Office Of Advocacy And Justice Updates

Our present crises – be they economic, food-related, environmental or social – are ultimately also moral crises, and all of them are interrelated. They require us to rethink the path which we are travelling together. Specifically, they call for a lifestyle marked by sobriety and solidarity, with new rules and forms of engagement, one which focuses confidently and courageously on strategies that actually work, while decisively rejecting those that have failed. Only in this way can the current crisis become an opportunity for discernment and new strategic planning.
(Pope Benedict XVI 2010 World Day of Peace Message, No. 5)

Our present crises – be they economic, food-related, environmental or social – are ultimately also moral crises, and all of them are interrelated. They require us to rethink the path which we are travelling together. Specifically, they call for a lifestyle marked by sobriety and solidarity, with new rules and forms of engagement, one which focuses confidently and courageously on strategies that actually work, while decisively rejecting those that have failed. Only in this way can the current crisis become an opportunity for discernment and new strategic planning.
                                                         
(Pope Benedict XVI 2010 World Day of Peace Message, No. 5) 

Respect Life Sunday, October 3 – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time  
is celebrated on the first Sunday in October, as designated by the U.S. Bishops. This year’s theme is: The Measure of Love is to Love Without Measure. Every parish has received a USCCB packet with liturgical ideas and educational resources on timely social issues, including: Death Penalty, Pro-Life Youth, End of Life Care, Losing a Child to Suicide, and Sex Trafficking. This year’s liturgy guide offers Intercessions for Life, suggested preaching reflections for Respect Life Sunday and January 22, a “Litany for Life,” and a Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Begun in 1972, the Respect Life Program brings Church teaching on the value and dignity of human life to the Catholic community and the wider public. The program combines education, prayer, service and advocacy.  Respect Life Sunday is observed in virtually all of the 195 Catholic dioceses in the United States. All resources are available in English and Spanish and may be ordered or downloaded from:  www.usccb.org/prolife/programs/rlp/index.shtml.  If your parish needs resources or assistance in planning an event or educational opportunity to celebrate the sacredness of human life during October, call the Office of Advocacy and Justice, 407-246-4819. 

Abortion Recovery Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat
Abortion Recovery Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat will be held November 19-21 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.  For more information about this confidential weekend, please contact Karen Reilly at 321-662-5097 or karenreilly57@gmail.com or visit www.rachelsvineyard.org. 

Living Will Forums:
Do you have questions about Advance Directives or Living Wills? Concerns about end-of-life care and Catholic teaching? Confused about designating a Health Care Surrogate? These and other questions will be answered at an upcoming living will forum by a panel consisting of a Catholic physician, attorney and clergy. Please see below for the dates and times for upcoming forums around the diocese:

  • Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Celebration, 9:00AM, Saturday, September 18
  • St. Anthony Catholic Church, Lakeland, 12:00PM, Sunday, November 14

For more information, contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice, at advocacyjustice@orlandodiocese.org; 407-246-4819. 

Dialogue with Bill Sublette: New Orange County School Board Chair
A  Luncheon and Dialogue with the newly elected Orange County School Board Chair Bill Sublette will be held at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church on Thursday, September 30 from 12:00pm-1:30pm. Lunch is $6. Please RSVP to eclayton@orlandodiocese.org

40 Days for Life – Daytona Beach
The Knights of Columbus councils and churches in the Daytona Beach area are joining together in support of the national 40 Days for Life Prayer and Fasting Campaign. They will hold Prayer Vigils on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. beginning September 22 thru Friday, October 27. The campaign will be directed at the Woman’s Center of Daytona, 1360 Mason Ave., Daytona Beach. For more information, call (386) 447-3455. 

Pope and Patriarch Urge Preservation of Planet for Future Generations
Pope Benedict urged all people to remember the duty we have today to safeguard the future for generations to come.  Speaking on August 29 in support of the Day for Safeguarding Creation (September 1)-a tradition in Italy and in the Greek Orthodox Church-the Holy Father said, There can be no peace in the world without respecting the environment. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople echoed these sentiments, calling efforts to address the environmental crisis, this titanic and just fightRead more here.  The Patriarch’s statement can be read here

Climate Impacts in Alaska Today
Professor Glenn Juday, a forest ecologist from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (and the scientist who shared his knowledge with the bishops of Alaska at their climate change hearing in 2007) described the devastation happening to white spruce and birch trees as a result of climate change.  Much of this is due to a drying out of the region-shorter winters, less snowfall, and less summer rain-and rapid temperature increases.  Scientists agree that the Arctic region is warming twice as fast as the global average. Dr. Juday was in Washington at a meeting sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences’ Polar Research Board.  Warmer temperatures are also seriously impacting fish and wildlife, which many Native Alaskans rely on for sustenance.  For a reflection on subsistence by the Alaska‘s bishops, click here

“Developing Leaders to Save the Earth” by Msgr. Franklyn Casale, St. Thomas University, Miami
Msgr. Casale’s blog, found on the Archdiocese of Miami website, highlights the St. Thomas University School of Law’s recently-created program in Environmental Sustainability and their efforts to link environmental degradation to impacts on humans, especially poor people.  As educators, parents and responsible citizens of the world, we are required to care for our planet.  Read more here. 

Prayer Devotions for September: Our Lady of Sorrows
By tradition, the Catholic Church dedicates each month of the year to a certain devotion. In September, it is Our Lady of Sorrows. The Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows takes place on September 15, the day after the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. We remember the suffering of Mary as she stood at the foot of the Cross and witnessed the torture and death of her Son. 

Most holy Virgin and Mother,
whose soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the Passion of thy divine Son,
and who in His glorious Resurrection was filled with never-ending joy at His triumph;
obtain for us who call upon thee,
so to be partakers in the adversities of this world
and the sorrows of her children and all of creation,
as to be found worthy to rejoice with them in the consolation for which we pray, in the charity and peace of the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Rural Life Prayerbook: Order from NCRLC Bookstore online 
This small hand-held prayer book was first published by NCRLC in 1956. It includes classic prayers of the Church, but also blessings and prayers unique to the rural family: Blessing of the Barn and Stored Harvest, Blessing of Poultry, A Farmer’s Prayer to Mary, Devotions for the Feast of St. Isidore, and many more! Dimensions are approximately 4×6; 410 pp. Cost: $15, plus $4.50 postage and handling. Please visit our online Bookstore today! (To order by phone: 515-270-2634, ext. 10