Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Pax Christi Summit Monthly Meeting Notes

The following are some general notes from our last monthly Pax Christi Summit meeting which was held at 7:30 PM on June 21st at Cafe Mavi in Summit. In attendance were, Mary Kate McNeil, Pat Franks, Stephen Spiro, Don Hessemer, Kathy O’Leary and Sr. Guadalupe Nieto.

We decided to pass a resolution opposing the Death Penalty in New Jersey to be sent to Celeste Fitzgerald at New Jerseyans for Alternative to the Death Penalty.

Pat Franks suggested that we actively recruit new members who were of a new category she refered to as “spiritual members”. These are members that cannot necessarily attend meetings, but agree with the core values of Pax Christi Summit. These members would be on the email lists and would be asked to contact legislators on particular issues, sign petitions, help communicate events, etc.

Pat also suggested that we make copies of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture available by leaving them in the literature racks at the back of the church. Pat also suggested that we do the same with literature that is available from Pax Christi USA.

Don Hessemer announced that St. Bartholomew’s in Scotch Plains will be holding a lecture series on the seven themes of Catholic Social Justice Teaching. The lectures will be weekly beginning on September 7th and concluding on September 28th. He will provide us with more details.

Some time was spent discussing the upcoming Just Faith course at St. Teresa’s. We were in agreement that this is a worthwhile course as an introduction to social justice and effective at creating awareness and interest. Although the members of Pax Christi may not have the time to devote to a 30 week course it is something that we think is worth us spending some time to promote to others.

We discussed the possibility of sitting on the plaza after the weekend masses in the fall and registering people to vote and distributing non-partisan Catholic voting guides. Generally there was agreement with the value of the idea, but more discussion was needed.

We discussed the format, dates and logistics of holding a Just War workshop prior to the peace vigil that we were already planning for the fall. One date that was agreeable to everyone was October 21st.

The format that exists from the Catholic Peace Fellowship calls for a keynote address on Friday night and the workshop the following day. One option for a venue for the workshop is the Archdiocesan Youth Retreat in Kearny. Mary Kate suggested that if we are to hold something on Friday night that we not hold it in Kearny which will be difficult to get to in Friday night traffic. There was general agreement on this point.

The idea of holding the vigil on Friday night at the Rosary Shrine as a opening event was discussed. Stephen Spiro suggested that we try to get Father Dan Berrigan to speak at the vigil. According to Stephen he does not ask for fee, we would just have to provide transportation from his residence in Manhattan. The group thought this was an idea worth investigating.

Mary Kate suggested that we have another meeting that was just a planning meeting for the workshop and vigil. After consulting our calendars for dates, the meeting was adjourned.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Individual Moral Decision Making for Dummies

I can't take any credit for this one. I copied it from Zippy Catholic.

(Click on the image for a larger view)

The Death Toll that Does Not Appear on the Nightly News

We have heard the daily counts of the nameless and faceless Iraqis who die each day in the conflict that consumes their homeland. Every evening we hear about 20 Iraqis who died in a car bomb explosion, 40 Iraqis in an attack on a mosque or of the hundreds of bodies that are turning up regularly handcuffed and executed and left somewhere in or around Baghdad. However, there has been no official tally, no running count as with our own American soldiers. Perhaps that is because there have been no officials to keep count amid the chaos. Despite several elections only recently has a complete government been seated and it is still remains to be seen how soon of if ever they will gain control of their own country.

Today the LA Times published an estimate of the number of civilian casualties of the Iraq war. That number is 50,000. As a percentage of the population that is the same as 15000 New Yorkers dieing violent deaths over the course of 3 years.

There are four conditions that need to be satisfied in order for a war to be considered "Just" according to the Catechism which stems from a philosophy that was first established by St. Augustine. They are just cause, proper authority, right intention, probability of success and proportionality. I never did think this war was Just but certainly from the point of proportionality, that we will be doing more good than we do harm, I am not sure how anyone can continue to argue that this war is just.

In the three years since the attacks on September 11th over 2900 people have died around the world, excluding Iraq, as a result of terrorist attacks. That number itself should be far outweighed by the civilian casulaties in Iraq. In addition if you look at these numbers and see that terrorism throughout the world is on the rise, that too should dispell any arguments in favor of proportionality. If we draw a correlation between these attacks and Iraq or not. Our invasion of Iraq has done nothing for the overall stability of the world.

Yes, America has not had another terrorist attack since September 11th, but whether that has something to do with Iraq or not, as citizens of the world and compasionate human beings we should empathize with those outside our borders. We need to understand and accept the consequences of our actions. These consequences do not just include the 2500 dead American soldiers they also include the tens of thousands of dead Iraqis and Afghanis whose names and faces we do not remember nightly on the evening news.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Egypt and Israel as Biblical Metaphors for Good and Evil

In early June, a group of us from Pax Christi Summit and Beyond Just Faith went to hear Jack Jezreel, the founder of the Just Faith program speak at St. Catherine's in Glen Rock, NJ. The topic was “Putting Faith into Action”. Jezreel spoke for four hours on his experience with social justice ministries in local parishes and his formula for creating awareness and interest in helping others on a local level. He is a wonderful, engaging and dynamic speaker, so I would highly recommend that if you have the chance to here him speak that you take it.

I am just getting back to the pages upon pages of notes that I took that day. Instead of trying to pour them all out on a page in a single article I am going to focus on some of the topics and themes in separate articles. So the plan is for this to be the first of a series.

Jezreel began with a familiar theme to Catholics which is the root of our religion in Judaism. I had heard this many times as priests and catechism teachers discussed the Catholic Mass and the days of Holy Week following the Jewish Holiday. Jezereel, however, related the strong Catholic tradition and doctrines relating to social justice to the Old Testament beginning with the book of Exodus. At the same time he countered the socialist concept that religion is the “opiate of the people”. Jezereel related the beginning of Exodus to us this way “A group of slaves cry out to God to relieve their suffering. God does not tell Moses to tell them that it gets better in the hereafter. God tell Moses to free the slaves.”

According to Jzereel the Bible is not just important in terms of individual morality and spirituality, it is important as a blueprint for just economic and political systems. He uses the example of Egypt and Israel being direct opposites. He explains that Egypt apart from being an actual place and the book of Exodus discussing a specific time, it is a metaphor for an unjust political system and an evil society.

Egypt the personification of Evil
1. Dysfunctional Economic System- Egypt employs an economic system of inequality where only part of the population benefits at the expense of others.
2. Politics of Oppression- The power strategy is one of oppression, exploitation and exclusion. The oppressed are deliberately excluded because they will act to change the system.
3. Religion of a puppet god – That which the Pharoh proclaims is the word of God is just the word of Pharoh. The religion is simply a rubber stamp on the either the status quo or the policies and desires of the ruler and the ruling class.

Israel the anti Egypt
1. Inclusive economic system – There is an equitable distribution of wealth and resources. There is an underlying idea that God has given us all things as a gift to be shared.
2. Politics of Justice and Compassion- The word most used to describe the Covenant in the Bible is Justice.
3. Religion of an Omnipotent Merciful God- No one can presume to know God’s will or image. No one can presume to have exhaustive knowledge of God.

The Catholic Church has a language of rights which is greater than the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. These rights include, food, shelter, clothing, health care, education and dignified work.

How much of Egypt exists in our current government and our society in general? How can we make it more like Israel? Moreover how much of Egypt do we accept or encourage in our political and economic system?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Granny Peace Brigade to March in Newark

Just in case you haven't heard about the Grannies, they gained recognition last year after they were arrested outside of the recruiting office in Times Square. They were charged with disorderly conduct. They were offered a plea bargain that included all charges being dropped in exchange for the Grannies', whose ages range from 59 to 91, staying out of trouble for the next six months. I am sure to the prosecutors chagrin, the grannies turned the deal down. You might be wondering what their defense was. They said they went to the recruiting station to enlist so their to spare their grandchildren from having to do so. When they got there the door was locked and they being of advanced age became tired and needed to sit down. They were acquitted.

This comes our way from New Jersey Peace Action...

Join the Grannies for Peace in a Rally and March

Sunday, June 25 from 1:00 pm– 3:00 pm

Starting at Broad and Market Streets in Newark and marching to the Armed Forces Recruiting Center located at 31 Clinton Street

Please Join us for a Potluck Dinner with

Grannies for Peace Brigade
Sunday, June 25 at 4:00 p.m.
At the Friends Meeting House
225 Watchung Avenue
Corner of Watchung Ave. & E. 3rd St.
Plainfield, NJ 07060

The Grannies Peace Brigade is the group of 18 "grannies" who were swept up last October by the New York City police, handcuffed, loaded into police vans and jailed for four and a half hours.

The grandmothers were accused of blocking pedestrian traffic at the Times Square Army recruitment center in mid-town Manhattan after the women presented themselves for enlistment on October 17. They told army recruiters, "We insist/we enlist," arguing that the military should take them into Iraq service rather than their grandchildren. They were acquitted on Thursday, April 27.

The women ranged in age from 59 to 91 and protest each week in Times Square against the war. Their campaign, arrest, and trial drew media attention from around the world. The Grannies celebrated their court victory by breaking into song outside the courthouse after the verdict, singing "God Help America" to the tune of "God Bless America."

Asked what the judge’s decision meant to her, Grannies for Peace member, Joan Wile, 74, a retired singer, said, "Listen to your granny, and take to the streets like we did."

Sponsored by: NJ Peace Action, Peoples’ Organization for Progress - Plainfield Chapter and Somerset Voices for Peace & Justice – Local groups who sponsor monthly demonstrations at the recruiting stations in Plainfield and Somerville.

This will be a potluck dinner, so please bring a dish to share, a dessert, or some drinks as you are able.

You can RSVP to: to let us know what you will bring and how many people are coming, which will help with our planning.

March and Rally on Broad and Market Streets, Newark
DATE: June 25
TIME: 1:00pm - 3:00pm
LOCATION: Broad and Market Street, Newark

Just Say No to War

Army 1st Lieutenant Ehren Watada, as expected failed to deploy with his unit to Iraq. Although he is not the first soldier to invoke consciencious objector status and refuse orders to deploy, he is believed to be the first officer to do so. Watada remains on the base at Fort Lewis under orders not to speak publicly and awaiting a decision from his commanding officer on whether or not he should be charged and for what. In January Watada attempted to resign his commisson stating
"I am wholeheartedly opposed to the continued war in Iraq, the deception used to wage this war, and the lawlessness that has pervaded every aspect of our civilian leadership."
On June 7th during a press conference Watada expressed the belief that deploying to Iraq would make him a "party to war crimes".
It is my conclusion as an officer of the armed forces that the war in Iraq is not only morally wrong but a horrible breach of American law. Although I have tried to resign out of protest, I am forced to participate in a war that is manifestly illegal. As the order to take part in an illegal act is ultimately unlawful as well, I must as an officer of honor and integrity refuse that order....We all have a duty as American citizens for civil disobedience, and to do anything we can within the law to stop an illegal war

If would like information on counseling the troops and on conscientious objector status you can contact the Catholic Peace Fellowship. They even have a local chapter in NJ. You can contact
Stephen J Spiro, New Jersey Organizer
Box 4451 - Brainy Boro Station
Metuchen, NJ 08840-4451

The New Jersey Chapter of the Catholic Peace Fellowship will also be at the following events this weekend if you want to drop by
June 24, Saturday.
St Joseph’s Parish Fair.
School grounds, Manning Ave & Westervelt Ave,
North Plainfield, NJ.
10am to 8pm

June 25, Sunday.
Fanwood Street Fair.
Downtown Fanwood, NJ
11am to 5pm

Thursday, June 22, 2006

An Octogenarian and Still a Peace Activist: An Interview with Fr. Dan Berrigan

Father Daniel Berrigan just turned 85 but that does not stop him from continuing to lead a public life and speak about issues of peace and justice. Recently Democracy Now! sat down with Father Berrigan to discuss his life as a peace activist. Here is a link to the podcast.

Wuerl to be Installed Today

In a Mass that is scheduled to take two hours and be attended 75 bishops and 250 priests, Donald Wuerl the former Archbishop of Pittsburgh will be installed as the new Archbishop of Washington DC, replacing Theodore McCarrick.

This is good new for DC as Wuerl is reportedly a moderate and a champion on social justice issues. It also may be good news for New Jersey. McCarrick will continue serving on four Vatican tribunals and divide his time between Hyattsville, Maryland and Seton Hall in South Orange. Perhaps encourage the NJ bishops to put a little more love and compassion into the current legislative agenda and help give them the courage to talk about the most pressing issue of our time... the reality of an unjust, immoral, illegal and possibly never ending war and occupation of Iraq & Afghanistan.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

New Jersey Abolition Lobby Building Steam

New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty has been working since 1999 to end the use of the death penalty in New Jersey. At the beginning of this year they accomplished a huge goal when then Governor Codey signed the current moratorium bill which created a panel to study the death penalty and make a recomendation to the State Legislature on its continued use.  Without wasting any time on the celebration, they went to work lobbying for an abolition bill which if signed into law would replace the the sentence of "death" with the sentence of "life without the possibility of parole".

In the last two weeks both the Star Ledger and Philadelphia Inquirer have run some op-eds and articles that are very favorable to NJADP's cause.  According to Celeste Fitzgerald the Executive Director of NJADP

Two of them address how the death penalty revictimizes surviving family members.  In another, Larry Peterson discusses his experience as an innocent man who New Jersey sought to execute.  And, in a Saturday, June 17, 2006 editorial, the Star Ledger writes that 'opponents and proponents of capital punishment realize a far more sensible approach would be to give the most heinous killers life in prison without possibility of parole...It's time to end the charade.'

Here is a listing of the articles with links to each:

New Jersey Crime Victims' Law Center Executive Director Richard Pompelio on abolishing the death penalty for the sake of victims' families.

Philly Inquirer on Larry Peterson's exoneration.

Larry NJADP founder Lorry Post on the death penalty's "Catch 22" involving victims' families and the risk of executing the innocent.

The Star Ledger: The Death Penalty is a Loser.

Facts about the Death Penalty:

There is a significant risk of executing and innocent person. Since 1973, one hundred and twenty-two people have been exonerated and released from death row.

There is a demonstrated racial bias in the application of death sentences.  Year after year, statistical reviews in New Jersey have found significant evidence that killers of white victims are more likely to be sentenced to death than killers of black victims.

Capital Punishment costs more than life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Capital Punishment is not an effective deterrent.  Studies have shown that there is no relationship between the existance of the death penalty and the murder rate.

Executions cause secondary trauma to corrections officers and governmet officials whose official duties force them to participate in the taking of another human life.

For more information on the death penalty in general and on the status of legislation to bring its use to an end in NJ you can refer to


Today is World Refugee Day

Millions of people around the world today are celebrating a holiday which will not get much attention in the United States. It is World Refugee Day. This is the sixth year that the UN High Council on Refugess will devote a day to recognizing the struggle of millions of refugees throughout the world who have been forced from their homes. This year the theme is "Hope".

Kofi Annan had this to say in a special address
"Let this day serve as a reminder of our responsibility to help keep hope alive among those who need it most – the millions of refugees and displaced who are still far from home,"

Here are some statistics from the UN Website:

* 8.4 million are refugees who have fled their countries due to civil wars and ethnic, tribal and religious violence and who cannot return home
* 6.6 million are internally displaced persons - people forced to flee their homes, but who have not crossed a border
* 2.4 million are stateless people
* 1.6 million are returnees
* 773,000 are asylum seekers
* 960,000 are others of concern

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Our First Year to Date- News from Pax Christi Summit…

I was recently asked to right a few lines for the Community Peace Voice which is the quarterly publication for the New Jersey State Pax Christi. As I sat down to write what I thought would be a few sentence turned into paragraphs and I began to recall all of our activities. I thought I would share.

We have had a rather busy 1st year at Pax Christi Summit. In April we held our first peace vigil which was well attended. We also got the attention of the Star Ledger which published photos and an article about the vigil on the front page of the Union County section of the paper.

In May we held a Death Penalty/Consistent Ethic of Life discussion panel which was co-sponsored by New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. We heard from four speakers, Lorry Post the father of a murder victim, Kirk Bloodsworth, the first person exonerated of a capital crime using DNA evidence, Art C. Cody a Catholic lawyer who has defended death row inmates and Celeste Fitzgerald the executive director of NJADP. We had a diverse group of attendees from different towns including Stockholm, Scotch Plains and Morristown. Thanks to Art and Celeste and their artful use of the language of Cardinal Bernadin’s “Seamless Garment” we were able to successfully make an argument to pro-life Catholics that it is in their interest to support all life issues and speak in terms of a consistent ethic of life.

June was supposed to be a slow month as we had not events scheduled but it did not turn out that way. Several of us went to hear Jack Jezereel, the founder of the Just Faith Program speak about putting faith into action. Cathy Ballard is now recruiting for the next class of Just Faith at St. Teresa that is scheduled to start in the fall.

Pat Franks began working with Beyond Just Faith at St. Teresa on lobbying for affordable housing and for a state budget that does not cut out millions of dollars in rental assistance. She participated in a meeting at Senator Keane’s office to discuss these issues.

Several of us called our Congressman, Mike Ferguson, and encouraged him to vote in favor of the McGovern-Lewis amendment to the Foreign Appropriations bill which would cut off funding for the School of the Americas. Despite our efforts he voted against the amendment. Some of us have called his office to ask for an explanation.

On June 13th the National Religious Campaign Against Torture published an ad in the New York Times against the use of torture. Several of us have signed the statement and allowed our names to be published on the website. I also submitted a letter to the editor of the Independent Press which will be published in the next few weeks about the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.

This summer Theology on Tap, which is an outreach program for Catholics in their 20’s and 30’s has asked for our help. They would like us to help them find social justice speakers for their upcoming programs in the Paterson and Metuchen Diocese and in the Newark Archdiocese. They will also give us an opportunity to distribute literature and make a plea for Pax Christi members at their upcoming events.

In the fall we will be planning another peace vigil. I have discussed co-sponsoring an all day workshop with the Beyond Just Faith group at St. Teresa’s in Summit on Just War, pacifism and non-violence which would precede the peace vigil. I have contacted the Catholic Peace Fellowship which has experience in running these kinds of workshops. I will be reaching out to other Pax Christi Chapters and Catholic peace and social justice groups as well.

That is quite a bit to talk about. We should all be very proud of what we were able to accomplish. I hope you are looking forward to the future of our group and our work with as much anticipation as I am. Thank you everyone for working so hard.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Torture is a Moral Issue

This is the heading for a full-page ad in today’s New York Times op-ed section. It is an announcement of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture which is a non-profit group headquartered in Princeton, NJ that formed early this year. Archbishop McCarrick and 27 other prominent religious leaders from a diverse background have endorsed the campaign’s statement against the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading tactics by our government. Click here to view the ad.

In May, a month that is devoted to Mary, Pope Benedict spoke to a crowd at the Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love just outside Rome. He gave a recitation of the rosary and then spoke of the love God and of Mary as a sign of that love. Pope Benedict concluded by speaking of the power of love and the current imperative for choosing love over violence in dealing with our enemies “there is a need to convert to God, to God who is Love, so that the world may be freed from war and terrorism. We are unfortunately reminded of this by the victims, such as the servicemen who fell last Thursday in Nasiriyah in Iraq, whom we entrust to the motherly intercession of Mary, Queen of Peace.”

Also in May, I had the distinct pleasure of hearing Colin Powell speak. He was not most proud of his accomplishments in war, but of his accomplishments in bringing and maintaining peace. He spoke what he believes is the only way to end terrorism. It is, according to a 4-star general, through small acts of kindness that we will end the fear and the hate that feeds terrorism.

If the Pope and a 4-star general can both choose diplomacy over bombs and love over violence then why can't we?

At a time when the Pentagon is re-writing the Army field manual to remove language that relates to the Geneva Convention and prohibitions against the use of inhumane treatment of prisoners, and detainees at Guantanamo are committing suicide because they have lost all hope, this statement is very poignant. Please tell your legislators that your faith tells you that you must choose love and endorse this statement because torture is a moral issue.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

My Conversation with Mike Ferguson's Office on His Vote to Keep the School of the Americas Open

On Friday, after the House had finished voting on the McGovern-Lewis Amendment to the Foreign Appropriations Bill, I called Mike Ferguson’s office to see how my congressman had voted. At first I was told that he had voted in favor of the amendment, but as I was checking the roll call on the House’s website, I learned that the information was incorrect, so I called back.

After leaving a voice mail for the Congressman’s assistant, I received a return call from Mandy who identified herself as the person who was responsible for foreign relations matters for the Congressman’s office. She told me that the information on the website was correct and I asked her why the Congressman chose to vote down the amendment.

At first she gave some rather vague reasoning about the School of the Americas being a military operation and how Congress should not cut off all funding for it. I made reference to the Schools legacy Mandy responded that there were some significant “success stories” that made the Congressman feel comfortable about voting to keep the school open. I told Mandy that I would be interesting in hearing any success stories for the school because all I had ever heard about the school and its graduates was very negative, that graduates of the school were responsible for such things as the murder of Jesuit priest and the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Mandy took my email address and said that she would send some information to me. I have not seen the email yet. I may have to call Mandy again next week.

If you live in Congressman Ferguson’s district maybe you would be interested in finding out what kind of successes could possible negate the tens of thousands of people who were murdered at the hands of the graduates of the School of the Americas. By the way Mike Ferguson is not alone in the New Jersey delegation, Frelinghuysen, Garrett and Saxton voted to keep the school open as well.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Congressman Ferguson Votes to Keep the School of the Americas Open

Congress has finished voting on the McGovern-Lewis Amendment to the Foreign Appropriations bill. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 188-218. Although it did not pass it is a very good showing. Good work to all of you who emailed called and faxed Congress.

Even though the vote is over our work is not done. We all need to find out how our Congressman/woman voted. I just called Mike Ferguson's office and the aide I spoke to told me Congressman Ferguson voted "in favor" of the ammendment. I told the aide to thank Congressman Ferguson for me. However, I just checked the roll call on the House website and Ferguson's vote was recorded as a "NAY".

You can find out how your Congressman/woman voted by calling his or her office this afternoon. Just call and say "I would like to know how Congressman/woman __________ voted on the McGovern-Lewis Amendment to the Foreign Appropriations bill." If the aide says in favor, make sure to say thank you. Also try to remember to send a thank you note or at least an email next week.

If the aide says "against" you can ask for the reason or you can say that you are disappointed. No matter what be polite. There will be another vote and the idea is to be able to influence our legislators. If they think we will never vote for them they will write us off and not listen to what we have to say.

I will post a listing of all of the New Jersey members of Congress and how they voted later today or tomorrow.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Call Your Congressman- Tell him to Vote to Close the School of the Americas

The School of the Americas (SOA), which was renamed in 2001 the “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation,” is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers, located at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Former Panamanian President, Jorge Illueca, stated that the School of the Americas was the “biggest base for destabilization in Latin America.” The SOA, frequently dubbed the “School of Assassins,” has left a trail of blood and suffering in every country where its graduates have returned.

Over its 59 years, the SOA has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics. These graduates have consistently used their skills to wage a war against their own people. Among those targeted by SOA graduates are educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor. Hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have been tortured, raped, assassinated, “disappeared,” and massacred, by those trained at the School of Assassins.

Among the SOA's nearly 60,000 graduates are notorious dictators Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos of Panama, Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of Argentina, Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru, Guillermo Rodriguez of Ecuador, and Hugo Banzer Suarez of Bolivia. Lower-level SOA graduates have participated in human rights abuses that include the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the El Mozote Massacre of 900 civilians.

For more information on the School of the Americas and a detailed account of the exploits of its graduates you can go to .

Next week the Congress is scheduled to vote on closing the infamous School of the Americas.


Here is a sample script

"I am resident of (name of town) and (a member of [Pax Christi, Beyond Just Faith, other organization]). I am calling Congressman/woman ________ to urge him/her to vote YES on the McGovern amendment to the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. This amendment will cut funding for the School of the Americas/ WHINSEC. It will send a powerful message that Americans support human rights throughout the world and we will no longer support the training of the military commanders of foreign dictators.”

To find your Congressman go to and enter your zip code. Don’t worry if you don’t know the plus 4.

If you don’t have time to call during regular business hours, faxes can also be persuasive. Emails are least persuasive but still have value if that is all you have time for

Here is the contact info for Mike Ferguson who is the Congressman for Summit. When contacting Mike Ferguson if you are Catholic be sure to mention it. He runs on the fact that he is a devout Catholic.

Washington DC Address
214 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-5361
Fax: 202-225-9460

District Address - Warren
45 Mountain Boulevard
Building D, Suite 1
Warren, NJ 07059
Phone: 908-757-7835
Fax: 908-757-7841