Office of Advocacy and Justice Updates

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Helpers’ Mass and Rosary Procession

The next Helpers’ Mass and Rosary procession will be held at St. James Cathedral (215 N. Orange Ave. Orlando) on Saturday, November 3rd, 2012 beginning with Mass at 8am. Following Mass we process to the nearby abortion clinic on Lucerne Terr.

Please join us in praying for the protection of human life. For more information, contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice; 407-246-4819; advocacyjustice@orlandodiocese.org

 

Million Meals Challenge

Join us for the Million Meal Challenge. We will pack a million meals to send to the impoverished country of Burkina Faso in Africa. This is a combined effort with Catholic Relief Services. The packing day is November 18. Be sure to register!

 

Faithful Citzenship Presentation

The Office of Advocacy and Justice is making a presentation on the U.S. Bishops’ statement:  Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship at Our Lady of the Lakes in Deltona, Saturday, October 27, from 9 am – 10 am.  Amendments 6 and 8 will also be discussed.  For more information, or if you would like yard signs supporting Amendments 6 and 8, contact advocacyjustice@orlandodiocese.org.

 

November 4 Faithful Citizenship Sunday 

Don’t forget that November 4 is the final of four Sundays on which the bishops are encouraging parishes to focus on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. The theme for Nov. 4 is on “Our Commitment to Faithful Citizenship.” There are several resources available for use on this Sunday, including homily suggestions (also in Spanish). Also consider using one of the bulletin inserts (also in Spanish), and showing one of the Faithful Citizenship videos. Remember, many other resources are available in the Parishes and Schools (such as prayers, lesson plans, etc.) and Diocesan and Community Leaders (such as Do’s and Don’ts, guidelines for voter registration, etc.) sections of the website at www.faithfulcitizenship.org.

 

Webcast – Strengthening the “Circle of Protection” After the Election 

At a time of persistently high poverty and joblessness, programs that serve poor and vulnerable families in their time of need must be protected. Shortly after Election Day, Congress will return to the Capitol to complete its work for the year. Tune in to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) post-election webinar on Thursday, November 8 at 2:00 PM to hear what’s at stake and what we need to do to ensure that Congress helps, rather than hurts, people at home and abroad struggling to live in dignity. Register here!

 

Webcast – Keep Shining a Light on the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Please join us for our next Catholics Confront Global Poverty (CCGP) webcast on Thursday, October 25, 2012 from 1:00-2:00 P.M. CCGP is a collaboration of USCCB and Catholic Relief Services. The upcoming webcast will focus on the Church’s life-saving work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and how recently issued regulations on mining companies by the Securities and Exchange Commission will impact our brothers and sisters in the DRC. RSVP now to join this webcast.

 

CST Timeline Game: Catholic Social Justice Education Monthly Feature

This month’s feature is the timeline activity for either individuals or small groups. Participants use a timeline of events to explore current events throughout history, then attempt to match descriptions of the Catholic social teaching documents to the timeline. The activity helps participants both increase their familiarity with the major social teaching documents and explore the development of the Church’s social teaching since 1891. See more resources and activities on Catholic social teaching.

 

PovertyUSA.org Monthly Feature: Stories of Hope 

Every day, thousands of people-working with their neighbors and community-are finding ways out of Poverty USA by strengthening families, creating jobs, and improving neighborhoods. Over four decades, CCHD has supported nearly 8,000 community-based projects led by low-income people through our grant program. Here are some of their stories, featured in the Stories of Hope section of the PovertyUSA.org website.

 

Central American Staple Crops Under Threat

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) announced this week that higher temperatures and erratic rainfall will likely threaten beans and corn in Central American nations.  With scientists from the Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, CRS, in their report Tortillas on the Roaster, exposes the risk of climate change to these two most important food crops in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

This study of local-level predictions is a first of its kind to offer such specificity.  It shows that with an additional 1 degree Celsius by 2020…[l]arge swaths of the current maize-growing area could become unsuitable for the crop, resulting in economic losses to the region as a whole of around USD$ 100 million per year.

The report highlights that there is no quick fix, said Paul Hicks, Regional Coordinator, Global Water Initiative-Central America, Catholic Relief Services.  This is about getting back to basics. Extension services across the region need to be reinvigorated to train small farmers in soil and water management. And governments need to lead, they have the ability to make a real difference through setting climate-smart agricultural policies.

 

Feast of St. Francis 1: Australian Catholic University

On the Feast of St. Francis, the Australian Catholic University (ACU) publishing an article from Dan Misleh on its sustainability blog.  Celebrating the Feast of St. Francis through Catholic Mission-Based Sustainability, reflects on the importance of clearly and consistently communicating how sustainability is connected to Catholic mission and congratulates the excellent work of ACU.

It is hard to deny that action is one important part of creation care, and Australian Catholic University (ACU) has taken significant steps to incorporate sustainable practices into and across the campus community…[and]what distinguishes ACU’s work from comparable secular efforts and makes it uniquely Catholic is the University’s consistent effort to communicate how and why this work is inspired and animated by Catholic mission. 

Misleh highlights the work of the U.S. Catholic colleges and universities in this area, including their embrace of Sustainability and Catholic Higher Education: A Toolkit for Mission Integration, a joint effort of the Coalition and many Catholic college and university associations.

 

Cabrini College

Last April, Cabrini College became one of thirteen Catholic colleges and universities to institutionally endorse the St. Francis Pledge and become a Catholic Climate Covenant Partner.


Loquitor, the official newspaper of Cabrini College, recently published an article outlining the creation care efforts in the school’s first year of this partnership.  Green Team Hits the Ground Running describes that a collaboration of 16 students, faculty and staff met to discuss a variety of steps that could be taken to make Cabrini a greener and more environmentally aware campus while upholding Cabrini’s commitment to the stewardship of God’s creation.

The article notes how the Green Team is brainstorming sustainability initiatives for this school year, including an end-of-the-year dorm cleanout in which they will take any unused non-perishable items and clothes and donate them to those who need it.  They will also have bins for students to recycle old cell phones, batteries and ink cartridges, as well as bins for gently used clothes and books.  The used books are then donated to an organization that distributes them throughout third world countries. Guided by the St. Francis Pledge, the piece also notes how the Green Team also incorporates service into their meetings, and discuss how to provide service to the community while still maintain a healthy environment. 

 

Resources

JustFaith Announces Updated Climate Change Module

With significant assistance from Kolya Braun-Greiner, Coalition Program Assistant, JustFaith is now accepting registrations for God’s Creation Cries for Justice, Climate Change: Impacts & Faithful Response.  Included in this version are substantial additions to sections of the module that focus on the science of climate change and ways to address climate change skeptics.

Says JustFaith: Given the urgency of the ecological crisis, this updated study is ideal for new groups and well worth offering again for those groups who used the earlier version.  To see a flyer, sample materials and registration click here.

 

Ohio Catholic Conference Adds Creation Care Webpage

Brought to the attention of the Coalition by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s Catholic Social Action Office, the Catholic Conference of Ohio officially launched a new Care for Creation web page.  Click here http://www.ohiocathconf.org/home_frameset.htm and follow the link to “Care for Creation.” According to the Archdiocese the new site offers Church teaching on the environment, applying it to a variety of issues pertinent to our state.  The site provides resources for families, parishes, schools and other institutions.  The Conference’s intention is that the site will be regularly updated with additional information and insights as they become available, so please continue to check back on it!

Also from Cincinnati: The Catholic Social Action office says that there are a number of options throughout the Archdiocese for parishioners to view the screening of “Sun Come Up” . . . And, to help us ACT on all of our concerns, we are passing along some great options for saving energy and money in our churches and homes, including a highlight of how one archdiocesan school took advantage of such opportunities!    Learn more about the creation care work happening in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

 

Food Day Events, Notices

October is a good month to talk about food. Whether it’s tackling the problem of hunger or building a healthier food system for all, this harvest time of year is a good time to think about how food is produced and shared.

So you might be interested in an initiative called Food MythBusters that will be launched on Food Day, October 24. This project by Real Food Media will provide a set of tools – animated videos, live action short documentaries, online resources, and more – to help spread the real story about what we eat. Their aim is to advocate for a fair, healthy, and sustainable food system and counter marketing claims by Big Ag. (Click here to learn more about the coalition members of this campaign.) 

Also, be sure to check out our own faith-based study guide on Food Security & Economic Justice

 

Advocacy Efforts

A Recap on the 2012 Farm Bill

We  await for Congress to finish the reauthorization process – hopefully during the lame duck session after November 6 elections. If you need a recap on how Congress got to this point – and how it is impacting farmers during this hard year of drought – then check out this nonpartisan seven-minute video on YouTube

If you want to learn even more about some of the farm programs affected by the delay in a new farm bill, we invite you to visit the blog of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. They are posting a series blogs featuring facts and stories from the fields about what expired programs mean to rural America.

Visit the NCRLC website to learn about what changes need to be made in the final farm bill to ensure a secure and healthy food production system. It is still possible to authorize a new farm bill – one with necessary reforms – during the lame duck session after the upcoming elections.