Office of Advocacy and Justice Updates


Raise Your Voice for Life & Dignity on Feb. 4 – Not able to attend the 2014 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering? You can still add to the effort to raise our voices on behalf of those in need by calling or emailing your members of Congress on Feb. 4 to weigh in on the advocacy issues about which Gathering participants will be visiting Congress on that day.  Learn about the issues here.



Raise Your Voice for Life & Dignity on Feb. 4

Not able to attend the 2014 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering? You can still add to the effort to raise our voices on behalf of those in need by calling or emailing your members of Congress on Feb. 4 to weigh in on the advocacy issues about which Gathering participants will be visiting Congress on that day.  Learn about the issues here. 

Helpers’ Mass and Rosary Procession this Saturday with Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa at Holy Family 

The next Helpers’ Mass and Rosary procession will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church (5125 S. Apopka Vineland Rd.) on Saturday, February 1beginning with Mass at 8:30 am. After Mass we will drive to Planned Parenthood (726 S. Tampa Ave, Orlando) and pray the rosary peacefully outside. Please join us in praying for the protection of human life. For more information, contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice; 407-246-4819;

USCCB Pro-Life Chairman, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Urges Support for No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, HR 7

“Last week, many thousands of Americans once again gathered in Washington, D.C., despite the snow and the bitter cold, to celebrate God’s wonderful gift of human life and to ask our government to respect and protect life from its very beginning. Hopeful young people and older veterans of our national debate on abortion declared together that we must not turn the woman in crisis and her unborn child against one another – that we should reject the false and deadly response of abortion, instead promoting adoption and other solutions that empower both mother and child to have a positive future.

“In that same spirit, I urge you this week to support legislation to take us one small step toward a society that promotes life and not death for unborn children and their mothers. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7) is sponsored by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and 163 other members. It deserves your support.” Read the full letter.

Catholic Days at the Capitol, March 25-27, 2014, Register Today!

Catholics from around the state gather in Tallahassee to participate in Catholic Days at the Capitol. Participants attend a legislative briefing on human life and dignity issues prior to meetings with elected officials. Included in the activities is a luncheon for participants, the bishops of Florida and state legislators.  Participants are also invited to the annual Red Mass of the Holy Spirit con-celebrated by the bishops of Florida. Most Reverend Robert Lynch, Bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg will be the Homilist for the Red Mass.  Attended by state officials, lawmakers, judges, members of the legal profession and the community, the Red Mass is celebrated to pray for those working in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. For more information and to register please see our flyer here. See flyer and registration. 

Quote of the Month from Pope Francis

“We must reawaken the memory of our Baptism. We are called to live out our Baptism every day as the present reality of our lives. . . Thanks to Baptism, we are capable of forgiving and of loving even those who offend us and do evil to us. By our Baptism, we recognize in the least and in the poor the face of the Lord who visits us and makes himself close. Baptism helps us to recognize in the face of the needy, the suffering, and also of our neighbor, the face of Jesus. All this is possible thanks to the power of Baptism!” (Pope Francis, General Audience, 1/8/14)

Help Spread Francis’ Message of Hope – Pope Francis Quote Compilation

These quotes from speeches, messages, homilies, and audiences of Pope Francis are a sample of his prolific words about poverty, economic justice, care for creation, human rights, and many other issues. His words point to the Church’s long tradition of Catholic social teaching and inspire us to live and act as disciples. The compilation is in both English and Spanish and the links will be updated periodically as we continue to add quotes. The compilation is not meant to be comprehensive; it does not cover every issue, but we hope it will save you time and energy and be useful in your work.

Help Our Brothers and Sisters Impacted by Typhoon Haiyan

Contact your members of Congress and President Obama today to request that the Philippines be designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. This would ensure that nationals of the country currently residing in the United States are able to work and to send remittances back to their families, thus helping aid the recovery. Take action now.

Social Justice in the News

USCCB and National Catholic Partners Respond to Farm Bill Conference Committee Bill

Bishop Pates Renews Plea for Secretary Kerry to Urge Israel to Stop Unnecessary Confiscation of Palestinian Lands in Occupied West Bank

Bishops’ Conferences Say Hope is Essential for Peace in the Holy Land

Archbishop Wenski, Bishop Pates Ask Congress to Remember Values of Human Life and Dignity in Trade Deals

Archbishop Wenski, Bishop Pates Call for Expansion of Humanitarian Aspects of Response to U.S.-Mexican Drug Trafficking

Catholic Leaders Urge Senate to Promote Decent Work and Just Wages

Final Farm Bill Completed; Congress Moves to Vote

The 2013 (now 2014) Farm Bill has emerged from conference committee and will now proceed to floor votes in the House and Senate. While important nutrition, conservation and other programs will be funded and secured for the next five years, reforms in the structure of farm policy are left undone.  Congress continues to allow farm subsidies to go to off-farm “managers” and investors when such supports should be limited to actual farmers on the land. Instead of funneling money away from rural America, the farm bill should target funds to rural communities, environmental conservation and real family farms.  Despite these failings in reforms, Catholic Rural Life supports a Yes vote on the new Farm Bill to ensure some stability in farm, food and conservation programs for the next several years.

Immigration Reform: Continuing the Call

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are meeting this week to plan their way forward on immigration reform. It is possible they could announce their reform principles at any time.  Catholics and other supporters of immigrants and their families are strongly encouraged to call their GOP Members of Congress by this Wednesday, and ask that immigration reform will in principle and practice:

  — Ensure a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants;

  — Maintain family unity by preserving the family immigration system.