Office of Advocacy & Justice Updates

Annual Diocesan Youth for Life Rally (Flyer)

Parish Youth Ministry groups are invited to this event at Holy Family Parish on October 5 (Respect Life Weekend) from 3pm – 8:30pm.  The theme, “LifeCraft” Kingdom Builders, is based on the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-11). Workshop topics will highlight the beatitudes and how we can help build God’s kingdom in our own lives and communities. Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Jorge Torres. Cost is Free.  Space is limited so please register early.  For more information, contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice at advocacyjustice@orlandodiocese.org or see:  www.advocacyjustice.org.

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Annual Diocesan Youth for Life Rally (Flyer)

Parish Youth Ministry groups are invited to this event at Holy Family Parish on October 5 (Respect Life Weekend) from 3pm – 8:30pm.  The theme, “LifeCraft” Kingdom Builders, is based on the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-11). Workshop topics will highlight the beatitudes and how we can help build God’s kingdom in our own lives and communities. Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Jorge Torres. Cost is Free.  Space is limited so please register early.  For more information, contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice at advocacyjustice@orlandodiocese.org or see:  www.advocacyjustice.org.

Execution of Marshall Gore Re-Scheduled

On October 1, Marshall Gore, is scheduled to be executed at Florida State Prison, in Starke. Your parish is encouraged to continue to pray for Mr. Gore, his victims, his family, the victims’ family; for all the public officials involved in this scheduled execution; for Governor Scott, that he will discern God’s will and apply the teachings of our Catholic faith on the death penalty. Please contact Governor Scott to voice your concern. Parishes are encouraged to participate in prayer services at the parish or to attend a prayer service at the execution site in Starke. A bus will be leaving from the parking lot of Our Lady of Lourdes 201 University Blvd, Daytona Beach, 32118, at 2:30pm. For more information contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice, advocacyjustice@orlandodiocese.org or 407-246-4819.

Juan Melendez, Released Death Row Inmate for 17 Years will be in Town!

Mr. Melendez is a “brilliant” speaker who spent nearly eighteen years on Florida’s death row for a crime he did not commit. Since his release from death row, he has shared his story with hundreds of thousands of people in the United States, Canada and Europe. The audience feedback consistently reflects that Mr. Melendez is a dynamic and charismatic speaker who profoundly impacts people all across the political spectrum–opening hearts and minds and motivating people to become actively involved in social justice issues. As noted by an event organizer in England, Mr. Melendez has “come a long way since picking fruit” in Florida as a migrant worker. He is now a recognized national and international leader in human rights whose tireless advocacy on behalf of the voiceless has impacted public policy. Mr. Melendez will be speaking at Stetson Law School on October 9th and he is available for other presentations in the area. If you are interested please contact Judi Caruso, attorney/activist 505-362-1784.

Bring in the Fall Season with some Fair Trade Goods! Check out what’s New by Clicking on the Picture

 

  

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Join with Farmworkers in Honor of Labor Day Weekend

Sunday, Sept. 1 at 2 pm
Publix at Lake Eola
400 E. Central Blvd., Orlando
More info: claire@interfaithact.org

In the coming months, the tomato season will start up again — the third full season of implementation of the Fair Food Program — and with it, the rights, protections, and bonus pay for farmworkers we have worked together to win. Unfortunately, our “hometown grocer” Publix still unconscionably refuses to support these changes. This Labor Day, the day in which we honor the contributions of workers in our society, we have the opportunity to celebrate the transformation underway and call for Publix to support it by standing with farmworkers in peaceful pickets across the state. Farmworkers from Immokalee will be traveling to demonstrations happening across Florida on the weekend of Labor Day — please join them in Orlando and spread the word! 

U.S. Poverty and Our Catholic Response webinar, Sept. 19

The U.S. Census Bureau will release new poverty data in a couple weeks. What will we learn? Is poverty on the rise? How are children, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations faring? Join Tom Mulloy, policy advisor for Domestic Social Development at the USCCB, to explore the new data and what it means for our national and local advocacy efforts. Participants will also hear from a Catholic parish that is taking seriously Bishop Blaire’s call in his 2013 Labor Day statement to promote human dignity through economic justice. This free webinar is Thursday, Sept. 19, from 2-3 pm (Eastern). Register for the webinar here.

Virtual Roundtable on Immigration Reform, Sept. 4

Last month, the White House released a report entitled “Fixing our Broken Immigration System: The Economic Benefits to Agriculture and Rural Communities” (link below) which lays out a rural case in favor of comprehensive immigration reform.

Coalition members of the National Rural Assembly have followed this issue closely and will host a virtual “Immigration Roundtable” Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 3:30 pm (Eastern).  Reserve your spot now. (When you register you will be given a link to join via computer or by phone (audio only).)

Click here to read “Fixing Our Broken Immigration System: The Economic Benefits to Agriculture and Rural Communities”.

National Catholic Partnership on Disability Conference

The National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD)’s conference – The Partnership 2013: Where Faith and Disability Meet will be held on November 1-3, 2013, in Houston, Texas. Keynote addresses will be given by John Foppe, Dr. Arturo Chávez, Mar Muñoz-Visoso and Peter Murphy. Twenty-seven learning sessions will be offered by national and local presenters, including many in Spanish. Cardinal DiNardo will present a keynote address at the Saturday banquet. Full conference registration includes one banquet ticket. Pre-conference gatherings on Friday will focus on autism and on mental illness. Numerous exhibitors will be present. For more information and to register, please visit www.ncpd.org.

  

USCCB Upcoming Webinars from the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development

Mark your calendars for our Fall webinar series!

The New U.S. Poverty Statistics and Our Catholic Response

The U.S. Census Bureau will release new poverty data just a few days before this webinar. What will we learn? Is poverty on the rise? How are children, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations faring? Join Tom Mulloy, policy advisor for Domestic Social Development at the USCCB to explore the new data and what it means for our national and local advocacy efforts. We will also hear from a Catholic parish that is taking seriously Bishop Blaire’s call in his 2013 Labor Day statement to promote human dignity through economic justice. This free webinar is Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET. Register now. 

New Evangelization Webinar Part 1: Living our Baptism, Transforming Our World

How does the New Evangelization connect with our work for life, dignity, justice and peace? Join Sr. Madge Karecki, SSJ-TOSF, Director of the Office for Mission Education and Animation for the Archdiocese of Chicago, to explore the New Evangelization and living out our baptismal call as Christ’s disciples on mission in the world. We’ll also hear from an inspiring on-the-ground example of discipleship in action. Come ready to be challenged and motivated! This free webinar is Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2013 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET. Register now.

New Evangelization Webinar Part 2: Aparecida’s Call to be Missionary Disciples

What is the Aparecida document?  How is it reflected in Pope Francis’ teachings? The historic Aparecida document, of which Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) was a primary author in 2007, sheds important light on our work for the New Evangelization.  We are called to be missionary disciples who proclaim God’s love to transform hearts-and unjust structures that perpetuate poverty and suffering. Join Sr. Madge Karecki, SSJ-TOSF, Director of the Office for Mission Education and Animation for the Archdiocese of Chicago, as she explores themes from Aparecida that have major implications for our work for life, dignity, justice and peace. This free webinar is Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET.  Register now.

      Bishop Richard Pates, Chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace Travels to Africa and Latin America

Bishop Pates has spent the best part of the summer traveling to Africa and Latin America to express the solidarity of the Catholic Church in the United States with the Church and the poor on these two continents.  In June Bishop Pates visited Peru and Colombia, where he toured the disadvantaged areas of Bogotá and traveled to indigenous communities in the Amazon region.  In July Bishop Pates attended the Plenary Assembly of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar, which every three years gathers Catholic Church delegations from all the countries of Africa.  During the meeting Bishop Pates met with Church leaders from countries that are experiencing conflict such as Mali, Central African Republic and Côte d’Ivoire.  Bishop Pates then visited Rwanda and South Sudan to meet Church lay leaders.  From there he traveled to Brazil to attend World Youth Day celebrations.  The final leg of this world trip took involved his attendance at the CELAM general coordinating meeting held in Rio de Janeiro, which brings together Church leaders from all of Latin America as well as the Vatican.  A major focus of this meeting was putting into practice the message of Pope Francis, calling for a Church of the poor and for the poor. In October Bishop Pates will travel to Cambodia, Myamar and Timor l’Este to take stock of the state of Church life in those important countries.

    Focus on Climate Change for the Feast of St. Francis (October 4)

This October, help Catholics you work with to learn about climate change and explore Church teaching by participating in this year’s Feast of St. Francis Program from the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change. This year’s theme is “Melting Ice, Mending Creation: a Catholic Approach to Climate Change,” a free, downloadable 90-minute program that includes education guides for parishes, colleges, and youth that highlight the Pontifical Academy of Science’s Working Group (PAS) statement, Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene, combined with a viewing of the “TED” talk by James Balog, the science photographer who documented some of the most vivid evidence yet of climate change. Register your interest here, and get free publicity resources.

 

Advocacy Efforts

Congressional Recess Ends Soon!

Congress will be on recess for one more week, so there’s still time to act with and for your brothers and sisters in need:

  • Take Action on Food Stamps, Immigration Reform, and the Budget. Tell your congressional representatives to support SNAP (food stamps), pass bi-partisan immigration reform, and support a budget that helps people struggling in this economy. Visit, call or write your congresspersons.
  • Get Materials to Help You Advocate Immigration Reform. Justice for Immigrants has many easy-to-use resources to assist your efforts to promote bi-partisan immigration reform. Use these materials during the recess to plan a prayer vigil or a pilgrimage from a parish to a district office or other site; distribute postcards and informational materials in parishes; highlight the issue in homilies or at parish events; or write an opinion piece. Get materials to help you learn and advocate.

 

 Farm Bill Update

As the Congressional summer recess continues through the first week of September, there has not been much news to share on the Farm Bill front. Movement on the bill has stopped while the House GOP leadership decides what to do about the food stamp program and a final vote in September.

Catholic Rural Life continues to push for a new five-year bill with major reforms. We remain very concerned about deep cuts to food assistance programs — and what that will mean for the Farm Bill as a whole.

Congress will return with several important issues to resolve. We ask that you encourage your Representative to ensure that food assistance programs for low-income families are protected, that bipartisan immigration reform passes, and that Congress supports a budget that protects poor and vulnerable people.

Click here to send an electronic message to our elected officials.