Suggested FCJM-Participation for the Month of November, 2018
November 10—World Science Day for Peace and Development
The purpose of the World Science Day for Peace and Development is to remember the contributions made by science to peace and sustainable development around the world. Pope Francis reminds us in Laudato Si that we are beneficiaries of tremendous advances in science and technology. This has given us a wonderful ability to address the challenges of climate change, world hunger, prevention and treatment of diseases, and improving the quality of human life. But he also reminds us that “any technical solution which science claims to offer will be powerless to solve the serious problems of our world if humanity loses its compass, if we lose sight of the great motivations which make it possible for us to live in harmony and to make sacrifices and to treat others well.” (Laudato Si: #200) The 2018 Theme: Science, A Human Right, underscores the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable. The theme also emphasizes that everyone has the right to benefit from the advances of science.
We pray for those who devote themselves to scientific research for the common good of all. In our efforts to improve the quality of life, may we be equally dedicated to restoring and protecting the harmony of nature through a commitment to sustainable development. Help us to use science to advance justice and peace and to promote healing and hope for ourselves and our planet.
November 20—Universal Children’s Day
On November 20, 1959 the United Nations adopted the Declaration Of the Rights Of the Child, a human rights treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. The theme for 2018 is: Children are taking over and turning the world blue! The emphasis is on making the world safe for children so that each child can reach his/her full potential. On this day, everyone is asked to wear blue to bring awareness that children are the hope for our planet. The gifts of each child need to be nurtured
and challenged so that each one can contribute to maintaining our blue planet for the future. The children of today will be the decision-makers of tomorrow. This day is dedicated to teaching, nurturing and blessing all children so that they can grow in wisdom, health, happiness and awareness.
Let us pray for the children of the world. May they be blessed with love so that they will grow strong in body, mind and spirit as they live each day. Protect them from violence, war, fear and hunger. Help each of us to care for and inspire the children in our lives so that they can be all that you call them to be. Let our lives be examples of caring, compassion and love so that we inspire the next generation to greatness.
November 25—International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today. Violence against women is the most extreme form of discrimination and is deeply rooted in patriarchal attitudes and deeply ingrained social norms. Awareness campaigns naming the specific ways that women and girls suffer violence and calling for an end to all such violence requires adequate funding and involvement of all elements of civil society. A unified voice among religious and civic leaders, police, lawyers and courts, tribal leaders, teachers and healthcare providers is needed in order to transform the plight of women and girls. We urge all of us to wear orange on that day to call attention to the global effort to eliminate all forms of violence against women.
Holy One, you have created all people in your image. Each of us carries within us the divine spark of life. We ask you to bless all women and girls as they journey through life. Protect them from violence in all its forms. Open the hearts of men and women everywhere so that all may come to realize that we are one in you, that we are all created as reflections of your divine goodness. Help us to open ourselves to love, respect, care for and protect one another—no matter what the cost. Never let us be complacent in the face of violence. Shake us up until we awaken to your spirit and act in love.
November 29—International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
On November 29, 1947 the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (II), which came to be known as the Partition Resolution. This resolution called for the partitioning of Palestine into two states—Israel and Palestine. Unfortunately, today only the state of Israel exists. Currently, 0ver 8 million Palestinians live in the “Palestinian Territories” occupied and controlled by the Israelis since 1967. This day seeks to call attention to the urgent need for a formal creation and recognition of a state of Palestine, with the right to self-determination, access to their ancestral lands from which they are now separated by walls and the Israeli army. It also calls attention to the continued building of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, which have raised resentments among Palestinians and increased the security risks to Israelis. This never-ending cycle of violence and distrust has continued to escalate, and no meaningful conversation or dialogue is taking place at the present time. This day calls all sides to come together to work out a solution that respects the rights of all people in the region, provides for their safety and seeks to heal the wounds and distrusts created over many decades of failed promises. We cannot undo the past, but it is hoped that together we can build a brighter future.
Let us pray for the Palestinian people who long for self-determination and freedom. May Palestinians and Israelis begin to see each other as human beings, brother and sisters who have both suffered horrible injustices in the past and who now have the ability to ensure that each can live in peace and prosperity. Help all 0f us to work for peace through mutual respect and courageous dialogue. Holy One, help us to begin to build the future we wish for so that future generations can live in peace.