Office of Advocacy and Justice Updates

 

Faithful Citizenship
Early voting has begun.  If you want to find locations, see: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/SOE/supervisor_elections.shtml.  To learn more about the U.S. Bishops document entitled: Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship in preparing for the upcoming election, see: www.faithfulcitizenship.org.  One of the helpful resources on the website is a Novena for life, justice and peace that may be said nine days before the Nov. 2 election, see: www.faithfulcitizenship.org/resources/podcasts.

  Supervisor county Supervisor of Elections for early voting times and cations.

Catholic Relief Services Poised to Respond as Super Typhoon Slams Philippines
Catholic Relief Services is readying emergency humanitarian aid for families affected by Typhoon Megi, the most powerful storm to hit the Philippines in years. The typhoon struck northeast Luzon on Monday and has already damaged houses, infrastructure, and crops. CRS is working with local dioceses and with Caritas Philippines to respond to the crisis. Crop damage is a concern for northern Luzon‘s impoverished farmers. In the immediate wake of 2009’s devastating Typhoon Ketsana, CRS reached over 10,000 people with emergency items like cookware, soap, and buckets.  In the following months, CRS employed survivors to remove flood debris and clear drainage areas. It also rebuilt houses. CRS has worked in the Philippines since 1945, assisting those in need without regard to race or creed. For more information or to help relief efforts, visit: www.crs.org 

Funding Needed to Fight Environment and Climate Impacts on Food Systems
In his message on the occasion of World Food Day, the Holy Father said, “In order to sustain levels of food security in the short term, adequate funding must be provided so as to make it possible for agriculture to reactivate production cycles, despite the deterioration of climatic and environmental conditions.  These conditions, it must be said, have a markedly negative impact on rural populations, crop systems and working patterns, especially in countries that are already afflicted with food shortages.” Read the entire statement here.  

For Reflection: Embrace Suffering to Save Creation
Rev. Bud Grant, Professor of Theology at St. Ambrose University (Davenport, IA), proposes a solution to saving the planet that isn’t quite as marketable — or simple — as reduce, re-use and recycle.  His idea? Embrace suffering, out of love for both God’s creation and future generations.  “I’m going to suggest suffering is an environmental virtue — in fact, the environmental virtue,” said Fr. Grant, who specializes in environmental ethics.  In the opening keynote address entitled “Back to the Garden” at last Saturday’s diocesan Institute for Catholic Social Ministry in Peoria, IL, he outlined the “vast” scope of the crises threatening the earth, including global warming.  “If we’re going to save the planet, we have to start acting like doctors,” he said.  “We have a very sick patient,” he added, noting that 18 of the last 20 years were the warmest ever recorded. His prescription of “redistributive suffering” — sacrificing our standard of living so that the impact of the environmental crises shifts away from the world’s poor and future generations — is rooted in faith and family. Read more here.  

JustFaith Graduates Gathering Focused on Care for God’s Creation
JustFaith graduates network in the Archdiocese of Seattle gather twice each year to focus on a justice issue. The gathering for this fall focused on “God’s Creation: How we stand in “right relationship.” Participants were invited to take the St. Francis Pledge, and to reflect on the environment, our Creator and our call to be faithful stewards using Jesuit Father Joseph Carver’s Ecological Examen. Participants were also be encouraged to promote the St. Francis Pledge in their parishes. Organizers also plan to display the joint Catholic Coalition/Catholic Relief Services “Who’s Under Your Carbon Footprint?” exhibit at the archdiocesan Youth Convention in early November. 

Sustainability Week at Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University in California is celebrating Sustainability Week with a host of exciting activities: 
* “Follow Your Food” is jointly sponsored by the Food and Agribusiness Institute and SCU Dining Services by Bon Appétit. Faculty, staff, and students will enjoy a meal featuring a fresh, seasonal, and local food product while learning more about where that product is locally grown, how much of it is consumed on campus, and more.
* Campus Sustainability Fair will encourage the SCU community to becoming a more sustainable place to live and learn.
*Students will volunteer at the local Forge Community Garden
*“Waste Characterizations” help SCU determine what’s thrown away: knowing what the University is sending to the landfill it becomes possible to see where to improve or expand waste reduction, recycling, and composting programs.
*Guest Lecture: “Serving ‘the Crucified People’: How We Personally Cause Environmental Injustice, and How We Can Stop It” by Professor Kristin Shrader-Frechette, the O’Neill Family Professor in Biological Sciences and Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. 

Global Climate Change: A Catholic Response Study Guide 
The Catholic Church calls us to be responsible stewards of our planet and to put into action Catholic social teaching in respect to the environmental challenges facing us. NCRLC staff have developed a web-based resource to help us apply sacred Scripture and the tradition of the Church in understanding and responding to climate change and environmental impacts upon societies around the world. Climate Change: A Catholic Response Study Guide can be used for individual reflection, but it is very useful as a group activity designed for students or a parish study group. This web resource also 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 visit www.ncrlc.com and check it out. 

Interfaith Power & Light Campaign: Eat, Pray, Save the Planet 
As NCRLC members know from our Eating is a Moral Act campaign, food is a spiritual issue as well as an environmental one. Interfaith Power & Light is developing a food program that will demonstrate the connections between food production, food consumption, and climate change. They are talking to food experts, digging deep into the research, and connecting with colleagues to carefully develop a new program on the ethics of eating.

They are currently seeking thoughts, comments & suggestions. Visit the Interfaith Power & Light website for ways to get involved — and to continue making connections between faith, food, and a healthy planet.  If you would like to become involved in the Interfaith Power and Light Campaign in your community, contact: advocacyjustice@orlandodiocese.org

Justice for Immigrants: The Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform 
In June 2004, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, INC. (CLINIC) Board of Directors resolved to make comprehensive immigration reform, with special emphasis on legalization, a major public policy priority within the Church. 

As part of the Church’s response, a diverse group of Catholic organizations with national networks have decided to join the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Justice for Immigrants: A Journey of Hope campaign designed to unite and mobilize a growing network of Catholic institutions, individuals, and other persons of good faith in support of a broad legalization program and comprehensive immigration reform.  There will be a convening of people interested in immigration reform that will be sponsored by the USCCB Justice for Immigrants Campaign in Chicago, November 3-5. The conference will examine the outcome of the mid-term elections and discuss ways to create political will for positive immigration reform in the new Congress.