Office of Advocacy and Justice Updates

 

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Advocacy Efforts
     Reforming the U.S. Farm Bill
     Victory for Farmworkers and the Environment! Toxic Pesticide is Pulled from the Market!
Aging Resources
     The Older Population: 2010
CRS Update on Pope Benedict Visit to Cuba
Fill Your Basket for Easter
Holy Saturday Helper’s Morning Prayer and Rosary Procession
JustFaith Ministries
Office of Advocacy and Justice Workshops
Rachel’s Vineyard Post-Abortion Retreat
Stewards of the Earth
     Boston College, College of Saint Benedict / Saint John’s University and Saint Joseph’s University Engaging in Sustainability Efforts
     Carrying the Message of Creation Care across the Nation
     Climate Change Challenge of Disbelief
     Earth Day, April 22: “Sow a Cool Harvest” Gardening Kit
     Faith-based Webinar on Hydraulic Fracking, April 12
     Monastery Completes Ecological Renovation
Tony DeBlois Concerts at Blessed Trinity, Orlando in recognition of Autism Awareness Month
Vatican Approves English and Spanish Texts for ‘Blessing of a Child in the Womb’

Holy Saturday Helper’s Morning Prayer and Rosary Procession with Bishop Noonan
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 8 a.m. The rosary will be prayed in both English and Spanish. If you would like to volunteer to help during the event, please email eclayton@orlandodiocese.org.

Vatican Approves English and Spanish Texts for ‘Blessing of a Child in the Womb’
The Vatican has approved the publication of the “Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb,” which will be printed in English and Spanish in a combined booklet and should be available for parishes by Mothers’ Day. The U.S. bishops who collaborated on the development of the blessing welcomed the announcement of the recognitio, or approval, by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome. Read more.

Rachel’s Vineyard Post-Abortion Retreat
This retreat will be held May 18-20 at San Pedro Center in Winter Park.  If you have been affected by abortion and need healing, community and the love of God, this retreat is for you.  This confidential retreat offers a safe, non-judgmental environment where women and men find healing and reconciliation for the most painful experience of abortion.  For more information or to register, please contact Karen Reilly at 321.662.5097 or email karenreilly57@gmail.com.  You may also visit www.rachelsvineyard.org for information about Rachel’s Vineyard.  

Tony DeBlois Concerts at Blessed Trinity, Orlando in recognition of Autism Awareness Month
In recognition of National Autism Awareness month, Blessed Trinity Catholic Church is presenting the internationally known musical savant, Tony DeBlois, in two concerts in April; A Special Youth Concert on Wednesday, April 18th at 6:30 p.m., where youth 18 and under receive free admission, and a second Main Concert on Friday, April 20th at 7:00 p.m. Mr. DeBlois is autistic and blind since birth.  In addition to the entertainment value of these two performances, Blessed Trinity intends to bring awareness to the special talents that we all possess and will encourage participants to  maximize their individual special talents. Tickets are available in the Parish Welcome Center and online at www.BlessedTrinityOrlando.ORG.  You may follow this link to obtain tickets and view Mr. DeBlois in a previous performance.   http://trinity.allisolutions.com/signup.aspx

CRS Update on Pope Benedict Visit to Cuba
Catholic Relief Services posts information on the occasion of Pope Benedict’s pilgrimage to Cuba.  Robyn Fieser, CRS’ Regional Information Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean is in Cuba this week for the papal visit and she provides daily updates. You may follow the news from Cuba through the CRS’ blog and Newswire.  

JustFaith Ministries
Our Christian faith extends an invitation to each of us to become agents of God’s compassion and healing in a wounded world. JustFaith Ministries empowers ordinary people and their communities to act on that invitation. Through workshops and programs, JustFaith Ministries helps participants to expand their commitment to social ministry within their faith communities. In your planning for the fall, consider signing up for one of the JustFaith programs.

Office of Advocacy and Justice Workshops
Delve deeper into Catholic social teaching by bringing one of the many workshops and presentations offered by the Diocese of Orlando Office of Advocacy and Justice to your parish, school, or ministry. Available workshops include: Catholic social teaching, Death Penalty, Immigration Reform, Environmental Stewardship, Justice Issues, Fair Trade, Life Issues, and more! For more information or to bring one of these enriching workshops to your parish, school, or ministry, contact: 407-246-4819, advocacyjustice@orlandodiocese.org
 
Fill Your Basket for Easter
This year, fill your Easter baskets with Fair Trade goodies that reflect the hope and opportunity of the season for the artisans and farmers who create them.  There’s still time to shop our collection of adorable Easter items, including some new additions in our Gifts of Faith collection. From beautiful crosses and crucifixes to an assortment of beautiful, handcrafted papier mache eggs, there is something for everyone’s basket. Plus, every purchase contributes to the CRS Fair Trade Fund. Don’t forget the chocolate for your Easter celebrations! Try Milk and Dark Chocolate Bunnies, Milk Praline Mini Eggs, and Dark Chocolate Raspberry and White Chocolate Strawberry Medallions. Order by noon EST on Thursday, March 29th to ensure your order arrives in time with regular shipping rates. Shop today!  Please note: Since Divine Chocolate is all natural, it begins to melt at 80 degrees. If temperatures are above 80 degrees between your location and our warehouse in Maryland, we may need to ship your chocolate in a cooling container which requires a shipping surcharge. Please contact Customer Service with any questions.

To Order
Online: www.serrv.org
Phone: (800) 685.7572
Fax: (888) 294.6376
Mail: Work of Human Hands
c/o SERRV
500 Main Street
New Windsor, MD 21776

Stewards of the Earth

Climate Change Challenge of Disbelief
In response to the on-going moral and ethical challenges of climate change, both America Magazine and Commonweal Magazine have featured climate change as the cover story in their respective current issues.

In Climate for Change: What the Church Can Do About Global Warming, Xavier theology professor Elizabeth Groppe considers the moral dimensions of climate change and how the Catholic Church can serve as a catalyst for change which more fully cares for God’s Creation and the poor.  As Groppe says, Our imperiled planet needs the distinctive paschal witness that the Catholic community can offer.  The article is an adaptation of Groppe’s 2011 online article Climate Change: A Life Issue which appeared on America Magazine’s website.

In “Global Suicide Pact:” Why Don’t We Take Climate Change Seriously? , Creighton theology professor Richard W. Miller paints a dramatic picture of the possible consequences if humanity doesn’t begin to seriously address the issue of climate change. Miller notes that when people are confronted with the gravity of the situation, many people express disbelief.

Carrying the Message of Creation Care across the Nation
The Coalition’s 22 Catholic Climate Ambassadors continue to share the Church’s message on Creation care and climate change throughout the U.S. In addition to giving presentations in parishes, schools and dioceses, two Ambassadors recently wrote about the need to care for God’s Creation.  

The 22 Catholic Climate Ambassadors are available to offer presentations on the moral implications of climate change consistent with Catholic teaching as outlined by Pope Benedict XVI and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  To learn more and inquire about scheduling an Ambassador to speak at your school, parish or diocese, click here.

Boston College, College of Saint Benedict / Saint John’s University and Saint Joseph’s University Engaging in Sustainability Efforts
The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University (MN) — both Catholic Climate Covenant Partners—offer a number of resources which demonstrate how CSB/SJU continue to integrate Catholic mission-based sustainability into across all aspects of college/university life.  In addition to seeing what CSB/SJU is doing, their resources can give you ideas on how your school might work to do the same.

March 19-23 is Green Week at Boston College.  Green Week is sponsored by the Undergraduate Government of Boston College and the Eco Pledge group along with the University’s Sustainability program office. In addition to a campus-wide information effort, “Green Week” will feature an Operations Sustainability Forum on March 20. As part of Green Week, Coalition staff gave a presentation on Faith, Justice and Ecology.  Learn more about BC’s sustainability efforts here. www.bc.edu/sustainability  

The international clearinghouse for the Society of Jesus’ global environmental efforts, EcoJesuit, reports that Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA recently held a technical workshop on land management to address built environments and developed and natural lands, especially focusing on storm water strategies . . . The workshop focused on sustainability techniques for professionals and students involved in land management.  Lean more about SJU’s sustainability efforts here.

Monastery Completes Ecological Renovation
As Catholics more readily embrace care for God’s Creation in light of environmental harm including climate change, parishes and religious communities are increasingly working towards sustainability as an expression of their spirituality.  A recent article chronicles how the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Tucson, Arizona have just completed an ecological renovation to their monastery:

The monastery has two Toyota Prius hybrid cars and two water wells, one below ground and one above to catch rain. Inside, the light bulbs have been replaced with energy efficient versions. On the third floor, the sisters use a solar-heated water pump for their washing machines. That water is recycled as gray water for their gardens.  

The article adds that just down the road, Our Mother of Sorrows parish has installed solar panels that cover about 50 percent of the church’s electrical use, with no upfront cost to the church other than the lease for the panels.  The church paid for its installations through incentive programs offered by Tucson Electric Power, a utility required by the Arizona Corporation Commission to reduce its power sales by 22 percent by 2020 and generate 15 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2025.

Faith-based Webinar on Hydraulic Fracking, April 12
The Eco-Justice Programs of the National Council of Churches of Christ is hosting their second webinar on the Ethics of Energy on April 12 at 1 p.m. (Eastern). This webinar will address the issue of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Fracking is a process used to extract natural gas from underground rock formations. Gas companies are fracking in 28 states from Colorado to Pennsylvania.  Click here to register and learn more.  This webinar will provide a detailed explanation of hydraulic fracturing, feature an update from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on current studies underway, and provide a critical faithful reflection on its benefits and drawbacks.

Earth Day, April 22: “Sow a Cool Harvest” Gardening Kit
Interfaith Power & Light wants to help you celebrate Earth Day (April 22) with a special — and free — “Sow a Cool Harvest” gardening kit for congregations and parishes.  The Cool Harvest program will help you support fun and interesting faith-based activities to raise awareness and empower individuals and congregations to be part of the solution. If you order your kit right away, they promise to rush it to you in time for Earth Day, which happens to fall on a Sunday this year.

Advocacy Efforts

Victory for Farmworkers and the Environment! Toxic Pesticide is Pulled from the Market!
Methyl iodide: the toxic pesticide that was approved for use on tomatoes and strawberries in Florida, has been pulled from the market by the manufacturing company, Arysta LifeScience! This is a victory for the Farmworker Association of Florida and their allies!  Working tirelessly since 2007 to restrict the use of “one of the most toxic chemicals on earth,” public concern and pressure has finally won out. Read more here.

Reforming the U.S. Farm Bill
For decades, farm bills in the U.S. Congress have supported large-scale agriculture. But with the 2012 Farm Bill now up for debate, advocates say seismic shifts in the way the nation views food production may lead to new policies that tilt more toward local, sustainable agriculture. Read how this is possible in a featured article posted in Yale Environment 360. (This is an online publication of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and offers “opinion, analysis, reporting and debate”.) The article makes reference to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition; NCRLC is a participating member with this advocacy coalition.

Aging Resources

The Older Population: 2010
This US Census Brief provides a great summary of demographic changes and characteristics of elders. Maps are included in the report! To download, Click Here.
 
Financial Information & Resources for Seniors
On Guard for Seniors provides informational overviews, key terms, key questions to ask, and educational videos on financial products including: annuities, reverse mortgages, long-term care insurance and identity theft. Click Here or call 877-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236).