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

In This Issue

World Environment Day

Common Ground

Oceans Day


Civil Rights Act

Farm Workers

Child Labor

Farm Bill



Indigenous Peoples



Gun Violence

Blessed Antonina

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June 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

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Integrity of Creation  

World Environment Day (6/5)

Led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and held annually since 1973, World Environment Day has grown to be the largest global platform to celebrate our shared environment and promote environmental outreach.  This year’s World Environment Day events will focus on land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience. Learn more.


Land restoration is a key pillar of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world, which is critical to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. On June 6 at 1 pm ET (Noon CT), Catholic Climate Covenant is hosting a webinar that will consider the inner and outer journey required for ecosystem restoration. Click here to learn more and register. 

Integrity of Creation

SSND Screening of the Film Common Ground

In celebration of World Environment Day and in support of our SSND Laudato Si’ commitments, we invite Sisters, Associates, colleagues, and partners in ministry to attend a special SSND online screening of the inspiring and award-winning documentary Common Ground June 5-12. Highlighting stories of challenge and triumph, the film profiles White, Black, and Indigenous farmers who use regenerative models of agriculture to help restore soil, climate, and community health.

Official Trailer

Click here to register using your email address and the Invitation Code: CGS-SSND. Once you’ve registered, you will receive a confirmation email and be able to screen the film anytime between June 5-12. We will host a Zoom dialogue about the film on Monday, June 10 at 7:30 pm ET (6:30 pm CT). Use the following Zoom link to participate in the dialogue session.  

Integrity of Creation

World Oceans Day (6/8)

It is all too clear that we need a healthy ocean for a healthy climate, and vice versa, and we need significantly stronger local, national, and international action from both government and corporate leaders. The theme for World Oceans Day 2024 is Catalyzing Action for Our Ocean & Climate. By growing the movement through transformative collaboration, we aim to create not only a healthy blue planet, but also a more just, equitable and sustainable society. Resources for reflection and engagement can be found here.  The UN World Oceans Day celebration will be held on June 7 beginning at 10:30 am ET (9:30 CT). Click here to learn more and register for the virtual event.

Integrity of Creation

New Teilhard Documentary

The life of Jesuit Priest and Scientist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, is featured in an inspiring film about him shared by PBS entitled, TEILHARD: Visionary Scientist. A paleontologist, theologian, geologist, philosopher, evolutionary theorist and mystic, Teilhard’s story and ideas on evolution and integration are revealed in a drama of personal awakening, a search for meaning, scientific adventure, unresolved conflict with authority, and human love. Learn more. Follow the link below to view the movie trailer. Click here to view the full-length feature.

Official Trailer

Human Dignity

Reflecting on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 

Sixty years ago, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed and signed into law after a long moral and political struggle. This act fundamentally changed the United States, enacting legal protections against racial discrimination, prohibiting discrimination in public places, integrating schools and other public facilities, and making employment discrimination illegal. Catholic and other religious communities played key roles in this effort, which offered hope to people who had been excluded from opportunities in education, housing, and employment simply based on race, color, or national origin.


After 60 years, what has changed and what has not? How has racial discrimination been overcome, and where and how does it continue? In particular, what are the key racial justice issues facing voters, parties, and candidates as we choose a future for our nation this November? Join the Georgetown University Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life for consideration of these and other questions on Tuesday, June 4 at 7 pm ET (6 pm CT). Learn more/register here.

Human Dignity

Farm Workers and Immigration Reform

Immigration issues and policies are complex and can impact almost every facet of a migrant’s life. The majority of farm workers are foreign-born. Farm worker issues are immigrant issues and vice versa. Many of our nation's farm workers lack authorization and do not have a reasonable path to citizenship. Learn more about these matters by joining Migrant Justice and our friends with National Farm Worker Ministry on Tuesday, June 11 at 2 pm ET (1pm CT) for a webinar about the impact immigration issues and policies have on farm workers. Click here to register. 

Human Dignity

World Day Against Child Labor (6/12)

The governments of the world are working together to increase investment in social protection systems to help prevent child labor. Despite the headway that has been made, 160 million children, or one in ten, are still trapped in child labor. A recent report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) reveals that there is an “overwhelming” social protection financing gap for 133 low-income countries. To close the gap, development assistance to these countries would need to be more than tripled.


This year's World Day Against Child Labor celebrates the 25th anniversary of the adoption of ILO Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour (1999), which, in 2020, was the first ILO Convention to be universally ratified. Read more.  For information about violation of child labor laws in the United States and what is being done about it, read these articles from America and the New York Times. Watch the video below to learn about Canada’s new law to prevent child labor and forced labor in their supply chains.

Human Dignity

Farm Bill

Catholic Charities USA joined the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Rural Life, Catholic Relief Services, and the National Council of the United States of St. Vincent de Paul in a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate committees on agriculture asking them to prioritize in the upcoming Farm Bill programs that feed the hungry. The letter urged the leaders to avoid cuts to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), including cuts to future benefit amounts, and to adopt measures that support vulnerable farmers, sustain rural communities, and conserve the land. Read the full letter. Let your voice be heard using the SSND Voter Voice Tool.

Human Dignity

Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom Screening (6/17)

In recognition of Juneteenth and our commitment to racial justice, the School Sisters of Notre Dame are hosting a special screening of the film Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom on Monday, June 17 at 7:30 pm ET (6:30 pm CT). This feature length documentary reveals the deep spiritual significance of America’s newest federal holiday. Viewers are taken on an emotional and inspiring journey highlighting Juneteenth as a day we celebrate the resilient hope that empowered the formerly enslaved and their descendants to fight for freedom and justice. No advance registration is required. Simply use the following Zoom link (Meeting ID: 871 4892 1669) to attend the June 17th film screening.  

Official Trailer

Human Dignity

World Refugee Day (6/20)

On World Refugee Day we commemorate the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of people who have been uprooted from their homes by war or persecution. By the end of 2023, more than 114 million people were forcibly displaced globally — a record number propelled by the war in Ukraine and other conflicts around the world. Since the first celebration of World Refugee Day in 2001, the contributions of refugees have been spotlighted while seeking to build empathy and understanding for their plight and their resilience for building a bright future. Together, we can champion their right to seek safety, build support for their economic and social inclusion, and advocate for solutions to their plight. Resources for reflection, prayer, and engagement can be found in this World Refugee Day Toolkit.

Human Dignity

National Indigenous Peoples Day (6/21) and Heritage Month - Canada

For generations, many Indigenous groups and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on June 21, or around that time of year, because of the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year. National Aboriginal Day, now National Indigenous Peoples Day, was the result of consultations and statements of support for such a day made by various Indigenous groups. It is a day we recognize and celebrate the history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis across Canada. Click here to learn more and explore the list of planned events. June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada, a time to recognize the rich history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Resources for reflection and awareness building can be found here.

Peace and Nonviolence

Gaza - Let us Not Waver in Our Call for Peace

Thousands of innocent people have been killed in Gaza with over a million plus people displaced and experiencing hunger, disease, and all forms of hardship. We must not waver in our prayers and our calls to silence the weapons, bring in the aid, take care of the displaced, secure freedom for the captives, and do the hard work of negotiating a just peace. The U.S. has a particular responsibility to make sure this gets done. We invite those in the U.S. to use our SSND Voter Voice tool to urge President Biden and members of Congress to do all they can to stop the bloodshed and move all involved to a just and lasting peace. Letters to the editor are also an effective tool for communicating messages. Click here for assistance in putting one together.

Peace and Nonviolence


We take heart that our SSND partnership with Beyond Borders to address the rights of the people of Lagonav, Haiti proceeds, despite the heartbreaking situation in and around Port-au-Prince. Armed gangs control the capital city with many people trapped in their homes and unable to feed their families or flee the escalating violence. Armed groups are blocking distribution routes and paralyzing the main port. This is exacerbating food insecurity due to years of widespread drought, leaving 1.4 million Haitians on the verge of famine, and more than 4 million in need of food aid, according to the UN’s World Food Program. Learn more about the situation here.


It is crucial that the U.S. mobilize more humanitarian aid as well as enact policies to support a Haitian-led democracy and cease the violence. In that regard, we invite you to use our SSND Voter Voice Tool to stand with the Quixote Center, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, the Religious of Jesus & Mary, the Mercy Justice Team, and others, in urging the Biden Administration and lawmakers to support the specific actions to help ease the crisis-level situation in Haiti.

Peace and Nonviolence

National Gun Violence Awareness Day - U.S. (6/7)

National Gun Violence Awareness Day is traditionally observed on the first Friday in June in the United States. We are all invited to wear orange to honor the communities shattered by gun violence alongside the more than 120 people who are shot and killed, and hundreds more who are wounded and traumatized, every day in the United States. Click here to explore the gun homicide footprint in your community. Nuns Against Gun Violence (of which SSND is a member) has prepared a prayer resource for the day that you can download here. They are also hosting a webinar exploring what Catholic Social Teaching has to say about the epidemic of gun violence in our world on June 18 at 7 pm ET (6 pm CT). Click here to register.

Peace and Nonviolence

Blessed Antonina - Patron of Shalom

Blessed Maria Antonina Kratochwil and the other School Sisters of Notre Dame who were martyred during World War II are patrons of Shalom, our SSND international network for justice, peace, and the integrity of creation. These women religious lived and died because of their faith. Some “disappeared,” some were raped, others were beaten and shot. We recognize the significant relationship between their lives and deaths, and all that living Shalom calls us to: to risk all in faith for a more just and truly human world. With Blessed Antonina we listen to the cries of all creation and we respond in solidarity. In anticipation of her June 12 feast day, we invite you to pray (from 6/3-6/11) this novena which was created by our sisters in the Polish Province.

Next Newsletter - July/August Edition

You can expect to receive the July/August edition of Shalom News North America on July 10.

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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, and Tim Dewane. Your feedback and suggestions are always welcomed. Email us at

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