Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Forced Evictions in Haiti

This week we joined with an international coalition, including grassroots groups in Haiti, in calling on the government of Haiti to stop evictions from camps housing people who were displaced by the January 2010 earthquake, until there is a comprehensive national housing plan in place.  There are still 400,000 people living in camps, and over one-fifth (82,000) of whom are facing eviction.  In the absence of a housing plan there is no place for people to go. 

Just over two years ago, July 5, 2010, Quixote Center co-founder Bill Callahan died following complications from Parkinson’s disease.  This week Bill’s ashes make their way to Nicaragua where they will be mingled with the good earth.  Bill’s generous and positive spirit continues to haunt us here at the Quixote Center, and for that we are grateful.  Tom Ricker wrote a personal reflection about BIll, and we share that here.  A collection of Bill’s poetry will be available in the fall.

Below we offer a few additional updates on Quixote Center activity.

On July 4th the Quixote Center joined Catholics United for a prayerful protest of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ concluding event for their “Fortnight of Freedom.”  The two-week mobilization by the USCCB was intended to protest a mandate under health insurance reform that requires employee health plans to include coverage for contraception.  The White House had compromised on this, excluding places of worship from participation, but the USCCB wants a further exclusion to cover Catholic hospitals, universities and schools.  Meanwhile, polls show that well over 90% of Catholics use contraception.

Catholics United, the Quixote Center and others suggested as part of the prayer service, that the USCCB would be better served to use their political influence on more pressing matters of economic inequality and the austerity plans being promoted in Congress that could have a dramatic impact on impoverished and middle income Americans.  Let’s hope they listened.

Nuns on the Bus concluded their two-week education tour concerning the impact that the austerity budget passed by the House of Representatives may have on communities in the mid-west and mid-Atlantic states.  We celebrate their efforts and those of the sponsor, NETWORK the Catholic Social Justice lobby!

Quixote Center director Tom Ricker offers his reflections on the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.  LCWR is taking the high road with the Vatican, inviting an open dialogue on matters of faith and governance within the church.  We hope the Vatican is willing to take such a step.

Crabgrass Christian’s coordinator Jeremy John took part in the Wild Goose gathering of emergent church leaders at the end of June.  He reports back on a weekend of networking and movement building here.

Our Summer Dreams Drive broke $36,000 in June.  A bit shy of the goal of $50,000.  Well more than a bit, but hey we know there are a lot of pressures on people’s time and money these days.  We will, of course, gladly accept donations any time of the year!

Quixote Center

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