Office of Advocacy and Justice Updates




November 18 Meal Packing Event

You can still register as an individual, family or parish for the Million Meal Challenge  through November 13th at!  Please join us for this event highlighting local and global hunger issues where together Central Florida will package ONE MILLION MEALS for the third poorest country in the world Burkina Faso ALL while meeting, seeing and learning about poverty organizations here in our backyard.  There is no cost for volunteers but we encourage all to bring one or more items to fill our food bank at Catholic Charities!  All ages may attend and anyone  can package the meals (food for meals is already provided).  Pre-Education sponsored by Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities is available.  Call or email Stephanie Bosse; – 407-246-4822. 


CRS Fair Trade this Advent

Interested in giving that “gives back” supports artisans and craftsmen around the world and ensures those who make much of what we eat, wear and use earn a livable wage this Christmas.  Call Stephanie Bosse, Catholic Relief SErvices Fair Trade Ambassador to learn more!  407-246-4819.


During a Storm:   Prayer from Fr. James Martin, SJ

On the In All Things blog of America magazine, Fr. James Martin, SJ, contributing editor at America has offered the following prayer reflection about Hurricane Sandy:

A Prayer in the Storm
God of the Universe, at the dawn of creation, your Spirit breathed on the waters, making them the wellspring of all holiness. You created the oceans and rivers, and all that dwell within them, and at your word the wind and the waves were born. The seasons follow your plan, and the tides rise and fall on your command. In both calm and storm, you are with us. On the Sea of Galilee, when the disciples began to fear, Jesus showed that he was Lord over the waters by rebuking the storms, so that all would know that even the wind and the waves obey him. Creator God, we ask you to calm the wind and the waves of the approaching hurricane, and spare those in its path from harm. Help those who are in its way to reach safety. Open our hearts in generosity to all who need help in the coming days. In all things, help us to remember that even when things seem dark and stormy, you are in the boat with us, guiding us to safety. Amen.

We pray for all the victims of this devastating storm.


First North American Saint

Barbara DiTommaso of the Diocese of Albany correctly pointed out that the first North American saint was not Kateri Tekakwitha (who was from the Albany Diocese) but Juan Diego, to whom Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared.  Thanks for the correction, Barbara!


Chestnut Hill College and Viterbo University

The Coalition is pleased to announce that Chestnut Hill College (Philadelphia, PA) and Viterbo University (La Crosse, WI) have become Catholic Climate Covenant Partners by institutionally endorsing the St. Francis Pledge.

On October 24, President Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D., signed the St. Francis Pledge on behalf of Chestnut Hill College.  The signing was marked with the launch of a major recycling initiative at the Sisters of St. Joseph-run college.

Also on October 24, President Richard B. Artman, PhD., signed the St. Francis Pledge on behalf of Viterbo University.  The signing occurred on the University’s Sustainability Day(see flyer), which also included a lecture, panel, lunch, walking tour and movie.

With the Partnerships of Chestnut Hill College and Viterbo University, fifteen Catholic colleges and universities have become Catholic Climate Covenant Partners by institutionally endorsing the St. Francis Pledge. They are: Cabrini College, Chestnut Hill College, College of Mount St. Joseph, College of St. Benedict/Saint John’s University, Loyola University Chicago, Mercyhurst University, Neumann University, University of Notre Dame, Saint Anselm College, Saint Joseph’s College of Indiana, Saint Michael’s College, Salve Regina University, Stonehill College and Viterbo College.


Brazilian Bishop Calls for Action on Climate Change

In a recent US Catholic article  titled Who Suffers Most from Climate Change.   Most Reverend Dom Erwin Kräutler, bishop of Xingu, Brazil, writes: The church calls on all people and governments to protect the future of God’s creation by addressing the urgent threat of global warming.  Bishop Kräutler shares how the farmers in his diocese are being harmed by the effects of climate change, particularly with respect to severe storms and prolonged droughts.

Bishop Kräutler reflects on how a misunderstanding of economic development contributes to climate change and environmental degradation: When the free market is seen as the engine of progress and the measure of all things, earth, water, air, and fire will be commodified and subordinated to the rules and powers of the market, multinational companies, and international trade. But when life in human dignity is the goal and meaning of all development, then development will be geared toward the survival and well-being of all people, including the generations that are coming after us… What is needed is development that is oriented toward the protection and promotion of life and human capacities; toward education, health, security, housing in dignity; and toward environmentally responsible agriculture, stewardship of our water resources, and careful protection of biodiversity.  Averting climate change and saving our planet will require both a change in consciousness and concrete measures that hold all people and countries of the world accountable.


New Document from Bishops on the Economy: Watch Live!

At their upcoming November meeting (Nov. 12th-14th), the bishops will discuss and vote on an important new statement on work, poverty and the economy. This and other public sessions will be streamed live on the USCCB website. Tune in to watch the session live and be the first to hear about the new statement. Check the website in coming weeks for the exact schedule during the bishops’ meeting, and let your audiences know that they, too, can watch the public session online.


Website Launched for Catholics Confront Global Poverty

The USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development and Catholic Relief Services are pleased to announce the launch of our new Catholics Confront Global Poverty (CCGP) website at The new website brings a new look and feel to the CCGP initiative, which seeks to draw Catholics into solidarity with the real faces and stories of our brothers and sisters in poverty around the world, and to propel us to action. Visit the new website now to hear the stories, see the faces, learn about the issues, and take action to confront poverty today!


“Stack of the Deck” Game: Catholic Social Justice Education Monthly Feature

This is a fun and interactive game for ages 12 and older. The gameuses three volunteers and a series of guided exchanges of playing cards to illustrate how a person’s background, experiences, and choices can impact his or her opportunities and economic status. The game is great for both small and large groups, and a Spanish version is coming soon! Visit the resources now.


Webcast – Strengthening the “Circle of Protection” After the Election

At a time of persistently high poverty and joblessness, programs that serve poor and vulnerable families in their time of need must be protected. Shortly after Election Day, Congress will return to the Capitol to complete its work for the year. Tune in to our post-election webinar on Thursday, November 8 at 2:00 PM to hear what’s at stake and what we need to do to ensure that Congress helps, rather than hurts, people at home and abroad struggling to live in dignity. Register here!


Poverty Education and Outreach Manager

JPHD is looking for qualified applicants for the Poverty Education and Outreach Manager position. This person provides education and outreach on the mission and activities of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the Catholic Church’s social teaching, and the reality of poverty in the U.S. He or she also develops and maintains relationships with CCHD grant staff and diocesan directors; has a major role in orientation, training and support for CCHD diocesan directors; and develops educational resources and tools, including web-based, distance-learning and social media resources. Bachelor’s Degree required/ MA preferred in Theology, Social Work, or related field with  5-6 years of experience in national, diocesan or parish social ministry, community development, education, social work, or related field. Spanish desirable. See full details and application instructions.


2012 Farm Bill petition: Time to Push Congress

Can Congress still finish a farm bill this year? There is a short window of time for Congress to complete a new bill when they return to Washington, DC after Election Day. This will be the critical time for all of us to tell them loud and clear:  we need an equitable, sustainable 2012 Farm Bill.  NCRLC is part of a major grassroots effort in collaboration with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to make our voices heard. Sign onto the citizens’ petition today. And please mark your calendar for a national day of action on November 15!


Food Policy Action Launches Website

Many have heard about our Ethics of Eating campaign and efforts to make more people aware that eating is a moral act. Our network members may be interested in a new website that will highlight the importance of food policy and to promote many of the policies that NCRLC promotes through our Ethics of Eating campaign.

Known as Food Policy Action, the goals of this initiative are to support healthy diets, reduce hunger at home and abroad, uphold the rights and dignity of food and farm workers, support local and regional food systems, and reduce the environmental impact of farming and food production.


USCCB Upcoming Conference on Migration Advocacy in 2013

Migration and Refugee Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is holding a national conference on Dec. 3-5, in Atlanta, Ga. This conference will examine migration from federal, state and local perspectives, and will discuss methods for advancing the migration policy agenda of the Church in 2013 and beyond.

            The conference is designed to interest diocesan staff and Catholic Charities, men and women religious, parish ministry leaders, priests & pastors, and lay members of the Catholic community. Click here for more details and how to register.