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Catholic Reform Movements in the US: Creating a more Tolerant and Just Church and Society

By Sophie Vodvarka and Joe Kruse

Call To Action: Catholic Reform Organization

Call To Action was born out of a 1976 conference called by US Bishops in Detroit, which was inspired by the Second Vatican Council, which asked all members of the conference to “scrutinize the signs of the times” and to take the issues of the church into their own hands.

Mission Statement

Call To Action educates, inspires and activates Catholics to act for justice and build inclusive communities through a lens of anti-racism and anti-oppression principles.

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2016-09-05 16;00;582016-09-05 16;01;50Creating tolerance, welcoming migrants

  • Though there are many ways to organize to create change and tolerance, one of the most important issues that Call To Action and several other Catholic organizations have worked on is bringing light to the migrant and refugee crisis along the US border with Mexico.

School of the America’s Watch

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  • The School of the America’s, or WHINSEC as it’s now called, has been nicknamed “School of Assassins”, and it’ graduates have been linked to many extremely well-known assassinations of prominent Latin American activists, including Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, and a group of Jesuits from the University of Central America, and their companions.

Progressive Catholic Coalition



  • Call To Action has been partnering with Progressive Catholic Coalition—a group of several Catholic church reform groups, for the past decade in social activism surrounding issues of migration, in both policy, mobilization of communities, and spiritual healing.

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Days of Activism Move to Border


  • This year, for the first time, the School of the America’s Watch (SOAW) will move their days of action from Fr. Benning Georgia, to the border of the United States and Mexico. The reason behind this, is because the School of the America’s has now begun to train border guards which is extremely worrisome because of their atrocious human rights record.

US War on the Border


  • When a migrant is caught crossing the border, they are sent to mass trials in the US, during which people are not informed of their rights, and usually cannot request to claim asylum. Many people are fleeing horrible situations in Latin America, and could qualify as refugees if they were allowed. Rather, most migrants are locked up in privately-owned detention center like Stewart Detention Center, which activists visited during School of America’s Watch in 2015.

What are the positive results for migrants in this struggle of Catholic activists?