Office of Advocacy and Justice Updates




Catholic Days at the Capitol, February 7-9

Catholic Health System Eliminates Styrofoam

Celebrate Life and Love: Diocesan Celebrate Life Day:  January 28

Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace: January 19

National Preach-in on Climate Change in February

Philippine Bishop Laments Environmental Destruction After Huge Storm

Prayer Service for Christian Unity: January 24

Scheduled Execution Prayer and Action Alert Update

US Bishops, Other Catholic Groups Applaud Final Mercury Rule

Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace

Join Bishop John Noonan and other Central Florida religious leaders in praying for peace in our world on January 19 at the Congregation of Reform Judaism (928 Malone Drive, Orlando). The prayer service will begin at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a reception. Contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice for more information:, 407-246-4819.


Prayer Service for Christian Unity

Most Reverend John Noonan cordially invites you to a Prayer Service for Christian Unity. The 2012 theme is “We Will All Be Changed by the Victory of Our Lord Jesus Christ” (cf. 1 Cor 15: 581-58). The prayer service will take place Tuesday, January 24, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in downtown Orlando (123 E. Livingston St.).  To RSVP contact Elizabeth Clayton, 407-246-4819,  


Celebrate Life and Love: Diocesan Celebrate Life Day

Join us for this FREE family event on January 28 to learn about your faith and celebrate life! Celebrate Life Day will take place at Holy Family Catholic Church, 5125 S. Apopka-Vineland Rd., Orlando. Come any time between 10 a.m. ? 6 p.m. and participate in: Workshops (Spanish Track and Youth Track), Keynote Speakers, Information Fair, Blood Drive/Health Vendors, Food Vendors, Entertainment, celebration of Mass (at 5 p.m.) and a Catholic Relief Services Banquet (including dinner, concert, and a speaker). Registration is available online at For more information contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice: 407-246-4819;


Catholic Days at the Capitol, February 7-9

Join Catholics from around the State of Florida in Tallahassee for the annual Catholic Days at the Capitol under the direction of the Florida Catholic Conference, the Florida Bishops public policy agency. We will present our legislative concerns to our local senators and representatives.  We will also have the opportunity to attend the Legislative Luncheon with our bishops as well as the 37th annual Red Mass to pray for our politicians and lawmakers. Buses are available. This is a great opportunity to form relationships and live out our calling to be faithful citizens. Deadline to register: January 25, 2012. Click here to download the registration form. Please call 407-246-4819 or email: for information.


Scheduled Execution Prayer and Action Alert Update

On February 15 at 6 p.m., Robert Waterhouse is scheduled to be executed at Florida State Prison, in Starke, Florida. We are encouraged to pray for Mr. Waterhouse, his family, the victim’s family and friends, that they will continue to receive healing through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; 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 ask for his clemency. Please refer to the petitions and bulletin insert below.  For more information, contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice, or 407-246-4819.


All Human Life Is Sacred

The U. S. Catholic Bishops have called all Catholics to participate in a campaign to achieve the abolishment of the death penalty, see:

Our Bishops have stated that, “At a time when the sanctity of life is threatened in many ways, taking life is not really a solution but may instead effectively undermine respect for life.”  This pending execution gives Florida Catholics the opportunity to be a part of the campaign in a very personal way.  Our hearts and lives must have special space for the victims and their loved ones as well.  But let it be known that “standing with families of victims does not compel us to support the use of the death penalty” (U.S. Bishops).  For more information, contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice, 407-246-4819.

Sample Petitions for Liturgy

•For men and women who sit on death row awaiting the end of their life.

•For the victims of violence and hatred, that they may be freed from pain and fear.

•For the loved ones of those who have suffered death at the hands of another person, may their hearts experience the healing and reconciling power of the Spirit.

•For the families of those condemned to die, that the hope of the resurrection and the truth of the Gospel of life might strengthen them in their time of need.

•May the witness of the Church to the sacredness of all life, even of those who have done evil acts, serve to call our nation to a new awakening in responding to crime and determining punishment.


US Bishops, Other Catholic Groups Applaud Final Mercury Rule

Just before Christmas, members of the Coalition, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) , Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA)  and Franciscan Action Network (FAN), joined the National Association of Evangelicals and the Evangelical Environmental Network in applauding the Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule on toxic emissions from power plants. They highlighted its importance in pro-life terms.

When fully implemented, the rule will significantly reduce mercury and other toxic air pollution from coal and oil burning power plants. Health experts say it will dramatically reduce toxic exposure to pre-born children and prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks, and 130,000 childhood asthma attacks each year.

Bishop Blaire of Stockton and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, said in a statement, The bishops welcome this important move by the Administration to adopt long-awaited standards to reduce hazardous air pollution and protect children’s health.  In the end it just makes good sense to want to have clean air for our children and families to breathe and for future generations.

Philippine Bishop Laments Environmental Destruction After Huge Storm

In mid-December, tropical storm Sendong dumped rain in the southern region of the Philippines causing devastating floods and landslides.  It is rare that a storm of this magnitude would hit the southern part of the nation.  Hundreds of people were killed and many more lost homes and livelihoods.  Bishop Elenito Galido of Iligan called for action to stem future disasters like this, which he blames largely on man-made environmental carelessness.  Short-term greed pushed people to log illegally and quarrying and mining indiscriminately also contributed to the destruction of nature.  Loads of garbage are clogging are waterways.  These are all man’s work so we suffer from nature’s wrath, he said.  Read more here.

Catholic Relief Services is also seeking donations to aid victims of the devastation


Catholic Health System Eliminates Styrofoam
Bon Secours St. Francis Health System in Greenville, South Carolina has completely eliminated its use of Styrofoam plates, cups, and bowls in cafeterias at both Greenville campuses as part of a 3-year-old, system-wide green initiative and as a way to be a model to the wider Greenville community. Karen Schwartz, the hospital system’s vice president for facilities, says that the move was inspired by the fact that as a petroleum-based product, Styrofoam doesn’t decompose or go away over time in a landfill. It stays forever and it takes up space.  If you throw it in the ocean, it floats and it can kill sea life. If you burn or incinerate it, the chemicals that were used in the manufacturing of it aerosolize and again has a negative impact on the environment…We really couldn’t find a redeeming quality other than the fact that it held stuff.  Schwartz added: We are all responsible for caring for God’s creation and we are interdependent on one another. It is really short-sighted of me to think that my actions and behaviors don’t impact someone in Haiti, Peru, Africa or China because they do.  (Story from The Greenville News, 12/30/2011)

National Preach-in on Climate Change in February

Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) invites clergy, lay leaders, and green team members of all religions from across the country to participate in the National Preach-In on Global Warming over Valentine’s Day weekend, February 10-12.  As the date approaches, IPL will send a variety of support resources to those who register, including:

  • Denomination-specific liturgical and thematic notes to help in the preparation of sermons, reflections, +devotionals, Bible studies, and youth activities
  • Ready-to-go sample sermons on climate change
  • Climate change fact sheets and bulletin inserts
  • Valentine’s Day postcards for policy makers
  • Preaching for the Planet 30-minute film in DVD format

All materials are free-of-charge to those who wish to give a sermon or hold an activity. Resources will be sent in January to those who register.  To register for the Peach-In, visit the IPL website.