Do you have questions about Advance Directives or Living Wills? Concerns about end-of-life care and Catholic teaching? Confused about designating a Health Care Surrogate? These and other questions can be answered at a living will forum by a panel consisting of a Catholic physician, attorney and clergy. To schedule a forum for your parish contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice: email@example.com or 407-246-4819.
A presentation on the US Bishop’s document, “FORMING CONSCIENCES OF FAITHFUL CITIZENSHIP: A CALL TO POLITICAL RESPONSIBILITY FROM THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF THE UNITED STATES,” is available to parishes and will include the topics of the HHS Mandate and Religious Liberty as well as November ballot initiatives. Please contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice to schedule presentations: firstname.lastname@example.org; 407-246-4819. Take advantage of this opportunity – especially relevant in this election year – to learn what the Church teaches about public policy and participation in political life.
On Holy Saturday, April 7, Bishop Noonan will lead us in Morning Prayer followed by a Rosary Procession to the nearby abortion site on Lucerne Terrace. Morning Prayer will be held at St. James Cathedral (215 N. Orange Ave., Orlando) beginning at 8am. The rosary will be prayed in both English and Spanish. If you would like to volunteer to help during the event, please email email@example.com.
This all day, free retreat will challenge you to put your faith into action while providing times for prayer, reflection, and dialogue. Join us on March 17 at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church (4675 S. Clyde Morris Blvd., Port Orange) from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Fr. Christopher Hoffman, pastor of Our Lady of Hope, and Deborah Shearer, Director of the Office of Advocacy and Justice, will be the presenters for the day. For more information or to register to attend contact: Office of Advocacy and Justice; 407-246-4819; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building Communities of Salt and Light is a program designed to facilitate the integration of the Church’s social mission into the life of the parish. The program helps participants to strengthen, expand, and utilize skills that will enable them to work in collaboration with other parish leaders to advance the implementation of the parish social mission. Learn more at Annunciation Catholic Church on March 24, 2012 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information and to register contact: Office of Advocacy and Justice, email@example.com, 407-246-4819.
In a beautiful commentary titled A Catholic Stewardship of the Environment- A Renewed Vision, National Catholic Rural Life Conference Executive Director, Jim Ennis, considers how spending time in God’s Creation helps us recognize that there is a purpose in all of creation, and we can learn much if we pause to reflect upon God’s creation.
While we can choose to become aware of God’s presence in creation, Ennis observes that If we don’t see purpose, order or beauty in creation, then we tend to treat creation as if it is merely an unintelligible substance to be used, manipulated, or abused in any way we see fit. He points out that such an ethic of manipulation and exploitation is inconsistent with authentic Christian living since [a]s stewards of the gift of creation, we are called to ’till and cultivate,’ to be co-operators with God in cultivating the earth.
This Lent, you are invited to develop a fuller sacramental vision of the natural world in order to recognize the Creator’s real presence in Creation. As St. John of Damascus declared: The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God.
The Coalition added a new Media Resources page with six short videos that describe a faithful response to climate change, calling us to care for God’s creation and to care for those most impacted, the poor and vulnerable. We invite you to use these as tools to help spread the good news about the Church’s commitment to care for God’s creation and all those within it.
The page contains an overview video about Pope Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate in which he calls for protection of the environment, and the safeguarding of resources and of the climate. Others address creation care within the context of different ministries within the Church (a parish, a college, a diocese, a religious community, a hospital) highlighting experiences and best practices designed to inspire further sustainability efforts in your community.
If you have a story (either a video or a narrative) to share about how you or your community has integrated Catholic mission-based sustainability into your life and ministry, email the Coalition.
The Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is pleased to offer “Stations of the Cross with John Paul II: On the path of ecological conversion” in both English and Spanish. Click here for Stations of the Cross in English or Stations of the Cross in Spanish.
New CRS Director Sees Environmental Dislocations
In an interview with Forbes magazine, the new CEO of Catholic Relief Services, Carolyn Woo, shares her hopes for CRS and herself as she takes the reins of the organization. When asked what her top priorities are for the US Catholic overseas relief and development agency, Woo said, I need to keep my head up, to focus on what is coming down the road, on environmental dislocations and the necessary strategic re-alignments.
She also knows that the annual battles for funding will be challenging, particularly at a time with neither the US Congress nor the administration appear to make life-saving overseas relief and development assistance a priority. Read more here.
Addressing the annual Public Policy Convention of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, Cardinal Timothy Dolan urged Catholics to be engaged in the public square saying, We root for the underdog in Catholic social justice. He continued, “Human laws must always flow from and never contradict natural law. Politics and policy can never trump principles and Catholic teaching promotes stewardship of people, environment and creation. Jesus always had radar for those at the side of the road which is the basis for the preferential option for the poor. Responsibility trumps rights and we are never free from the duty to serve others, particularly those in need.” Read more of Cardinal Dolan’s reflection on being faithful citizens including his continuing call to work against the federal mandate on contraception coverage and how secularism fills the void when people of faith disengage from the political arena.
The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) hailed the announcement by the Scottish government for the creation of a Climate Justice Fund to help respond to the on-going challenges of climate change.
The Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Stewart Stevenson, said: It is a travesty that it is the poorest people in the world’s most undeveloped countries who are hardest hit by climate change. They are least able to respond to the impact of increasingly erratic weather patterns and ever more frequent climate-related disasters.[T]he onus is on the international community to take action.
In response, Patrick Grady, SCIAF’s advocacy manager, said Urgent and substantial action is needed to support vulnerable communities in developing countries where lives and livelihoods are already being lost due to climate change. Countries like Scotland secured huge economic benefits from the historical use of fossil fuels. It is only fair that we should stand in solidarity with those now affected and pay our fair share to help the most vulnerable adapt to the climate challenges they face. Grady went on to say that the Fund demonstrated cross-party support for the concept of climate justice, and a clear recognition of widespread public concern about the impact of climate change around the world.
Read the entire report here.
Mark your calendars for Monday, March 19, from 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT! Ave Maria Press will offer a free webinar: Catholics Going Green: Our Call to Stewardship and the Journey of Living Environmental Justice. Walter E. Grazer who served as the director of the Environmental Justice Program for the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops from 1993 to 2007 will lead the event. The webinar will explore six pertinent themes from Catholic theology and Catholic social teaching to help us foster a deeper reverence and sense of gratitude for the gift of creation.
Click here to register for this FREE event.
The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) is co-sponsoring their third Global Day of Prayer for Creation Care on Thursday April 26, 2012 in Washington, DC. The day will include prayer and worship, theological exploration and training, and will feature speakers including Dr. Chris Wright (Keynote), Lon Allison, Leith Anderson, Luis Cortes, Jo Anne Lyon.
EEN’s Global Day of Prayer for Creation Care is co-sponsored by the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association of Evangelicals, Eden Vigil, Care of Creation Inc., The Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, Esperanza USA, Blessed Earth, and many others.
Click here to register, and check out the numerous creation care materials and resources.
On March 28, Catholics Confront Global Poverty here will present a webinar on the “Two Feet of Love in Action”. This newly revised model describes two distinct, but complementary, ways that we can put love in action: Social Justice and Charitable Works. The webinar will explore Pope Benedict XVI’s teachings on justice as foundational to social action; the common good; the integral importance of community and relationship; and the virtue of charity which enlivens and motivates our work. RSVP to participate in the webinar.
The religious coalition Faith, Economy, Econology Transformation passes along word of an interesting video and book called.Sacred Economics. The 12-minute video briefly recounts the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. Today, these trends have reached their extreme. But in the wake of their collapse, we may find great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being.