Office of Advocacy and Justice Updates

Helpers of God’s Most Precious Infants Mass and Rosary Procession
The next Helpers’ Mass and Rosary Procession will be held Saturday, November 6 at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, Winter Park. Mass will begin at 8:00 AM. Following the Mass we will drive to St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, Altamonte Springs, to being our rosary procession to the nearby abortion clinic on Maitland Ave. Helpers’ Vigils are scheduled on the first Saturday of the month. See our web site for a full schedule: www.advocacyjustice.org. Please join us in praying for the protection of human life.  For more information, contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice; 407-246-4819; advocacyjustice@orlandodiocese.org 

Planning for Healthcare Decisions
Advance directives allow us to appoint someone to make our medical decisions when we can no longer do so ourselves or to direct our treatment in advance.  The Catholic Declaration on Life and Death (CDLD) is an advance directive approved by the Catholic bishops of Florida that corresponds to Florida law and the teachings of the Church.  The CDLD and a companion document, Understanding the CDLD, were recently revised and can be found at www.flacathconf.org.   

Catholics Prayed for Successful Climate Talks in China
Catholics in Tianjin prayed during Mass this past week for the success of the United Nations Climate Change Conference that took place in their city in northern China.  “We Catholics especially pray that the Tianjin conference leads to a concrete consensus on reducing global warming,” said Father Paul Zhu Lige, a priest in Tianjin. He said it was every individuals’ responsibility to protect the environment. “Everyone in Tianjin should help by wasting less papers and water to begin with.”  Read more here.  You can also learn about Pope Benedict’s support of the UN climate negotiations. 

Vatican Hosts Interfaith Conference on Global Challenges
October 12, the Vatican hosted a daylong conference on interreligious action to address global challenges including climate change.  Three panels discussed equitable and ethical development, caring for the environment and conflict prevention.  Each panel included representatives of each of the “Abrahamic” religions (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) who spoke from the viewpoint of their respective religion and through the lens of interfaith action. Read more here. 

Study Guide for Catholics on Climate Change
The National Catholic Rural Life Conference (NCRLC), a member of the Coalition, has updated their resource, Climate Change: A Catholic Response Study Guide.  It can be used for individual reflection, but it is also appropriate for students and/or parish study groups. This updated web resource provides links to much more information about climate change, Catholic teachings and shared Christian praxis. The Study Guide can be accessed on the NCRLC website. Please
check it out. 

Franciscan Action Network Launches C4C Program
The C4C Franciscan Care for Creation program is the Franciscan Action Network’s adult formation program to prepare communities to live out our ecological vocation by addressing local, national, and international issues. This six-session program includes prayer, stories, visuals, readings, discussion, and a companion DVD. The efforts of FAN (a Coalition member) to promote civility in discourse extends to conversations about how we care for all members of Creation. C4C is an excellent tool for engaging in reflective dialogue and constructive action to make a difference in your community. Your local action can lead to national transformation that affects our brothers and sisters around the world. Learn more and order your copy here: http://www.franciscanaction.org/ Regional Projects Underway Four parishes and a high school in each of the five archdiocesan pastoral regions are celebrating this month’s launch of the Creation Sustainability Ministry. One example is Mary Immaculate Parish in Pacoima.  Their ecology committee teamed up with the nonprofit organization TreePeople to distribute free fruit trees to members of the working-class parish community. Last fall, the parish installed three new water fountains and banned plastic water bottles from parish events.  Low-cost, stainless steel water bottles emblazoned with the parish logo were sold to parishioners to encourage less use of bottled water.  Early this year, the parish installed new insulation, a new duct system and two new heating, ventilating and air conditioner units in the main parish office. Archdiocesan-wide educational seminars on the environment are in the works. 
Read about it here. And learn more details about this exciting initiative here. 

University of Dayton Commits to Sustainability
The University of Dayton will become a charter participant in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s program to publicly report sustainability efforts in education and research, operations, and planning, administration and engagement.  “As a Catholic and Marianist university, we feel it’s important to publicly show what we are doing to be good stewards of our environment,” said Kurt Hoffmann, environmental sustainability manager.  Read more here. 

Waste Recyclers Deserve Respect Says Bishop in Philippines
Caloocan Bishop Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr. has joined a growing campaign for recognition, respect and support for recyclers, particularly the waste pickers.  He addressed this issue as governments met in Tianjin, China to continue the stalled negotiations for a global climate agreement and action plan. “We are called upon to recognize our brothers and sisters who work very hard to reclaim and recycle tons of valuable resources from the bins, trucks and dumps,” said Bishop Iñiguez, who also heads the Public Affairs Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the PhilippinesRead more here

Recent Advances in Adult Stem Cell Research and Other Alternatives to Embryonic Stem Cell Research/Cloning

STEM CELL SOURCES
“Scientists overcome hurdles to stem cell alternatives,” The Washington Post, September 30, 2010, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/30/AR2010093003211_pf.html 

OVERALL SUCCESSES
“Researchers engineer adult stem cells that do not age, overcoming a major barrier to progress in regenerative medicine,” University of Buffalo News Release, September 22, 2010, www.buffalo.edu/news/11785?print=1  

BRAIN
“Scientists discover gene that controls stem cells in central nervous system,” Medical News Today, September 27, 2010, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/202596.php

“Athersys announces groundbreaking data showing neuroprotective effects of MultiStem Therapy for traumatic brain injury,” Athersys, Inc. News Release, September 20, 2010, http://ir.athersys.com/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=508875   

 CORD BLOOD
“Stem cells alternative gains attention,” The Tennessean, September 12, 2010, www.tennessean.com/article/20100912/NEWS01/9120354/Stem-cells-alternative-gains-attention

“New research demonstrates safety of cord-blood-derived stem cell treatments,” Medical News Today, September 3, 2010, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/199861.php

 EYE
“New subretinal stem cell treatment for eye disease,” PR Web, September 1,  2010, www.prweb.com/printer/4427444.htm 

HEART
“Researchers discover how bone marrow stem cells injected into skeletal muscle reverse heart failure,” University of Buffalo News Release, September 27, 2010, www.buffalo.edu/news/11795?print=1  

LIVER
 “EHSI: Researchers convert skin cells into liver cells,” Business Wire, September 22, 2010, www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100922005640/en/EHSI-Researchers-Convert-Skin-Cells-Liver-Cells