Office of Advocacy and Justice Updates

Hopes for quick action on a new five-year farm bill are fading as negotiations on certain issues stall. Compromises on certain major issues – particularly dairy, payment limits and farm subsidies – eluded the negotiators, causing the completion of a new farm bill to be delayed until after the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day recess next week.




Join the U.S. Bishops in Praying to End Abortion, 9 Days for Life!

The Bishops of the United States are urging Catholics to join in a 9-day prayer campaign from January 18-26 to end abortion. More information, including a novena and prayer resources can be found here.

Cardinal O’Malley Encourages Catholics to Participate in Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage Surrounding Roe v. Wade Anniversary


Scheduled Execution: Prayer and Action Alert Update

On February 12, Juan Chavez, is scheduled to be executed at Florida State Prison, in Starke, Florida. Your parish is encouraged to continue to pray for Mr. Chavez, his victims, his family, the victims’ family; for all the public officials involved in this scheduled execution; for Governor Scott, that he will discern God’s will and apply the teachings of our Catholic faith on the death penalty. Please contact Governor Scott to voice your concern. Parishes are encouraged to participate in prayer services at the parish or to attend a prayer service at the execution site in Starke. A bus will be leaving from the parking lot of Our Lady of Lourdes 201 University Blvd, Daytona Beach, 32118, at 2:30pm. A prayer service will be held at St. Patrick’s Church in Mt. Dora at 3pm. For more information on the prayer service, contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice, or 407-246-4819.

Catholic Mobilizing Network to End Use of the Death Penalty Updates: 



Connect to CMN’s Website

Our goal at CMN is to educate Catholics so that more people will participate in the dialogue to end the death penalty in your state. Help us spread our reach by connecting to our website on yours like the Georgia Catholics Against the Death Penalty, the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death PenaltyNebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty and the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty have done. Our website shares numerous, free educational and prayer resources geared toward Catholics, such as “A Good Friday Reflection To End the Death Penalty,” meant for use in the upcoming Lenten Season. These are ready for use and are helpful for anyone interested in learning more or educating others – such as teachers, parish lay leaders, clergy, and youth ministers. Many of these resources are available in Spanish, too! 

Catholic Living Will; a Declaration on Life and Death, February 15

  • Do you have questions about Advance Directives or Living Wills?
  • Have you been asked to provide such a document before admission to a hospital?
  • Does the issue of assisted suicide leave you confused about Church teaching?
  • Would you know what to do if your parents consult you about a Living Will?

Come join us on Saturday February 15, 2014 9am-12pm at St. John Vianney (6200 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando) to learn the answers to these questions. For information contact: Donna D’Ambrosio 407- 855-5391 Ext. 304


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 Gregory Parkes, Bishop of the Diocese of Pensacola/Tallahassee (formerly a pastor in the Orlando Diocese) 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.

This Valentine’s Shop Fair Trade!

Give the gift of love to the many men and women artisans that work hard to make beautiful and unique products that help life their communities out of poverty. Check out their catalog!

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

For more than 30 years, Catholic Charities agencies have been providing services to human trafficking victims across the country, and are leading efforts to offer employment services, family counseling and legal advocacy to trafficking victims from all walks of life. In the past year alone, 29 Catholic Charities agencies reported providing services to 239 victims of sex, labor, drug and organ trafficking. Click here for more information on human trafficking


Registration Now Open for 2014 National Migration Conference

The 2014 National Migration Conference, co-hosted by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS) is intended to build the capacity of the Catholic Church and society to advance the life and dignity of the human person in its work with immigrants, migrants, refugees, unaccompanied migrant children, victims of human trafficking, and other vulnerable people on the move.  

This conference is open to anyone who seeks to better understand and to engage in the mission of the Catholic Church to serve, accompany, and advocate for immigrants, migrants, refugees, trafficking victims, and other vulnerable people on the move.  The expected eight hundred attendees will include colleagues from the USCCB/MRS, CLINIC, and CCUSA,  pastoral, service, and advocacy networks across the country, as well as organizations, government and non-government partner agencies, Church officials, and other interested individuals.

Registration is now open for the conference, which will be held July 7-10, 2014, in Washington, D.C.


The Institute for Latino Studies Presents

The Church and Immigration

University of Notre Dame

March 2-5, 2014

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,

but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God.” Ephesians 2:19

The Church and Immigration conference schedule

People have been migrating since the dawn of human history, but the scope and scale of migration today is unprecedented. Nowhere is this reality more present than in the United States. Although scholars have examined this reality from a number of perspectives, there is a critical need for more sustained reflection on the Church’s contribution to immigration reform. Pope Francis has highlighted the importance of this issue and encouraged individuals and institutions from around the world to respond to this defining moral issue of our times. This conference will bring together scholars, pastoral workers, public policy leaders, and advocates committed to responding to this issue in the United States today. In the process we hope to not only reflect more critically on immigration today but also to assist our understanding of what the Church has done, what it is doing, and what it might do better in its outreach to migrants and refugees.  Click here to register.


2014 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering Registration Open

Registration is now open for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering. The 2014 event will be held at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C. from February 2-5. This annual gathering provides an excellent opportunity for Catholic leaders to connect, learn, pray and advocate. This conference allows you to participate in exciting plenary presentations, briefings, workshops, and strategy sessions addressing current topics essential to our various ministries, and better prepare you and your colleagues for the challenges of our mission. 


Advocacy Efforts:

Farm Bill Negotiations Stall Again; Maybe Late January

Hopes for quick action on a new five-year farm bill are fading as negotiations on certain issues stall. Compromises on certain major issues – particularly dairy, payment limits and farm subsidies – eluded the negotiators, causing the completion of a new farm bill to be delayed until after the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day recess next week.