Bulletin Extras
Local stories and or articles that are not available in any of the current printed versions of The Bishop's Bulletin.
Holy Rosary Parish getting ready to host bazaar  
Wednesday, September 17, 2014  11:43 AM
Holy Rosary Church in Kranzburg will host a parish bazaar on Sunday, September 28.

Roast beef dinner and bazaar will include serving from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

All are welcome.



Center for Active Learners announces fall courses and open house  
Tuesday, September 16, 2014  4:46 PM
Mount Marty College’s Benedictine Institute for Leadership, Ethics and Social Justice is pleased to announce the slate of courses being offered in the Center for Active Learners’ fall program beginning Wednesday, October 8. The Center for Active Learners serves to provide short courses for adults who wish to learn more about a variety of topics that are consistent with the liberal arts traditions of Mount Marty College. The non-credit courses are designed for anyone who loves learning and enjoys the exchange of ideas without the pressures of homework or exams. Courses will consist of lectures and class discussions aimed at enriching the lives of individuals in the Yankton area and hands-on experiences.

The fall courses that are being offered are: “Literature of The American West,” Dr. James Sullivan; “Failing to Bother to Love: Looking Behind the Rules of Catholic Moral Theology,” Dr. Helen Ciernick; “Recipe for a Sweet Life – As Easy As 1, 2, 3,” Sr. Margo Tschetter; “Symbols in Stone,” Father Thomas Wordekemper; “Getting Along with Social Media,” Kristi Tacke; and “Gone Fishing: All You Need to Know to Get a Tug On the Line,” Erin Riibe. Courses will meet at the Yankton Mount Marty College Campus and Sacred Heart Monastery.

Registration is currently open and can be done online or over the phone. The cost for the courses is $50 per course for CAL members or $75 for non-members. Some courses require an additional supply fee. Membership can be attained for $25 per year.

An informational open house for the courses will be held Sunday, October 5, 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the Cyber Café located in the lower level of the Roncalli Center. Course instructors will be available at the event and those attending the open house will be given first opportunity to register.

For more information on the courses including times and dates offered as well as instructor biographies please visit www.mtmc.edu/benedictineinstitute or contact Director, Andrew Henrickson at 605-668-1495 or ahenrickson@mtmc.edu.

Mount Marty College, located in Yankton, South Dakota, is a Catholic, Benedictine, coeducational institute of higher learning founded in 1936 by the Sisters of Saint Benedict of Yankton, South Dakota. In keeping with the Benedictine tradition, the college exists as a community of learners. Primary emphasis is placed on the development of each person as a complete human being with intellectual competence, professional and personal skills, and a composite of moral, spiritual, and social values. With an enrollment of over 1,100 students at all three locations and approximately 600 students located on the Yankton campus, Mount Marty College is the region’s premier institution for higher learning. To learn more about Mount Marty College visit www.mtmc.edu. 

Cardinal Sean O'Malley: government report confirms bishops’ concern on abortion coverage  
Tuesday, September 16, 2014  3:22 PM
Investigative agency finds over a thousand health plans covering abortion on demand
Promised "separation" of abortion funds from tax dollars not implemented
Abortion-related abuses under Affordable Care Act require corrective action


Washington, D.C. - A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) “confirms the U.S. bishops’ longstanding concern about abortion coverage” in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), said Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The report, “Health Insurance Exchanges: Coverage of Non-excepted Abortion Services by Qualified Health Plans,” was issued by the GAO, an independent reviewing agency of the U.S. government, on September 15.

Despite repeated claims by President Obama and other supporters that the ACA would not promote abortion, the report identified over a thousand health plans eligible for federal premium subsidies that cover elective abortions. On five state exchanges, every plan covers such abortions in 2014; in another three large states, 95 to 98 percent of the plans do so. The Act’s alleged requirements regulating abortion coverage do not exist or are widely ignored. Many health plans do not inform enrollees about their inclusion of abortion coverage; they do not tell them how much they are being charged for such coverage; and they do not charge a “separate payment” for abortions that is distinct from the premium payment eligible for federal tax subsidies. While state insurance departments are supposedly tasked by the federal government with ensuring that these health plans maintain segregated accounts for abortion funds to keep them separate from federal funds, the report indicates that this is not taking place.

“This report confirms the U.S. bishops’ longstanding concern about abortion coverage that we raised both before and after enactment of the Affordable Care Act by Congress,” said Cardinal O’Malley. “Surveys have shown that most Americans do not want elective abortion in their health coverage, and do not want their tax dollars to fund abortions. Their wishes are not being followed, and it can be difficult or impossible for them to find out whether those wishes are respected even in their own health plan.”

Cardinal O’Malley added: “The only adequate solution to this problem is the one the Catholic bishops advocated from the beginning of the health care reform debate in Congress: Bring the Affordable Care Act into compliance with the Hyde amendment and every other federal law on abortion funding, by excluding elective abortions from health plans subsidized with federal funds. At a minimum, Congress should not delay in enacting a law to require full disclosure of abortion coverage and abortion premiums to Americans purchasing health plans.”

Past USCCB materials on this issue, including Cardinal O’Malley’s letters to Congress endorsing the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R. 7) and the “Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” (H.R. 3279), are at www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/abortion/index.cfm. For an analysis of how the Affordable Care Act treats abortion coverage see www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/health-care/upload/Backgrounder-The-New-Federal-Regulation-on-Coerced-Abortion-Payments.pdf.


USCCB chairmen and NCEA president welcome bipartisan, bicameral agreement reached to reform child care and development block grant program  
Monday, September 15, 2014  4:14 PM
Wasington, D.C. - The chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Catholic Education, Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha, Nebraska; the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami; and the President of the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), Brother Robert Bimonte, welcome the legislative agreement reached by a bipartisan group of House and Senate leaders on Friday to improve and reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act.

The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG) provides funds to states to assist low-income income families or those receiving assistance, in obtaining child care while parents work or participate in educational job training. A vast majority of recipients who receive CCDBG support do so through certificates which allow parents to choose the child care provider and program of their choice. The program has not been reauthorized since 1996.

“This is wonderful news and a testament to what can be achieved when we put the needs of parents and children first,” Archbishop Lucas said. “This legislative agreement also appropriately reaffirms the importance and pre-eminence of the child care certificates as the bedrock parental choice component of the program and acknowledges the critical role that Catholic and other faith-based providers play in this program.”

“The members of Congress, in this agreement, strengthen a program that has worked well over the last two decades and continues to provide low-income working families with the child care assistance they need, from the provider they choose. Child care is increasingly important for family stability, as well as finding and keeping decent work,” said Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

“The success of the CCDBG program and the flexibility it provides to low-income families to choose the child-care program which best fits their needs is a reminder that empowering parents not only supports them in their role as primary educators of their children but also provides them with the assistance necessary to find employment and support their families,” said Brother Robert Bimonte, President of the National Catholic Education Association.

The U.S. Congress is expected to consider the measure in the coming days. According to the joint press release by Representatives John Kline (R-MN), George Miller (D-CA), Todd Rokita (R-IN) and David Loebsack (D-IA) and Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and Richard Burr (R-NC), the bill enhances parental choice in child care options, strengthens health and safety standards and improves the quality of care in child care programs.


Mount Marty College enrollment sees growth  
Thursday, September 11, 2014  3:30 PM
Mount Marty College’s fall 2014 incoming freshman class came in at numbers that were above the college’s recruitment goals. The incoming freshman class was up roughly 10 percent over fall 2013 enrollment numbers. Transfers also saw a slight increase at 8 percent from year to year. Both trends the college hopes to continue.

Vice President of Admissions and Marketing, Paula Tacke, was proud of the result. “Of course we are going to be pleased when we see this type of result in our recruiting efforts. Any time you see an increase it is a win, but to have a double digit increase – that is something to be proud of.”

The new students that make up the class of 2018 come from two countries and ten different states.

“The fact that we are bringing in students from further away proves that we have something very valuable to offer. Our excellent academics, dedicated faculty, and our Catholic Benedictine values are the keys in this success and we expect to see this continue on into the future,” continued Tacke.

For more information on Mount Marty College admissions, please visit www.mtmc.edu/admissions.

Mount Marty College, located in Yankton, South Dakota, is a Catholic, Benedictine, coeducational institute of higher learning founded in 1936 by the Sisters of Saint Benedict of Yankton, South Dakota. In keeping with the Benedictine tradition, the college exists as a community of learners. Primary emphasis is placed on the development of each person as a complete human being with intellectual competence, professional and personal skills, and a composite of moral, spiritual, and social values. With an enrollment of over 1,100 students at all three locations and approximately 600 students located on the Yankton campus, Mount Marty College is the region’s premier institution for higher learning. To learn more about Mount Marty College visit www.mtmc.edu.

Mount Marty College labeled “Best Bang for the Buck”  
Thursday, September 11, 2014  3:28 PM
According to a recently released ranking by Washington Monthly, Mount Marty College was listed as number 60 nationally among baccalaureate colleges for Best Bang for the Buck; the only South Dakota institution of higher education in its category and the second year in a row to receive the honor. This listing is based on the economic value students receive per dollar spent on their education.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/rankings-2014/best-bang-for-buck-baccalaureate-colleges-rank.php

According to Washington Monthly, the ranking takes into consideration exclusive list of the colleges in America that do the best job of helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices. And it is a pretty exclusive list: out of the 1,540 colleges and universities in the broader rankings, only 386 made the cut as best-bang-for-the-buck schools. To get on the list, colleges have to meet four criteria. To read about the requirements visit:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/septemberoctober_2014/features/americas_bestbangforthebuck_co_2051750.php

Mount Marty College President, Dr. Tom Lorang, is pleased to see Mount Marty College recognized nationally for its commitment to making a higher education attainable for students.

"A private education that focuses on a well-rounded result is a valuable investment," said Dr. Lorang. "Mount Marty College is pleased to be acknowledged for the work faculty and staff performs on a daily basis to ensure a quality higher education that is both affordable and attainable. We will continue to make strategic investments to support student success and academic excellence and to ensure quality and access."

Dr. Lorang feels that this ranking is important to parents and students looking into colleges. “This report shows that Mount Marty College is an affordable choice for a quality education. Approximately 99% of our student body receives some sort of need-based financial aid and we recognize that. Students here get personal attention and largely graduate in four years, putting them a year ahead of some of their counterparts with less to pay overall for their degree. Those details are important to us.”

For more information on the programs offered at Mount Marty College, visit www.mtmc.edu.

Mount Marty College, located in Yankton, South Dakota, is a Catholic, Benedictine, coeducational institute of higher learning founded in 1936 by the Sisters of Saint Benedict of Yankton, South Dakota. In keeping with the Benedictine tradition, the college exists as a community of learners. Primary emphasis is placed on the development of each person as a complete human being with intellectual competence, professional and personal skills, and a composite of moral, spiritual, and social values. With an enrollment of over 1,100 students at all three locations and approximately 600 students located on the Yankton campus, Mount Marty College is the region’s premier institution for higher learning. To learn more about Mount Marty College visit www.mtmc.edu.

USCCB president highlights achievements of the Civil Rights Act; calls for unity and respect of human dignity  
Wednesday, September 10, 2014  4:33 PM
Washington, D.C. - Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act has called for unity and perseverance to continue the vital work begun in the Act for the respect for human dignity. The statement was issued September 9, the first day of the bishops’ September 9-10 Administrative Committee meeting at the USCCB headquarters in Washington, and the memorial of St. Peter Claver.

“Fifty years ago, the Civil Rights Act offered an olive branch of hope for equal treatment and opportunities for education, employment, and fuller participation in society,” Archbishop Kurtz said in his statement. “The Civil Rights Act was a monumental step forward and since then, we have made even more progress in this vital work of transforming hearts and minds, but there is still much work to do. The Act itself did not eradicate the legacy of slavery, racial discrimination and injustice.”

Archbishop Kurtz highlighted the work of the Catholic Church, including bishops, in the quest for integration and justice. “Propelled by their values and beliefs, members of different faiths and denominations, including Catholics, insisted that racial justice in the United States was an imperative, no longer to be ignored,” Archbishop Kurtz said.

The full statement follows:

Statement on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz
Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Issued on September 9, 2014
Memorial of St. Peter Claver

“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother” (1 John 4:20-21).

As America celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 this year, I join together with my brother bishops in recalling the heroic history of that achievement. We honor the many civic, business, and religious leaders, students, laborers, educators and all others of good will who courageously stood up for racial justice against bigotry, violence, ignorance, and fear. We remember with deep gratitude the countless personal sacrifices they made, sacrifices that all too often included hardship, violence, and even death. We honor the victory they won after such a long and sustained civil and legislative struggle.

We are especially grateful for the vital contributions of the faith community during this period. Propelled by their values and beliefs, members of different faiths and denominations, including Catholics, insisted that racial justice in the United States was an imperative, no longer to be ignored. Inspired by Holy Scripture, fortified by prayer and spiritual music, and sustained by a love for Christ, a number of Christians worked with and for the poor and marginalized, notably in the segregated South.

We also join our voice to those Catholic bishops who repeatedly spoke against racism as evidenced by statements from the USCCB’s predecessor organization in 1943, 1958 and again in 1963. In the 1963 statement On Racial Harmony, the bishops condemned the injustices of segregation saying that it “implies that people of one race are not fit to associate with another…We cannot reconcile such a judgment with the Christian view of man’s nature and rights.” They further insisted that “discrimination based on the accidental fact of race or color…cannot be reconciled with the truth that God has created all men with equal rights and equal dignity.” A number of bishops—including Archbishop Ritter (St. Louis, 1946), Archbishop O’Boyle (Washington, D.C., 1940s and 50s), Archbishop Rummel (New Orleans, 1950s and 60s), and Cardinal Sheehan (Baltimore, 1963)—worked to desegregate Catholic schools, hospitals, and other institutions, clearly signaling by their words and actions that racial discrimination has no place in the Church or in society.

In a later pastoral statement, the bishops even more directly named racism for what it is: “Racism is a sin: a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father.” (Brothers and Sisters to Us: U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Racism, 1979) The Church remains a prophetic voice and must continue to insist on the dignity of all persons and the very real opportunity available to each of us, to have a personal encounter with Christ and to be instruments of His healing, love, and truth. As my brother bishop, Bishop Joseph Perry has said, “The Church remains the principal source of healing and hope for people... We continue to need from the Church prophets and agents of reconciliation, individuals and groups, laity and clergy who make it their responsibility to bring people together despite stubborn differences and the conflicts that would guarantee walls of separation in our society.” (1998)

Fifty years ago, the Civil Rights Act offered an olive branch of hope for equal treatment and opportunities for education, employment, and fuller participation in society. The legislation promised a better quality of life for millions of Americans who had been excluded from the privileges of citizenship based on race, color, national origin, and other grounds. It championed human dignity and provided legal protections that began to transform communities around the country.

The Civil Rights Act was a monumental step forward and since then, we have made even more progress in this vital work of transforming hearts and minds, but there is still much work to do. The Act itself did not eradicate the legacy of slavery, racial discrimination and injustice. In fact, there are reminders across our nation today that the embers of racial discrimination still smolder. This evil infects institutions, laws, and systems, and it harms our brothers and sisters. We must therefore continue to work against the destructive influence of racism on families, religious and civil communities, employment, the prison system, housing, hunger, educational achievement, and mental health.

While reflecting on the work that has been accomplished and that which remains to be done, I wish to mention the special and untiring contributions of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Last Spring, I had the privilege to join a delegation of Christian leaders at an ecumenical symposium in Alabama where we reflected on Dr. King’s renowned Letter from Birmingham Jail in the presence of his daughter, the Rev. Bernice King. In his letter, Dr. King advocated for strong, timely action to lift us “from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.” I hope we will all continue to strive for that “solid rock of human dignity” today and to honor with gratitude the sacrificial labors of Dr. King’s writings and actions.

In conclusion, the Gospel requires ongoing personal and social transformation. Respecting the dignity of each person is paramount as we seek to spread the beauty of God’s truth throughout our world. We cannot give in to discouragement. As Pope Francis reminds us, “Bringing the Gospel is bringing God’s power to pluck up and break down evil and violence, to destroy and overthrow the barriers of selfishness, intolerance and hatred, so as to build a new world.”

As we commemorate the notable achievements that resulted in the Civil Rights Act and other significant movements toward justice for all God’s children, let us continue to take up the banner and press forward to love one another as our Lord loved us (Jn 13:34). And, as we do so, we recall the words of Dr. King written from his jail cell, “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”


National Religious Retirement Office gives $24 million to orders in need  
Friday, August 15, 2014  2:31 PM
Donations offset retirement shortfall for more than 400 religious orders
Additional funds slated for financial planning
Ninety-three percent of collection given directly to orders

Washington, D.C. - The National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) distributed more than $24 million in financial assistance to 424 religious communities in June and July. The funds were made possible by the annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection, which was held in the majority of U.S. Catholic parishes last December. The collection raised nearly $28.4 million and benefits some 35,000 senior Catholic sisters, brothers and priests in religious orders.

Catholic bishops in the United States launched the Retirement Fund for Religious in 1988 to address the profound deficit in retirement funding among U.S. religious communities. The NRRO coordinates the annual collection and distributes the proceeds to eligible communities. The organization is sponsored by the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM), the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR), the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Traditionally, Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests – known collectively as women and men religious – served for small stipends that did not include retirement benefits. As a result, many religious communities now lack adequate savings for retirement and eldercare. Allocations from the Retirement Fund for Religious supplement a community’s income and retirement savings.

The majority of the funding disbursed is known as Direct Care Assistance, which furnishes support for such day-to-day needs as prescription medications and nursing care. A total of $23 million in Direct Care Assistance was distributed to 424 religious communities.

Eight communities received a combined $1 million in additional funding through a program known as Planning and Implementation Assistance, which provides comprehensive financial and consultative support to religious communities that are significantly underfunded for retirement. The goal is to help these communities develop strategies for reducing retirement-funding shortfalls, thereby increasing the capacity to provide for senior members.

Over the next several months, additional funding from the 2013 collection will be allocated for religious communities with the greatest needs and for ongoing education in retirement planning and eldercare delivery. Ninety-three percent of donations aid elderly religious and their communities, while the remaining seven percent are used for administration and promotion of the annual appeal.

“We remain grateful to the donors whose generosity to the Retirement Fund for Religious makes the assistance we provide possible,” said Precious Blood Sister Janice Bader, the NRRO’s executive director. “With this support, many religious communities have been able to transform their retirement crises into manageable concerns.”

More information is available at www.retiredreligious.org


Bishop Richard E. Pates, of Des Moines, asks bishops, parishes to offer special prayer on August 17 for peace in Iraq  
Friday, August 15, 2014  10:15 AM
Washington, D.C. - The chairman of the Committee of International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) asked the U.S. bishops to invite the people of their dioceses to pray for peace in Iraq on Sunday, August 17. Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, made the request, August 6, sending the bishops the text of a prayer written by the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Iraq, His Beatitude Louis Rafael Sako.

Bishop Pates recounted the struggles of Christians and others in Iraq who have faced the destruction, burning and looting of churches, homes and businesses and, under threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) to join their extremist brand of Islam, have fled for their lives. Accordingly, he urged Catholics to let their elected representatives know of their concern that humanitarian assistance reach Christian and other religious minorities who are suffering in Iraq, Syria and other countries.

Bishop Pates also noted Pope Francis’ calls for peace in Iraq and his observation that “violence generates more violence; dialogue is the only path to peace.”

The full text of Patriarch Sako’s prayer for peace follows:

Lord,
The plight of our country
is deep and the suffering of Christians
is severe and frightening.
Therefore, we ask you Lord
to spare our lives, and to grant us patience,
and courage to continue our witness of Christian values
with trust and hope.
Lord, peace is the foundation of life;
Grant us the peace and stability that will enable us
to live with each other without fear and anxiety,
and with dignity and joy.

Glory be to you forever.


Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders welcome ceasefire, call urgently for renewed negotiations for a two-state peace agreement  
Thursday, August 14, 2014  2:45 PM
Washington, D.C. - Leaders of Christian, Jewish and Muslim organizations in the United States welcomed the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in a statement, August 14. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington and coordinator of the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East (NILI), and Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), were the Catholic signers.

Full text of the statement follows:

As leaders of American Jewish, Christian, and Muslim national religious organizations, united in the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East (NILI), we welcome the ceasefire agreement of Israel and Hamas, and the negotiations to make it permanent. We were appalled by the kidnappings and murders of Israeli and Palestinian teenagers. We believe the loss of even one human life is a tragedy that grieves God. In the recent weeks of war between Hamas and Israel, we mourn the innocent civilians killed. We offer our prayers as well for the wounded and for the families of all the victims of violence.

This tragic escalation of violence demonstrates once again that there is no such thing as a stable status-quo in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ideas being promoted in some circles for returning to the previous status quo or managing the conflict are dangerous. Acknowledging the recent failed negotiations, we call on Israeli and Palestinian political leaders to renew negotiations to achieve a two-state peace agreement, the only realistic resolution of the conflict in which both people can live in peace, security, and mutual recognition. The crucial choice leaders on both sides face now is between negotiating a two-state peace agreement with a new sense of urgency or condemning Palestinian and Israeli children and youth to continued conflict -- more violence, more suffering, and more deaths.

We strongly supported Secretary of State Kerry’s efforts to achieve a negotiated peace agreement, and urge the United States to renew efforts to reach a two-state agreement as soon as possible. Recalling President Obama’s words in Jerusalem, “Peace is necessary...peace is also just…and peace is possible,” we believe the outline of a possible two-state agreement is widely known, including ideas drawn from previous official and informal negotiations for fair, realistic compromises. While none of the previous plans present a complete outline, the Taba Agreement (2000), the Arab Peace Initiative (2002), People’s Voice Initiative (2003), Geneva Accord (2003), and the (unofficial) Israeli Peace Initiative (2011) are sources for principled and practical ideas to help resolve all the issues, including borders and security, settlements, refugees and Jerusalem.

It is more urgent than ever that the United States and the international community press for a two-state peace agreement. While appreciating that maintaining a sustainable ceasefire is now the priority, we would welcome an early opportunity to meet with Secretary of State Kerry to discuss how we can assist with renewed U.S. efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state peace agreement. We pledge to mobilize active public support from members of synagogues, churches and mosques across the country for active, fair and determined U.S. leadership for peace.

List of Endorsers follows.
NILI Statement Welcoming the Ceasefire
In Israel and Gaza - August 2014
List of Endorsers

Christian Leaders:
Bishop Richard E. Pates, Chairman, USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace
Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington
Archbishop Vicken Aykasian, Director, Ecumenical Affairs, Armenian Orthodox Church in America
Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides, Ecumenical Officer, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Jim Winkler, President/General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Christ USA
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr., President, Council of Bishops, United Methodist Church
Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church
Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk, Presbyterian Church (USA)
Reverend Geoffrey Black, General Minister & President, United Church of Christ
Reverend Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister, President, Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ)
Reverend Leighton Ford, President, Leighton Ford Ministries, Board Member, World Vision US
David Neff, former Editorial Vice-President, Christianity Today
John M. Buchanan, Editor and Publisher, Christian Century

Jewish Leaders:
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President, Union of Reform Judaism
Rabbi Rick Block, President, Central Conference of American Rabbis
Rabbi Steven A. Fox, Chief Executive Officer, Central Conference of American Rabbis
Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Ph.D. Rector and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, American Jewish University
Rabbi Burt Visotzky, Jewish Theological Seminary
Rabbi Jason Klein, President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Rabbi Deborah Waxman, President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
Rabbi Amy Small, Past President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus, Past President, Central Conference of American Rabbis
Rabbi Peter Knobel, Past President, Central Conference of American Rabbis
Rabbi Paul Menitoff, Executive Vice President Emeritus, Central Conference of American Rabbis
Rabbi Alvin M. Sugarman, Rabbi Emeritus, The Temple, Atlanta Georgia

Muslim Leaders:
Imam Mohammed Magid, President, Islamic Society of North America
Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Syeed, National Director, Islamic Society of North America
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Founder of the ASMA Society and Chairman of the Cordoba Initiative
Dawud Assad, President Emeritus, Council of Mosques, USA
Imam Yahya Hendi, Founder and President, Clergy Beyond Borders
Eide Alawan, Interfaith Office for Outreach, Islamic Center of America
Iftekhar A. Hai, Founding Director, United Muslims of America Interfaith Alliance

*Organizations for Identification Only


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