Shalom News North America  
An instrument of hope, formation, and action
concerning priority matters of social justice.

In This Issue

Covenant for the Earth

Environmental Justice

Earth Day

Global Plastics Treaty


White Supremacy

Street Children

Immigration and Human Trafficking

Workers' Memorial Day

Restorative Justice

Mine Awareness

Peace Prayer Room

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April 2024

Dear Friend,       


In the encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis emphasizes that the social and ecological challenges of our day are interrelated (integral ecology). As you read through this month's newsletter, and the social and ecological concerns it highlights, consider how these concerns are related to the Laudato Si' Goals and SSND becoming a Laudato Si' Congregation.

School Sisters of Notre Dame 

Shalom North America Contacts

(If the newsletter images are not loading properly, click here to view as webpage. Click here to download a pdf version of newsletter.)

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Integrity of Creation  

A Covenant for the Earth

After many years of collaboration among leading Islamic eco-theologians, scholars, and environmental practitioners from around the world, the United Nations Environment Assembly witnessed the unveiling of “Al-Mizan: A Covenant for the Earth” on February 27. Al-Mizan (in English, “balance”) presents a comprehensive Islamic outlook on environmental moral responsibility and urges collective action to combat biodiversity loss, climate change, pollution, and planetary well-being.

This landmark document, which was endorsed by the Muslim Council of Elders and reviewed by more than 300 Islamic and international organizations, outlines a path toward a more sustainable future guided by values of compassion, justice, and interconnectedness. Click here for the document.

Integrity of Creation

Environmental Justice Workshops

Our friends with the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) are offering a 2-part workshop series dedicated to building environmental justice research skills. The virtual (Zoom) workshop series, “Awakening to Environmental Justice,” will be held on April 2 & 9 at 4 pm Eastern (3 pm Central). Attendees will learn how to research cases of environmental injustice in their state and how to respectfully engage with local activists. Click here to register.

Integrity of Creation

Earth Day 2024 (4/22)

The 2024 Earth Day theme is “Planet vs. Plastics”.  The Catholic Climate Covenant's Earth Day program is “Healing Our Throwaway Culture: A Focus on Plastics” directing our attention to the growing problem of plastic pollution. Go to Catholic Climate Covenant for program materials.

Integrity of Creation

Global Plastics Treaty

The world’s plastic problem is more pervasive than we can fully grasp. Plastic is also polluting the very beginning of the human life cycle, in the womb. A source of hope is that Ottawa will host the fourth of five UN negotiations for a Global Plastics Treaty on April 23-29Read more.

Integrity of Creation


New investments in coal, oil and gas are an existential threat. Yet the fossil fuel and the plastics industries (which are derived from fossil fuels) deceive us about how they contribute to the climate crisis and create the global waste emergency. They use a misleading practice known as “greenwashing” to give the illusion of taking responsible actions by obscuring the truth about the environmental and health impacts of their products.  Read more.

Human Dignity

White Supremacy and American Christianity Dialogue (4/6) 

On April 6, our friends with NETWORK will host their fourth conversation between Fr. Bryan Massingale and Dr. Robert P Jones – White Supremacy and American Christianity: Moving Towards Beloved Community. In this dialogue we will hear what it means – especially in this election year – to build a better tomorrow by eradicating the structures and attitudes of racism that perpetuate harm in our society. How we can move beyond white Christian nationalism in the U.S. and promote a vibrant, multi-faith, multi-racial democracy where every person can thrive, without exception. Learn more and register here. Watch previous conversations here. (Part 3 is below.)

Human Dignity

International Day for Street Children (4/12)

Millions of children around the world, referred to as “street children”, “street-connected children”, or “homeless children” either sleep on the streets or have homes to go back to but rely on the streets for survival and sustenance. Since 2012, a global day for street children has been observed on April 12 to recognize their human dignity, their strength and resilience, and to rally governments to protect their rights. These rights are enshrined in the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (summary document), the most widely ratified treaty on human rights in history. However the USA has not yet ratified it. (Learn more.) For information on child rights with a special focus on climate change, click here

Human Dignity

Immigration and Human Trafficking Legislation in the U.S.

The U.S. House passed the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2023 (H.R. 5856) in February. The Senate is taking up this same bill. Use your Voter Voice to urge your senators to pass this legislation, which allocates funding for anti-trafficking efforts, prevents and detects trafficking of school-aged children, provides for a survivor employment and education program, and allocates funding for anti-trafficking efforts.

The AEHT/NAC presented a webinar on human trafficking and forced migration as it pertains to unaccompanied migrant children. The Immigration Court Efficiency and Children’s Court Act (S. 3178/H.R. 6145) has been introduced in Congress. These bills will protect children and improve immigration court efficiency by addressing court backlog. Learn more here. Contact your representatives to co-sponsor and pass this bipartisan legislation. Click here to take action.

Human Dignity

Workers' Memorial Day (4/28)

Nearly three million workers globally die every year due to work-related accidents and diseases. April 28 is International Workers’ Memorial Day (in Canada, National Day of Mourning) We remember those who have died, were injured, or became ill because of their job. You are invited to observe a moment of silence at 11:00 am (whatever your time zone) on April 28.

April 28 is also World Day for Safety and Health at Work. This year, the theme will focus on exploring the impacts of climate change on occupational safety and health. Examples of occupational risks made worse by climate change include heat stress, air pollution, and extreme weather events. Learn more about workplace safety issues.

Human Dignity

Restorative Justice (5/17)

Join Catholic Mobilizing Network May 17, 12–3:30pm ET for a virtual introductory workshop on restorative justice. Learn basic concepts and practices related to the application of restorative justice in ministry. This is ideal for individuals who are new to restorative justice and restorative practices.  Learn more and register.

Peace and Nonviolence

Mine Awareness (4/4)

April 4 is International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. With this day, the United Nations raises awareness about landmines and seeks assistance for mine action. The most affected are the most vulnerable populations. Click here to learn more.

Peace and Nonviolence

SSND Virtual Prayer Room for Peace

“Where there is peace, there is God; where God, there is every good.” – Blessed M. Theresa Gerhardinger. 

Every Friday, Sisters, Associates, and friends can enter a peaceful space to unite for the needs of the world. We invite all to enter the room, both for our own restoration and for the power of our united prayer. The Friday prayer room is open 10 am – 10 pm Eastern (9 am – 9 pm Central). SSND Associates will gather each week at 11am ET. Use this link to enter the virtual prayer space. You can also enter the prayer space using the link found on the and the SSND Atlantic-Midwest websites.

Quick Links

Laudato Si' Action Platform

Education for Justice - SSND Link/Password

SSND Action Alerts

SSND International Solidarity Reflections

Alliance to End Human Trafficking

Justice for Immigrants

Catholic Climate Covenant

Catholic Mobilizing Network

SSND Laudato Si' Reflections

SSND Podcast - Called to Action

Laudato Si' Movement

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

SSND Shalom International Network


   SSND at the UN


USCCB Action Center 

The SSND Shalom Network witnesses to the Gospel with audacity and hope as we collaborate to build just relationships and respond to the urgent needs of our times. 
Shalom News North America is an e-publication of the Shalom North America Contacts (SNAC) of the School Sisters of Notre Dame - Barb Paleczny SSND, Colleen Kammer, Ethel Howley SSND, Pat Stortz, and Tim Dewane. Your feedback and suggestions are always welcomed. Email us at

Please only print this e-publication if necessary.