Advocacy and Justice Updates

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Fair Trade: Show Your Love

Haiti: One Table, Many Partners Conference: June 1-3, 2012, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
Helpers’ Mass and Rosary Procession

March for Life

Stewards of the Earth

Seattle University Environmental Studies Program Earns $100,000 Project

St. Paul Catholic School in Akron, Ohio

Summer Learning Opportunity

Views on the Keystone XL Pipeline

Webinar: Sustainability and Catholic Mission
              

Helpers’ Mass and Rosary Procession
The next Helpers’ Mass and Rosary procession will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church (5125 S. Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando) on Saturday, February 4 beginning with Mass at 8:30 a.m. Following Mass we will recite the rosary at the nearby abortion facility on Tampa Ave. Please join us in praying for the protection of human life. For more information, contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice; 407-246-4819; eclayton@orlandodiocese.org

 

March for Life

The annual March for Life this past Monday marked the 39th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.  Thousands of Catholics joined other people of faith and goodwill to protest the Supreme Court’s landmark decision.  On the 30th Anniversary, the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops lamented this ruling and reiterated the Church’s uncompromising position that “abortion is a violation of human rights incomparable in magnitude and an atrocity for the whole human family.”

The Church’s ongoing defense of human life and dignity certainly includes opposition to abortion as well as other threats.  Pope Benedict XVI has linked the defense of creation with that of human life: [H]ow can we separate, or even set at odds, the protection of the environment and the protection of human life, including the life of the unborn?   And Beloved John Paul II said that Respect for life and for the dignity of the human person extends also to the rest of creation. (1990 World Day of Peace Message)

Most recently, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, Chairman, USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development said: It is hard to imagine a situation that so clearly illustrates this link between the environment and life issues as the impact of mercury and other toxic air pollution on children’s health. Children, inside and outside the womb, are uniquely vulnerable to environmental hazards and exposure to toxic pollutants in the environment.

 

Haiti: One Table, Many Partners Conference: June 1-3, 2012, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
Visit the Haiti: One Table, Many Partners website for new information on the conference including:

  • A preliminary program
  • Venue and lodging details
  • A slide show sneak peek into conference offerings

Accommodations:

  • Affordable dorm rooms at Catholic University of America
  • Special conference room rate at The Phoenix Park Hotel

Stay tuned for registration and keynote information coming in February.

For more information, visit the conference website, e-mail haitipartnership@crs.org or call 410-951-7245.

 

Fair Trade: Show Your Love

This Valentine’s Day, share your love and stand in solidarity with artisans around the world by shopping our new Valentine’s Day Collection. Full of romantic jewelry, whimsical decor and decadent chocolate, our collection has something perfect for that special person in your life.

Every purchase empowers our artisan partners so they can create a better future for themselves and their families with renewed dignity, security and respect. By going fair trade this Valentine’s Day, you are truly showing that you love your global neighbors.

The twelve artisans who are employed at U.P. Dastakar, the workshop that creates our puzzle boxes, are proud to work at a safe place where they receive reliable orders and are able to support their families. Haseena, pictured above, has managed the workshop since her husband passed away. She says, “Through more orders, I hope to provide employment to more artisans in the community.”

Shop Today! Every purchase you make brings income to struggling artisans and farmers and contributes to the CRS Fair Trade Fund. Learn more at http://cts.vresp.com/c/?CRSChocolateProgram/2ad8948326/989473a4fe/572e7bf063.

 

Fair Trade Valentine’s Day Chocolate! 

Browse our Valentine’s Collection to find all of our delicious Divine Chocolate! We have three varieties of chocolate hearts (dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate strawberry), the special Sweetheart Gift Box, and other specialty flavors.

Shower your loved ones with sweet treats this Valentine’s Day!

Winter Sale

Don’t forget to shop our Winter Sale! Over 170 items are marked down 25%. Shop holiday decor, jewelry, gifts and more.  

Make sure to browse our unique and beautiful nativities. It’s a great way to stock up for next Christmas! We love the detail in the gorgeous Arpillera Nativity Wall Art from Peru, now only $26.25. 

As always, our artisan partners have already been paid in full, so shop now!

 

Stewards of the Earth

Views on the Keystone XL Pipeline

Catholic News Service had a couple of excellent pieces on the pipeline last year: Catholic News Service (CNS) reports that [o]n one side [of the debate] were representatives of the energy industry who say the project would produce thousands of construction jobs and reduce U.S. dependence on Middle East oil. The other included religious and environmental groups concerned that extracting oil in Canada’s northern boreal forest will accelerate climate change and harm the livelihood of First Nations people. 

Catholics opposed to the project include Bishop Luc Bouchard whose Alberta Diocese is home to the tar sands, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Columban Fathers’ Center for Advocacy and Outreach, and the Franciscan Action Network.

CNS also reports that “[a]t the center of the debate is the complex process used to extract viscous oil called bitumen from formations of sand, clay and water in an area known as oil sands or tar sands.” 

By way of information, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calculates that because [e]xtraction and refining of Canadian oil sands crude are GHG-intensive relative to other types of crude oil . . . we estimate that GHG emissions from Canadian oil sands crude would be approximately 82% greater than the average crude refined in the U.S., on a well-to-tank basis.  To provide some perspective on the potential scale of emissions, 27 million metric tons is roughly equivalent to annual CO2 emissions of seven coal-fired power plants.

 

Seattle University Environmental Studies Program Earns $100,000 Project

Seattle University’s Environmental Studies Program has partnered with the King County Wastewater Treatment Division to develop a sustainable urban farm site on the unused parcel of the wastewater treatment site in Renton. And here’s the kicker—the produce harvested at the farm goes to local food banks.  In November, Wells Fargo granted $100,000 to expand the [farming] project’s educational, environmental and community benefits.  The project also fits very well with the university’s growing effort to incorporate sustainability into its academic programs, a key plank in the Presidents’ Climate Commitment, of which SU is a signatory.

Professor Gordon Miller, Environmental Studies Program director, sees the project as having multiple benefits for SU and beyond:
On a local level, it demonstrates the broad support for urban agriculture efforts in the Seattle area. On a national level, it’s one tiny step in the direction of envisioning and preparing for our agricultural future at a time when American farmland is rapidly disappearing and the majority of American farmers are nearing retirement.  And on a global level, it highlights the fact that, in our efforts to forge more sustainable relations between humankind and the Earth, one of the most important considerations is our daily behavior in relation to food.   Read the entire story here.

 

St. Paul Catholic School in Akron, Ohio

St. Paul Catholic School in Akron, Ohio has implemented a composting program designed to help students connect their daily choices and actions to their faith commitment to care for God’s Creation.  The Akron Beacon Journal reports that The program — B the 1: Recycling that works — is a food-scrap recycling effort that turns lunchroom waste into compost for growing berries. It’s implementation at the Firestone Park-area parish is an outgrowth of last year’s Lenten series, which was spearheaded by the parish’s social justice committee and focused on taking care of the planet’s resources.

Shelly Kadilak, from the Summit-Akron Solid Waste Management Authority told the 200 students that [o]rganic waste (anything that comes from a living thing), should be placed in the large green composting receptacle.  The school has also replaced the polystyrene foam lunch trays with compostable trays.  The program is also grounded in Catholic mission to help students recognize the practical implications of their faith.           Pastor Fr. Ralph Thomas said, We believe that our creator, God, has left the world in our hands to pass on to generation after generation. It is our job to preserve it, protect it and take care of it so that it continues to serve all of God’s people. How we dispose of our refuse is important because we don’t want to destroy God’s creation. It’s really about good stewardship.

 

Summer Learning Opportunity

This summer, top Franciscan scholars will offer a two-week course titled, “Creation, Humanity and Science in the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition.” Br. Keith Warner, OFM, Br. Bill Short, OFM, and Mary Beth Ingham, CSJ, will present the course from July 29-Aug 12, 2012, at Mission Santa Barbara in California. This short course reflects the desire of the Franciscan School of Theology to bring the best intellectual resources from our Franciscan tradition to bear on a pressing issue facing the human family: our relationship with the natural world. Click here for a four page brochure that describes the program. 

 

Webinar: Sustainability and Catholic Mission

On Wednesday, February 8, the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change will partner with Loyola University New Orleans and offer Catholics and the Climate: Fostering Mission-Based Sustainability. This one-hour free webinar begins at 8 pm (CST).

Most Reverend William S. Skylstad, Bishop Emeritus of Spokane, Honorary Chairperson of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change and Past President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will address the link between environmental sustainability and the mission for Catholic institutions.

For more information about the webinar and how to register, click here.