Friday, August 28, 2009

Pax Christi NJ Fall Assembly & Young Adult Retreat

“When you send forth your breath, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth. May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD be glad in these works!” Psalm 104: 30-31

Camden, New Jersey is one of the most environmentally degraded communities in the country, and has been plagued by violence and neglect. While still holding that difficult reality, we invite you to witness some of the creative ways this community is responding and restoring herself.

Saturday, October 24th
Schedule for the Day:

Registration 12:30 – 1:30 pm
Program and Liturgy 1:30 – 6:45 pm
Supper and Garden Social (Optional) 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Sunday October 25th
Young Adult Retrea
t –Come for the assembly, stay for the retreat. There is room for a limited number of young adults to stay overnight at the newly renovated headquarters of the Center for Transformation. For more details and info on how to register for the retreat contact Kathy O’Leary 908-273-0751

Keynote Speaker: The Rev. Fletcher Harper
The Rev. Fletcher Harper is an Episcopal priest and GreenFaith’s Executive Director. Under Harper’s leadership, GreenFaith has developed a series of innovative programs linking religious belief and practice to the environment. An award-winning spiritual writer and nationally-recognized preacher on the environment, he teaches and speaks weekly at houses of worship from a range of denominations about the moral, spiritual basis for environmental stewardship and justice.

Featured Speakers:

Professor Christ Haw: theologian & co-author of Jesus for President

Andrea Ferich: urban farmer & contributor to Claiming Earth as Common Ground: The Ecological Crisis Through the Lens of Faith

Brother Michael O’Neill McGrath, O.S.F.S.: nationally renowned artist & co-author of Women of Mercy

Please send your registration and free will offering to offset expenses to provide this program: Irene Donohue 673 Thoreau Terrace Union, NJ 07083

Registration Form



Phone:___________________________ Email:________________________________

I plan to attend: □ Program & Liturgy □ Supper & Garden Social
□ I am a vegetarian Other dietary restrictions

Directions to Sacred Heart Church
You are strongly encouraged to use public transportation or to carpool.
Shuttles will be provided from the New Jersey Transit RiverLine stop in Camden and the Ferry Avenue PATCO station for more info contact:
Cassie MacDonald 856-448-3044

From Philadelphia Take Rte 30/676E to exit 4 for Atlantic Ave. Go toward Kaighns Ave. Turn Right at Atlantic Ave. Turn left at S. Broadway. Turn sharp right at Ferry Ave.

From Atlantic City Take Atlantic City Expressway W to Rte 42 N. Exit onto 76W. Take exit 2 for 676 toward Camden. Stay on 676N. Take exit 3 for Morgan Blvd. Turn left at Master St. Turn right at Ferry St.

From Trenton Take 295 S. Take exit 26 to 76W. Stay on 676N. Take exit 3 for Morgan Blvd. Turn left at Master St. Turn right at Ferry St.

From North Jersey Take the NJ Turnpike S to exit 3. Merge onto S. Black Horse Pike toward Camden. Take exit 2 for 676 toward Camden. Stay on 676N. Take exit 3 for Morgan Blvd. Turn left at Master St. Turn right at Ferry St.

Workshop Offerings:
1. Introducing the Camden Center for Transformation, with Director Mark Doorley, at the future home of the Center
2. Eco-liturgy with Urban Farmer Andrea Ferich at Eve’s Garden and Greenhouse
3. The Poetry of Peace, with Hearthkeeper Cassie MacDonald at Brigid’s House
4. Art Will Save Us, with artist Brother Mickey McGrath at his Jasper Street Studio
5. Women’s Spirituality and Peacemaking, with “Traveling with the Turtle” veterans Susan Cedrone and Francine Grabowski, at Reynolds House on 418 Jasper Street
6. Our Bodies, Our Earth: A Workshop on Sacred Energy at the Labyrinth
7. A Christian Perspective on Eco-Justice, with author and professor Chris Haw, at his Jasper Street home

Workshop selection will take place during registration on October 24.

The afternoon will also feature a short walking tour of the Historic Village of Waterfront South Camden and a screening of the documentary film, Poet of Poverty, which highlights Father Michael Doyle’s thirty-plus years of ministry in the city.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Volunteer Visitors Needed for Immigrant Detainees

Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”

Matthew 25: 34-36

Do you know what is happening to your immigrant neighbor?

At the present time authorities are holding more than 1,000 immigrants, subject to deportation, in local, criminal jails in New Jersey. Since the failure of comprehensive immigration reform in 2006, our government has instituted a policy of aggressive enforcement which nationwide has increased those held in detention by more than 30% to 420,000 per year. Here in New Jersey, this mass detention policy has placed the bulk of detainees in county jails. Previously, most New Jersey detainees were held at the Elizabeth Detention Center, a non criminal facility with a capacity of only 320.

While most detainees are segregated from criminals in local jails, they are subject to the same conditions. However, immigrant detainees have fewer rights than criminals and in many cases will be held for longer periods.

First Friends, a private charitable organization, has been visiting and providing non-legal services to detainees for over 8 years. We have received permission to contact the 350 immigrant detainees held at the Hudson County Correctional Center in Kearny and need volunteer visitors and pen pals for these unfortunate, confined neighbors in our midst.

If you, your family, friends, congregation or any organization you belong to can help, please contact us at 908-965-0455 or

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Friday, August 21, 2009

We Are One Human Family -Children's Vigils at 11 Locations Throughout NJ

On September 15th at ten or more locations throughout NJ Pax Christi NJ will join the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Immigrants Rights Program, NJ Advocates for Immigrant Detainees and over two dozen, houses of worship, religious communities, immigrant rights groups and civic organizations in supporting the right of children to be with their families. The campaign is being called “We Are One Human Family”. The campaign is designed to draw attention to the negative impact of current immigration policy on children and families. Groups will gather at rallies and prayer vigils to support keeping families together, the passing of the Child Citizen Protection Act (H.R. 182), ending the immigration raids particularly of homes that are traumatizing children, ending the forced deportation the parents of US citizen children particularly of community members who are contributing to our society and “putting family values back in immigration policy”. Locations include: Bridgeton, Camden, Dumont, Keyport, Freehold, Jersey City, Highland Park, Hightstown, Morristown, Montclair and Newark.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, nearly 4 million US citizen children currently live in a household with at least one parent whose immigration status is unauthorized. Many others have at least one parent who is permanent legal resident who can be subject to deportation for minor legal infractions or errors while filing for a change of immigration status. Every year thousands of children are either separated from a parent who has been deported or the children are forced into exile in countries they may have never even visited. The children who are left behind in single parent households suffer emotionally, and financially. Many join the welfare rolls. Some have to leave school to go to work.

Thousands more children are separated on a daily basis from their parents due to US policy of detaining those who are seeking asylum or who are suspected of being in violation of immigration law.
We are holding these vigils because we value family unity and believe that these children should be provided with every opportunity to be raised in a stable and unified family. Please join us on Sept 15th if you can. If not please contact your congressional representative and ask them to support H.R. 182 as a part of humane immigration reform.
Immigration reform is about each and every one of us. It is about what is in our hearts. It is about who we are willing to call friend and neighbor. It is about ending the rejection of our shared humanity which is at the core of the mission of Pax Christi.
For more information on the Sept 15th vigils or other local efforts to enact humane immigration policy contact Kathy O’Leary 908-273-0751.

Monday, August 10, 2009

We Are One Human Family -Sept 15th Vigil Update

I hope everyone is enjoying this lovely summer weather.

I wanted to post a quick update on the planning and the status of the Sept 15th “We Are One Human Family” Children’s Vigils for immigration reform that will be taking place throughout NJ.

So far we have seven confirmed locations. They include:

§ Bridgeton

§ Highland Park

§ Hightstown

§ Jersey City

§ Keyport

§ Morristown

§ Newark

We have three additional locations that are in the works including:

§ Camden

§ Freehold

§ Summit

Our goal is to have ten vigils throughout the state, but the more the better.

If you are a leader or a member of a local group please consider holding a local vigil. We have resources and we will support your efforts.

Current available resources:

§ Interfaith Prayer Service (Abrahamic Traditions)

§ Christian & Catholic liturgy and prayer suggestions

§ Speaker/VIP invitation letter

§ Vigil flyers in English and Spanish

§ Fact sheet/talking points on impact of immigration system on children and families

Resources to be available soon:

§ Template press release

§ Ideas for family/children’s activities

§ Suggestions for secular vigils

Please contact Kathy O’Leary or Anne Baron for more info on resources or help in planning your vigil.