Office of Advocacy and Justice Updates

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Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

Dozens of resources at www.faithfulcitizenship.org can help you share Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship with your parishes. Visit the website for materials geared toward:  Church TeachingAll CatholicsDiocesan & Community LeadersParishes & SchoolsCampuses & Young AdultsYouth, and Media.  Don’t forget to register to vote! Florida registration deadlines are: July 16, 2012 for the Primary Election and October 9, 2012 for the General Election. Register to vote here.  If you would like to host a voter registration drive at your parish over the summer, please contact the Supervisor of Elections in your county or contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice, 407-246-4819.

Catholic Relief Services Operation Rice Bowl

As a reminder to all parishes taking part in CRS Operation Rice Bowl this past Lent, please make all checks payable to “The Diocese of Orlando” – in the memo write either Operation Rice Bowl or the Number of the Collection.  Checks may be mailed to:  Diocese of Orlando, Finance Dept:  50 E Robinson St. Orlando Fl 32801.  Thank you for your participation!

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) World Fair Trade Day

May 12 2012 is World Fair Trade Day!  Support CRS in their global human dignity and solidarity efforts of promoting a livable wage for the work of those in impoverished countries.  Numerous parishes and groups throughout the Orlando Diocese sell Fair Trade items.  Consider Mothers Day Gifts, Birthday Presents, Confirmation, Baptism and More with fair trade purchases.  If you would like more information on how to take part in this life-saving work please email Stephanie Bosse, local CRS Fair Trade Ambassador: rlointern@orlandodiocese.org.  Also see:  www.crsfairtrade.org.

Philippine Bishops and Ecological Repentance 

In a moving article titled Repenting Our Ecological Sins, Fr. Reynaldo D. Raluto of the Diocese of Malaybalay (Philippines) writes that, “Deeply disturbed by the tragedy [of Tropical Storm “Sendong” that devastated the country in December 2011], a good number of Mindanao bishops and priests gathered in Cagayan de Oro City on Feb. 13-15, 2012, to prayerfully reflect on the theme: “Typhoon Sendong and its Challenges for Mindanao.” 

Fr. Raluto points out that many of the ecological calamities today cannot be purely the natural consequences of an evolutionary world, as they are also partly anthropogenic and human-induced.  In light of this, Fr. Raluto invites readers to reflect on profound questions regarding human interaction with the non-human natural world: What factors might have contributed to the Sendong tragedy? What led us to that situation? More importantly, how can we correct the erroneous practices that have caused us ecological tragedies?

The article concludes that the Church’s position regarding ecology is based on the assumption—and hope—that many of the ecological damages “can still be halted” if only we take seriously our common responsibility. The Church embraces environmental cause, firmly convinced that technical solutions are not enough to solve the complex ecological problems. The Church considers the ecological crisis as “a moral issue” that must be addressed together with the more general moral crisis.

Solar Energy Utilized in Darfur Camps 

Staff of Caritas Internationalis, a network of more than 165 Catholic relief and development organizations that work in over 200 countries around the world, recently shared how solar energy is helping to provide water to refugees in the war-torn county of Darfur. 

The story of solar energy in Darfur is exemplary of how de-centralized, renewable energy can simultaneously address humanitarian and environmental challenges.  To read the entire story click here

La Mesa Completa Tool Kit for Latino Communities

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has introduced a Spanish-language resource for community nutrition programs called La Mesa Completa tool kit.  This e-tool in Spanish is made for faith-based and community leaders to learn about various ways in which they can partner with USDA to ensure that Latinos have access to nutrition programs. The toolkit includes helpful links, best practices, stories, and even videos of personal testimony.

More than one in four Latinos is food insecure, and Latinos access USDA nutrition assistance programs at the lowest rates of any demographic.  The La Mesa Completa tool kit provides community leaders with an easy to use tool to navigate the different nutrition programs in order to help families put healthy, affordable food on the table. Download the tool kit HERE.

National Day of Prayer, May 3  

The mission of the National Day of Prayer, held this year on May 3, is to mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in the culture. The National Catholic Rural Life Center has resources and prayers available at: Seasonal Prayers web page.  In the Catholic tradition, every day is a day of prayer.

Resources

Anti-Trafficking Resources: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Blue Campaign is organized around the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. As part of this, there’s an educational toolkit with information, an awareness poster, trafficking indicators card, and more, here

The Right to Water and Sanitation is a digital learning manual, prepared by Franciscans International and WaterLex, and geared mainly to grassroots religious communities. It explains how to increase awareness through advocacy activities at local, national and international levels. There are excellent tools to address water access and governance challenges. Download here.