This all day free retreat will challenge you to put your faith into action while providing times for prayer, reflection, and dialogue. Join us on March 17 at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church (4675 S. Clyde Morris Blvd., Port Orange) from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Fr. Christopher Hoffman, pastor of Our Lady of Hope, and Deborah Shearer, Director of the Office of Advocacy and Justice will be the presenters for the day. For more information or to register to attend contact: Office of Advocacy and Justice; 407-246-4819; firstname.lastname@example.org.
April is Autism Awareness Month and April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day Let us join together once again to make it Autism Awareness Month in Parishes & Dioceses! See www.catholicswithautism.org. Click on http://cts.vresp.com/c/?NCPD/22ed247373/45af863f71/30f615e9b0 for many resources for pastoral and catechetical staff. Most resources can also be used to support those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Resources include: bulletin announcements, Mass petitions, Prayer of St. Francis, Parent Interview Form, and many more!
There is an invisible cost of the food that graces Americans’ tables. Much of it has been picked by farm workers who are at risk of being victims of human trafficking. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers http://ciw-online.org/ (CIW) is a community-based organization founded in 1993 primarily of immigrants working in agricultural jobs throughout Florida, particularly tomato pickers. In 2001, it began a Campaign for Fair Food to urge restaurants and retailers to use their purchasing might to promote better wages and safer, more humane conditions for workers. Read more about their efforts at Our Sunday Visitor http://www.osv.com/tabid/7621/itemid/9046/Groups-fight-for-rights-of-agricultural-laborers.aspx.
Grant, almighty God, through the yearly observances of holy Lent, that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ and by worthy conduct pursue their effects. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Visit NCRLC for more Seasonal Prayers. <http://www.ncrlc.com/page.aspx?ID=67>
Creighton University: http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Lent/ This online ministry offers readings of the day, brief meditation, and a link to the Daily Reflection for that day during Lent.
This pocket-size prayer book is especially timely during the season of Lent. Sr. Pegge Boehm applies the trials and struggles of rural life to the Way of the Cross. Order a copy ($3) by calling 515-270-2634, ext. 10 Or send an email to email@example.com
In an effort to support sustainable agriculture and local fresh foods, we cannot neglect efforts to stand in solidarity with farmworkers – the hard-working and hard-pressed people who harvest most of the vegetables and fruits we eat. In solidarity with the farmworkers at Interfaith Action of Southwest Florida http://www.interfaithact.org/?q=getinvolved. PBS recently spotlighted their Campaign for Fair Food in a well-produced 9-minute segment that ran nationally on Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. Click here to watch it. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/february-3-2012/farmworker-justice/10207/>
A scholars’ conference sponsored by the USCCB, the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, the Catholic University of America, and CUA’s Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies will take place at CUA November 8-10, 2012. The conference will explore the implications of recent papal teaching on environmental justice, creation and solidarity. Scholars from across academic disciplines (especially from theology, religious studies, philosophy, and economics, as well as public health, history, biology and other sciences) are encouraged to submit paper proposals. Paper proposals are due on March 15, 2012. Visit the website of the Catholic Climate Covenant http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/ to learn more in this Call for Papers.
On Friday, March 2 (the first Friday of the month) Catholics can “fast” in solidarity with all those who are food insecure by limiting meal spending to the amount allotted for a family of their size in the USDA Modified Thrifty Food Plan, which is used as the basis for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly called food stamps).
Since last May, Catholics in the U.S. have been fasting on First Fridays in solidarity with persons living in poverty in their communities. And needless to say, food insecurity is a serious problem globally and can be intensified by climate change. On this Friday, participants can reflect on “Global Food Insecurity.” Visit the USCCB webpage <http://www.usccb.org/about/justice-peace-and-human-development/first-fridays-for-food-security.cfm> to download the monthly reflections.
To access the Federal Government’s expanded suite of services offered in Spanish click here. One of the newest services is the ability to apply online for Social Security retirement and Medicare benefits in Spanish.
Annual statistics from the Social Security Administration are now available. Click here.
The National Institute on Aging released its 2010 Progress Report on Alzheimer’s Disease. It includes statistics, new guidelines for diagnosing Alzheimer’s, and gives an update on research into the disease conducted at NIA, and other institutes at the National Institutes of Health. For more info, click here.
Nominations for Encore Career’s “Purpose Prize” are March 22. Nationwide five older adults who are doing great work to improve their communities will receive $100,000. To learn more, click here.
This policy brief summaries recent proposals to change the premiums for Medicare Part B and D. For info, click here.
To obtain a copy of AARP’s newest report on caregiving – “Valuing the Invaluable: 2011 Update The Growing Contributions and Costs of Family Caregiving,” click here.
Senator Debbie Stabenow, chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today said conservation is essential to producing a healthy and affordable food supply while protecting our land and water. “Conservation helps farmers and ranchers to produce food, feed, fuel and fiber while taking care of the land and water,” Chairwoman Stabenow said.
At a Senate hearing on the 2012 Farm Bill, Sen. Stabenow said she her committee will build on the progress that was made last year in strengthening conservation programs. A letter signed by more than 600 groups, including NCRLC, thanked Chairwoman Stabenow and other agriculture leaders for their leadership on strengthening the conservation title of the Farm Bill. Click here for more on the Senate hearing and letter. <http://www.ag.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/chairwoman-stabenow-conservation-essential-to-long-term-productivity-of-agriculture-and-forestry->
The current farm bill expires on September 30, 2012, and Congress must take action on farm policy by then. See more at: http://www.ncrlc.com/page.aspx?ID=44, which will include perspectives on the many facets of the Farm Bill.