Office of Advocacy and Justice Updates




Office of Advocacy and Justice Workshops

Delve deeper into Catholic social teaching by bringing one of the many workshops and presentations offered by the Diocese of Orlando Office of Advocacy and Justice to your parish, school, or ministry. Topics include: Faithful Citizenship, Stem Cells and Bioethics, Living Wills and End of Life Care, Immigration, Death Penalty, Environmental Stewardship, Sacredness of Life, Post Abortion, Catholic Social Teaching, Catholic Relief Services, Fair Trade, and more! We are happy to tailor a presentation to meet your needs. Contact us at 407-246-4819 or for more information and to schedule a speaker.


Pray for the DREAM

Between September 18th and October 9th scores of dioceses, parishes and other faith groups will be planning events and/or incorporating petitions, homilies, and prayers into the Sunday Masses in support of our DREAM Act eligible students and youth. We plan to lift up the human face of suffering from an otherwise political issue through personal stories and testimonies, while also sharing many of the ways that Catholic Social Teaching calls us to support our innocent immigrant youth who want nothing more than a chance to succeed in this world and reach their God given potential. Visit for resource to participate in Pray for the DREAM.


Take Action on the Congo

Join the U.S. bishops and Catholic Relief Services to use your voice to urge President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to appoint a Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa, where a longstanding conflict has caused unimaginable harm to our brothers and sisters in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Learn more and take action.  


Webinars on Physician-Assisted Suicide, and Support for Veterans

The USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development is offering two webinars this Fall in partnership with the National Catholic Partnership on Disability:

  • Threats to the Lives of People with Disability, Part II: Physician Assisted Suicide will be held on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET.
  • How can we help? Parish Support for Veterans and Their Families will be held on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET.

Register for the webinars here.


Stewards of the Earth

New Resource: Catholic Parish and School Planning Guide

As noted in previous updates, the Coalition is re-launching the Catholic Climate Covenant: St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor in time for the Feast of St. Francis.  Late this week postcards will be mailed to every parish, school, youth and college campus minister. 

Accompanying the re-launch will be several new resources.  One of those is now available: Catholic Parish and School Planning Guide.  The Planning Guide offers suggestions and resources which are designed to help you:

  • Prepare for and meet with parish/school decision maker(s)
  • Convene a St. Francis Pledge Committee with key stakeholders
  • Develop targeted questions for the Committee to consider
  • Successfully implement the St. Francis Pledge initiative in your parish or school with all the resources, tips and tools in one place 

Please help share Catholic teaching on the environment and climate change by reaching out to parishes and schools in your diocese so more and more Catholics will understand that concern for Creation and care for poor people are essential practices in living our faith. Find this exciting new resource here.  

View all of our updated resources on this new Feast of St. Francis Resources webpage to assist you in your planning.


Schools Planning for the Feast of St. Francis: A Resource from New Zealand

Caritas New Zealand has begun planning for the Feast of St. Francis this October 4 and plans to promote the St. Francis Pledge around New Zealand Catholic schools as part of the celebration!  A flier with reflection, St. Francis Day — On Holy Ground has gone out to “every child, student, teacher and principal” in Catholic schools “to proclaim and live our commitment to take better care of our world.” 

Caritas New Zealand also plans to promote the Pledge through parishes and other faith-based groups such as diocesan justice & peace commission, the Catholic publication Tui Motu, as well as with ecumenical groups working on climate justice issues in New Zealand/Aotearoa. 


Featuring “Getting Started Guide”

In its most recent Climate Justice Newsletter, Caritas Internationalis featured the environmental responsibility efforts of Coalition partner, the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA).  The Newsletter highlighted CHA’s Environmental Sustainability Getting Started Guide, which was designed to help Catholic health care facilities more fully embrace and practice mission-based sustainability.  

The Getting Started Guide has been a helpful model in developing the Coalition’s Parish and School Planning Guide and the soon-to-be-published Sustainability and Catholic Higher Education: A Toolkit for Mission Integration (co-published with the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities, Catholic Relief Services-College, National Catholic Student Coalition, and Catholic Campus Ministry Association). 


The St. Vincent Pallotti Center Program on Environmental Justice

Staying Connected, a publication of the St. Vincent Pallotti Center, recently printed the first of a two part series on staying connected to environmental justice.  The St. Francis Pledge is featured prominently on the cover of this first issue. 

Located in Washington, D.C., the St. Vincent Pallotti Center’s mission is to inspire volunteer service through Catholic-based organizations. The Center supports prospective volunteers during their exploration of service opportunities, strengthens the personal and spiritual development of volunteers while they serve, and assists former volunteers to stay connected to their ideals and their communities.  Learn more here. 


Sisters of Mercy — Northeast Community Take A Stand on Climate Change

Sisters of Mercy—Northeast Community have adopted a public stand on climate change that calls each Sister and the community as a whole to reduce their carbon footprint.  They proclaim: 

We, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Northeast Community and Companions, believe:   The impacts of climate change around the world, from floods to droughts to disease, disproportionately affect poor, vulnerable communities, especially women, who regularly do the work of growing food, collecting water and fuel and raising children. 

In response to this statement, they will: support actions and policies that educate elected officials on the need for comprehensive climate change and energy legislation, including strong international adaptation and mitigation policies; reduce personal and institutional carbon footprints by 5-10% within one year; support local economies; purchase renewable energy when possible; and choose alternative modes of transportation such as public transportation, electric and hybrid cars, walking and bicycling. Read more here.