PSALM

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“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall
be called the children of God”

“Seek Peace and Pursue It” PSALM 34

St. Francis de Sales PSALM: PROUD STUDENTS
AGAINST LANDMINES and CLUSTER BOMBS


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PSALM ANNOUNCEMENTS:

PSALM STUDENTS IN GRADES 6-8 please see me about your canvas and painting for our "ROAD TO OTTAWA/OSLO" SHOW.

PSALM MEETING FOR 3-5 STUDENTS WILL BE HELD OCTOBER 19TH FROM 3- 4:30. PSALM SENIOR STUDENTS ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND THIS MEETING ALSO. YOU MAY BRING A NON-PEANUT/TREE NUT SNACK!

ALL
PSALM STUDENTS WILL BE PAINTING FOR THEIR UPCOMING EXHIBIT: "THE ROAD TO OTTAWA".

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MANY THANKS TO ALL PSALM SENIORS AND CHAPERONE/DRIVERS
FOR A FANTASTIC PRESENTATION AT WVU HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER FOR GLOBAL HEALTH DAY!


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ALL T-SHIRT ORDER FORMS HAVE BEEN TURNED IN...

SEE MS. SHEETS FOR ALL FORMS AND INFO!


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ABOUT PSALM...

St. Francis students in Grades 3-8 are offered the opportunity to join PSALM: Proud Students Against Landmines and Cluster Bombs. PSALM students are dedicated to educating others about the dangers of landmines and cluster bombs and prevent future casualties through service projects. PSALM youth leaders are excellent ambassadors and are internationally recognized as youth leaders. PSALM works on various projects throughout the year including poster making, awareness days and presentations in our school, community and state.

NEW MEMBERS WELCOME! SEE MS. SHEETS DURING MOVE IN DAY
OR WHEN SCHOOL BEGINS FOR APPLICATION FORM.

Students are encouraged to dream of a more just and peaceful world and to make that world a reality. The students use their skills and talents to not only learn about these important issues, but to facilitate change for a better world. They are empowered to truly make a difference! These students donate their time, talent and energy because they care about children and want to work for a more just and peaceful world. In 2017 we celebrated our 18th year as PSALM/West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines! 

The risen Jesus gave peace as his first gift to his followers. As disciples of Christ, we seek to make the peace which Jesus gives us visible in our lives and in our world. As people of faith, we raise our voices for the protection of life and promotion of peace by calling on all governments to end the production, transfer, stockpiling, and use of landmines and cluster bombs. The human costs of landmines are staggering. Children lose their limbs. Parents lose their children. Refugees lose their homes or farms. Soldiers lose their lives. All of us lose because human life is precious. One third of all recorded cluster munitions casualties are children. 60% of cluster bomb casualties are injured while undertaking their normal activities. Civilians account for 85 percent of casualties of landmines. PSALM students make visible our Gospel values of caring for those in need.

St. Francis “PSALM” began in 1999 as an art project to educate the public about a global social justice issue. PSALM was founded by an amazing group of students in 1999 who wondered, “How can we make a difference in the world today?” Students designed a sculpture of 500 painted shoes with facts about landmines attached. The sculpture was placed in various community locations and eventually traveled, along with the students, to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness. In 2006, WVCBL/PSALM expanded our mission to include advocacy toward a prohibition on the use, production, and transfer of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians. We are working members of the West Virginia, United States, Catholic and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition. PSALM youth leaders are excellent ambassadors, amazing in their understanding of complex issues and their expression of compassion and concern for those who suffer, especially the most vulnerable of our world. Students are committed to educating the public about the devastation caused by landmines, and recognize the indiscriminate nature of anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions leading to the destruction of innocent life, especially children, after wartime hostilities have ceased.

The mission of PSALM Students Against Landmines/ West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines is three-fold:

#1 To raise public awareness about landmines and cluster munitions.

#2 To offer humanitarian assistance to victims of landmines and cluster bombs and raise awareness about survivor issues.

#3 To encourage ALL countries to sign the treaty banning the production, use and stockpiling of these weapons.


*For more information, contact PSALM Coordinator, Ms.
Sheets:nsheets@stfrancismorgantown.com

*MESSAGE FROM THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE AND PEACE/United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
“The projects PSALM has undertaken to advocate for the abolition of landmines and cluster munitions as well as to assist the victims of such indiscriminate weapons are truly a
model for others who seek to energize young people into action on social justice issues. We keep your fine work in our prayers”.



Please contact Ms. Sheets, nsheets@stfrancismorgantown.com if you have any questions.



SEE PSALM'S STORY ON THE UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS SOCIAL JUSTICE PAGE:
www.WeAreSaltAndLight.org.  
The PSALM story is in the Success Stories section of the site.
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Students are asked to wait until they are called to the art room
and after I have completed bus duty. IF students are in the after school program, they need to be sure to sign in before coming to the meeting.
For pick-up, parents must come to the cafeteria (“Keepers”) door to enter the building and students will then be dismissed. Students may bring a snack and something to drink to our meetings (no peanut items please). Students interested in participating in PSALM should turn in participation forms (on table in front hallway) at the first meeting.

*T-SHIRTS: Students may purchase PSALM t-shirts that may be worn with their uniforms on meeting days and special awareness events (with the exception of Mass Days). T-shirt order forms will be sent home at the first meeting in September. Meeting times and dates will be posted on TEACHER WEB (see ART/MS. SHEETS) and will be announced at school. If you are not able to purchase a PSALM shirt, see Ms. Sheets!

*PSALM events include September 22nd, (Peace Day) balloon release, Global health Day at WVU, the week of October 23rd, PSALM art and photo exhibit at the Monongalia Arts Center in January/February, March 2nd Celebration of the Mine Ban Treaty and PSALM Anniversary, and  April 6th, Lend Your Leg” Day. PSALM students, in the past, have been invited make presentations at the WVU Global Health Day (October), Diocesan Social Justice Day in Charleston, the Vatican Embassy and to meet with national and state leaders in Washington, D.C. PSALM students are members of the Catholic, United States and International Campaign to Ban Landmines (the ICBL received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997) and the Cluster Munition Coalition.*


PSALM ARCHIVES

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PSALM SENIORS... you did an amazing job at delivering our message of justice and peace in Washington, D.C. We are so very proud of you. MANY THANKS TO ALL CHAPERONES WHO FACILITATED OUR VISIT TO THE HOLY SEE EMBASSY AND MARSHALL LEGACY INSTITUTE. WE ALSO WISH TO THANK ALL PSALM STUDENTS IN GRADES 3-5 FOR MAKING BEAUTIFUL ARTWORKS TO GIFT OUR HOSTS!
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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY PSALM! 18 YEARS OF WORKING FOR A LANDMINE/CLUSTER BOMB FREE WORLD! PSALM WAS FOUNDED BY 3 SFCC ART STUDENTS IN 1999. PSALM HAS GROWN OVER THE YEARS TO BECOME AN INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ORGANIZATION. CONGRATULATIONS, STUDENTS!

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OUR LOVE AND PRAYERS TO FATHER "B". FATHER BANDIERA WAS A FAITHFUL SUPPORTER OF SFCC, THE ARTS AND PSALM. 

"WELL DONE, GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT"
MATTHEW 25:23

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PSALM SENIORS... you did an amazing job at delivering our message of justice and peace in Washington, D.C. We are so very proud of you. MANY THANKS TO ALL CHAPERONES WHO FACILITATED OUR VISIT TO THE HOLY SEE EMBASSY AND MARSHALL LEGACY INSTITUTE. WE ALSO WISH TO THANK ALL PSALM STUDENTS IN GRADES 3-5 FOR MAKING BEAUTIFUL ARTWORKS TO GIFT OUR HOSTS!
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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY PSALM! 18 YEARS OF WORKING FOR A LANDMINE/CLUSTER BOMB FREE WORLD! PSALM WAS FOUNDED BY 3 SFCC ART STUDENTS IN 1999. PSALM HAS GROWN OVER THE YEARS TO BECOME AN INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ORGANIZATION. CONGRATULATIONS, STUDENTS!

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OUR LOVE AND PRAYERS TO FATHER "B". FATHER BANDIERA WAS A FAITHFUL SUPPORTER OF SFCC, THE ARTS AND PSALM. 

"WELL DONE, GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT"
MATTHEW 25:23



PSALM STUDENTS...

CONGRATULATIONS! YOUR OPENING OF YOUR ART EXHIBIT WAS FANTASTIC! MANY THANKS TO ALL STUDENTS WHO PARTICIPATED.
GO TO THIS LINK TO SEE WBOY STORY:

http://www.wvalways.com/clip/13095621/humanitarian-exhibition-unveiled-at-mac

Be sure to save Friday, Feb.17th Dominion Post newspaper article on PSALM

MANY THANKS TO ALL STUDENTS WHO PARTICIPATED IN OUR "WE ARE ALL CONNECTED" ART EXHIBIT AT THE MONONGALIA ARTS CENTER BY MAKING FEATHER ART!
PLEASE GO SEE THE EXHIBIT! THE STUDENTS PUT A LOT OF WORK INTO IT!


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noun

1.
the quality or condition of being interconnected; interrelatedness:
the interconnectedness of all nations workingtoward world peace.

The theme for our art show is based on the Chief Seattle quote below.

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things are connected.” — CHIEF SEATTLE

“What We Do to One, We Do to All…

What We Do for One, We Do for All”

When we recognize that we are all connected, we begin to understand that our life touches more people than we can ever know. The question is not if we are making a difference, but rather what kind of difference are we making?

We are not alone on the journey through life — we are all connected at some level — that the actions of one person can affect another person, which, in turn, affects another and yet another. With this awareness comes the realization that if what we do in life affects others, should not our actions be conducted mindfully and purposefully?

SO…what does this have to do with landmines and cluster bombs?

We can look at it two ways. When these weapons are used, they have consequences long after wars and conflicts are over. It is doubtful that the soldier that has planted a landmine in the ground 15, 20, 30, 40 years ago planned on targeting a child looking for food today. Yet it happens with all too much frequency. ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES…some we may not have intended!

We can also see a “connectedness” in the work that PSALM began 17 years ago. Not knowing it would grow to become internationally recognized. That we would be responsible for helping people that live in contaminated areas by raising money for clearance, or the children who received prosthetic limbs from us who are now young adults or the people that get their drinking water from 3 wells we funded in Cambodia. These are things that happened because 3 students at St. Francis decided we should start a group. They have happened because people like YOU have continued that work. You give up your time because you care about others…people you don’t know and may never meet!

Landmines and cluster bombs prevent people from using their land be it for food, housing or business.So… we see that we truly are connected to the “web of life”. What we
do…good or not…has an effect on others.

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CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL PSALM STUDENTS ON YOUR HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD!
PSALM NEWS: LETTER FROM Jan Derry, Executive Director, NWVCIL

Dear PSALM,

The City of Morgantown's Human Rights Commission wanted to recognize an individual and organization whose efforts exemplify the spirit of diversity and human rights and contribute to making Morgantown a more inclusive community.

I personally was not aware of this amazing program until this nomination process. I believe the leadership, role modeling of compassion for our global neighbors and activism demonstrated by the students at St. Francis will go a long way for moving our home city to becoming a more inclusive community. I personally am thrilled to learn of such a remarkable program within our own community and feel blessed to be able to be a part of bestowing this recognition to PSALM.

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Many thanks to PSALM SENIORS for WVU GLOBAL HEALTH DAY presentations!



PSALM STUDENTS...

CONGRATULATIONS! YOUR OPENING OF YOUR ART EXHIBIT WAS FANTASTIC! MANY THANKS TO ALL STUDENTS WHO PARTICIPATED.
GO TO THIS LINK TO SEE WBOY STORY:

http://www.wvalways.com/clip/13095621/humanitarian-exhibition-unveiled-at-mac

Be sure to save Friday, Feb.17th Dominion Post newspaper article on PSALM

MANY THANKS TO ALL STUDENTS WHO PARTICIPATED IN OUR "WE ARE ALL CONNECTED" ART EXHIBIT AT THE MONONGALIA ARTS CENTER BY MAKING FEATHER ART!
PLEASE GO SEE THE EXHIBIT! THE STUDENTS PUT A LOT OF WORK INTO IT!


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FEATHER-FOR-SHOW.JPG

noun

1.
the quality or condition of being interconnected; interrelatedness:
the interconnectedness of all nations workingtoward world peace.

The theme for our art show is based on the Chief Seattle quote below.

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things are connected.” — CHIEF SEATTLE

“What We Do to One, We Do to All…

What We Do for One, We Do for All”

When we recognize that we are all connected, we begin to understand that our life touches more people than we can ever know. The question is not if we are making a difference, but rather what kind of difference are we making?

We are not alone on the journey through life — we are all connected at some level — that the actions of one person can affect another person, which, in turn, affects another and yet another. With this awareness comes the realization that if what we do in life affects others, should not our actions be conducted mindfully and purposefully?

SO…what does this have to do with landmines and cluster bombs?

We can look at it two ways. When these weapons are used, they have consequences long after wars and conflicts are over. It is doubtful that the soldier that has planted a landmine in the ground 15, 20, 30, 40 years ago planned on targeting a child looking for food today. Yet it happens with all too much frequency. ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES…some we may not have intended!

We can also see a “connectedness” in the work that PSALM began 17 years ago. Not knowing it would grow to become internationally recognized. That we would be responsible for helping people that live in contaminated areas by raising money for clearance, or the children who received prosthetic limbs from us who are now young adults or the people that get their drinking water from 3 wells we funded in Cambodia. These are things that happened because 3 students at St. Francis decided we should start a group. They have happened because people like YOU have continued that work. You give up your time because you care about others…people you don’t know and may never meet!

Landmines and cluster bombs prevent people from using their land be it for food, housing or business.So… we see that we truly are connected to the “web of life”. What we
do…good or not…has an effect on others.

IMG_9614.JPG



*********************************************************************************
PSALM-at-city-council-dec-16.jpg

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL PSALM STUDENTS ON YOUR HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD!
PSALM NEWS: LETTER FROM Jan Derry, Executive Director, NWVCIL

Dear PSALM,

The City of Morgantown's Human Rights Commission wanted to recognize an individual and organization whose efforts exemplify the spirit of diversity and human rights and contribute to making Morgantown a more inclusive community.

I personally was not aware of this amazing program until this nomination process. I believe the leadership, role modeling of compassion for our global neighbors and activism demonstrated by the students at St. Francis will go a long way for moving our home city to becoming a more inclusive community. I personally am thrilled to learn of such a remarkable program within our own community and feel blessed to be able to be a part of bestowing this recognition to PSALM.

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 PSALM SENIORS AND  WVU GLOBAL HEALTH DAY presentations!



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STUDENTS CELEBRATED THE 17TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MINE BAN TREATY AND THE FOUNDING OF PSALM! 

DID YOU KNOW...MRS. RACHEL VITT  WAS A FOUNDING MEMBER OF PSALM!



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PSALM at the WV State Legislature for Diocesan Legislative Day at the WV State Capitol in Charleston!


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Many thanks to all volunteers! A special "shout out" to all who brought food for the reception!


Visit WBOY for show coverage: 
http://www.wboy.com/story/31155213/psalm-students-host-exhibit-at-monongalia-arts-center

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Join us for...

A Place at the Table

 

 LOOK AT THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGNS TO BAN LANDMINES AND CLUSTER MUNITIONS AND HOW THE CAMPAIGNS ADDRESS THE NEED OF SURVIVORS

 

PSALM Photo and Art Exhibit at the Monongalia Arts Center, 

107 High Street,  Morgantown



 St. Francis Central Catholic PSALM students displayed a sculptural “table” with hand-painted plates representing the needs of people with disabilities and the important efforts to meet those needs. Also displayed will be photos and other items to educate the public about our work


A table is where people come together for nourishment, both physical and emotional. A table is where people meet to make decisions—in neighborhoods, nations, and the global community. "A place at the table" is a saying referring to a reserved place for someone to sit at a table; an all-inclusive invitation to all.

Yet in many impoverished or developing countries, it is difficult for the disabled to find “their place” at the table. The difficulties include finding work, being able to feed their families, educate their children, secure health care, or find adequate housing. Their voices and needs are often ignored or dismissed.

Contamination from landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war terrorizes civilians in more than half of the world's countries and are a significant cause of disability. These weapons instill fear in whole communities, deepening poverty and act as a lethal barrier to development.

Our faith calls us to it.

As disciples of Christ, we seek to make the peace which Jesus gives us visible in our lives and in our world. The Gospel and Catholic social teaching place our service of the poor and vulnerable and our work for justice at the center of Christian witness. That is why PSALM students are so passionate about eradicating landmines and cluster bombs. These weapons infringe on so many areas of life. They are the "war after the war". Whether it is the loss of life or the immediate medical needs of the survivors, the inability to farm land for food and retrieve water, or the environmental affects of aged weapons that have been seeping into the ground. Our work is necessary because it is not enough to want peace, love and happiness. One must work to rid the world of what stands in the way of others achieving a more just and peaceful life.

St. Francis de Sales PSALM: PROUD STUDENTS AGAINST LANDMINES and CLUSTER BOMBS/WVCBL: West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs are students and citizens who for 15 years have been committed to educating the public about the devastation caused by landmines and cluster munitions and the indiscriminate nature of these weapons leading to the destruction of innocent life, especially children, after wartime hostilities have ceased. We work to assist survivors, to prevent future casualties through our service projects, and contribute to the universal signature of the treaties banning landmines and cluster munitions by ALL countries.

Long after wars are waged some weapons remain a lurking threat to civilians in the peacetime that follows. Landmines are indiscriminate weapons that wait underground for years and sometimes decades maiming and killing children, farmers and everyday citizens who happen upon them. Here in the U.S. we don’t have to worry about our next step being fatal, but hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens around the world are not so lucky. These weapons are known as hidden killers, weapons of mass destruction in slow motion, or the perfect soldier which never sleeps or misses. It is not about politics or parties, it is about making sure kids can play and farmers can grow their crops safely. More than ninety percent of victims are civilians. With these weapons impacting communities in more than 80 countries and territories, the danger is very real. Victim assistance is a very important part of the treaties to ban landmines and cluster bombs. Countries that are party to the treaties have the responsibility and obligation to ensure rights of landmine victims are protected and their needs are met.

Pope Francis has expressed his solidarity towards victims of anti-personnel mines and praised the global effort to end the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions. Pope Francis points out that, “Anti-personnel mines are subtle because they prolong war and nurture fear even when conflict has ended. No child should live in fear of landmines!” “Let us give space to reconciliation, hope, and love that are expressed in the commitment for common good, in international cooperation to help the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters, in the implementation of policies based on our common dignity”.


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PSALM ARCHIVES

PSALM 2016 "Seek Peace and Pursue it" AWARD went to ETHAN PRICE, SOFIA GARCIA AND JESSICA SUSCHAK. CONGRATULATIONS!

PSALM SENIORS RECEIVE THE 2015 "SEEK PEACE AND
PURSUE IT" AWARD FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE.
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CONGRATULATIONS: DAPHNE BARRETTO,
ROBBIE MINNARD,
JACK HUDSON AND MATT OGERSHOK!

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 DEAR PSALM STUDENTS AND SUPPORTERS:
As a teacher who has been “at it” for quite awhile, I can attest to the fact that many times the students become the teachers and the teacher becomes the student! In 1999, I assigned a project to my 7th and 8th grade art students…design an artwork that would educate the public about a global social justice issue. A group of students led by Charles asked if they could choose “landmines”. I had to admit, I knew little about landmines. I did know that the International Campaign to Ban Landmines had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. The students, Tyler, Kevin and Matthew researched the issue and even invited Vietnam Veteran, Dr. Larry Schwab to speak to our class.  The students cleverly designed a sculpture of 500 painted shoes with facts about landmines attached. The sculpture was displayed at our school and eventually traveled to other locales. Why 500? Because at the time, that was the amount of victims claimed by landmines EACH WEEK…26,000 A YEAR…a victim every 22 MINUTES. Little did I know that such a small idea could have such life-changing consequences!

 

I will never forget a student named Ryan bringing me a binder of information on the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Landmine Survivors Network and telling me I needed to study it. The students pushed for a school organization that grew to become PSALM. Rachel, Kate, Molly, Adam, Katherine, David and a host of other students too numerous to name followed. These students had such initiative...I could barely keep up! We soon found ourselves traveling to Iowa to the presidential debates and a conference on landmines. It is there we met Nobel Laureate, Jody Williams, Landmine Survivors Network founders Ken Rutherford and Jerry White and Cambodian Campaign to Ban Landmines, Tun Channereth. What inspiring role models these folks were! They really went out of their way to educate the students and myself about the issues. Ken (who lost both legs in Somalia and was Princess Diana’s mine-field guide) and later Jody even came to our school to speak.PSALM students were invited to attend conferences in WashingtonD.C., where they met with national leaders, Nobel Laureates, Ambassadors and even Queen Noor of Jordan.

Sixteen years later, and they are still at it. The students have not only educated their own families, classmates and school, but reached out to others nationally and internationally. PSALM youth leaders are excellent ambassadors of our program objectives. They are amazing in their understanding of complex issues and their expression of faithful compassion and concern for those who suffer. It is a true testament to the perseverance of children who only want to see a world that is more just and peaceful for ALL!

 

An important aspect of our mission of educating others is to document the issue in affected areas. This allows PSALM students to not only see the effects of landmines and cluster munitions, but more importantly it shows the students they have a voice and their actions can have a positive impact on others... an invaluable lesson in hope and determination. The students are the reason I periodically find myself in mine fields in distant lands. I have been honored to represent PSALM in BosniaKenyaCroatia,JordanNorwayColombiaCambodiaLaos, and at the United Nations in Geneva,Switzerland.

 

PSALM students have been recognized by the International Bureau of Peace inGenevaSwitzerland as well as the Conference of Catholic Bishops. In 2011, PSALM was awarded by the NCEA the INNOVATIONS IN CATHOLIC EDUCATION AWARD. Students have made presentations for local state organizations and at the Pope John Paul II Center in Washington, D.C. PSALM students have collected medical supplies for landmine victims in Nicaragua, provided a prosthetic device for a young Bosnian landmine victim and Laotian cluster bomb victim, raised funds to train mine detection dogs and sponsored three water wells in mine-affected regions of Cambodia. Last March for LEND YOUR LEG Day, St. Francis School Community and PSALM took up a collection for demining in the HOLY LAND in honor of Pope Francis’ visit there last in May.

 

As we celebrate the 16 year anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty and 16 years of PSALM at St. Francis School, I want to take a moment to extend my sincere appreciation for your support of PSALM.  Your dedication in to Christian values, social justice, love and respect for our brothers and sisters in need makes the world a better place. It is an honor to know and work with you all.

 

THIS IS YOUR LEGACY! We have come a long way since the days where landmines were in widespread use by armies around the world claiming victims every 22 minutes. Only a very small number of countries still use antipersonnel landmines, production and trade have dramatically decreased, there are fewer and fewer casualties, hundreds of thousands of people have access to safe land that has been cleared of antipersonnel mines, the rights and needs of landmine survivors, and of their families and communities, are being recognized, and efforts are made to fulfill them. Most amazingly, the United States has announced it will move towards eliminating all anti-personnel landmines and join the Mine Ban Treaty.

  

There is a lot of work ahead of us but please join us in savoring this special moment in time when the seemingly impossible became possible! To paraphrase a Margaret Mead quote, never doubt that a group of committed citizens can change the world! 


Thank you! Ms. Sheets

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MANY THANKS TO PSALM STUDENTS THAT BRAVED THE ELEMENTS TO MAKE A PRESENTATION AT WESTOVER ROTARY CLUB!
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GREAT JOB, PSALM MEMBERS! MANY THANKS TO YOU ALL FOR YOUR HARD WORK AND                                        EFFORTS AT THE MONONGALIA ARTS CENTER EXHIBIT

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                                                PSALM STUDENTS WERE HONORED AT 

Morgantown CITY COUNCIL by Mayor with a Proclamation!

 

PSALM students were honored with a proclamation by Morgantown City Council and Mayor Selin on Tuesday, November 18th at 7 pm. at the City Council Chambers, downtown. Click on link to see the presentation! Many thanks to the mayor and City Council for this great honor and to all PSALM students working for a more just and peaceful world!



http://morgantown.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=466

Upcoming events: PSALM Painting meeting (students will paint prosthetics for our January art exhibit), Rotary Club presentation (date TBA) and January art show at the MAC Art Center, Opening on January 9th, 2015!

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Great job, PSALM SENIORS, on your presentation at the WVU 

HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER ON OCTOBER 24TH! Many thanks to 

ALL PSALM parents for your assistance and support!

The Global Health Program at West Virginia University Health Science
Center hosted its annual Global Health Day event on October 24, 2014. PSALM seniors were the keynote speakers along with WVU Law Professor Arthur Rizer. Junior PSALM students set up an information table at the Health Science Center and made presentations to visitors. The presentation titled, "Landmines...Perspectives From the Field", consisted of lectures on the devastation caused by landmines and cluster munitions around the world. PSALM/WVCBL discussed landmines and their effects on civilians, specifically children. WVU Law Professor, Arthur Rizer discussed his experiences with landmines and IEDs as a soldier and why they should be banned from a lawyer’s perspective.

The presentation titled, "Landmines...Perspectives From the Field", consisted of lectures on the devastation caused by landmines around the world from different perspectives. PSALM/WVCBL discussed landmines and their effects on civilians, specifically children. WVU Law Professor, Arthur Rizer discussed  his experiences with landmines and IEDs as a soldier and why they should be banned from a lawyer’s perspective.

The Objectives of our presentation:

To educate the public about the devastation caused by landmines and cluster munitions as they relate to victims who are children.

To educate the public about the devastating injuries caused by landmines from a soldier's perspective.

To emphasize the importance of mine clearance and victim assistance.

To emphasize the importance of banning these weapons.

PSALM students have attended this program for the past 6 years.This opportunity to make presentations to WVU medical and the University community allows us to fulfill our mission of raising awareness and gives the students experience in public speaking and expressing their Gospel values.

 Before joining the faculty at WVU Law, Prof. Rizer worked at the United States Department of Justice for nine years as a trial attorney. His most recent assignment at DOJ was as a prosecutor in the Criminal Division. Before law school, Rizer served in the U.S. Army as an Armor and Military Police officer. He was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq, where he helped train the Iraqi Army to fight the insurgency and was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart after an IED attack in which he was injured and 16 of his fellow soldiers were killed.



DID YOU KNOW....THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO BAN LANDMINES (WHICH WE ARE MEMBERS OF) WON THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE IN 1997!
THE PEACE PRIZE WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON OCTOBER THIS YEAR!


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PSALM STUDENTS ENCOURAGE THE USA TO JOIN THE
TREATY TO BAN CLUSTER MUNITIONS!



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GREAT NEWS>>> 15 YEARS IN THE MAKING!
The United States has announced that it intends to join the Mine Ban Treaty in the future, and will not produce or acquire antipersonnel landmines U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique Douglas M. Griffiths made the announcement today at the Mine Ban Treaty’s 3rd Review Conference in Maputo, which the US attended as an observer. The U.S. announced that it is “diligently pursuing … solutions that would be compliant” with the Mine Ban Treaty and “that would ultimately allow us to accede” to it.
PSALM students, please take a moment to recognize all of your hard work and efforts! YOU can truly change the world!

"Never doubt that a small group of concerned citizens can change the world" Margaret Mead
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 PSALM PROJECTS:
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LEND YOUR LEG VIDEO:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdJtGWbNT4s

4 April: International Day for Mine Awareness
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LEND YOUR LEG SOLIDARITY DAY


"They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more". Isaiah II

In April, PSALM students host a LEND YOUR LEG SOLIDARITY DAY at school. St. Francis de Sales School community members and families are asked to join us and show solidarity with those that suffer to wear jeans, roll up one pant leg and rock some cool socks! PSALM students have collected donations that day for landmine clearance in the Holy Land, specifically Bethlehem. Students are working with ROOTS OF PEACE, an organization that demines areas of the Holy Land and plants vineyards and builds schools in their place. Students feel this is a particularly great way to live their mission to serve others and want to dedicate this project to Pope Francis in honor of his visit to the Holy Lands.READ MORE ABOUT ROOTS OF PEACE: www.rootsofpeace.org
Roots of Peace is working to implement a comprehensive and lasting solution—one that not only removes the landmines, but also restores the land and livelihood of the local community through sustainable agricultural use.

 


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PSALM CELEBRATES 15 YEARS of PSALM and the MINE BAN TREATY!

PSALM 15th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION was held on Friday, February 28th. Many thanks to all PSALM students for attending our celebration and providing items for our special day. Many thanks to PSALM  parents for all of your support! !St. Francis “PSALM” began in 1999 as an art project to educate the public about a global social justice issue. PSALM was founded by an amazing group of students in 1999 who wondered, “How can we make a difference in the world today?” Students designed a sculpture of 500 painted shoes with facts about landmines attached. The sculpture was placed in various community locations and eventually traveled, along with the students, to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness. In 2006, WVCBL/PSALM expanded our mission to include advocacy toward a prohibition on the use, production, and transfer of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians. We are working members of the West Virginia, United States, Catholic and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition. PSALM youth leaders are excellent ambassadors, amazing in their understanding of complex issues and their expression of compassion and concern for those who suffer, especially the most vulnerable of our world. Students are committed to educating the public about the devastation caused by landmines, and recognize the indiscriminate nature of anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions leading to the destruction of innocent life, especially children, after wartime hostilities have ceased.


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 PSALM SENIORS ATTEND MEETING IN WASHINGTON, DC ON FEBRUARY 19TH.

 Through provisions made by a European Union Council Decision in support of the Convention, the Implementation Support Unit in collaboration with Human Rights Watch on behalf of the United States Campaign to Ban Landmines, hosted a symposium in Washington, D.C., focusing on United States landmine policy. PSALM senior  students from St. Francis de Sales Central Catholic in Morgantown, WV attended the  event which took  place on February 19th at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. The symposium was opened by François Rivasseau, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to the United States. Also featured was 1997 Nobel Peace Prize co-Laureate Jody Williams, the Convention's Special Envoy, His Royal Highness Prince Mired Raad Al Hussein of Jordan, and other experts and dignitaries.

The opening session was followed by an expert panel discussion on the United States and landmines.The panel includes Heidi Kuhn from Roots of Peace, Steve Goose from Human Rights Watch, Ken Rutherford from the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery and (Ret.) Lt. General Robert Gard from the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

Students met with symposium speakers and shared their concerns that  the US must ban these weapons based on knowledge of the indiscriminate nature of these weapons especially where children are concerned.The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention was adopted in Oslo in 1997, opened for signature in Ottawa the same year and entered into force on 1 March 1999. The Convention was the first disarmament instrument to take into consideration the rights of the survivors of a particular weapon.Since entering into force, millions of square meters of once dangerous lands have been released for normal human activity and over 44.5 million stockpiled mines have been destroyed.

PSALM students followed the event with a visit to the Holy See Embassy in Washington. Students met with Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Vigano who discussed his own experiences with landmines and unexploded ordinance (UXO's) in Italy after the second World War and more recently in regions of Africa where he worked. He also talked about the Holy See's leadership in signing both the MINE BAN TREATY AND THE CONVENTION ON CLUSTER MUNITIONS and the need for all countries to ban these weapons that inflict so much pain and suffering. Students offered their support of the Holy See's efforts. After commending the students for their work in peace and justice, he gave each student a rosary and Pope Francis photograph.

On March 28th, PSALM students will host a LEND YOUR LEG SOLIDARITY DAY at school. Students will collect donations for mine clearance in the Holy Land. Students are working with ROOTS OF PEACE, an organization that demines areas of the Holy Land and plants vineyards in their place. Students feel this is a particularly  great way to live their mission to serve others and want to dedicate this project to Pope Francis in honor of his upcoming visit to the Holy Land in May.  

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace has called upon the Obama administration to agree to the Ottawa Treaty, a 1997 agreement designed to end the use of anti-personnel landmines.Over 150 nations have acceded to the treaty, which is also known as the Mine Ban Treaty and is officially called the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction.“Our views are grounded in Church teaching that calls for a ban on landmines on moral grounds since they are indiscriminate weapons that kill and maim innocent civilians during and long after hostilities end,” said Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines in a letter to National Security Advisor Susan Rice. “There is a legacy of devastation in places such as Iraq, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Angola, Colombia and Lebanon while landmines appear to have been used in more recent conflicts such as Syria. The Holy See has noted the ‘deplorable humanitarian consequences of anti-personnel mines.’”
Bishop Pates also cited a statement by Pope Benedict XVI encouraging “everyone to be committed to freeing humanity from these terrible and devious weapons.”
If President Obama were to join the treaty, it would not go into effect until two thirds of senators voted to approve it.



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CHECK OUT THE PSALM ART SHOW VIDEO FROM WBOY (SORRY, NO SOUND):  
https://doc-0k-ao-docs.googleusercontent.com/docs/securesc/l86a3mnsuqd4ogmigag91etfu4c5kj4g/973ehnk331udmjb1j2gbcoejingkc120/1391623200000/17057141794051941265/01985959776429544695/0B33UXytCY19lVVVsSWJNbHExbEk?h=00306438913417176305&e=download

PSALM wishes to thank all who attended our art and photo exhibit Opening Reception at the Monongalia Arts Center, downtown. Ms. Sheets wishes to thank PSALM supporters for reception goods and a special “shout out” to: PSALM seniors for their slide presentations, PSALM Gallery Guides for walking visitors through the exhibit and all PSALM members for your amazing work for a more just and peaceful world!


Ms. Sheets is looking for a truck to transport sculptures (10 feet) from the MAC Art Center to school. Please let me know if you have a truck!

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EVENTS: PSALM events include September Peace Day, October WVU Global Health Day, November Awareness balloon release, January art and photo exhibit at the Monongalia Arts Center, February 28th Celebration of the Mine Ban Treaty and PSALM Anniversary, and March 28th “Lend Your Leg” Day.


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“The projects PSALM has undertaken to advocate for the abolition of landmines and cluster munitions as well as to assist the victims of such indiscriminate weapons are truly a model for others who seek to energize young people into action on social justice issues”. MESSAGE FROM THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE AND PEACE/ United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


Why Landmines and Cluster Munitions? We Are Called by Faith…

We are called by our faith to stand with those who have suffered, and to work for the well-being of the human family through relationships of respect, justice, and peace. PSALM students work tirelessly for the promotion of peace by calling on and end to the production, transfer, stockpiling, and use of cluster bombs. For more than 40 years, landmines and cluster bombs have killed and wounded innocent people, causing untold suffering, loss and hardship for thousands in countries around the world. These weapons cause death and injury to civilians during attacks and for years afterwards because of the lethal contamination that they cause. They hamper post-conflict rebuilding and rehabilitation and the dangerous work of cluster bomb clearance absorbs funds that could be spent on other urgent humanitarian needs Without action, the civilian harm caused by these weapons both during and after conflict will continue to grow. The Vatican participated in the talks that led to the international agreement, focusing upon the "logic of peace." The Holy See was one of the first state to call for a moratorium on the munitions and to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions. In 2010, Pope Benedict stated, "With the entry into force of the new Convention, to which I exhort all states to comply, the international community has demonstrated wisdom, foresight and the capacity to pursue a meaningful result in the field of disarmament and international human rights. The Vatican has been highly committed to the cause "in the conviction that the logic of peace is stronger than the logic of war, which in every case must have as an insurmountable limit the protection and preservation of the civil population, and particularly the most vulnerable people."

“There is a huge and pervasive or widely recognized moral imperative to stop the use or production of these banned weapons.” This is borne out by the fact that the “overwhelming” portion of the international community “does recognize that using these weapons is unconscionable.” said Jared Bloch, International Coalition to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions Coalition on Vatican Radio in April.

For information/research:

Cluster Munition Coalition: www.stopclustermunitions.org

United States Campaign to Ban Landmines: www.banminesusa.org

International Campaign to Ban Landmines: www.icbl.org

West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs:

www.wvcbl.org

"A cordial thank you to all heroines and heroes, the highly dedicated and knowledgeable PSALM students, who served as tour guides to the show in the Benedum Gallery at the Monongalia Arts Center! This certainly was an eye-opening event for all visitors who dared to see and listen! To all who served as mentors to these bright students: Thank you for your dedication to inspire critical thinking!" COMMENT IN GUEST BOOK

How does PSALM's "Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs”

campaign fit into the 7 themes of Catholic Social Justice?


#1: The Life and the Dignity of the Human Person (All human life is a gift from God).
We believe that every person is precious and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.
Landmines and cluster bombs are indiscriminate weapons. They cannot be aimed: they do not distinguish between the footfall of a soldier or a child. They lie dormant until a person or animal triggers their detonating mechanism. When triggered, they unleash unspeakable destruction. A landmine/cb blast causes injuries like blindness, burns, destroyed limbs and shrapnel wounds.


#2 Participation: The Call to Family and Community (Responsibility to family and community).
We believe people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable. Our Church teaches that the role of government and other institutions is to protect human life and human dignity and promote the common good.
Assistance to survivors can be an enormous strain on family and community resources. Landmine casualties deprive communities and families of breadwinners.


#3 Rights and Responsibilities (God wants us to care for ourselves and others in need).
Human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. "Survival Rights" are the rights that are necessary for people to be able to live: food, shelter and basic health care. "Thrival Rights" are the rights to education, employment, a safe environment and enough material goods to support a family, the right to live by one's conscience and religion, the right to immigrate and the right to live without discrimination.
Children should be able to walk to school or play in a field without the danger of landmines. People should be able to farm and build on their land without fear. Cluster bombs are brightly colored enticing children to pick them up. Many landmine and cluster bomb victims are often shunned from society. Many do not receive adequate health care. People living in rural areas or less developed areas must go through mined areas to get water, food and fire wood making each trip a dangerous one.


#4 The Option for the Poor and Vulnerable (We are asked to share and to respond to the needs of others).
In a world characterized by growing prosperity for some and pervasive poverty for others, Catholic teaching proclaims that a basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. We are instructed to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first. Development disaster…Landmines and cluster bombs deprive people in some of the poorest countries of land and infrastructure.  Once there is peace most soldiers will be demobilized and give in their guns. Landmines and cluster bombs however don't recognize a cease-fire. They hold up the return of refugees and displaced people. They also hamper reconstruction and the delivery of aid.


#5 The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers (Every Christian is called to service and everyone has the right to work).
Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God's creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected--the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to organize and join unions, to private property, and to economic initiative. Respecting these rights promotes an economy that protects human life, defends human rights, and advances the well being of all. Landmine/Cluster bomb survivors find it difficult to find the care they need to rehabilitate after their injuries. It is important to help survivors find medical care and rehabilitation needed in order to be able to provide for themselves and their families.


#6 Solidarity (We must assist people in need, even people we may not know, we are taught to love others, every person is loved by God and deserves to be treated with kindness).  Our culture is tempted to turn inward, becoming indifferent and sometimes isolationist in the face of international responsibilities. Catholic social teaching proclaims that we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers, wherever they live. We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. Learning to practice the virtue of solidarity means learning that "loving our neighbor" has global dimensions in an interdependent world. Though there are no landmines and cluster bombs planted in the soil in the
United States, we stand with those who suffer. We want to help our brothers and sisters in need!


#7 Care Of God's Creation (We are called to take care of and improve our environment, "Responsible Stewardship").
The Catholic tradition insists that we show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God's creation. Mines kill livestock and wild animals and wreak environmental havoc.
More than 75 countries are affected to some degree by landmines and/or unexploded ordnance. Chemical seepage from landmines can contaminate farm land and drinking water. It can take only two or three mines or the mere suspicion of their presence to render a patch of land unusable for farming or living. Landmines and cluster munitions makes retrieval of water, fire wood and food a venture that can have life or death consequences. This is devastating for countries that are agriculturally based. Some of the most contaminated places are
Afghanistan, Cambodia, Laos, Colombia and Iraq.