Advocacy and Justice Updates

 

Living Will Forum: Do you have questions about Advance Directives or Living Wills?  Concerns about end-of-life care and Catholic teaching? Confused about designating a Health Care Surrogate?  These and other questions can be answered at a living will forum by a panel consisting of a Catholic physician, attorney and clergy. To schedule a Living Will Forum at your parish contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice at: 407-246-4819 or advocacyjustice@orlandodiocese.org

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Living Will Forum

Do you have questions about Advance Directives or Living Wills?  Concerns about end-of-life care and Catholic teaching? Confused about designating a Health Care Surrogate?  These and other questions can be answered at a living will forum by a panel consisting of a Catholic physician, attorney and clergy. To schedule a Living Will Forum at your parish contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice at: 407-246-4819; advocacyjustice@orlandodiocese.org

A Journey of Faith and Justice Retreat:

The Office of Advocacy and Justice hosts a free one day retreat, A Journey of Faith and Justice, at any parish who requests one.  The day begins with prayer, scripture, dialogue and ends with the Saturday vigil Mass in the parish. This retreat is an opportunity to reflect on scripture’s call to justice and action. We will reflect, pray, and learn what it means to put our faith into action to respond to the needs in our world.  Please call 407-246-4819 for more information or email: advocacyjustice@orlandodiocese.org

Scheduled Execution Prayer And Action Alert Update

On June 18, 2014, John Henry, is scheduled to be executed at Florida State Prison, in Starke, Florida. Your parish is encouraged to continue to pray for Mr. Henry, his victims, his family, the victims’ family; for all the public officials involved in this scheduled execution; for Governor Scott, that he will discern God’s will and apply the teachings of our Catholic faith on the death penalty. Please contact Governor Scott to voice your concern. Parishes are encouraged to participate in prayer services at the parish or to attend a prayer service at the execution site in Starke. A bus will be leaving from the parking lot of Our Lady of Lourdes 201 University Blvd, Daytona Beach, 32118, at 2:30pm. A prayer service will be held at St. Patrick’s Church in Mt. Dora at 3pm on June 18. St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 526 North Park Avenue, Winter Park, Florida 32789 will host a prayer service for Mr. Henry the evening prior to the execution at 5:00 PM followed by the daily Mass at 5:30PM.  For more information on the prayer service, contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice, advocacyjustice@orlandodiocese.org or 407-246-4819.

Catholic Charities Adoption Services

Women facing an unexpected pregnancy are unsure or do not know about the loving option of adoption. Catholic Charities has been assisting pregnant women and providing adoption services since the 1940’s. We educate women about the selfless option that puts them in control and allows them to choose a family and ensure a long term care plan for their child.  Adoption is a life affirming option for her and her baby. Pregnancy and Adoption Services in the Diocese of Orlando service area are provided through the collaborative efforts of Catholic Charities Central Florida, Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg and Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Augustine.  Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Polk and Seminole Counties please call 800-731-5480. Lake, Marion, Sumter and Volusia Counties please call 866-901-9647. 

Sign on with the USCCB for Smarter Sentencing and Second Chances

“God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else — God is in this person’s life.” 

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops have taken a strong position on America’s incarceration system, and are promoting two significant bills in Congress: The Smarter Sentencing Act (S. 1410) and the Second Chance Act (S. 1690). Please visit the USCCB’s site to read their letter of support to Congress.  Recently, Archbishop Thomas Wenski wrote a powerful op-ed supporting Smarter Sentencing. Sign the petition here: http://vincentianrestoration.nationbuilder.com/national_advocacy?recruiter_id=2

Prayer for Central African Republic

In his Easter message, Pope Francis specifically mentions the conflict in the Central African Republic  and encourages us all to pray for an “end to all war and every conflict, whether great or small, ancient or recent.”

Please join in prayer with our brothers and sisters in the Central African Republic (CAR) who are courageously standing for peace. Though violence continues, a peace demonstration is planned for Saturday, May 31 in CAR. Over 10,000 people are expected to gather, including government officials, leaders from various faith communities, and civil society representatives.

In solidarity with our courageous brothers and sisters in CAR, CRS staff in the US will pause to pray for peace starting at noon on Friday, May 30. Please join with us and encourage others to incorporate these prayer resources into their prayer and worship Friday, May 30 through Sunday, June 1:

  • Dioceses and parishes can incorporate the intentions in their daily masses or begin meetings with prayer for CAR;
  • Schools can incorporate them into morning prayer;
  • Families can include the intentions in prayers before meals or at bedtime;
  • Individuals can incorporate them into personal prayers.

Please invite your networks to participate through social media. Join our Facebook event to find information about the prayer service on May 30, the situation in CAR, and photos. Share how you’re standing in solidarity with the peacebuilders in CAR on the event page or hashtag your tweets with #PrayersForCAR. Follow @CatholicRelief on Twitter or the #PrayersForCAR hashtag.

For more information about CAR and how the people of your diocese or parish can act for peace, please visit our website

Justice for Immigrants

In a powerful witness of solidarity, Pope Francis celebrated Mass last July on the island of Lampedusa off the coast of Italy, a port of entry for many migrants escaping hardship in the Middle East and Africa. In his homily, he had an important message for these migrants: “The Church is at your side as you seek a more dignified life for yourselves and your families.” 

On the Feast of the Ascension (Thursday, May 29), members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, including those who celebrated Mass on the border in April 2014 to pray for immigration reform, will take their message to Capitol Hill, asking our legislators in the House of Representatives to act on immigration reform legislation before the elections in the fall. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) joins the USCCB in this effort to reform our current immigration system and address the root causes of migration.

You can also answer our Gospel call in Matthew 25 to welcome the stranger by joining Catholics across the country in prayer and action for immigration reform in the seven days leading up to Pentecost (June 1-8). Please visit the Justice for Immigrants website of the USCCB for prayers, educational resources, sample social media posts, and instructions on how to email, call, or visit your legislators in support of just immigration reform.

Click here to download the latest Advocacy and Justice Newsletter.