Thursday, September 03, 2015

Tenderlove Community Center Invites you to Kids Craft Fair on Saturday

The Tenderlove Community Center, an organization that helps homeless, near homeless and low-income women achieve stable, self-supporting lives for themselves and their families, invites you to its Kids Craft Fair on Saturday September 5, 1-5 p,m, at 3600 4th St. NW (map). .Purchase unique kids clothing and other items made by TLCC family.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Albuquerque Faith Communities Examine Teachings of Pope Francis

Dominican Ecclesial Institute Invites You to Journey with Francis
The Dominican Ecclesial Institute announces a new series, entitled Journey with Francis, coordinated with Pope Francis’s visit to the United States

The series will take place on  Tuesdays,
September 8, 15, 22 and 29
6:00 – 7:30 pm
UNM Continuing Education
1634 University Blvd NE
South of I-40 & Menaul (East of I-25)
North of Indian School

Learn about, reflect on, and imagine the future of the Catholic Church under the inspiration of Pope Francis

Four unique sessions led by Professor Richard L. Wood, UNM Department of Sociology and former director of the UNM Religious Studies Program (Dr. Wood is an active Catholic and serves as a pro bono advisor to the U.S. Bishops’ Catholic Campaign for Human Development)

  • D+E+I Members from nearly twenty parishes College Students, Parish Councils, Faculty, Religious, Deacons, Priests, Catholic Center
  • Groups focusing on Social / Gospel Justice, Religious Formation, and Ecumenism
  • Your friends and neighbors
Email your name and contact information to D+E+I:, or call Shirley Theriot 505.243.0525. Complimentary Registration; Donations accepted

New Mexico Interfaith Dialogue to Host Session on Laudato Si
Laudato Si, Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment will be the topic of the next monthly meeting of New Mexico Interfaith Dialogue on Thursday, September 17, in the Pavilion at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, 601 Montaño Road NW (map) in Albuquerque, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All are welcome

The discussion will center on  messages about intertwined social and environmental ecology that may be included in the Pope's addresses to Congress September 24 and the United Nations the following day. Father Joseph Brinton, the new Rector of St. Michael’s, will join in the discussion for at least part of the meeting.

The monthly meetings have been moved to a later time to allow people who work to participate, and to accommodate Muslim Asr prayer time.

While Laudato Si has received a lot of attention lately, other faith communities have issued statements on climate change and environmental protection.  Here are links to A Rabbinic Letter on the Climate Change Crisis (2015), Jewish Values and the Position of the Reform Jewish Movement on Climate Change (2009),  Islamic Declaration on Climate Change (2012),  Islamic Faith Statement on the Ecology (2003), Islamic Declaration on Sustainable Development (2002), and Episcopalians Confronting Climate Change.  Here is a comprehensive list of Climate Change Statements from World Religions from The Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Tweets from the #FrancisFactor Conference in Albuquerque

Below are a handful of tweets from "The Francis Factor: How St. Francis & Pope Francis are Changing the World," featuring Richard Rohr, Shane Claiborne, and Ilia Delio

Monday, August 31, 2015

Prayer for the Care of Creation

Tomorrow, September 1, we celebebrate World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Join us in solidarity with with others around the world, including The Philippines  to pray for our good stewardship of God’s gift of creation! The video above, recommended by Catholics Confront Global Poverty,  comes via Catholic Relief Services. And here is a list of resources from Jesuits Northeast Province. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) recommends the follow prayer from St. Francis of Asissi

Canticle of the Sun
O most High, almighty, good Lord God,
to you belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing!
Praised be my Lord God with all creatures;
and especially our brother the sun,
which brings us the day, and the light;
fair is he, and shining with a very great splendor: O Lord, he signifies you to us!

Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon,
and for the stars,
which God has set clear and lovely in heaven.

Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind,
and for air and cloud, calms and all weather,
by which you uphold in life all creatures.
Praised be my Lord for our sister water,
which is very serviceable to us,
and humble, and precious, and clean.

Praised be my Lord for brother fire,
through which you give us light in the darkness:
and he is bright, and pleasant, and very mighty,
and strong.

Praised be my Lord for our mother the Earth,
which sustains us and keeps us,
and yields divers fruits, and flowers of
many colors, and grass.

Praised be my Lord for all those who pardon
one another for God's love's sake,
and who endure weakness and tribulation;
blessed are they who peaceably shall endure,
for you, O most High, shall give them a crown!

Praised be my Lord for our sister,
the death of the body, from which no one escapes.
Woe to him who dies in mortal sin!
Blessed are they who are found walking by your
most holy will,
for the second death shall have no power to do
them harm.

Praise you, and bless you the Lord, and give thanks to God, and serve God with great humility.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Norbertine Father Speaks on Laudato Si

This video was taken at "Protecting Our Common Home," an interfaith discussion on how to put Laudato Si, Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment, into action.  Norbertine Father Bob Campbell offered a great reflection.  (Apologies for the less-than-optimum quality of the video, taken with a handheld camera and no tripod.  Also, the video shows only seven minutes of the 10-minute reflection).   

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sister Simone Campbell Urges us to Engage in Holy Curiousity and Sacred Gossip

"Faith calls us in the Christian tradition to carry Jesus into the marketplace, to ask the questions Jesus would ask now,” Campbell said. “We the people have got to have holy curiosity and sacred gossip so that we create a groundswell of claiming the communal reality that we’re in this together.”

Holy curiosity that makes us ask people those very improper questions like when you’re in a restaurant and you speak to your waiter and you say, are you 8 making more than minimum wage, or do yo u depend upon tips to get by? When you’re in a dress shop or a grocery store, are you all unionized here, do you have good wages? And what I’ve discovered is often, the answer is no. No, they don’t. How do we get justice if our focus is getting the cheapest possible price, or the most possible stuff? How do we do justice in our lives? That’s the holy curiosity we have to ask, where we have to ask the question, is justice happening here? Can we make a difference? But then, the best part, my favorite part is then, we’ve got a right to sacred gossip, sacred gossip where I can tell you, do you know?

“I always joked that the miracle of loaves and fish was sharing. The women always knew this. But in this moment of need and notoriety, I ache, tremble, almost weep at folks so hungry, malnourished, faced with spiritual famine of epic proportions, my heart aches with their need. Apostle - like, I whine. What are we among so many? The consistent 2,000 year - old ever - new response is this ... Blessed and broken, you are enough. I savor the blessed , cower at the broken, and pray to be enough.”

Sister Simone Campbell
excerpts from keynote address to Episcopal City Mission Annual Dinner, June 2015, and comments in ECM Awards Dinner

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Immaculate Conception Church in Albuquerque to Offer 'Church of Second Chances' Program this Fall

Photo: JustFaith Ministries
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Albuquerque is one of dozens of faith communities around the country that will participate in one of three JustMatters modules that JustFaith Ministries is offering this fall. The modules encourage small groups to explore critical current issues within the context of the Gospels and the life and example of Jesus. "In a world that is too quick to encourage rhetoric that divides us from one another, these experiences cultivate genuine dialogue, contemplative prayer, and community," said JustFaith.

Immaculate Conception will offer an eight-week session around the Church of Second Chances module, which shares the stories of incarcerated people and exposes injustices in the judicial system through the lens of faith. This module hopes to inspire a prophetic revision of incarceration that invites restoration, mercy and reconciliation.

This newly revised eight-session version of JustFaith's Prison Reform module represents greater diversity in the voices of those behind bars, includes updated video resources, encourages deeper dialogue, and incorporates Pope Francis’ message of mercy.

The eight-week session will be held  each Thursday evening at Immaculate Conception, 619 Copper NW (map) in downtown Albuquerque, September 24 through November 12, 2015,  in the Guadalupe Room.  For more information or to register, please call or email Joy Dinaro in the church office.(505) 247 – 4271 ext. 3034

In addition to the module on prison reform, JustFaith Ministries offers the Crossing Borders program (immigration) and The Sultan and the Saint (Muslim-Christian relationships) this fall (More details here), but no churches in the Albuquerque area are offering these two programs. Other programs on the environment, solidarity and peacemaking are currently available but have not been recently revised and are not supported by JustFaith staff this fall.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Oxfam Volunteers Continue Advocacy on Food Aid Reform

Amanda Dezan (left) and Kathy Chavez (right) meet with Bill Woldman at Sen. Udall's Albuquerque office
A number of organizations continue efforts to urge Congress to reform our food-aid policies.  This was the centerpiece of Bread for the World's Offering of Letters in 2014. While we continued this advocacy effort in 2015, the main focus of our letters this year has been on reauthorizing the Child Nutrition Act.  However,  food aid reform remains at the top of the agenda for some of our partners, including Oxfam America. Food-aid reform was one of the main asks Oxfam Action Corps volunteers visited Capitol Hill in April

Kathy Chavez, Amanda Dezan and Juliana Bilowich, volunteers from New Mexico Oxfam Action Corps, followed up on those visits with local meetings in August with the staffs of Sen. Tom Udall and Sen. Martin Heinrich to ask our senators to cosponsor the Food for Peace program.  "What the Food For Peace Reform initiative, which asks is that we allow for the money be spent how it is needed," said Chavez, one of four national peer advisors Oxfam Action Corps.  "On food from local farmers or neighboring countries for example, or if they have food and need money we can give them money. Right now only 42 cents per dollar actually is spent on food."

The New Mexico Oxfam Action Corps volunteers found a receptive ear in Bill Woldman, a long-time aide to Sen. Udall in Albuquerque, and in Ane Romero, a field representative for Sen. Heinrich locally.  Both promised to pass on the cosponsorship request to the New Mexico senators.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

End Hunger in New Mexico Summit Around the Corner

The Second Annual End Hunger in New Mexico summit is only a little more than a month away (September 23-24).  If you haven't registered, here is the link. The registration fee is $20, and participants are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to donate to Desert Harvest, which will distributed it to 17 organizations in need of food.

The summit features many interesting workshops, including  Faith In Action: An Introduction to the Interfaith Hunger Coalition, led by Ellen Buelow, a member of the steering committee of the IHC.

Here is a description. "Our interactive workshop introduces participants to the vision and activities of the Interfaith Hunger Coalition focused in three areas; education, advocacy and direct action. Here’s an opportunity for faith communities to collaborate in a common place. Explore how you and your organization can join forces without duplication of services."

Some of our friends and collaborators are also leading thought-provoking and informational workshops, including SNAP and Work Supports (Louise Pocock, New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty); How Our Food System is Harming Hungry People (Alicia Edwards, Volunteer Center of Grant County); Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization: Strengthening the Safety Net (Patty Keane, MS, RD, Nutrition Scientist, UNM Prevention Research Center/New Mexico); Community Bulk Buying Program (Janet Page-Reeves, Research Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico); Food Insecurity’s Impact on Education (Patrick Scott and Jeff Berg, APS Title I Homeless Project, Homeless Liaison staff, and Sandra Kemp, Executive Director, APS Food & Nutrition Services); and Reaching Food Neutrality in your Community by Increasing Capacity (Sherry Hooper, Executive Director of the Food Depot, and Julie Anderson, Food Rescue Manager at Roadrunner Food Bank)     See full list of workshops.

Nancy Pope, another member of the steering committee of the Interfaith Hunger Coalition, will be one of the keynote speakers during the luncheon on Wednesday. Sherry Hooper, executive director of The Food Depot in Santa Fe, and Archbishop John Wester of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe, will also present remarks at the luncheon.

For more information about the summit, visit the official site.

And here are some tidbits of information in the most recent poster promoting the summit:

  • NM has the 2nd worst rates of poverty in the country - 1 in 5 people live below the poverty level
  • NM has the worst child hunger in the nation - 1 in 3 children do not have enough to eat
  • NM seniors are 2nd in the nation regarding food insecurity - last year over 30,000 seniors relied on food banks
  • Every day 40,000 New Mexicans seek food assistance - 40% are children
  • 67,795,200 - the number of additional meals needed every year to end hunger in NM

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A List of Double-Up Food Bucks Locations in Albuquerque and Valencia County

Thanks to an initiative approved by the State Legislature this year, New Mexicans who receive food stamps can use their EBT cards to double the amount of fruits and vegetables they purchase at growers markets. Here is a list, courtesy of the New Mexico Farmers Marketing Association, of locations in the Albuquerque area and Valencia County that offer the Double-Up Food Bucks option.
  • ABQ Uptown Growers’ Market 2200 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Albuquerque (Saturdays 7AM–12PM)
  • Albuquerque Downtown Growers’ Market Central and 8th, Robinson Park, Albuquerque (Saturdays 8AM–12PM)
  • Albuquerque Growers’ Market at Presbyterian 1100 Central Ave. SE, Albuquerque (Tuesdays 7AM–12PM)
  • Albuquerque: Rail Yards Market 777 1st St. SW, Albuquerque (Sundays 10AM–2PM)
  • Belen Growers’ Market Anna Becker Park, Highway 309 & Reinken Avenue, Belen (Fridays 4:30–7PM)
  • Bosque Farms Growers’ Market 1090 North Bosque Loop, Bosque Farms (Saturdays 8AM–12PM)
  • Los Lunas Farmers’ Market 3447 Lambros Circle, Los Lunas (Tuesdays 4PM–7PM)
  • South Valley Armijo Village Growers’ Market Isleta Blvd. and Arenal Rd. SW, Albuquerque (Saturdays 8AM–12PM)
  • South Valley Gateway Growers’ Market 100 Isleta Blvd. SW, Albuquerque (Thursdays 5PM–8PM) 
  • Zia Bernalillo Farmers Market 335 S. Camino del Pueblo (Fridays 4pm-7pm)
Double-Up Food Bucks benefits are also available in Alamogordo, Aztec, Cuba, Carlsbad, Clovis, Dixon, Española, Farmington, Las Cruces, Las Vegas (Tri-County Farmers' Market), Lordsburg, Mescalero, Mora, Pojoaque, Portales, Ramah, Santa Fe, Silver City, Socorro, Truth or Consequences (Sierra County Farmers' Market), Taos and Tucumcari. Click Here to find specific information about each of these markets. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Reply from the Congresswoman

The children who attended Vacation Bible School at St. John XXIII Catholic Community in Albuquerque this summer wrote messages on paper plates urging Congress to end hunger and poverty in our country.  We distributed the 88 paper-plate messages as evenly as we could among Sen. Tom Udall, Sen. Martin Heinrich and Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham. They were almost all great messages, and I don't recall which plates went to which of our legislators. What we know is that the messages touched Rep. Lujan Grisham, who sent a nice reply to the VBS children of our parish. (The children of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church and All Saints Lutheran Church also sent paper-plate messages to Congress).

Here are some excerpts of Rep. Lujan Grisham's reply (with the full letter below)

Children of St. John XXIII Catholic Community:

"Thank you for taking time to make such beautiful personalized messages highlighting the poverty children face in our state and country," Lujan Grisham.  I want you to know that I take this issue seriously.

"Hungry children should not have to bear the burden of balancing our nation's budget."

"Thank you for writing to me -- your passion energizes my desire to eliminate poverty in our state. Together we can work to ensure that no child is left hungry." 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Growing (Not Throwing!) Tomatoes at the Ball Park

No garden (yet!) at Albuquerque Isotopes Park
"For those that only associate baseball farms with farm teams and think of baseball food as consisting of two food groups (hot dogs and beer, or peanuts and cracker jacks), the ballpark might seem like a strange breeding ground for hyper-local, sustainable urban agriculture."  -from article in Climate Progress

If you listen to a baseball broadcast in Spanish, you might hear the announcer refer to the outfield as the yard (jardín). The word  jardín in Spanish can also mean the garden (as in vegetable garden). There are actually a few instances where vegetable gardens are part of the game of baseball.  Five Major League Baseball parks have devoted land for vegetable gardens: Coors Field (Colorado Rockies), Petco Park (San Diego Padres), Nationals Park (Washington Nationals), Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox) and AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants). The gardens are used to provide healthy ingredients for food at the ballpark and to provide a learning opportunity about gardening to young people. AT&T offers tours of its garden to youth.

Photo. Boston Red Sox
Two of the newest projects were launched this summer at Fenway Park in Boston and Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Fenway Farms is a 5,000-square foot rooftop farm along a previously unused stretch of roof behind Gate A in Fenway Park. "The impetus for the farm came from Linda Pizzuti Henry, wife of Red Sox co-owner John Henry," " Natasha Geiling wrote in ClimateProgress, a project of the online site ThinkProgress. " Linda had long been interested in figuring out a way to bring a focus on sustainability and healthy eating to the ballpark, and in the summer of 2014, Linda serendipitously crossed paths with Green City Growers, a Boston-based company that had been awarded a Social Impact Prize from Henry’s foundation for its work in creating urban garden and farms."

Photo: Washington Nationals
In the nation's capital, the Washington Nationals transplanted 180 plants of  tomatoes, zucchini, squash and herbs in a rooftop garden this summer. The produce will initially be used for food preparation for meals served in sky boxes and other premium areas.  "Based on the success of it, we’d like to roll it out to other areas of the ballpark as well," Jonathan Stahl, the executive director of ballpark operations and guest experience, told  WTOP  The Washington Post's DC Sports Blog also wrote about this garden earlier this summer.

Photo: City Farmer News
Community gardens evolve from other small projects.  In San Diego, Luke Yoder, former  director of landscape maintenance at Petco, decided to team up with executive chef Will Todd to incorporate fresh produce into the menu at Padres home games. "Yoder has since expanded that idea, creating one of the coolest features in any ballpark -- gardens extending through both the home and visiting bullpens," said an article in Cut 4.  Yoder's garden has featured 18 varieties of hot chile peppers from 18 countries.  “The pitching coaches and players like to play with them and pop one every once in a while to get them going," Yoder told Sports Illustrated.

Photo: San Francisco Giants
Futher up the coast in California, the still relatively new AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, features a  large area spanning 4,320 square feet, appropriately dubbed the Garden. "In addition to produce, the Garden houses a bar, tables, benches, a fire pit, and two concession stands that serve food prominently featuring Garden-grown ingredients. Produce-wise, the Garden grows everything you’d expect to find in a backyard garden patch (lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini) and a few things you wouldn’t (passion fruit, lemongrass, hops). When it opened, Giants right fielder Hunter Pence — a self-proclaimed health nut — was on site to christen the Garden," said Baseball Park Digest. There is also a great article about this garden in Modern Farmer.

When the garden first opened at AT&T in 2004, the Giants tweeted that they had the first  “organic, edible garden" in Major League Baseball. Not so, said the daily newspaper in San Diego.  "The San Diego Padres are about to enter their third season with one," said The San Diego Union-Tribune. (Not to be outdone in San Francisco, the football franchise, the 49ers included a rooftop garden at their still-new Levi's Stadium)

Photo: Colorado Rockies
In the Rockies, Colorado State University Institute for the Built Environment has developed a 700-acre site dubbed the GaRden. As is the case with all the other parks, the GaRden was created to provide fresh produce to the concessionaires who serve food to the public. "The GaRden is on display for the 500,000 fans who pass through Gate A of the stadium each season. For the second year running, it has provided on-site vendors with fresh, hyper-local produce that is grown sustainably and with organic principles," said the CSU magazine Source "The sustainably produced and managed vegetables, herbs, flowering ornamentals and plants."

There are 25 other baseball teams in Major League Baseball, which means the potential for another 25 ballpark gardens in cities like Los Angeles, St. Louis, New York, Kansas City, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Chicago. There is precedent in some of these cities: tomatoes, sunflowers and corn were grown in Shea Stadium, the former home of the New York Mets. The Atlanta Braves and Detroit Tigers at one time also grew produce in their bullpen areas, according to Smithsonian magazine. And the Baltimore Orioles grew tomatoes in foul territory in left field at their old Memorial Stadium home, said The Baltimore Sun in 2011.

Let's not limit ourselves to the Major League Teams.  Every team has at least five affiliates, which means opportunities for community gardens from Albuquerque and Nashville to Albany, N.Y.,  Durham, N.C., Spokane, Wa., Jupiter, Fla., Portland, Me., Dayton, Oh, Missoula, Mt., and dozens of other cities.

The gardens go beyond the promotion of healthy eating.  “These practices are an entryway to so many environmental issues, from water scarcity to agriculture and chemical impacts on our land,” Alice Henry told ClimateProgress.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Promoting the Use of Double-Up Food Bucks for Produce in New Mexico

The Sunday Railyards Market is a Double-up Food Bucks site
HB93 appropriated nearly $365,000 for families that receive support via the Supplemental Nutrition Food Assistance Program (SNAP). Farm to Table, the New Mexico Food and Agriculture Policy Council, the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-New Mexico and other organizations strongly supported the initiative during the past legislative session. The measure gained broad support from both parties in the State Legislature.

This benefit is new this year, so chances are that many SNAP participants have not heard about this program that basically doubles the amount of money that can be used for fresh fruits and vegetables with food stamps via the 34 New Mexico Growers markets throughout the state.

 "It’s easy with Double Up Food Bucks! For example, if you spend $10 from your SNAP EBT Card at a participating farmers market, we give you another $10 to buy fresh fruits and veggies grown in New Mexico," said the New Mexico Farmers Marketing Association (NMFMA) which benefits because SNAP participants would purchase locally grown produce. "If you spend $25 from your SNAP EBT Card, we give you another $25 for fresh New Mexico-grown fruits and vegetables. It’s that easy! Some farmers’ markets may have a limit for daily Double Up purchases, others may not. Check with the folks at your local farmers’ market information table to find out!

While this benefit is wonderful and offers a way for many families in New Mexico to gain access to fresh produce, there is a provision that unused funds would go back to the general fund. Most markets close at the end of  October, so about two-a-half months remain before this benefit runs. And really, the best time to use it is now, when tomatoes,squash, peaches, cucumbers and chiles and other good things are available. Apples will be available in September.

So how do we increase participation?  One way is to spread the word, and the NMFMA has a handy link  that enables SNAP participants and anyone who provides assistance to Find a Location by simply entering a zip code.

For more information and ideas on how to spread the word, check out the NMFMA's Double Up Food Bucks site.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Message of Pope Francis in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe

  “An authentic faith always implies a deep desire to change the world...”  - Pope Francis

The organizers of the upcoming Parish Social Ministry Conference in Albuquerque pose the question How does your faith call you to change the world?

There is no single answer, but many options. They include:  Global solidarity...the new Encyclical Laudato Si...keeping your spiritual center...consistent ethic of life...using media and technology for social mission...engaging youth and young adults solidarity.. exploring Communities of Salt and to be a voice of the poor...immigration and migration..Catholic social to form a social concerns committee...  

Those options represent the themes of some of the workshops that will be offered at the Parish Social Ministry Conference, entitled "Sowing Seeds of Love in Action," on Saturday, Sept. 19, at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Community, 5415 Fortuna Rd. NW, Albuquerque (map), 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. A Mass will follow at 5:00 p.m. The conference, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe Office of Social Justice and Respect Life and the Annual Catholic Appeal, will also feature national speakers from Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and St. Vincent de Paul as well as local speakers.

Registration cost of $10 includes a light breakfast and lunch  Scholarships available  Register via email ( or call 505-831-8205  (Online registration option will soon be available on the Web site of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe)
Please register by Monday, September 14