Sr. Judy Morris, OP

Standing with Farmworkers

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Every meal is a time for thanksgiving. As we enjoy the vegetables and fruit that fill our plates we can be thankful for the 2.5 million farmworkers who sacrificed health and living wages to provide meals for families around the country. Most of the time I do not think of that reality until I receive an urgent message. Recently I received such a message from the United Farm Workers: "Speak out to protect farmworkers."

An estimated 5.1 billion pounds of pesticides are applied to crops each year, and thousands of farmworkers experience the effects of acute pesticide poisoning, including headaches, nausea, shortness of breath and seizures. Many times pesticides lead to cancer, infertility and neurological problems.

War Du Jour: Living With the Cycle of Violence

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Peace will come when we love our children more than we hate our enemies." - Golda Meir

Watching the news recently requires nerves of steel, aspirin nearby, as well as a positive attitude that things can change. Within a few weeks we have viewed the horror of remnants of a commercial airline with 298 people aboard being shot down by militant separatists in Ukraine. While the world deals with this shock, Israel invades Gaza. Over 500 Palestinians are killed and over 3,000 injured. Food, medical supplies, and water are in short supply. Even though Iraq is not in the headlines, Iraqi citizens are still suffering as ISIS remains a threat. All this, while children from Central America flee the violence that threatens the lives of many.

The Price for Peace in Gaza and Israel

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Two comments come to mind when thinking of the inevitable: "The poor we will always have with us." and "We cannot avoid death and taxes."

Women Face Extremists with Promise

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mossarat Qadeem, Executive Director of PAIMAN ("Promise") Alumni Trust, does not make the nightly news or the front page of The New York Times, despite the fact she has worked miracles in Pakistan. She works every day promoting sociopolitical and economic empowerment of marginalized Pakistanis, keeping families together. Her goal: turning young Pakistani boys away from extremism.

Moms Demand Action

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Good things happen when a group of mothers determine to act on behalf of families. These moms have decided that the gun culture in the United States is a threat to their families and families everywhere and are acting to change that culture.

A recent headline read: "Moms Wholesome Win: Chipotle says "No Guns!" When extremists brought semi-automatic guns into a Dallas-area restaurant, Moms went to work and gathered 10,000 names on a petition in just a few hours. In less than 48 hours Chipotle Mexican Grill responded: "…we are respectfully asking that customers not bring guns into our restaurants, unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel."

Justice in the Workplace Still an Elusive Goal

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life." - Jane Addams

In 1963, when President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, women earned 59 cents for every dollar a man made for doing identical work. Today women who do the same type of work as men earn 77 cents for every dollar a male worker earns. This clear form of gender discrimination should be a no brainer, but isn't. Progress for women moves in inches and has become a political football.

The Slippery Road to Peace in Iraq

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"The reality is that violence and asymmetric warfare will remain a symptom of the new Iraq for the foreseeable future. This isn’t due to an alleged shortage of military capacities, but rather a reflection of what Iraq essentially is: an unreconciled, broken state, plagued by deep ethno sectarian cleavages, weak institutions and a political system prone to relapse toward an authoritarian order."
- Ramze Mardini The New York Times

Standing In the Chorus: "There Is Nothing Faithful About Torture"

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Many people are not aware of torture as a routine phenomenon in the world, but it was this
reality that moved the United Nations to act. On June 26, 1987 the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment began, and the U.N. declared June 26th "International Day in Support of Victims of Torture."

Remembering the Victims and Calling for Change Now

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Every day for the last month, I have driven by a large billboard in Louisville (KY) that announces a huge gun show coming to the city, an annual ritual that draws thousands from around the region. At the same time my car radio blasts, "Guns! Guns! Guns!" with the enthusiasm of a person who just won the lottery.

Gun shows are troubling because they are not required to include a background check on persons who purchase guns, so, as often happens, a convicted felon can go to a gun show and purchase guns without concern of being caught. Those who oppose universal background checks rely on myths to make a case:

The War on Girls Now Out in the Open

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

For sale: Nigerian girls: $12. The sex slave trade received a boost when the Boko Haram terrorists captured 276 Nigerian school girls in the dark of night. Fortunately, a few were able to escape.

There is much to be sad, mad and concerned about in this horrific event. Reports from the area indicate that Nigerian military commanders were warned four hours before the kidnapping that the terror group was on its way to raid the boarding school in Chibok. No effort was made to prevent the abductions. President Goodluck Jonathan waited three weeks before addressing the public on the abductions. He refused international help when it was first offered. The leader of the region recently gave a ten-minute speech of mumbled condolence. He did not meet with the mothers of the missing girls. Too busy? Really?

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