Office of Advocacy and Justice Updates
Helpers’ Mass and Rosary Procession
The next Helpers’ Mass and Rosary procession will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church (5125 S. Apopka Vineland Rd., Orlando) on Saturday, November 5 beginning with Mass at 8:30 a.m. Following Mass participants 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; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caring for Creation Expo and Interfaith Prayer Service with Bishop Noonan
Everyone is invited to attend the first “Caring for Creation Expo and Interfaith Prayer Service” Saturday, November 12th, at Spirit of Joy Church, located at the corner of Rouse Rd. and Hwy 50 in East Orlando. The Expo is from 3-6.p.m. and will feature local, fun, environmentally friendly vendors and activities for the entire family to enjoy. Have fun AND raise awareness on being good planetary stewards. The event will conclude with an Interfaith Prayer Service at 6:00 p.m. — highlighting the traditions that every faith community shares in respecting God’s gift of creation. For more information contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice: email@example.com; 407-246-4819.
On November 15, Oba Chandler, is scheduled to be executed at Florida State Prison, in Starke, Florida. Your parish is encouraged to pray for Mr. Chandler, his family, the victim’s family and friends, that they will continue to receive healing through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; and for all the public officials involved in this scheduled execution; for Governor Crist, that he will discern God’s will and apply the teachings of our Catholic faith on the death penalty. Please refer to the petitions and bulletin insert below. For prayer service samples and information on the Prayer Vigil at Starke Prison on the day of execution, contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sample Bulletin Announcement
All Human Life is Sacred
Florida death row inmate, Oba Chandler, is scheduled for execution on November 15 at Florida State Prison. The U. S. Catholic Bishops have called all Catholics to participate in a campaign to achieve the abolishment of the death penalty, see: http://catholicsmobilizing.org/
Our Bishops have stated that, “At a time when the sanctity of life is threatened in many ways, taking life is not really a solution but may instead effectively undermine respect for life.” This pending execution gives Florida Catholics the opportunity to be a part of the campaign in a very personal way. Our hearts and lives must have special space for the victims and their loved ones as well. But let it be known that “standing with families of victims does not compel us to support the use of the death penalty” (U.S. Bishops). For more information, contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice, 407-246-4819.
Sample Petitions for Liturgy
•For men and women who sit on death row awaiting the end of their life.
•For the victims of violence and hatred, that they may be freed from pain and fear.
•For the loved ones of those who have suffered death at the hands of another person, may their hearts experience the healing and reconciling power of the Spirit.
•For the families of those condemned to die, that the hope of the resurrection and the truth of the Gospel of life might strengthen them in their time of need.
•May the witness of the Church to the sacredness of all life, even of those who have done evil acts, serve to call our nation to a new awakening in responding to crime and determining punishment.
November is National Celebrate Adoption Month. In our country there are 3 legal options in unexpected pregnancies. Adoption is the least utilized choice today for teenagers and women facing crisis pregnancies. These women need our prayers so that they see their self worth and the worth of their unborn child in order to make the best decision for themselves and the child they are carrying.
Prayers of the Faithful for the National Adoption Month
1. In honor of National Adoption Month, we ask God’s blessings for those women who chose life for their children and give them the gift of a family through adoption.
2. In celebration of National Adoption Month, we pray for all those who gave birth to or became parents to children who were adopted.
3. We ask for the increased knowledge, respect, and support of the gift of adoption in our society.
“Migrations and New Evangelization” is the theme chosen by Benedict XVI for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2012, which will be celebrated on 15 January 2012. Extracts from the English-language edition of the text are given below:
“Proclaiming Jesus Christ the one Saviour of the world ‘constitutes the essential mission of the Church. It is a task and mission which the vast and profound changes of present-day society make all the more urgent’. Indeed, today we feel the urgent need to give a fresh impetus and new approaches to the work of evangelization in a world in which the breaking down of frontiers and the new processes of globalization are bringing people and peoples even closer. This is both because of the development of the means of social communication and because of the frequency and ease with which individuals and groups can move about today“.
In his message for World Food Day, the Holy Father focused on the grave situation in the Horn of Africa and the causes of food shortages and volatility. [A]griculture work…must not be considered a secondary activity, but as the objective of every strategy of growth and integral development. He continues, This is still more important if we keep in mind that the availability of foods is increasingly conditioned by the volatility of prices and sudden climatic changes.
[T]he future of the human family is in need of a new impulse to overcome present fragilities and uncertainties. Although we live in a global dimension, there are evident signs of the profound division between those who lack daily sustenance and those who have many resources, using them often for ends other than food and even destroying them. You can read the entire statement here.
Please give to support the efforts of Catholic Relief Services working in the region to relieve this massive human suffering.
In America Magazine’s editorial section Of Many Things, editor in chief, Fr. Drew Christiansen, S.J., noted that [t]he worldwide Society of Jesus [Jesuits] has taken up sustainability as a major theme of its apostolates; and Jesuit colleges, along with other Catholic colleges, have taken it up as part of their Catholic mission.
He continues: Environmental injustice exacts enormous costs from its victims, who are often the poorest and most vulnerable members of society. What’s more, claiming environmental justice from powerful vested interests demands painful sacrifices from its advocates.
Reflecting on this reality, Fr. Christiansen says that [t]he recent Jesuit document “Healing a Broken World” could not be more clear: Sustainability is ‘a justice issue.’
Read the entire article here.
A number of Catholic elementary and secondary schools in Halton, Ontario, were recently honored at the Halton Student EcoCelebration for their environmental initiatives and achievements. Recognized were: St. Patrick elementary school, Canadian Martyrs, Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Elizabeth Seton, St. Gabriel, Corpus Christi and St. Christopher.
According to a news report, The event celebrates certified EcoSchools, which are awarded certification for achievement in teamwork and leadership, energy conservation, waste minimization, school ground greening, ecological literacy (curriculum) and environmental stewardship. Read more here.
One way to fulfill the ASSESS commitment of the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor is by performing an energy audit of your home, school, office or parish. Pledge-takers may also ASSESS their own ecological sustainability by using GreenFaith’s new Waste Audit Toolkit.
On its website, GreenFaith says that [c]onducting a waste audit involves collecting the trash from around your facility and examining what you’re throwing away. People rarely look at their trash after it’s thrown out- and waste audits are an eye-opening experience.
Learn more about this exciting new ASSESSMENT tool.
The White House is assisting in the roll-out of a new maternity assistance texting service entitled “Text4Baby.” The service will be free, and provide health tips and reminders – via text messages – to support healthy mothers and babies. Text4Baby was developed through a partnership between public and private entities, including the HHS and USDA Centers for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. For more information about Text4Baby, please visit its website: http://www.text4baby.org
Please join Catholic Relief Services and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for an online discussion on Catholics Confront Global Poverty and Youth. This opportunity to share strategies and resources for engaging young people to address global poverty will be presented by Ted Miles – Relationship Manager, Religious Education – U.S Operations, Catholic Relief Services and Jill Rauh – Outreach Coordinator, Justice, Peace and Human Development, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It will be held on October 31, 2011 from 1:00-2:00 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time. RSVP now.
The call to address global poverty is rooted in the Gospel message and our celebration of the Eucharist. Teachers and youth ministers can help form youth as members of the Body of Christ who are called to right relationship; invited to solidarity; and sent on mission to transform our communities and world. Through Catholics Confront Global Poverty, sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services, youth can engage in faith-filled, responsible participation in the life, mission and work of the Church and deepen their understanding of our connectedness to our brothers and sisters around the world. Join this interactive webinar to learn more about Catholics Confront Global Poverty as it relates to youth faith formation and youth ministry. A variety of resources will be available to help the young people you serve make a difference through prayer, learning, advocacy and action.
For more information:
- Visit the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website for online resources for youth.
- Visit Catholic Relief Services’ education site for online resources for youth.
- Visit the Catholics Confront Global Poverty initiative homepage and join now.
CCGP Migration Goal: Promote comprehensive immigration reform and address the root causes of migration and human trafficking. This fall, Congress will vote on whether to reauthorize legislation that puts U.S. pressure on countries around the globe to combat modern-day slavery. Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor. As such it is a modern-day form of slavery. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act combats the enslavement of more than 12.3 million people worldwide—up to half of them children. This $32 billion industry takes place in 161 countries. For every 800 people who are trafficked, only one trafficker is ever convicted.
Share these resources with your community.
Watch the latest webcast on this issue.
A new action alert will be out soon, so be sure that you’re signed up to receive our Catholics Confront Global Poverty action alerts. You can also visit our website to take action on this legislation.
Each month, CRS and USCCB experts from the United States and overseas meet online with domestic and international partners to discuss how the agency is responding to urgent humanitarian concerns, and how Catholics in the United States can get involved. If you have a computer with a high speed internet connection and a telephone (preferably with speaker phone capabilities) you can join the meeting and receive up-to-date information on global issues to share with your school, university or faith community. Webcast participants can also ask questions and share their ideas on engaging Catholics in the United States on the issues.
Each month, CCGP members receive an e-mail alert with an invitation to RSVP for the upcoming webcast, as well as links to resources for prayer, education and advocacy. Space for the online webcasts is limited, so a reservation is required. In addition, these monthly webcasts are recorded and can be accessed to watch on your own time and to share with study groups.
Please check the webcast page of the CRS website for updated details.
- More than Hope: Catholic Voices for Peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo Special Note: A recording of this will be available on October 28, 2011. Presenters: Bishop Djomo and Sr. Marie-Bernard of Congo
What can you do TODAY to help our brothers and sisters overseas who are poor and marginalized? Raise your voice on their behalf! Click on a link below and instantly take action on these critical issues.
While we must address the budget deficit, we need your help to preserve proven and effective poverty-focused programs.
Urge the President to push for greater civilian protection and humanitarian access to displaced persons in Sudan.
Urge President Obama and Secretary Clinton to appoint a special envoy for the Central Africa Great Lakes Region now!