Vol. 35, No. 4
1) Vessel of Clay: The inspirational journey of Sister Carla: August 2010 marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Maryknoll Sister Carol (Carla) Piette, who died in a flash flood in El Salvador. This book, written by Carla’s lifelong friend, Maryknoll Affiliate Jacqueline Hansen Maggiore, tells the story of Carla’s mission work as she accompanied the people who suffered through violent regimes: She spent the 1970s living under the repressive Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, and when Monseñor Oscar Romero called for experienced missioners to help the people of El Salvador in a time of lawless violence, Carla volunteered, along with her close friend Ita Ford. During their few months in El Salvador, Carla and Ita worked tirelessly to rescue refugees — mainly women and children — amid extreme atrocities, danger, and hostility to the church. Carla is remembered as Martyr of Charity in the local community of San Antonio los Ranchos, which gathers each August for a memorial at the river where she died. Vessel of Clay is a revealing story of the personal struggles of this sensitive, compassionate, courageous woman of faith as she battled her own insecurities. 200 pages, $18. Available through University of Chicago Press, 800-621-2736.
2) Pax Christi International newsletter: Sign up for Pax Christi International’s free monthly newsletter to learn more about its work and the efforts of its member organizations around the world.
3) Water and Conflict: Incorporating Peacebuilding into Water Development: Former Maryknoll lay missioner Jason Gehrig, who worked on water issues in Bolivia, helped create this new resource for Catholic Relief Services. It is intended to assist water development practitioners, civil society peacebuilders, and human rights advocates seeking to integrate water and peacebuilding in their work. The purpose is twofold: to furnish a conceptual framework for understanding problems of scarcity and equity, and to provide practical guidance and tools for action. The text distills an extensive literature on water, conflict, and cooperation produced in recent years by researchers and development practitioners. Case studies and reflections are included to keep theory grounded in the reality. It’s available as a free downloadable file from the CRS website; it includes background on global water issues along with some Catholic social teaching on the issue.
4) Film: “The Forgotten Bomb”: This new feature-length documentary examines the political and legal implications of nuclear weapons, but also digs deeper, into the cultural and psychological reasons behind the arsenal’s existence. The filmmakers’ quest takes us from the homes of hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) in Japan, to an abandoned uranium mine in New Mexico, to an underground Titan missile silo in Arizona. Through interviews with atomic scientists, politicians, authors, statesmen, and atomic bomb survivors, “The Forgotten Bomb” examines what The Bomb means to us all, and why we need to think about it again, now, even though the Cold War is long over. For more information on its distribution, visit www.theforgottenbomb.com.
5) Justice for Immigrants Parish Kit: Justice for Immigrants, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ campaign to educate and advocate for immigration reform, has updated its parish kit. These downloadable resources discuss a wide range of topics, including how to reach out to the media, tips for pastors who are developing homilies on immigration related issues, and a fact sheet debunking commonly held myths that some opponents of reform claim are facts.
6) A Harvest of Heat: Agribusiness and Climate Change: How six food industry giants are warming the planet: This report, commissioned by Agribusiness Action Initiatives (AAI) North America, is downloadable here.