This Friday, Dec. 2 (the first Friday in December), Catholics are invited to “fast” 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).
Participants can then visit the Facebook event page to leave comments about their experiences and access information and reflections on food insecurity. A two-page handout on the December 2 theme of Migrants and Food Security is also available.
First Fridays for Food Security will continue on every first Friday through April 6, 2012.
As you are making final preparations for celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12, please take advantage of the resources developed to promote observance of this feast, which is so important for all peoples of the Americas. In fact, in 1945, Pope Pius XII declared the Virgin Mary, under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, to be the Empress of all the Americas.
The 2010-2011 Respect Life Program Liturgy Guide contains the following resources:
? a brief account of the miraculous apparitions and their importance to the pro-life movement and, indeed, all the Americas
? a prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe (for life)
? a ceremony for enthroning Our Lady of Guadalupe in the home
? a novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe
You may also wish to distribute the prayer card— “Our Lady of Guadalupe Pray for Us” (Item no. 1012 [Spanish item no. 1013]; $12/100), which asks Our Lady to intercede on behalf of her vulnerable children, including those who are not yet born. They can be ordered by calling the toll-free number of our fulfillment company: 866-582-0943.
Join us for this FREE family event on January 28, 2012 to learn about your faith and celebrate life! Celebrate Life Day will take place at Holy Family Catholic Church, 5125 S. Apopka-Vineland Rd., Orlando. Come any time between 10am?6pm and enjoy: Workshops (Spanish Track and Youth Track), Keynote Speakers, Information Fair, Blood Drive/Health Vendors, Food Vendors, Entertainment, Mass (at 5pm) and a Catholic Relief Services Banquet (including dinner, concert, and a speaker from 6-9pm). For more information contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice: 407-246-4819; firstname.lastname@example.org
December is National Identify Theft Awareness Month. Learn more at http://myfloridalegal.com/identitytheft.
On Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI addressed delegates of 194 countries gathering in Durban, South Africa for the latest round of international climate change negotiations. He urged that they reach a strong global agreement to address the challenge of climate change: I hope that all members of the international community can agree on a responsible, credible and supportive response to this worrisome and complex phenomenon, keeping in mind the needs of the poorest populations and of future generations. Click here for the Catholic News Service (CNS) story.
Shortly after, the President of Caritas Internationalis, Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, echoed the words of the Holy Father: Urgent action is necessary. Climate negotiators in Durban must not further delay agreeing to international legislation to curb the threat of climate change and set the world on a path to a more just and sustainable future. CNS reports that Cardinal Maradiaga is leading a 20-person Caritas delegation to the Durban talks to press for an agreement on behalf of poor countries that have been severely impacted by climate change.
In similar fashion, Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference issued a pastoral letter asking the South African government to support resolutions based not on immediate economic needs only, but on the survival needs of future generations. The Bishops urged much higher targets of renewable energy production by phasing out coal and nuclear production and by developing the job creation potential of renewable energy. Read more here about their statement on the “urgency” of climate change.
As Pope Benedict XVI visited the East African country of Benin, he released a Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation to the Church in Africa. In Africae Munus, where he urged political leaders in Africa to combat poverty and to protect the environment. Read the entire statement here.
On Monday, November 28, Pope Benedict XVI met with 7,000 and Catholic youth who are part of a foundation called Sister Nature, a group inspired by St. Francis of Assisi. The Holy Father reminded the group that St. Francis recognized God’s presence in all of creation, and cared for creation as an expression of his love for God.
Additionally, the Pontiff once again reaffirmed that caring for God’s creation is inexorably connected to the Christian vocation to protect and defend human life and dignity – especially of the poor and vulnerable. The Pope said respect for the Creator’s imprint in all creation, leads to a better understanding of our true and deepest human identity. When humans disregard this Christian commitment, we can cause violence and damage to creation which always has a negative impact on humans, as we have seen, unfortunately, on several occasions. In conclusion, Pope Benedict XVI said: Today more than ever it is clear that respect for the environment cannot overlook recognition for the importance and inviolability of human beings, at every stage of life and in every condition. Respect for the human being and respect for nature are the same thing, they grow and find their just measure if we respect the Creator and His creation, both in the human creature and in nature.
During a five-day synod in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Vietnamese Catholics were urged to take stronger actions to care for God’s creation in the face of environmental degradation and climate change. At the synod, Andrew Nguyen Huu Nghia, head of the Kolping Society in Vietnam, said Conservation and protection of the environment must be considered a Christian virtue. It is high time Catholics showed greater awareness on this topic and do more to save the environment.
He recognized that environmental degradation and climate change harms human life and threatens dignity – especially of the poor and vulnerable. In a UCANews article he laments the fact that many Catholics regularly go to church and say prayers but throw their household waste onto their neighbors’ property…Catholics should change their lifestyles and promote environmental protection among communities as a way of evangelization.
The article concludes: The archdiocese (of Ho Chi Minh City) said it plans to publish a final statement and pastoral plans after the synod.
To further enhance its mission-based sustainability efforts, Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH, is implementing Sustainability and Catholic Higher Education: A Toolkit for Mission Integration. Their efforts were launched early in November and include:
+ A link to the Toolkit in www.Jesuitresource.org (managed by Xavier University’s Center for Mission and Identity)
+ A presentation on November 7 by President Michael J. Graham, SJ, entitled: “The Place of Sustainability and the Environment in Roman Catholic Thought” during the University’s annual Sustainability Day.
+ Sharing the Toolkit with all staff members of the Division of Student Life and Leadership as a resource during their time of discussion and formation of annual sustainability goals.
To learn more about the mission-based sustainability efforts at Xavier University, click here.
Updated FDEA website! – The Florida Department of Elder Affairs website has recently been updated. Visit http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/ for programs, services, publications, reports, resources and much more!
AARP Driver Safety Webinar – This free online webinar on “Family Conversations with Older Drivers: We Need to Talk” is scheduled for December 5 at 4 pm. Geared towards adults with aging parents, this webinar will help answer the question of ‘how do you know it’s time for your loved one to limit or stop driving?’ To register, visit http://tiny.cc/d3e8m.
DOEA and FDLE Mark the Third Anniversary of Silver Alert – Since beginning in October 2008, there have been 377 Silver Alerts issued in Florida, with 367 seniors located safely and 51 of those recoveries attributed directly to the Silver Alert program. Read more at http://tiny.cc/7ln45.
90+ Population – The nation’s 90+ population nearly tripled over the past three decades and now totals 1.9 million. See the full U.S. Census report at http://tiny.cc/45sxr.