immigrants as coordinator for the Diocese of Belleville, Ill., Office of Hispanic Ministry for 16 years, shares her thoughts.

By Sister Cecilia Marie Hellmann, ASC

On July 29, a young woman who has DACA status shared her story with more than 100 persons gathered at our center in Ruma,

What does it mean to be Christian? Reflections from a nun.

“How many people continue today in a wayward life because they find no one willing to look at them in a different way, with the eyes — or better yet — with the heart of God, meaning with hope? … Jesus sees the possibility of a resurrection even in those who have made so many wrong choices….I think about so many Catholics who think they are perfect and scorn others. This is sad.” – Pope Francis

By Sister Fran Schumer, ASC

In a recent talk about hope,

Each of Us Can Do Something to Avert Climate Change

 

By Sister JoAnn Mark, ASC

Sister JoAnn is executive director of the Partnership for Global Justice, a coalition of individuals and groups that educate and advocate for justice, oppressed people and Earth.  

It’s been nearly a month since President Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, which is so important for the life of all of us and of future generations.

The agreement represents the first time in our lifetime that nearly every nation has offered a voluntary plan to help save the planet by cutting carbon and methane emissions.

Love drives out fear on this Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia

By Sister Diana Rawlings, ASC

It is not a coincidence that the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (May 17) occurs during the Easter season.

In the post-Resurrection stories, Jesus’ consistent message is “do not be afraid.” Why this message against fear and not another proclamation?

Jesus knew that people react in fear to something unknown or an idea that crashes their belief system. For example, Jesus’ friends and disciples reacted in fear when he stood before them as proof of his Resurrection.

Phobia is an extreme fear of a particular thing or situation,

Personal Communication Trumps Social Media

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

The blog began to flood the Internet in the late 1990s, pre-dating Facebook (2004), Youtube (2005), Twitter (2006), Tumblr (2007), Pinterest (2009), Instagram (2010), Snapchat (2011) and Reddit (2012).

These forms of social media provide highly interactive and often interconnected forms of communicating information and ideas.  Although they are relatively recent phenomena, it seems as though we’ve always been inundated with instant communication.

I have been reading blogs for a number of years and have blogged for our community’s web site for more than a year. I read blogs from other communities of religious women or organizations that relate to the history of women religious and our interests.

Korea’s Division

With Korea very much in the news, we turn to Sister Bernadine Wessel, ASC, who worked there from 1977 to 2013, teaching conversational English to children and adults; translating for migrant workers and encouraging them; and working with children.

By Sister Bernadine Wessel, ASC

We in the West are accustomed to hearing the terms North and South Korea, a division that occurred at the end of World War II.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, Korea was under the control of Japan, which tried to make Korea and Koreans Japanese.

Check Your Sources: The Scripture

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

References to “fake news” and “alternative facts” have littered real news and social media sites for months.

Where is truth? What is truth?

I have been pondering the oxymoron, “alternative facts,” ever since Kellyanne Conway dubbed the phrase in January on Meet the Press in her defense of the White House’s false statement about attendance numbers at Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Clarity eluded me until Ash Wednesday when I had the privilege of helping distribute ashes and saying to each person, “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”

From the perspective of a Catholic,