Office of Advocacy and Justice Updates

   

 

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 12) and other Pro-life Resources:  

The USCCB website:  www.usccb.org/prolife/programs/rlp/2010/docs/liturgyguide.pdf offers wonderful liturgical resources for parishes to celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe including: A Prayer to our Lady of Guadalupe, a Novena and Enthronement of Our Lady.  Other resources include: Intercessions for Life, A Litany for Life and homily helps for A Day of Prayer and Penance for Life on the Anniversary of the Supreme Court decision (Roe v. Wade) January 22, 2011. A Statement from the Florida Bishops will be available to read at www.flacathconf.org on January 23. 

2011 St. Augustine March for Life  

Join the Diocese of Orlando on Saturday, January 15 as we travel to St. Augustine Florida to mark the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade legalizing abortion in the United States.  The March begins at the Mission Nombre de Dios—The Great Cross— and concludes in the public plaza with talks by nationally recognized Pro-Life Speakers. The Diocese of Orlando will have buses leaving from Brevard, Orange, and Volusia Counties. The cost for the bus is $25 per person; children under 12 are free. Call the office of Advocacy and Justice at 407-246-4819 for more information or to register. To read more about the march, visit: www.marchforlifestaugustine.com 

March for Life, Washington, D.C. 

 The March for Life and Rally will take place at noon on the Mall in Washington on Monday, January 24, 2011. Check www.marchforlife.org for more information on the March for Life activities and to register your buses.  

 

  • Youth Rally and Mass for Life: Archdiocese of Washington Youth Rally and Mass for Life – January 24, 7:00 a.m., Washington, D.C. Visit www.adw.org/service/jan24.asp  for advance ticket reservations. The site also includes links for bishops, priests and deacons to register online, information on a second location, and special additions and changes to this year’s event.  Although the event has been sold out there is a waiting list for admission.
  • DC Rally Bus: Helping People Attend the Washington D.C. March for Life
    In an effort to offer the opportunity to attend the 2011 March for Life in Washington, to as many people as possible, DC Rally Bus has launched a website. The site enables participants to self-organize charter buses in their respective communities, in an easy and risk free way. Our goal is to bring, at least, 10,000 marchers to the streets of Washington DC on January 24th.  We are trying to maximize the turn out by reaching out to those individuals who otherwise may not be able to attend the march. There are thousands of potential marchers across the country, with no affiliation to a church or other group that is organizing a bus.  These are the people we plan to bring! Our model is simple: a city needs 40 reservations to get a bus. We have coordinated our efforts with the national March for Life Education and Defense Fund and received Nellie Gray’s full support. In order for us to accomplish our goal of 10,000 Marchers, however, we are asking local organizations to support our mission. Visit http://marchforlife.dcrallybus.com/ for more information.
  • See the full schedule of March for Life weekend events at: www.usccb.org/prolife/prayervigil/schedule.shtml 
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Helpers’ Mass and Rosary Procession

The next Helpers’ Mass and Rosary procession will be held at St. Augustine Catholic Church (375 N. Sunset Drive, Casselberry) on January 8, 2011. After the 9am mass we will drive to St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Altamonte Springs and process to the nearby abortion clinic on Maitland 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; advocacyjustice@orlandodiocese.org.  

Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace: Called to Be Peacemakers

  An Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace will be held on January 19, 7pm at the Anglican Cathedral of the Incarnation (1515 Edgewater Dr., Orlando). Representatives from area faith communities will come together with Bishop Noonan to pray for peace and justice in the world. 

Posadas Project

 The Posadas Project seeks to promote the celebration of Las Posadas and to dedicate this Advent to the hospitality and solidarity called for in Justice for Immigrants: A Journey of Hope, the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform. People are invited to discover the blessings that flow from the faith experience of walking a Joseph and Mary and of being in solidarity with migrants, refugees, or strangers in our company. View the Posada documentary which shows the journey of unaccompanied immigrant children to the United States. More information at: www.posadas-project.com.

Immigration Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Mary, our Mother and our Lady of Guadalupe,
we come to you as migrants and pilgrims,
passing briefly through this world, as we journey to our true home in heaven.
Show us the Way. You were once a migrant too.
Guide us along safe paths, protect us from evil, and free us from all fear.
Show us the Way.

Teach us to welcome the strangers among us – immigrants, migrants, refugees, people on the move —
all sisters and brothers on the journey. Show us the Way.
Help us to seek justice for the oppressed,
to bring comfort to the afflicted,
and to offer hope and healing to all those we meet on the journey.
Show us the Way.

Help us to recognize that the only path to your Son is the way of justice.
Strengthen us to make straight this way before him. Show us the Way.
Open our hearts and minds to the suffering of victims of human trafficking, children held in detention,
and other vulnerable persons in need of our hope and help in their time of struggle.
Amen.

Human Trafficking

A Human Trafficking Awareness Training will take place at Barry University on Saturday, January 29, 2011.  In the Diocese of Orlando, Human Trafficking Awareness Sunday will be celebrated on January 30, 2011. Pope Benedict XVI has emphasized the need for a “renewed awareness of the inestimable value of life and an ever more courageous commitment to the defense of human rights and the overcoming of every type of abuse.” At the same time he has also expressed deep appreciation for the laudable anti-trafficking initiatives.  

The USCCB Migration and Refugee Services has become a leader in the fight against human trafficking. They have developed a national public awareness campaign to provide tools for victim identification and trafficking prevention. Florida and California have been chosen as the two states to initiate pilot projects.  Parishes will be receiving resources in preparation of Human Trafficking Awareness Sunday. A Statement from the Florida Bishops on Human Trafficking will be available at www.flacathconf.org on January 30, 2011.    

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Celebration Gifts

CRS is announcing a new way of gift-giving that makes a real difference in the world: CRS’ Celebration Gifts. When considering purchasing a gift to honor a family member receiving the Sacraments or to commemorate traditional giving occasions such as holidays and other milestones, consider making donations in honor of your loved ones.

When you do, each recipient will be e-mailed a beautiful card that combines the joy of their occasion with the joy of helping the poor around the world. You can add a personal message to the cards, which feature stunning photographs of our brothers and sisters who have been helped with food, water, education and other necessities through the generosity of donors like you.

Please visit Celebration Gifts, a beautiful website, to review cards, and keep the gift shop in mind the next time you want to honor a loved one. Your gift reaches God’s most vulnerable children in more than 100 countries around the world. 

 

Webinar: “Introduction to Affordable Rural Housing”

The National Rural Youth Assembly will host a webinar on December 14, 2010 at 2-3 pm Eastern to discuss Rural Affordable Housing Policy.  Why isn’t there enough affordable housing in rural communities?  What are some of the key policy issues at the federal level that affect housing in your community?  Joe Belden, Deputy Executive Director of the Housing Assistance Council, will address these questions and more in an overview of rural housing policy. This webinar is free and open to all who wish to join. Participants must first REGISTER HERE

Siena College: First Catholic College to Earn Fair Trade Status 

 Students, faculty and staff recently gathered in Siena’s dining hall, not to share a meal but to celebrate its distinction as the first college in New York State to be granted Fair Trade College status. Siena is just the third college in the country and the first Roman Catholic college to earn this distinction. Click here to read more. “Today is a very proud moment for Siena College,” said President Father Kevin Mullen ’75, O.F.M, Ph.D. “We are called to be responsible citizens of the world and this shows that we are doing more than taking a part, we are taking a lead.” As a Fair Trade College, Siena is committed to offering products that support fair pay and working conditions for vulnerable farmers and producers whenever possible. The College currently offers Fair Trade coffee, tea, sugar and chocolate and in the process, upholds children’s rights to security and education, encourages environmental sustainability and supports the efforts of farmers to invest in their communities.  

Interviews: Cancun Climate Change Conference

Cecilia Calvo, Environmental Justice Program coordinator at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, shared the moral framework that guides the U.S. Catholic bishops’ approach on national legislative and educational efforts with Vatican Radio this past weekend.  She also discusses the partnerships with other Coalition members including Catholic Relief Services and encourages U.S. Catholics to take the St. Francis Pledge.  Listen here.

Vatican Radio also interviewed Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh.  He shared his concerns about climate change and elaborated on the letter that leaders from Christian and Muslim communities sent to British Prime Minister David Cameron.  The letter urged the British government to, “do everything it can to ensure agreeing a fair, ambitious and legally-binding global agreement” at the Cancun meeting. Read more and listen to the full interview of Cardinal O’Brien. Find more about the religious response to climate change talks in Cancun here.

Vatican Open to Alternative Transportation; New Book on Vatican’s Solar Energy

 Pope Benedict XVI would welcome having an electric vehicle as a further sign of his commitment to protecting natural resources and safeguarding the earth, said a top Vatican official.  Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the commission governing the Vatican city-state, said if a sponsor offered the pope an electric-powered vehicle that “was in working order, efficient and suitable, why not? It would be a sign of his environmental concern.” The cardinal and others spoke during a recent Vatican news conference to present a new book, “The Energy of the Sun in the Vatican,” about the Vatican’s solar power initiatives. Read more here.  

Environmental Sustainability and Health Care

With the theme of Faithfully Healing the Earth, members of the Catholic health care ministry are working together to share information and strategies to decrease their impact on the environment and be faithful stewards of our Earth.   A wealth of resources for health care sponsors, systems, facilities and related organizations are available here. CHA states that: We have the power and responsibility to make health care more environmentally safe for our patients, employees, communities and planet.  We can improve the health of our communities — locally and globally — by reducing waste, shrinking our carbon footprint, using environmentally safe materials and adopting sustainable food policies.  See all CHA’s resources on environmental sustainability and health care.

Saint Mary’s College Students Take a No Impact Challenge

Can you have no environmental impact for 24 hours?  The president of St. Mary’s College Environmental Coalition (Notre Dame, IN), Ashley Cook, tried just that:
As environmentalists, we all strive to have less of an impact on the earth.  But what about trying to have no impact at all, is it possible? A few weeks ago we watched the documentary “No Impact Man”.  It is about a man living in New York City with his wife and young child, who tries to make no impact on the environment for one year.  He proves that it is easier said than done, but after watching his struggles, our club was inspired to try it for ourselves.  But just for 24 hours.  We told the members to pick one day within the week after watching the movie to have “no impact”.  I was thrilled to accept this challenge and although I did have some impact, I would say I did pretty well…     Read her story here.    

Creation Care Milestones at St. Monica-St. George, A Franciscan Parish in Cincinnati

Here is their inspiring story: St. Francis of Assisi walked in the footprints of God and today the Patron Saint of Ecology challenges all of us to follow.   St. Francis saw that all God created was good and he chose to praise God in prayer and by his daily life choices and actions.  St. Francis also led interfaith dialogues and is viewed as an ecumenical leader.  How can we as a parish, mosque, synagogue, or church praise God in prayer and by our daily life choices and actions?  At St. Monica-St. George we have taken some small steps to change our choices and actions.  We joined Ohio Interfaith Power and Light and entered the Cool Congregations Contest.  As a parish and as families and individuals, we signed onto the St. Francis Pledge, which is a promise and a commitment to care for creation and to protect the poor and vulnerable as they are affected by climate change.  Read more about the impressive list of all their activities

Advocacy Efforts:

Ask Congress to support the DREAM Act

The House of Representatives has passed this important legislation and we are waiting for a vote in the Senate.  The USCCB Justice for Immigrants campaign asks that you please continue to call and send messages to your Senator to vote for the DREAM Act.  Click on the link above to quickly and directly send a message to your federal lawmakers. Both the Administration and the military support this legislation. 

Background: The DREAM Act would make a difference in the lives of undocumented youth who were brought to the United States by their parents and now, because of their lack of legal status, face obstacles to their future.  By removing such barriers, the DREAM Act permits immigrant students to pursue a promising future through college education or military service. Those benefitting from the DREAM Act are talented, intelligent and dedicated young people who know only the U.S. as their home. Click here for more information about the DREAM Act.