Office of Advocacy and Justice Updates




Catholic Days at the Capitol, March 15-17, 2011
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. There 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 36th annual Red Mass. Buses are available. This is a great opportunity to form relationships and live out our calling to be faithful citizens. Deadline to register: February 26, 2011. Please call 407-246-4819 or email:  for information. 

CCHD Multi-Media Youth Arts Contest (ongoing, through March 1)
Schools and parishes are encouraged to use the Youth Arts contest as a way to engage youth in grades 7 through 12 in awareness about the causes of poverty, Catholic social teaching, the two feet of social action, and the work and witness of groups funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

The 2011 contest theme is: “Our Faith, Our Mission, Our Future: Building Community, Overcoming Poverty, Defending Human Dignity.” All types of art (e.g. video, song, painting, acting, writing, etc.) are welcome. Entries must be turned into the Office of Advocacy and Justice by March 1, 2011.

The Arts Contest Program offers dozens of pages of lesson plans and activities that can be used across disciplines—by theology, art, English, social studies, government, music, and other teachers—as well as in youth ministry and catechetical programs.  The spring semester is an excellent time for parishes and schools to begin implementing the contest/program. For more information contact or call 407-246-4819.  We hope many new schools will participate in 2011 and check our website for the current 2010 national winning entry.

Catholic Relief Services – Operation Rice Bowl
Participate in CRS’ Operation Rice Bowl! Through this Lenten program, Catholics in the U.S. pray together, fast in solidarity with those who are hungry, learn about the joys and challenges in the lives of our brothers and sisters overseas, and give sacrificial contributions to assist the poor. Resources are available for parishes and educators. Encourage your pastor or school principal to integrate Operation Rice Bowl into your community’s Lenten celebration this year, and be sure to use the resources with family or friends at home.  If you would like more assistance or a speaker to help you implement Rice Bowl in your parish or school, contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice at

Men, Couples, Families, and Abortion: A Clinical Seminar
by Kevin Burke, M.S.S. LSW
Explore the negative impact on communication and sexual intimacy; Reveal the importance of restoring self-image to enhance marital communication and family life; Expose complicated grief and painful emotions; and Understand the role of the spouse in healing relational wounds. This conference will take place at St. Vincent Medical Center, Jacksonville on March 5. Register at

Word of Life Intercessions and Bulletin Briefs for March
This USCCB resource contains Intercessions and Bulletin Briefs for every Sunday Mass during the year. You may find items for March (English/Spanish) at: Please forward this information to your parish liturgy coordinator as well as the person designated to create the bulletin. 

Introduction to Campesino Ministry on NCRLC website
The word “campesino” calls attention to a ministry that focuses on the Hispanic farm worker. “Campesino” simply means a person of the fields, one who works the earth. It includes all those involved in agriculture. While for many the term “campesino ministry” has focused on the migratory worker, the ministry must be more inclusive to recognize the outreach of the church beyond the fieldworker, including those with permanent jobs in dairies, feedlots, packing houses and in industries tied to agriculture. It also must include developing relationships with owners, employers and contractors in the agricultural industry.

Please visit the NCRLC website to read commentaries by Father Mike McAndrew, Director of Campesino Ministry for the Diocese of Fresno:
An Introduction to Campesino Ministry; Spirituality of the Campesino. 

Environmental Updates

Resources to Reduce Carbon Footprint
To inspire and inform your own efforts to reduce your carbon footprint, the Catholic Health Association of the United States has partnered with Practice Greenhealth and created a new electronic resource — the Environmental Sustainability Getting Started Guide. The guide shares practices and resources from Catholic health ministry and other leaders in environmental stewardship from across the country in order to help all better care for creation and improve the environment in which we live. Download the Environmental Sustainability Getting Started Guide now. All of CHA’s resources on Environmental Sustainability be accessed here.  

Climate Change Impacts on Poor Among US Bishops’ Legislative Priorities
Expressing a commitment to care for creation and climate change impacts on poor people in its’ legislative agenda, the new president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, stated: “Recognizing the complexity of climate change, we wish to be a voice for the poor and vulnerable in our country and around the world who will be the most adversely affected by threats to the environment.”  Read more here.

Caritas Internationalis News Features Catholic Climate Ambassadors
Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 164 Catholic relief, development and social service organizations operating in over 200 countries and territories worldwide, recently featured our Catholic Climate Ambassadors initiative on its website.  In an article written by Kathy Brown, Regional Coordinator, Caritas North America, Caritas said:  In December, the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change trained their first “Catholic Climate Ambassadors”. They are leaders from around the country who will reach out, educate and empower people in their local dioceses, parishes, schools, and religious communities to be engaged in this critical issue. They will provide a uniquely Catholic perspective and pay particular attention to the impacts of climate change on people in poverty in the U.S. and around the world. Read more here. To schedule a Catholic Climate Ambassador to speak at your arch/diocese, parish, school or other forum, please contact us at

Creation Care Prayer Resources
On the National Catholic Reporter’s EcoCatholic page, Carol Meyer observes that We Catholics should be incorporating prayers for the Earth into more of our church life.  In order to help Catholics more fully do so, Ms. Meyer offers a number of different prayers which can be included or adapted into your prayer life, or that of your parish through the Mass.  See what Ms. Meyer has suggested here

Study Resource on Christian Simplicity
The Passionist Earth & Spirit Center offers Lent 4.5, a 7-week faith formation program of conversion. It inspires and informs Christian communities on how to use the traditional Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving to protect God’s creation, bring forth a just society, and nurture a fulfilling spiritual life. It offers practical opportunities for people of faith to apply the values of Gospel simplicity to their everyday lives. For more information.   Why “Lent 4.5”?  If the Earth were divided equally among all of us, each person living on the planet would receive 4.5 acres. Now consider that everything you need – food, energy, home, clothing, appliances, gadgets – must come from those 4.5 acres.   Lent 4.5 offers a new way of observing Lent that helps us care for God’s creation and bring forth a just society by taking steps toward using only our fair share of its resources. The program includes bulletin inserts, online resources, small group discussion course books, and an optional component for Catholic schools grades K-8. Learn more here.  

Summer Course on Ecology and Theology at Xavier University
A unique opportunity to study eco-theology through experiential learning is offered this summer in a course designed by Xavier University in Cincinnati. “Living a Theology of the Land,” July 31-August 6, 2011, is an integrative seminar in experiencing earth as a primary sacred reality. The course will be offered for 3 graduate/undergraduate credit hours and continuing education/audit through Xavier University and will be located at the Center of The Grail, a 300 hundred-acre retreat center that includes an organic farm in historic Loveland, Ohio.  For more information:  Dr. Leon Chartrand 307.690.2994, or e-mail See flyer about it here. TO REGISTER VISIT HERE. Scholarships/grants available.   

National Preach-In for Valentine’s Day Weekend
Interfaith Power & Light—which counts many Catholic parishes among its partners—is beginning 2011 with a National Preach-in on Global Warming to help educate hundreds of congregations about climate change. Participating congregations will receive outlines for sermons, DVDs and discussion guides for a film screening, and free bulletin inserts and Valentine’s Day postcards urging senators to love Creation and protect the climate. Order materials by February 1.  For more information, click here. 

Advocacy Efforts:

Action Alert: Cable Choice Petition
On January 17th MTV debuted its new series Skins. The program is about high-school children. Mixed in with the graphic drug use and sex scenes are storylines about falling in love and problems at school – elements sure to generate interest from teens. The show is being written, in part, by teens. And the Skins cast is actually made up of teenagers, not adult actors playing teens. One cast member is only 15 years old. Skins has been extensively marketed to high-school children.

About one dollar of your cable or satellite subscription fee goes to MTV each month. That’s more than $10 that subscribers like you pay to MTV every year. And there are 100 million cable and satellite subscribers in the U.S. That means that MTV is collecting a billion dollars a year from parents and families – and they are using the money to make programs that glorify children using drugs, sexual promiscuity, and parental disrespect!

If you are tired of the entertainment industry deliberately targeting your teens with sexually disturbing programming TAKE ACTION!  And sign the Cable Choice petition – demanding that we as consumers must be given the choice over which cable networks we want to pay for – CLICK HERE. 


The Welcomed and Valued DVD and Resource Manual can be ordered on the NCPD website at
The DVD Discussion Starters and the Resource Manual are both available online for a free download (Click here).