Advocacy and Justice Updates

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A Journey of Faith and Justice

A Migrant Farm Worker Family Story 

Bring Your Faith to Life through Operation Rice Bowl 

“Caring for Creation” Lenten calendar 

Fast for Farmworker Justice

First Fridays for Food Security: Reflect on Climate Change 

Helpers’ Mass and Rosary Procession

Path to the 2012 Farm Bill   

Rachel’s Vineyard Post-Abortion Retreat

Resources

Sacraments and Social Mission Monthly Feature: Penance
“Understanding Compassion” Webinar on Immigration  

 

Helpers’ Mass and Rosary Procession
The next Helpers’ Mass and Rosary procession will be held at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church (526 Park Ave. N, Winter Park) on Saturday, March 3 beginning with Mass at 8:00 a.m. Following Mass we will drive to St. Mary Magdalen and process to the abortion clinic on Maitland Ave. while reciting the rosary. 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

 

A Journey of Faith and Justice

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; advocacyjustice@orlandodiocese.org.

 

Rachel’s Vineyard Post-Abortion Retreat

Rachel’s Vineyard Post-Abortion Retreat will be held May 18-20 at San Pedro Center in Winter Park.  If you have been affected by abortion and need healing, community and the love of God, this retreat is for you.  This confidential retreat offers a safe, non-judgmental environment where women and men find healing and reconciliation for the most painful experience of abortion.  For more information or to register, please contact Karen at 321.662.5097 or email karenreilly57@gmail.com

 

Fast for Farmworker Justice

Fast for Farmworker Justice will be held on March 5-10th at Publix Headquarters in Lakeland with daily vigils at different locations each night. On Saturday, March 10th at 12 noon, people will gather at Publix Store at 3636 Harden Blvd, Lakeland for a 3-mile Procession to the Fasters culminating Ceremony of the Fast at Publix Headquarters, Airport Rd & Publix Corporate Parkway, Lakeland at 2pm.

For almost three years, farmworkers and people around the state have been calling on Publix to join in ensuring fair wages and conditions for the farmworkers who pick its tomatoes. Yet, Publix has steadfastly refused to even talk with the farmworkers. Furthermore, Publix’s refusal to adopt the Fair Food code of conduct, which includes zero tolerance for slavery, creates a market for farms that would abuses farmworkers. 

On March 5th, farmworkers and supporters will begin a 6-day fast in front of Publix Headquarters.  We invite you to support the fasters by visiting them, attending one of the nightly vigils, and most of all, coming on Saturday, March 10th to the culmination of the fast.  For more details, visit www.interfaithact.org/fast or contact info@interfaithact.org.  

 

Bring Your Faith to Life through Operation Rice Bowl 

Catholic Relief Services  invites us to do something more during Lent — by offering simple but powerful ways to help us return to a right relationship with God and bring our Catholic faith to life. Through their Operation Rice Bowl, you can pray, fast and give alms for the poor around the world who are served by CRS. You can also sign up to receive their Weekly Reflections.  See all of the resources for Operation Rice Bowl by visiting orb.crs.org. We also encourage our members and network to stay informed and engaged with Catholics Confront Global Poverty. 

 

“Caring for Creation” Lenten calendar 

The Archdiocese of Washington developed a “Caring for Creation” Lenten calendar. Click here to view and download your calendar.  Also available to download (or to purchase in print) is the NCRLC study guide on poverty and hunger.  The season of Lent would be a good time to form a study group and consider the causes of hunger in an abundant world — and what we can do according to our faith tradition. Click here to learn more: “Food Security and Economic Justice”  

 

First Fridays for Food Security: Reflect on Climate Change 

On 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 May, Catholics in the U.S. have been fasting on First Fridays in solidarity with persons living in poverty in the U.S. Food insecurity is also a serious problem globally and is often intensified by climate change-the topic of focus for Feb. 3. On Friday, participants can reflect on this theme using a special handout, and can visit the Facebook event page to leave comments about their experiences.

 

Sacraments and Social Mission Monthly Feature: Penance
This month’s handout in the Sacraments and Social Mission series is on “Penance: Reconciled to Right Relationship, Called to Heal and Restore.” In preparation for the Sacrament, we examine our consciences to identify ways we are not in right relationship with God and others, as well as how we participate in structures of sin that degrade the lives and dignity of others. Penance allows us to receive God’s gift of mercy and forgiveness and to become vehicles of Christ’s love, making amends and restoring justice and the bonds that have been broken. Share this resource with catechists, religious educators, teachers, and all Catholics! Get past sacrament handouts here.

 

“Understanding Compassion” Webinar on Immigration  

Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF and Kent Ferris, OFS are hosting a February 22 webinar to share what they learned at a mid-January conference on immigration sponsored by the USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services and Catholic Legal Immigration Network. The one-hour webinar begins at 4 pm (Eastern) on Wednesday, Feb. 22.  Click here to register online. Sr. Marie, who oversees immigration work for the Franciscan Action Network, and Kent Ferris, who supervises the Immigration Office for the Diocese of Davenport, will provide current information and review strategies. Join the webinar to understand how we can bring compassion to the U.S. immigration system.

 

A Migrant Farm Worker Family Story 

In his latest commentary on campesino ministry, Rev. Mike McAndrew offers a “typical migrant farm worker story”. He explains how this story of “Abel and Maria” (not their actual names) gives a glimpse of life for migrants. Their story is one of striving for a better life for their children and the difficulty of conveying dignity to their children. “The Church can and should play a role in their lives, but often we miss the mark,” Fr. McAndrew writes. The story shows some of the complexity ministering in the farm worker community. Click here to read the full commentary.

 

  • Resources
    Take a look at the Passionist Earth & Spirit Center’s Lenten program resources called Lent 4.5: Christian Simplicity.  Lent 4.5 takes advantage of people’s desire to do something more for Lent: encouraging participants to pray and learn about ways to protect God’s creation, embrace Gospel justice, and nurture their own spirituality. The seven-week Lenten program provides your parish or congregation with a new approach to the traditional Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  Check out the video (scroll down to bottom of their website) explaining the program.

 

Advocacy Efforts

 

Path to the 2012 Farm Bill   

In its “Path to the 2012 Farm Bill” series, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition gets into the details of the 2012 Farm Bill debate. Their first post discusses some major factors influencing the 2012 Farm Bill timing and process.

The post explains that the current farm bill expires on September 30, 2012, and Congress must take action on farm policy by then. That action can come in the form of passing a stand-alone farm bill, attaching a farm bill proposal to another bill, or passing a short or long-term extension of current law. Significant political, budget, and committee factors will influence that choice as well as the timing of the farm bill process this year.