Perspectivas: Ayuda a refugiados de Siria; Por qué debería molestarnos la Navidad

Crisis en Siria: asistencia para refugiados

El recrudecimiento de la guerra civil en Siria ha matado a más de 400,000 personas desde que iniciaron los disturbios en marzo del 2011. El número de muertos, trágicamente, sigue aumentando y ahora más de 6,6 millones de personas han sido desplazadas dentro de ese país. Miles de personas han huido a países aledaños y las familias sirias luchan diariamente para sobrevivir.

La organización Catholic Relief Services (CRS) y sus socios de la agencia Caritas en la región están ofreciendo ayuda a los refugiados sirios y brindando esperanza proporcionándoles enseñanza, consejería y cuidados para sus hijos, vivienda y apoyo para su sustento. Ellos también les proveen ayuda para sus necesidades básicas.

CRS brinda su apoyo con atención médica urgente y ayuda de emergencia a decenas de miles de refugiados sirios en las zonas más afectadas por el conflicto. Pulse aquí para tener acceso a un video sobre la crisis.

Pese a la continua violencia, la Iglesia católica y CRS creen que es posible encontrar una solución pacífica a este conflicto. Pulse el enlace a continuación para encontrar siete cosas que usted puede hacer para ayudar directamente a las personas que sufren y para obtener mayor información sobre esta crisis.

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Por qué la Navidad debería molestarnos a todos

Del Obispo Robert Barron

Hace apenas unas cuantas semanas, en la ceremonia donde se encienden las luces del árbol de Navidad nacional, el Presidente Obama comentó sobre el significado de esta época. Estas son algunas de las cosas que dijo:

“En las próximas semanas, al celebrar el nacimiento de nuestro Salvador, al volver a narrar la historia de los fatigados viajeros, de la estrella, los pastorcitos, los Reyes Magos, espero que también nos podamos enfocar en el mensaje que este niño trajo a la Tierra hace aproximadamente 2,000 años—un mensaje que dice que tenemos que velar por nuestro prójimo, nuestros hermanos y hermanas; que tenemos que tendernos la mano unos a otros, perdonarnos mutuamente. Dejar que la luz de nuestras buenas obras ilumine a todos. Atender a los enfermos, a los hambrientos, y a los oprimidos. Y por supuesto, amarnos unos a otros, aún a nuestros enemigos, y tratarnos mutuamente como desearíamos que nos trataran. Es un mensaje que no solo constituye la base de la fe cristiana de mi familia, sino también la de los judíos estadounidenses, los musulmanes estadounidenses, los no creyentes—y los estadounidenses de todo origen”. 

Aunque, de cierta manera, no hay nada malo con estas ideas y opiniones. ¿Quién podría oponerse a tratar a los demás con respeto, perdonar las ofensas, y preocuparse por los necesitados? Y por supuesto que no culpo al Presidente Obama por haber hecho estos comentarios. Los presidentes, tanto Demócratas como Republicanos, en su función como jefes de estado de la religión civil, han expresado convicciones similares por muchos años. Lo que me molesta, no obstante, es reducir la Navidad a un nivel tan bajo, tan ordinario, que la gran festividad cristiana, no ofende precisamente a nadie.

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Inicia sociedad para eliminar la pobreza infantil

La Conferencia Católica de California se complace en anunciar que tenemos una nueva socia en nuestra misión: Eliminemos la Pobreza Infantil en California (End Child Poverty in California – ECPCA). Creada por GRACE y las Hijas de la Caridad (Daughters of Charity), ECPCA es una campaña a nivel estatal para concientizar sobre el alto índice de pobreza infantil que existe en California y las soluciones para aminorar esta pobreza.

California tiene el mayor índice de pobreza infantil en el país, uno de cada cinco niños vive en la pobreza. ECPCA tiene un plan integral, basado en el trabajo de investigación, para que nuestro estado disminuya la pobreza infantil en un cincuenta por ciento en los próximos veinte años, y están proyectando un 2017 de mucha actividad.

Necesitamos ayuda para propagar el mensaje de que los cambios en las políticas para los niños pobres también benefician al estado entero. Infórmese más y ponga su granito de arena para concientizar a otros.  Visite www.endchildpovertyca.org para empezar.

 

Semana Nacional de la Migración, enero 8 al 14 de 2017

Por casi medio siglo, la Iglesia católica en los EE.UU. ha estado celebrando la Semana Nacional de la Migración, la cual propicia la oportunidad para que la Iglesia reflexione en las circunstancias que enfrentan los migrantes, incluyendo a los inmigrantes, refugiados, niños, así como a las víctimas y los sobrevivientes de la trata de personas. El tema para la Semana Nacional de la Migración del 2017 hace hincapié en el llamado del Papa Francisco para crear una cultura de encuentro, y al hacerlo, ver más allá de nuestras propias necesidades y deseos para considerar las necesidades de los que están a nuestro alrededor. En la homilía de su primer Pentecostés como Papa, él recalcó la importancia del encuentro en la fe cristiana: “Esta palabra es muy importante para mí.  Encuentro con el otro. ¿Por qué? Porque la fe es un encuentro con Jesús, y debemos hacer lo que Jesús hace: tener un encuentro con el otro”.

Con respecto a los inmigrantes, en nuestra cultura actual dejamos de encontrarnos con ellos como personas, y en vez de eso los vemos como extranjeros. No hacemos el tiempo para incluirlos de forma significativa, pero seguimos apartados de su presencia y sospechamos de sus intenciones.  La Semana Nacional de la Migración es una oportunidad para incluir a los migrantes como hijos de Dios, merecedores de nuestra atención y apoyo.

Continúe para obtener recursos

 

ICYMI: Perspectiva católica de la elección del 2016

La Escuela Dominica de Filosofía y Teología (Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology) recientemente auspició un foro donde se presentó el director ejecutivo de la Conferencia Católica California, Ned Dolejsi, quien habló sobre los resultados de la elección del 2016 y las preocupaciones, oportunidades y prioridades que podrían surgir en la próxima sesión legislativa de California y la súper mayoría Demócrata. Dolejsi también habló sobre la elección de Donald Trump y lo que esto implica para la comunidad católica.

Si usted se perdió la transmisión original en vivo, la puede ver aquí.

16 de diciembre de 2016
Tomo 9, No. 38

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/espanol/perspectivas/perspectivas-ayuda-refugiados-de-siria-por-qu%C3%A9-deber%C3%ADa-molestarnos-la-navidad

Insights: Help Syrian Refugees; Why Christmas Should Bother You

Syria Crisis: Assistance for Refugees

Syria’s escalating civil war has killed more than 400,000 since the unrest began in March 2011. Tragically, the death toll continues to rise, and more than 6.6 million people are now internally displaced. Thousands of people have fled to neighboring countries and Syrian families struggle daily to survive.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and its Caritas partners in the region are reaching out to Syrian refugees and providing hope and assistance with education, counseling and care for children, housing, and livelihood support. They also provide basic necessities.

CRS supports urgent medical care and emergency relief for tends of thousands of Syrian refugees in the areas most affected by the conflict. Click here for a video on the crisis.

Despite the ongoing violence, the Catholic Church and CRS believe that a peaceful solution to this conflict is possible. Click the link below to find seven things you can do to directly help those suffering and find more information on the crisis.

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Why Christmas Should Bother Everybody

By Bishop Robert Barron

Just a few weeks ago, at a ceremony for the lighting of the national Christmas tree, President Obama remarked on the meaning of the season. Here are some of the things he said:

“Over these next few weeks, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, as we retell the story of weary travelers, a star, shepherds, Magi, I hope that we also focus ourselves on the message that this child brought to this Earth some 2,000 years ago—a message that says we have to be our brother’s keepers, our sister’s keepers; that we have to reach out to each other, to forgive each other. To let the light of our good deeds shine for all. To care for the sick, and the hungry, and the downtrodden. And of course, to love one another, even our enemies, and treat one another the way we would want to be treated ourselves. It’s a message that grounds not just my family’s Christian faith but that of Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, non-believers—Americans of all backgrounds.” 

Now in a way, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with these ideas and sentiments. Who could possibly be against treating others with respect, offering forgiveness for offenses, and caring for those in need? And I certainly don’t blame President Obama for making these remarks. Both Democrat and Republican presidents, in their capacity as chief magistrates of the civil religion, have expressed similar convictions for many years. What does bother me, however, is reducing Christmas to a level so low, so banal, that the great Christian feast is offensive to precisely no one.

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End Child Poverty Partnership Kicks Off

The California Catholic Conference is pleased to announce a new partner in our mission: End Child Poverty in California (ECPCA). Created by GRACE and the Daughters of Charity, ECPCA is a statewide campaign to raise awareness of California’s high rate of child poverty and the solutions to reduce it.

California has the highest rate of child poverty in the country, one in five children. ECPCA has a comprehensive, research-based plan for our state to reduce child poverty by fifty percent over the next twenty years, and is planning a busy 2017.

We need help spreading the word that policy changes for children in poverty also benefit the whole state. Learn more and get involved to raise awareness.  Visit www.endchildpovertyca.org to get started.

 

National Migration Week Jan. 8-14, 2017

For nearly half a century, the Catholic Church in the U.S. has celebrated National Migration Week, which is an opportunity for the Church to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children, and victims and survivors of human trafficking. The theme for National Migration Week 2017 draws attention to Pope Francis’ call to create a culture of encounter, and in doing so to look beyond our own needs and wants to those of others around us. In the homily given at his first Pentecost as pope, he emphasized the importance of encounter in the Christian faith:  “For me this word is very important. Encounter with others. Why? Because faith is an encounter with Jesus, and we must do what Jesus does: encounter others.”

With respect to immigrants, too often in our contemporary culture we fail to encounter them as persons, and instead look at them as others. We do not take the time to engage migrants in a meaningful way, but remain aloof to their presence and suspicious of their intentions.  National Migration Week is an opportunity to engage migrants as children of God who are worthy of our attention and support.

Continue for Resources

 

ICYMI: Catholic Perspective of the 2016 Election

The Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology recently hosted a forum featuring California Catholic Conference Executive Director Ned Dolejsi, who spoke on the results of the 2016 election and the concerns, opportunities, and priorities that may arise given California’s upcoming legislative session and the Democratic super majority.  Dolejsi also discussed the election of Donald Trump and its implications for the Catholic community.

If you missed the original live stream, you can watch it here.

December 16, 2016
Vol. 9, No. 38

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/insights-help-syrian-refugees-why-christmas-should-bother-you

La primera convocatoria de líderes del movimiento Internacional de Justicia Social en EE. UU. se reunirá en Modesto, febrero 16 al 19

MODESTO, CA. – El departamento del Vaticano para el Desarrollo Humano Integral (DHI), la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos de América, la Campaña Católica para el Desarrollo Humano y la Red Nacional PICO, la mayor red de organización de grupos de fe en la nación, anunciaron hoy una importante convocatoria de líderes del movimiento de fe y justicia social. La Reunión Mundial de Movimientos Populares (WMPM) a nivel Regional de los Estados Unidos, que se celebrará del 16 al 19 de febrero de 2017 en Modesto, California, reunirá a cientos de personas de diversas culturas y comunidades de todo el mundo.

La reunión en Modesto es la primera convocatoria regional de EE. UU. organizada en conjunto con tres reuniones internacionales que han tomado lugar en Roma (en octubre de 2014 y noviembre de 2016) y Bolivia (en julio de 2015). El propósito de cada reunión es instar a los grupos comunitarios para presionar los derechos de los trabajadores, la vivienda y la justicia ambiental, así como profundizar las relaciones entre estas organizaciones y la comunidad de fe.

“Recientemente nos reunimos en Roma por invitación del Papa Francisco para mostrar la cercanía de la Iglesia a todos los sectores de nuestra sociedad; incluyendo los movimientos comunitarios”, dijo el cardenal Peter Turkson, prefecto del DHI. “Esta reunión se está llevando a las regiones y a nivel nacional. La reunión trata de la dignidad de todas las personas, la cual no recibimos de ningún gobierno; es algo con lo que se nace. Animamos a todos los movimientos comunitarios a unirse a nosotros en Modesto”.

“La comunidad de fe está llamada a crear espacios de profunda empatía en los que reconocemos y asumimos la difícil situación de los marginados y los oprimidos”, dijo Scott Reed, director ejecutivo de la Red Nacional PICO.  “Tras una carrera presidencial polarizadora, la reunión inspirará a los líderes de la fe a trabajar agresivamente para reducir la pobreza, establecer políticas de inmigración humanas y justas, instar a la reforma de la justicia penal y la justicia ambiental y racial”.

“La reunión permitirá a organizaciones comunitarias y personas de bajos ingresos a que se unan, compartan inquietudes, esperanzas y aspiraciones para forjar su futuro compartido”, dijo el obispo David Talley, obispo de Alexandria en Los Ángeles y presidente de la Campaña Católica para el Subcomité de Desarrollo Humano”. La Iglesia está invitada a acompañar a los que luchan por encontrar su lugar, la búsqueda del bien común, ya que abarca a toda la familia humana.”

QUIÉN: El departamento del Vaticano para el Desarrollo Humano Integral (DHI), la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos de América y su Campaña Católica para el Desarrollo Humano y la Red Nacional PICO.

QUÉ: La Reunión Mundial de Movimientos Populares (WMPM) a nivel Regional de los Estados Unidos

CUANDO: Del 16 al 19 de febrero de 2017 (El evento comienza a las 6:00 pm PST el 16 de febrero)

DONDE: Central Catholic High School, 200 S Carpenter Rd, Modesto, CA.

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/espanol/noticias-en-espanol/la-primera-convocatoria-de-l%C3%ADderes-del-movimiento-internacional-de

Column: Time to Fund Alternatives to Abortion


For years, the state of North Dakota has quietly fought the culture of death by caring for pregnant women and their children, while at the same time addressing the root causes of poverty.  The program is called the Alternatives to Abortion program.  It reimburses pregnancy centers, adoption agencies, and maternity homes for services to pregnant women and women who think they might be pregnant.  It does not cover the full cost of providing those services.  It does not even come close.  It does, however, provide the agencies with some revenue to help them continue and expand their good work.

Using state funds to combat abortion in this way makes sense.  For one thing, the official policy of the state of North Dakota is to favor childbirth over abortion.  Furthering this policy cannot be done by restrictive legislation alone.  We must respond to the factors that contribute to a woman thinking that abortion is an option.  In other words, we must go after the “demand� for abortion. Finally, we cannot ignore that there is a war upon children in the womb.   Court decisions, federal policies, and cultural trends that threaten unborn lives demand a state response, including expenditures to fight for life.

The program uses federal funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, sometimes known as the “welfare block grant.�  Congress established TANF so states could have wide discretion to confront the causes of poverty, including out-of-wedlock pregnancies and unstable family relationships.  The same factors in a woman’s life that lead her into an unplanned and crisis pregnancy are often the same factors that lead women and their children into poverty, such as the lack of parental guidance, education, housing, health care, and work, as well as domestic abuse, absent boyfriends, addiction, and substance abuse problems.  Each time an abortion alternatives agency provides a woman with life-affirming alternatives it is also helps ensure that that woman and her child do not end up in poverty.

By all measures, the program is a success.  The number of women served has steadily increased through the years.  In 2011, the state awarded the Village Family Service Center with administering and advertising the program.  The number of women served soon doubled, serving 1194 women in the 2015 fiscal year. Meanwhile, both the percentage of pregnant women in the state choosing abortions correspondingly declined and has reached a historic low. Women accessing the services appear to choose adoption at a surprisingly high rate and almost never choose abortion

By helping women who think they are pregnant, but are not, the agencies also help prevent subsequent “scares� without resorting to demeaningly throwing contraceptives at women in the manner of Planned Parenthood.  Women who have a false pregnancy test are counseled about their needs.  It is not surprising, therefore, that the number of teenage pregnancies has declined during the same years the state has funded the program.
Two major threats to the program have loomed for several years.  One has probably abated. The other is more concerning than ever before.
For years, abortion activists have tried to stop states from using TANF funds to help pro-life pregnancy centers.  They started with a series of “exposes� that implied, but never proved, that the recipients of the funds used lies and high-pressure tactics to persuade women not to have abortions.  They also implied that using TANF funds for these purposes took away cash assistance from poor families.  In truth, cash assistance is set separately and the money used for abortion alternatives is “extra� money in the TANF block grant.

The second prong of attack was a campaign to convince the Obama administration or a future Clinton administration to issue rules preventing TANF funds from being used for abortion alternative programs.  With the election of Donald Trump, that threat appears to have gone away for now.

The second looming threat comes from the program’s success.  As mentioned, the number of women served has doubled in recent years.  However, the amount of money allocated for the program has remained the same since 2007.  As a result, the administrators had to slash reimbursement rates several times.  In the 2015 fiscal year the program actually ran out of money before the end of the year.  The state renewed the program for 2016, but only at the same amount as in previous years.  Already, the program is on course too serve 150 more women than last year with the same amount of dollars.
It is time for the North Dakota legislature to substantially increase funding for the alternatives to abortion program.  The state is facing a budget crisis.  The alternatives to abortion program is funded with federal dollars that are already available to the state.  Moreover, it is one of the smallest budget items in the state budget, coming to only $250,000 a year.  The state can afford to at least double that amount.  After all, we are talking about real alternatives to abortion.  We are talking about real help for women and children in the womb.

Article source: http://ndcatholic.org/latestnews/?p=2597

Support an End to Violence in Aleppo, Syria

This mother of 4 left Syria with 2 of her sons. Her goal is to meet her brother in Germany. Photo courtesy of Natalia Tsoukala/Caritas

This mother of 4 left Syria with 2 of her sons. Her goal is to meet her brother in Germany. Photo courtesy of Natalia Tsoukala/Caritas

From CRS- With a ceasefire collapsing in Aleppo Wednesday, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) supports the efforts of Pope Francis, who appealed for “an end to the violence and the peaceful resolution of hostilities” in Syria. Pope Francis also called for full respect of international law in a letter sent yesterday to the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, through Cardinal Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio to Syria.

As a humanitarian organization that has come to the aid of more than 1.25 million war-affected Syrians across the Middle East and Europe, CRS calls on all sides of this conflict to safeguard lives and ensure humanitarian access. 

“Peace is the only viable option,” said Sean Callahan, CRS’ chief operating officer, who returned from a visit to the region this week.  “Far too many lives have been lost in this conflict, and we join Pope Francis’ call to protect human rights, grant safe passage for all those trying to flee the violence, and for urgent humanitarian aid to reach those who desperately need it.”

Bishop Gregory J. Mansour of the Eparchy of Saint Maron in Brooklyn, NY, and CRS board chairman, added: “In my many travels to the region, I’ve witnessed the harrowing circumstances that millions of Syrians have lived through since the war began nearly six years ago. Let us heed the call of the Holy Father and end the violence and pray for a peaceful resolution to the hostilities.”

The United States must renew the serious international, diplomatic effort to end the fighting in Syria and find solutions to the conflict. CRS urges the U.S. Administration and the international community to work together to provide immediate and impartial humanitarian assistance, and to encourage steps towards an inclusive society in Syria that protects the rights of all its citizens. This is the only way the displaced will be able to return home. 

“The path ahead will be arduous, but the time is long past for the international community to pursue diplomacy and peace in Syria and the region,” added Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, NM, who chairs the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) International Justice and Peace Committee.  “In the final analysis only peace will end the refugee crisis, preserve the Christian presence, and allow inclusive societies to be built that respect the human rights of all.”

Learn more and donate here.

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Article source: http://www.pacatholic.org/support-an-end-to-violence-in-aleppo-syria/

The First U.S. Convening of International Social Justice Movement Leaders to Meet in Modesto, February 16-19

The Vatican’s department for Integral Human Development (IHD), the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Campaign for Human Development and PICO National Network, the largest network of faith-based organizing groups in the nation, today announced a major convening of faith and social justice movement leaders. The U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements (WMPM), to be held February 16-19, 2017 in Modesto, California, will bring together hundreds of people from various cultures and communities from across the world.  

The Modesto meeting is the first U.S. Regional convening being organized in conjunction with three international meetings that have taken place in Rome (in Oct. 2014 and Nov. 2016) and Bolivia (in July 2015). The purpose of each meeting is for grassroots groups to push for workers’ rights, housing and environmental justice, as well as deepen relationships among these organizations and the faith community.

“We recently gathered in Rome at the invitation of Pope Francis to show the Church’s closeness to all sectors in our society; including grassroots movements,” said Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of IHD. “This is a gathering which is being taken out to the regions and to the national levels. The gathering is about the dignity of all people, which we don’t receive from any government; it’s something we are born with. We encourage all grassroots movements to join us in Modesto.”

“The faith community is called to create spaces of profound empathy where we acknowledge and take up the plight of the marginalized and the oppressed,” said Scott Reed, executive director of PICO National Network. “On the heels of a polarizing presidential race, the gathering will inspire faith leaders to aggressively work towards poverty reduction, fair and humane immigration policies, criminal justice reform, and environmental and racial justice.”

“The gathering will allow grassroots, low income people to come together, share concerns, hopes and aspirations for forging their shared futures,” said Bishop David Talley, Bishop of Alexandria LA and chair of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development Subcommittee. “The Church is invited to accompany those who struggle to find their place, seeking the common good as it embraces the whole human family.”

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/first-us-convening-international-social-justice-movement-leaders-meet-modesto-february-16-19

PCC Board Member Named Bishop of Rockville Centre

barres_red_mass

Bishop John O. Barres

From the Diocese of Allentown:

Pope Francis has appointed Diocese of Allentown Bishop John O. Barres as the next Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, which consists of Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. The announcement was publicized this morning by the Papal Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre.

Bishop Barres, 56, is the first Bishop of Allentown in the diocese’s 55 year history to be transferred to another diocese. The Rockville Centre Diocese, established in 1957, is the sixth largest diocese by Catholic population in the United States. It serves 1.5 million Catholics with 291 active priests (diocesan and extern) in 133 parishes.

Bishop Barres will succeed Bishop William Murphy, 76, who has led the Rockville Centre Diocese since 2001. Bishop Murphy turned 75 in May 2015 and submitted his letter of resignation at that time as required by church law. The Pope accepted Bishop Murphy’s resignation today.

Bishop Barres will be introduced to his new diocese when he concelebrates morning Mass with Bishop Murphy at the Cathedral of Saint Agnes in Rockville Centre. The Mass will be streamed on telecaretv.org at 8:30 AM. At 10:30 AM, Bishops Murphy and Barres will appear jointly on Telecare’s news program “Everyday Faith Live,” also live streamed at telecaretv.org

Bishop Barres has been shepherd of the Diocese of Allentown since July 2009. In a statement on his new appointment, Bishop Barres said, “I must…thank the priests and the entire people of God of the Diocese of Allentown, where I have had the great blessing of serving as bishop for the last seven-and-a-half years. You will all always be in my heart, my memories, my prayers and my Masses as I remember our days of ‘holiness and mission’ together.”

Bishop Barres will be installed as the new Bishop of Rockville Centre at the cathedral there on January 31. Until that date, he will serve as the Diocesan Administrator for the Diocese of Allentown. Upon his installation, the Diocese of Allentown’s College of Consultors, a group of ten senior priests, will elect an Administrator who will serve until a new bishop is installed.

Contact: Matt Kerr
               610-871-5200, Extension 263 

 

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Article source: http://www.pacatholic.org/pcc-board-member-named-bishop-of-rockville-centre/

Statement on appointment of Bishop Barres to Rockville Centre Diocese

Published on December 9th, 2016

60121d7c-7971-455e-bf00-14de70a10d13Following is a statement from Richard E. Barnes, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference on this morning’s announcement that Pope Francis has named Bishop John O. Barres of Allentown, Pa., as Bishop of Rockville Centre, succeeding Bishop William F. Murphy, whose retirement has been accepted:

“We offer a warm welcome to Bishop Barres to the Diocese of Rockville Centre and to the New York State Catholic Conference. We look forward to working closely with him for many years to come in advancing public policies that serve and protect the most vulnerable of our state’s citizens – the poor and marginalized, immigrants, the elderly and infirm, people with disabilities, and children, born and unborn. We know that, like his predecessor, Bishop Barres will be a strong voice for all of these populations and an advocate for our constitutional rights of conscience and religious liberty. We at the Conference assure Bishop Barres of our prayers and our loyalty as we work together to have a positive impact on the lives of all New Yorkers.

“As we greet Bishop Barres, we also take this opportunity to stress our deep gratitude to and affection for Bishop William F. Murphy. Bishop Murphy was installed as Bishop of Rockville Centre less than a week before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and immediately distinguished himself as a shepherd of profound compassion and empathy as he consoled a grieving diocese, which lost so many souls that day. In the years that followed, he has served the diocese and as a member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Catholic Conference with dedication.”

The New York State Catholic Conference represents the Bishops of New York State in matters of public policy.

Article source: http://www.nyscatholic.org/2016/12/statement-on-appointment-of-bishop-barres-to-rockville-centre-diocese/

Religious freedom, first among our liberties, is under threat

american_flagDecember 15 marks the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights. The Philadelphia Inquirer is running a 12-part series to mark the occasion, and invited Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, who is also the chairman of the PCC, to write about the First Amendment:

Religious freedom is a fundamental natural right and first among our liberties. This is borne out by the priority protection it specifically enjoys in the Constitution’s First Amendment.

First, religious faith and practice are cornerstones of the American experience. Many of America’s first settlers were fleeing religious persecution. Nearly all of the American founders saw religious faith as vital to the life of a free people. They believed that liberty and happiness grow organically out of virtue. And for the founders, virtue needed grounding in religious faith.

At the heart of American public life is an essentially religious vision of man and government. This model has given us a free society marked by a wide variety of cultural and religious expressions. But our system’s success does not result from clever legal mechanics. Our system works precisely because of the moral assumptions that undergird it. And those assumptions have religious roots.

When the founders talked about religion, they meant more than a vague “spirituality.” The distinguished legal scholar Harold Berman showed that the founders – though they had differing views about religion among themselves – understood religion positively as “both belief in God and belief in an after-life of reward for virtue, and punishment for sin.” In other words, religion mattered. It made people live differently and live better. People’s faith was assumed to have broad implications, including the political kind.

That leads to my second point: Freedom of religion is more than freedom of worship. The right to worship is a necessary but not a sufficient part of religious liberty. For most believers, and certainly for Christians, faith requires community. It begins in worship, but it also demands preaching, teaching, and service. Real faith always bears fruit in public witness and action. Otherwise it’s just empty words.

Continue reading here.

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Article source: http://www.pacatholic.org/religious-freedom-first-among-our-liberties-is-under-threat/

Bishop Blaire of Stockton Delivers Strong Statement in Support of Immigrants

Homily Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 4, 2016

The journey of life is difficult at this time for Hispanics in the United States.  Many have friends and family members who are without papers; many are without papers themselves; children in school are being bullied; and young immigrants who signed up for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) are anxious that they might lose their opportunity to work and their protection from deportation; Racism has raised its ugly head in many communities; and so many of our neighborhoods and homes are plagued with violence. Many who have jobs often find themselves having to work two or three jobs in order to make ends meet. 

To all of you this day I remind you that OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE COMES TO MEET YOU TO LEAD YOU TO JESUS.  She says to each of you what she said to St. Juan Diego: “Do not be disturbed in your heart; do not be afraid.  Am I not with you, I who am your mother?” We need to hear these words of comfort and strength when there is so much hostility in the public conversation about immigration and immigrants.

I wish to say loudly and clearly to all of you that as your bishop I am with you.  You are the Church.  I will walk with you no matter how hard it gets. Please God, things will go better than our worst fears about what might happen.  Regardless, the Church is with you.  I am here to accompany you.  I also wish to announce to our immigrants, to our refugees, to our migrants, from wherever you come, that we will do everything we can to help you through our Catholic Charities and the community organizations of which we are a part. As Catholics we embrace our American traditions of welcome, of unity in diversity and our care for all.

I also wish to say to our Muslim brothers and sisters, and to our Jewish elder brothers and sisters, and to all our inter-faith friends that the hate which destroys the unity and solidarity of the human family cannot be tolerated in any way. The way of God is the way of love.

As you know so many of our Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East have been slaughtered by ISIS or lost their homes in war torn areas and have suffered as refugees from their ancient lands.  I ask you to join with our Holy Father Pope Francis, in doing whatever you can in any way to support the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Christian and Muslim refugees at this time, and to bring calm to their homelands.  

The causes of war and cruelty cannot be ignored.  The injustices that give rise to radical evils must be alleviated. The forces of evil must be stopped. Ultimately, evil will only be overcome by good, by the hard work of good people working together to bring about peace.  And there will be no peace if there is no justice which respects the dignity and worth of every human being.  As long as the gods of money and power and unrestrained impulses found in the idols of greed and corruption rule on the face of the earth there will be no lasting peace.  Sad to say, an even greater threat to peace that looms over our heads would be the unrestrained advance in nuclear weapons which could destroy all creation. 

I sincerely believe that unless God is accepted as sovereign Lord over the earth and over our lives, communities will continue to deteriorate, the earth will be devastated, and family coherence will be diminished.  Your devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe keeps us close to her as our Mother.  She leads us to Christ Who is the all just One; the all merciful One; the Hope for the world when all seems hopeless.

The world does not need any more walls.  It needs bridges of compassion and mutual understanding.  Yes, proper respect for borders or boundaries, but not barriers of hostility and division.  Let there be peace at our borders.

The world cannot continue to endure more violence.  It needs restraint, words of peace and perseverance in the hard efforts to create the just structures that are the foundation for peace.  In our community the answer to gang violence is good education and decent jobs.

The world must not tolerate racism.   It needs to honor the diversity of God’s human family by building a unity which embraces and respects all races on the face of the earth.  Unity in diversity!

Today we venerate Our Lady of Guadalupe who comes to meet us as our mother.  Nuestra Señora will show us the way to peace and goodness and justice.  Mary is the mother of all peoples.  She will give us the courage not to be afraid.  She will lead us to Jesus, the Lord of peace and justice.   Viva Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe!  Viva Cristo Rey!

Bishop Stephen E. Blaire
Catholic Bishop of Stockton

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/policies-issues/human-dignity/immigration/bishop-blaire-stockton-delivers-strong-statement-support

Report: PA’s Catholic Parishes, Ministries have Huge Economic Impact

Feed The WorldWe’ve told you before about the over $2 billion Catholic schools save Pennsylvania taxpayers each year. Of course the benefits go beyond the dollar signs, as the hundreds of Pennsylvania Catholic schools have graduated intelligent, successful, and community-minded citizens who have been encourage to grow in wisdom and grace throughout their education. Catholic high schools boast nearly 100% graduation rates, with over 90% of those graduates going on to college or university.

Now, new research tells Pennsylvanians of the huge positive charitable impact that Catholic parishes, schools, hospitals, and ministries have on the community. In real dollars, that impact translates to an average of $1.5 million per congregation, “They bring economic value, they bring a civic value, and that you don’t have to be Catholic to care about the Catholic Church.”

You can read more about the report and the so-called “economic halo effect” here.

 

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Article source: http://www.pacatholic.org/report-pas-catholic-parishes-ministries-have-huge-economic-impact/

Perspectivas: San Bernardino Recuerda, Orando por los Migrantes

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Aniversario de la tragedia de la matanza en San Bernardino

 

Al iniciar la época santa del Adviento, tengamos presente que el 2 de diciembre conmemora el primer aniversario de la trágica matanza masiva ocurrida en San Bernardino. El ataque terrorista en el “Inland Regional Center”, lugar que provee beneficios a personas con discapacidades del desarrollo y a sus familias, cobró las vidas de catorce personas y dejó a otras 22 seriamente heridas. Alrededor de la mitad de las víctimas tenían algún vínculo a la Iglesia de San Bernardino.

 

Para conmemorar este primer aniversario, la Diócesis de San Bernardino organizó

dos servicios conmemorativos. El primero fue una vigilia especial de oración interreligiosa que se llevó a cabo el jueves primero de diciembre, en la víspera del aniversario de la Catedral de Nuestra Señora del Rosario. Se llevó a cabo una recepción después del servicio.  

 

También se ofrecerá una misa conmemorativa esta mañana a las 10:00 a.m. en el Cementerio de Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz (Our Lady Queen of Peace Cemetery) en Colton. Se le da la bienvenida a todos los sacerdote, diáconos y religiosos (as), así como al público que quiera asistir y orar.

 

La Diócesis también observará un minuto de oración en silencio hoy, 2 de diciembre, a las 10:58 a.m., la hora exacta en que ocurrió la matanza en San Bernardino. Pulse aquí para obtener mayor información.

 

 

Festividad de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe para orar por las familias de los inmigrantes

 

Se celebrará una Jornada de Oración con un enfoque en la lucha de los refugiados y migrantes a lo largo de los Estados Unidos el 12 de diciembre de 2016, la Festividad de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.  Será un momento para ofrecerle a nuestro Dios misericordioso las esperanzas, temores y necesidades de todas esas familias que han venido a los EE.UU. buscando una mejor vida. 

 

“Al acercarse la Navidad y de manera especial en la Festividad de Nuestra Señora, se nos recuerda cómo nuestro salvador Jesucristo no nació en la comodidad de su propio hogar, sino en un pesebre ajeno,” dijo el Cardenal Daniel DiNardo, arzobispo de Galveston-Houston y presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los EE.UU. (USCCB, por sus siglas en inglés). “A todas las familias separadas y lejos de sus hogares en estos tiempos inseguros, nos unimos a ustedes en oración por su bienestar y felicidad en esta época de Adviento,” añadió el Cardenal DiNardo.

En muchas diócesis a lo largo del país se realizarán servicios de oración y misas especiales que la Iglesia católica tendrá para acompañar a los migrantes y refugiados que buscan la oportunidad de proveer para sus familias. Si usted no puede asistir o si no hay un servicio cerca a usted, se invita a los católicos a que ofrezcan oraciones donde quiera que se encuentren.  Por ejemplo, la oficina de Servicios a Migrantes y Refugiados (MRS, por sus siglas en inglés) de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos, ha también elaborado un Rosario de las Escrituras titulado “Unidad en la Diversidad” que incluye oraciones por los migrantes y refugiados aquí.

“Muchas familias se están preguntando cómo les afectarán los cambios en las políticas de inmigración,” dijo el arzobispo José H. Gómez de Los Ángeles, vice-presidente de la USCCB. “Queremos que ellas sepan que la Iglesia les apoya, ofrece oraciones en nombre de ellas, y está activamente vigilando los últimos acontecimientos a nivel diocesano, estatal y nacional para abogar de manera efectiva por ellas”.

Continúe leyendo

 

Santa Sede nombra a obispo auxiliar para la Diócesis de Orange

 

El Vaticano anuncia que el Rev. Timothy Freyer será elevado a un nuevo cargo en apoyo al Obispo Kevin Vann

 

El Vaticano anunció la semana pasada que el Rev. Timothy Freyer ha sido nombrado obispo auxiliar por la Santa Sede para la creciente Diócesis de Orange.

“Me siento honrado y conmovido al aceptar este nombramiento,” afirmó el Padre Freyer. “Le agradezco al Papa Francisco y al Obispo Vann por confiar en mí y ruego a Dios me ayude a cumplir sus expectativas.  Además de estar agradecido con el Santo Padre y el Obispo Vann, también le agradezco a los Obispos Brown y Luong, la amistad y afecto que me han brindado en estos últimos años”.

En su nuevo cargo, el Padre Freyer dice ayudará al Obispo Vann en todo lo que pueda, incluso en seguir desarrollando el nuevo plan pastoral para la diócesis. También continuará enfocándose en la evangelización, incluyendo la creación de experiencias, ministerios y estructuras que acerquen a las personas a Cristo.   

Continúe leyendo

 

 

Perspectiva católica de las elecciones del 2016

 

El lunes 5 de diciembre, la Escuela Dominica de Filosofía y Teología (Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology) auspiciará una presentación con la participación del director ejecutivo, Ned Dolejsi, de la Conferencia Católica de California, quien ofrecerá una presentación sobre los resultados de las elecciones del 2016 y las preocupaciones, oportunidades y prioridades que pudieran surgir en la próxima sesión legislativa de California y la súper mayoría del Partido Demócrata.

 

Dolejsi también analizará el posible impacto que podría tener la presidencia de Trump en California.

 

Este evento se transmitirá en vivo para la conveniencia de los que lo quieran ver, empezará puntualmente a las 7:30 p.m. Para obtener mayor información o para reservar su lugar y asistir en persona, visite www.dspt.edu/election. Usted podrá ver el evento directamente al visitar www.dspt.edu/livestream. Para más información, favor de comunicarse al DSPT llamando al (510) 849-2030.

 

La Legislatura del Estado de California reinicia sus sesiones la próxima semana para darle la bienvenida a los miembros que regresan y para que presten juramento los nuevos miembros recién elegidos. La CCC se prepara para seguir la pista de las tentativas organizacionales y las noticias legislativas a la vez que se organiza esta nueva súper mayoría. Esté atento a la CCC para mantenerse informado (a).

 

 

Materiales de Crea en Mí un Corazón Limpio ahora disponibles

 

Por petición del Comité de Laicos, Matrimonios, Vida Familiar y Jóvenes, de la USCCB, ahora se encuentran disponibles materiales adicionales para un público determinado con el fin de ayudar a los ministros pastorales en sus tentativas para educar a los fieles sobre la pornografía y para ayudar a sanar a las personas que han sido perjudicadas por ésta.

 

Los cinco folletos incluyen:

·      Crea en mí un corazón limpio: respuesta pastoral a la pornografía – versión abreviada

·      Los efectos de la pornografía en el matrimonio y Esperanza para parejas casadas (Pornography’s Effects on Marriage and Hope for Married Couples) de Sam y Beth Meier

·      La educación de hijos castos en un mundo pornográfico (Raising Chaste Children in a Pornographic World) por Ryan Foley

·      El papel de los sacerdotes en servicio a los que batallan con la pornografía (Role of Priests in Ministry to Those Who Struggle with Pornography) del Padre David Songy

·      Lávame completamente: sanando del uso de la pornografía y adicción (Wash Me Thoroughly: Healing from Pornography Use and Addiction) de Daniel Spadaro

 

Cinco folletos ahora se encuentran disponibles para su uso.  Se pueden comprar de la tienda de la USCCB al visitar: http://store.usccb.org/Create-In-Me-A-Clean-Heart-Series-s/2199.htm o léalos  en línea en el sitio web: USCCB website y en los sitios:  For Your Marriage websites (barra lateral izquierda). Se están elaborando las versiones en español.

 

2 de diciembre de 2016
Tomo 9, No. 37

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/espanol/perspectivas/perspectivas-san-bernardino-recuerda-orando-por-los-migrantes

Insights: San Bernardino Remembers, Praying for Migrants

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Anniversary of San Bernardino Shooting Tragedy

 

As we move into the Holy Advent Season, let us keep in mind that December 2 marks the first anniversary of the tragic San Bernardino mass shooting tragedy. The terror attack at the Inland Regional Center, which provides benefits to people with developmental disabilities and their families, claimed the lives of fourteen people and left 22 seriously wounded. As many as half of the victims had a connection to the Church in San Bernardino.

 

To mark this first anniversary, the Diocese of San Bernardino will be holding two memorial observances. The first is a special interfaith prayer vigil that took place on Thursday, December 1st on the eve of the anniversary at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral. There was a reception following the service. 

 

A memorial mass will also be offered this morning at 10:00a.m. at Our Lady Queen of Peace Cemetery in Colton. Priests, Deacons, religious and the public are all welcome to attend and pray.

 

The Diocese will also be observing one minute of silent prayer today, December 2, at 10:58 a.m., the exact hour of the San Bernardino shootings. Click here for more information.

 

 

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Pray for Families of Immigrants

 

A Day of Prayer with a focus on the plight of refugees and migrants will take place across the United States on December 12, 2016, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  It will be a time to place before a merciful God the hopes, fears, and needs of all those families who have come to the U.S. seeking a better life.

 

“As Christmas approaches and especially on this feast of Our Lady, we are reminded of how our savior Jesus Christ was not born in the comfort of his own home, but rather in an unfamiliar manger,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). “To all those families separated and far from home in uncertain times, we join with you in a prayer for comfort and joy this Advent season,” Cardinal DiNardo added.

Prayer services and special Masses will be held in many dioceses across the country as the Catholic Church continues to accompany migrants and refugees seeking an opportunity to provide for their families. If you are unable to attend or there is not one near you, Catholics are invited to offer prayers wherever they may be.  For example, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ office of Migrant and Refugee Services (MRS) has also developed a Scriptural Rosary entitled “Unity in Diversity” that includes prayers for migrants and refugees here.

“So many families are wondering how changes to immigration policy might impact them,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice-president of the USCCB. “We want them to know the Church is with them, offers prayers on their behalf, and is actively monitoring developments at the diocesan, state, and national levels to be an effective advocate on their behalf.”

Continue Reading

 

Holy See Appoints Auxiliary Bishop for Diocese of Orange

 

Vatican announces Rev. Timothy Freyer will be elevated to new role supporting Bishop Kevin Vann

 

The Vatican announced last week that Rev. Timothy Freyer has been appointed by the Holy See as Auxiliary Bishop for the growing Diocese of Orange.

 

“I am both humbled and honored to accept this appointment,” said Fr. Freyer. “I am grateful to Pope Francis and to Bishop Vann for their trust and confidence in me and I pray that I may live up to their expectations.  In addition to my gratitude to the Holy Father and Bishop Vann, I am also grateful to Bishops Brown and Luong for their friendship and affection over these past years.”

 

In his new role, Fr. Freyer says he will assist Bishop Vann in any way he can, including continuing to develop the diocese’s new pastoral plan. He will also continue to focus on evangelization, including creating experiences, ministries and structures that will bring people closer to Christ.

 

Continue Reading

 

 

Catholic Perspective of the 2016 Election

 

On Monday, December 5, the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology will host a presentation featuring California Catholic Conference Executive Director Ned Dolejsi, who will offer a presentation on the results of the 2016 election and the concerns, opportunities, and priorities that may arise given California’s upcoming legislative session and the Democratic super majority.

 

Dolejsi will also explore the potential impact the Trump presidency may have on California.

 

The event will be live-streamed for convenient viewing, beginning promptly at 7:30 p.m. For more information or to RSVP to attend in person, visit www.dspt.edu/election. You can view the event via live-stream by visiting www.dspt.edu/livestream. For further information, please contact DSPT at (510) 849-2030.

 

The California State Legislature reconvenes next week to welcome returning members and swear in newly elected members. The CCC is gearing up to track organizational efforts and legislative news as this new super majority gets organized. Stay tuned to the CCC for more information.

 

 

Create in Me a Clean Heart Resources Now Available

 

At the request of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, supplementary resources for targeted audiences are now available to assist pastoral ministers in their efforts to educate the faithful about pornography and provide healing to those who have been harmed by it.

 

The five pamphlets include:

  • ·      Create in Me A Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography – Abridged Version
  • ·      Pornography’s Effects on Marriage and Hope for Married Couples by Sam and Beth Meier
  • ·      Raising Chaste Children in a Pornographic World by Ryan Foley
  • ·      The Role of Priests in Ministry to Those Who Struggle with Pornography by Fr. David Songy
  • ·      ‘Wash Me Thoroughly’: Healing from Pornography Use and Addiction by Daniel Spadaro

 

Five pamphlets are now available for use. They can be purchased from the USCCB store by visiting http://store.usccb.org/Create-In-Me-A-Clean-Heart-Series-s/2199.htm or read online on the USCCB website and For Your Marriage websites (left sidebar). Spanish versions are in the works.

 

December 2, 2016
Vol. 9, No. 37

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/insights-san-bernardino-remembers-praying-migrants

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe to be a Day of Prayer and Solidarity with Families of Immigrants

119 K Street 2nd Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814  |  916 313-4000 | General Email: leginfo@cacatholic.org | © 2014 All Rights Reserved

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/policies-issues/human-dignity/immigration/feast-our-lady-guadalupe-be-day-prayer-and-solidarity

2015-2016 Session End Legislative Status Report

The 2015-2016 session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly officially closes on November 30. Here is the status of the several high priority bills that were on the legislative agenda of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference.

Pro-Life Legislation – House Bill 1948 would have banned barbaric dismemberment abortions and abortions when the unborn baby is able to feel pain (20 weeks). It passed in the House, was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but the session came to an end without a Senate vote. Governor Wolf promised to veto the bill, so it would have been unlikely to become law. The election brings some small but important political changes to Pennsylvania’s General Assembly which could bring strength to the pro-life cause in the next session.

Adoption Records – House Bill 162 was passed by the General Assembly and was signed into law by the governor.  It allows an adoptee to obtain a noncertified copy of his or her original birth record (what is commonly referred to as a birth certificate), naming the birth parents, unless a birth parent files a name redaction request form with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The filing of the name redaction request form would protect that birth parent’s privacy because the birth certificate issued to the adoptee would not name the birth parent. This new law changes the current law, which kept the identity of a birth parent confidential unless the birth parent agreed to disclosure. Now, a birth parent, in past and future adoptions, must take affirmative action to protect his or her identity by filing the name redaction request form. The PCC will pursue opportunities to alert the public and especially birth parents through Catholic media channels and www.pacatholic.org when the redaction forms become available.

Human Trafficking – Senate Bill 851 would have ensured that juvenile victims of human trafficking are not prosecuted as criminals and that support services are made available to them. No action was taken by the end of the session, but legislation may be reintroduced next session.

Organ Donation –The Pennsylvania Catholic Health Association was successful in amending legislation that encourages organ donation so it is clear who is able to receive information and/or consent to an organ or tissue gift on behalf of a patient. The amended bill did not allow presumed consent for patients who have not explicitly indicated their wishes to donate organs; however, the General Assembly did not take up the bill before the end of the session.

End of Life – Although legislation concerning doctor-prescribed suicide or other end-of-life issues did not have much traction this session, the PCC did engage its advocacy network to urge the American Medical Association (AMA) to maintain its decades-long opposition to doctor-prescribed suicide. If the AMA weakens its opposition, the move will send a message to the legislature that legalizing suicide is acceptable. It is not too late to send a message to the leaders of the AMA urging them to remain neutral on the issue of doctor-prescribed suicide. Connect to the Catholic Advocacy Network at www.pacatholic.org to send an email.

Much work has been done with work groups behind the scenes on the issue of Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST). Draft legislation has already been submitted to the State Joint Government Commission Subcommittee on Powers of Attorney and the Legislative Reference Bureau in preparation for its introduction next session.

Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) – The legislative session ended with strong public statements by Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny), urging a significant increase in the EITC and OSTC programs next year. He announced this at several press conferences at Catholic schools in different parts of the state. Rep. Turzai has set this as a priority for the next session.

Statutes of Limitation Reform – House Bill 1947 was a proposal to reform the statutes of limitation for childhood sexual abuse The House of Representatives voted for legislation that would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations in the future, extend the civil SoL for future cases and give an equal opportunity for victims in public institutions to bring suit (sovereign immunity prohibits these victims from suing now). The bill would also retroactively nullify the civil statute of limitations for past childhood sexual abuse cases from decades ago. In June the state Senate voted 49-0 in favor of an amended version of House Bill 1947 that removed the controversial retroactive provision, citing conflicts with Pennsylvania’s state constitution as the reason for the change. The Senate version maintained prospective changes to the law. The House Rules Committee did not act on the Senate-amended version of the bill; therefore it simply died at the end of the session.

Leaders of those pushing for the legislation stated publically that they are unwilling to accept any bill that does not include retroactivity. While the session comes to an end, no retroactive window was enacted; but it is anticipated that the proposal will be introduced again in the next session. The fight for fair statute of limitations reform is far from over.

Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Legislation – Legislation that would add “gender identity or expression” and “sexual orientation” to Pennsylvania’s non-discrimination law was again debated this session. Changing the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) will jeopardize many churches and their charitable outreach if they continue to adhere to their religious beliefs.  In other states, this law has closed Catholic adoption agencies and violated religious liberty. These bills could mean that Catholic agencies would no longer be able to make our contributions to the common good of Pennsylvania without violating our religious beliefs.

One bill passed in the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee, but no further action was taken so the legislation died at the end of the session. This potential threat to religious liberty will need to be addressed in the new session.

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Article source: http://www.pacatholic.org/2015-2016-session-end-legislative-status-report/

Holy See Appoints Auxiliary Bishop for Diocese of Orange

Vatican announces Rev. Timothy Freyer will be elevated to new role, supporting Bishop Kevin Vann

The Vatican today announced that Rev. Timothy Freyer has been appointed by the Holy See as Auxiliary Bishop for the growing Diocese of Orange. His episcopal ordination will be announced shortly. (January 17, 2017)

“I am both humbled and honored to accept this appointment,” said Fr. Freyer. “I am grateful to Pope Francis and to Bishop Vann for their trust and confidence in me and I pray that I may live up to their expectations.  In addition to my gratitude to the Holy Father and Bishop Vann, I am also grateful to Bishops Brown and Luong for their friendship and affection over these past years.”

In his new role, Fr. Freyer says he will assist Bishop Vann in any way he can, including continuing to develop the diocese’s new pastoral plan. He will also continue to focus on evangelization, including creating experiences, ministries and structures that will bring people closer to Christ.

“We are blessed as Diocese to continue to benefit from kind and humble leadership offered by Fr. Freyer, as a priest, and now a Bishop,” said Bishop Vann. “Fr. Freyer’s deep love of God is evident in every encounter shared and he always seeks to show the merciful and inspiring face of Christ to those facing their darkest days. I am truly blessed to work with Fr. Freyer in the garden of the Lord.”

Fr. Freyer’s roots are in Southern California. He was born in L.A. and grew up in Huntington Beach, a short drive from Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, where he will serve in his new role as Auxiliary Bishop.

After graduating from Huntington Beach High School he entered the St. John’s Seminary College in Camarillo, CA where he earned his bachelor’s degree, followed by four years at St. John’s Seminary where, as a graduate student, he studied Theology.

Fr. Freyer was ordained a priest on June 10, 1989 and his first assignment was as associate pastor at St. Hedwig Church in Los Alamitos, within the Diocese of Orange. He served in that role for five years before being assigned to Our Lady of Fatima Church in San Clemente. Five years later, he moved to St. Catherine of Siena Church in Laguna Beach where he remained for two years.

n 2001, Fr. Freyer was appointed pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Fullerton, and then in 2003 was reassigned as pastor for St. Boniface Church in Anaheim.

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/holy-see-appoints-auxiliary-bishop-diocese-orange

Cardinal Dolan Calls For Renewed Fight Against Doctor-Assisted Suicide

DolanSeven jurisdictions in the United States have now opened the legal door to this dangerous abuse of medicine, an alarming trend that must be stopped for the sake of human dignity and the sacredness of life.

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Article source: http://www.pacatholic.org/cardinal-dolan-calls-for-renewed-fight-against-doctor-assisted-suicide/

The right place to start

“[To] ‘make America great again’ we also need a comprehensive immigration reform that protects our borders and at the same time allows a path to citizenship for the millions who already live among us. If we need ‘walls,’ we need walls with ‘doors’ because some of our ‘greatest Americans’ have been immigrants or refugees … we won’t make America great again by making America mean.”

— Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, November 14

Where to begin.

This is a column impossible to imagine just 10 days ago. Despite raising and spending vastly more money than Donald Trump, despite celebrity endorsements, despite the predictions of experts and pollsters, despite the vigorous support of a sitting president, and despite the thinly disguised loathing of her rival by much of the mass media, Hillary Clinton is not the president-elect. Donald Trump is.

Whatever else can be said about the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump’s message clearly connected with massive numbers of ordinary Americans, and he won an open election fairly. He cannot be dismissed as a fluke. He deserves our prayers and an opportunity to serve the nation well without being deliberately undermined by his critics.

As others have already noted, Mr. Trump is a pragmatist. After eight years of an ideologically zealous White House, that could be a good thing. But words and actions have consequences. The trademark Trump bluster on the campaign trail further divided a fractured nation and frightened millions of immigrants and members of ethnic and racial minorities. Media hostile to Mr. Trump have clearly made the problem worse. But the main author of the current ugliness is Trump himself. And only he can fix it with responsible language and behavior, and a willingness to listen to those who feel threatened by his victory.

Ensuring public safety, the solvency of our public institutions and the nation’s border security in an age of narco-syndicates and terrorism — Mr. Trump has voiced all these concerns, and they’re all legitimate goals. But the vast majority of undocumented persons in the United States are decent people. They pose no threat to anyone. They want a fruitful life, they work for a living, they raise families, and their children born here are American citizens.

In other words, they’re a vital resource for the future of our country, not a tumor to be cut out of the body. Sweeping talk of building a border wall and deporting millions of people is not just impractical and wrong-headed. It’s also dangerous. It fuels anti-immigrant resentment. And it feeds the anxiety now creating turmoil in immigrant and minority communities.

Over the past week I’ve heard from dozens of laypeople and pastors in our Latino and other minority communities. Many spoke of sleepless nights and “great concern and fear” among their people. Another wrote that his “community was very upset, and feeling numb and hopeless.” Another, who lives in Center City, said that someone threatened his foreign-born wife on the street and warned her to go back where she came from. These are not invented stories. They involve real people and real suffering.

Continue reading at CatholicPhilly.com 

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Article source: http://www.pacatholic.org/the-right-place-to-start/

Employment Opportunity: Social Concerns Director

PCC Logo Blue BackgroundThe Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) is seeking a seasoned government relations professional to advocate the Catholic perspective on social concerns issues at the State Capitol in Harrisburg and beyond. He/she will have a specific focus on lobbying for issues related to human services, respect for human life, and social justice.

A successful candidate should have bachelor’s degree or equivalent in political science, public administration, communications, or liberal arts. Master’s degree is desirable. Experience and familiarity with the workings of state government is essential.

He/she must be a practicing Catholic in good standing who is intelligent, zealous, dedicated and committed to the interests of the Church, knowledgeable about and interested in Church affairs, and a creative and productive writer, researcher, and policy analyst.

He/she must have the ability and social skills to work with both individuals and groups, both inside and outside the Church and convey the Church’s teachings, especially as they apply to elected and appointed government officials.

This full-time position is office-based at PCC’s location in downtown Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Send cover letter and resume to: PA Catholic Conference, PO Box 2835, Harrisburg, PA 17105 or send electronically to info@pacatholic.org.

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Article source: http://www.pacatholic.org/employment-opportunity-social-concerns-director/

Perspectivas: Desilusión por la Proposición 62; Declaraciones y opiniones después de las Elecciones

La CCC expresa su sorpresa y decepción por el rechazo de la Proposición 62

La siguiente declaración fue publicada por Edward “Ned” Dolejsi, director ejecutivo de la Conferencia Católica de California:

“Las elecciones de ayer fueron la culminación de una larga y polémica temporada electoral caracterizada por el cinismo y la alienación.  No obstante, los votantes en California cumplieron con su deber cívico y votaron.   El proceso democrático, una vez más, ha demostrado que la voluntad del pueblo es soberana.

“La Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de California se siente extremadamente decepcionada debido a que la Proposición 62, la cual hubiese eliminado el uso de la pena de muerte en este estado, no tuvo éxito.  En este Año Jubilar Extraordinario de la Misericordia, hubiese sido una manera digna de culminar el llamado de todo un año para vivir las Obras de Misericordia.

“Aunque es decepcionante que haya prevalecido la Proposición 66 y que se haya mantenido la pena de muerte, agradecemos la aprobación de la Proposición 57 y que en los centros de reclusión de California se dé un enfoque a la justicia restaurativa. Este es un hito importante donde se reconoce la dignidad y el valor de todo ser humano, sin importar sus deficiencias. Esperamos con ilusión las buenas obras que se producirán por efecto de esta nueva ley.

“La Conferencia Católica de California también renueva su llamado a todos los californianos para que colaboren con las víctimas de la delincuencia y sus familias de frente al dolor y desolación que pasan casi a diario.  Esto se da no solamente en los casos capitales, sino cada vez que alguien es perjudicado por la delincuencia.  Estas personas, conjuntamente con aquellas involucradas en el sistema de justicia penal, necesitan nuestras oraciones y apoyo.

“Agradecemos de manera especial a los miles de voluntarios que han trabajado incansablemente para abolir la pena de muerte y promover la justicia.  Estamos en deuda con ellos por su ardua labor y ejemplo viviente de lo que es la misericordia y la compasión. Además, les damos las gracias por ser una voz a favor de la vida y dignidad en el mundo de hoy”.  

A la CCC también le ha decepcionado la aprobación de la proposición 66 que hubiese mantenido las protecciones para asegurar que personas inocentes no sean ejecutadas injustamente, y la Proposición 64, la legalización de la marihuana.

Los efectos de legalizar la marihuana se han demostrado en Colorado, donde las muertes por accidentes de tránsito se han más que duplicado y donde se han llevado rutinariamente a las salas de emergencia a niños que han ingerido productos comestibles que contenían la droga. Para obtener mayor información sobre los perjuicios de legalizar la marihuana, visite el sitio web de la CCC aquí. Por favor ore con nosotros para que la aprobación de la Proposición 64 no derive en las mismas tragedias que han ocurrido en Colorado. 

 

Unámonos como ciudadanos fieles por el bien común

 

Washington – Monseñor Joseph E. Kurtz, arzobispo de Louisville, Kentucky, presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los EE.UU., ha publicado la siguiente declaración respecto a la elección de Donald Trump como Presidente-Electo:

El pueblo estadounidense ha elegido a su próximo presidente, representantes en las cámaras del Congreso y funcionarios estatales y locales. Felicito al Sr. Trump y a todos los elegidos ayer. Ahora es el momento para avanzar hacia la responsabilidad de gobernar a favor del bien común de todos los ciudadanos. Les invito a que no nos veamos mutuamente en la luz divisiva de Demócrata o Republicano o de algún otro partido político, sino que veamos el rostro de Cristo en nuestro prójimo, especialmente en los que sufren o en aquellos con quienes no estemos de acuerdo.

 A nosotros, como ciudadanos, junto con nuestros representantes electos, nos convendría recordar las palabras del Papa Francisco al dirigirse al Congreso de los Estados Unidos el año pasado: “Toda actividad política debería servir y promover el bien de la persona humana y basarse en el respeto por la dignidad de él/ella”.  Ayer votaron para que se les escuchara millones de estadounidenses que luchan por encontrar oportunidades económicas para sus familias. Nuestra respuesta debería ser sencilla: les escuchamos. Cada uno de nosotros tiene la responsabilidad de ayudar a fortalecer a las familias.

Continúe leyendo

 

Siga la reunión de la Asamblea General de la USCCB del 2016

La Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los EE.UU. (USCCB, por sus siglas en inglés) se reunirá para su Asamblea General Otoñal que celebra cada año, en esta ocasión del 14 al 16 de noviembre de 2016, en Baltimore, Maryland.  El Servicio de Noticias Católicas (Catholic News Service) seguirá el evento y publicará información según se dé a conocer.  Usted podrá seguir su cobertura en catholicnews.com.

Durante la Asamblea, los obispos elegirán a un nuevo presidente, vicepresidente y cinco dirigentes de comités.

Adicionalmente, dialogarán y votarán en torno al plan estratégico de la Conferencia para los años del 2017 al 2020 y recibirán un informe y recomendaciones para promover la paz en las comunidades azotadas por la violencia.

Los obispos también votarán por los directores-electos de los siguientes cinco comités de la USCCB: Comité de Asuntos Canónicos y Gobierno Eclesiástico, Comité de Asuntos Económicos e Interreligiosos, Comité de Evangelización y Catequesis, Comité de Justicia y Paz Internacional y el Comité de Protección de Niños y Jóvenes.

Siga el evento aquí.

 

Oración tras una elección

Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los EE.UU.

 

 

Dios de todas las naciones, Padre de la familia humana,

te damos gracias por la libertad que hemos ejercido

y por las muchas bendiciones de la democracia que disfrutamos

en los Estados Unidos de América.

Te pedimos tu protección y guía

por todos aquellos que se dedican a trabajar por el bien común,

a trabajar por la justicia y la paz en el país y en el mundo.

Te presentamos a todos nuestros líderes elegidos y a los servidores públicos,

a aquellos que servirán como presidente, legisladores y jueces,

aquellos en las fuerzas armadas y en el ejercicio de la ley.

Sánanos de nuestras diferencias y únenos, Oh Señor,

con un propósito común, dedicación y compromiso para lograr la libertad y la justicia

en los años por venir para todos y especialmente para aquellos entre nosotros

que son más vulnerables.

Amén.

Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepción, Patrona de los Estados Unidos de América,

ora por nosotros. 

 

 

 

11 de noviembre de 2016

Tomo 9, No. 36

 

 

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/espanol/perspectivas/perspectivas-desilusi%C3%B3n-por-la-proposici%C3%B3n-62-declaraciones-y-opiniones-despu%C3%A9s

Insights: Prop 62 Disappointment; Post-Election Day Statements and Sentiments

CCC Expresses Surprise and Disappointment in Loss of Prop 62

The following statement was released by Edward “Ned” Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops:

“Yesterday’s elections were the culmination of a long and contentious election season marked by cynicism and alienation.  Nevertheless, California’s voters fulfilled their civic duty and placed their votes.   The democratic process, once again, demonstrates that the will of the people is sovereign.

“The California Catholic Conference of Bishops is extremely disappointed that Proposition 62, which would have ended the use of the death penalty in the state, was not successful.  In this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, it would have been the fitting culmination of a year-long call to live out the Works of Mercy.

“While it is disappointing that Proposition 66 prevailed and the death penalty was upheld, we give thanks for the passage of Proposition 57, and that restorative justice will be a focus in California’s prisons. This is a significant milestone in recognizing the dignity and worth of every human being, no matter how flawed. We look forward to the good works that will come as a result of this new law.

“The California Catholic Conference also renews its call for all Californians to work with the victims of crimes and their families to deal with the grief and heartbreak they experience almost daily.  This is not only true in capital cases, but whenever someone is harmed by crime.  They, along with all those involved in the criminal justice system, need our prayers and support.

“We are especially grateful to the thousands of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to repeal the death penalty and promote justice.  We are indebted to them for the hard work and for their living example of mercy and compassion and we thank them for being a voice for life and dignity in today’s world.”

The CCC was also disappointed in the passage of propositions 66, which would have retained protections to ensure innocent people are not wrongly executed, and prop 64, the legalization of marijuana.

The impacts of legalizing marijuana have been showcased in Colorado, where traffic deaths have more than doubled and children who have ingested edibles containing the drug are routinely rushed to emergency rooms. For more information on the detriments of legalizing marijuana, visit the CCC website here. Please pray with us that the passage of Prop. 64 will not result in the same tragedies as has taken place in Colorado. 

 

Coming Together as Faithful Citizens for the Common Good

Washington – Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement regarding the electing of Donald Trump as President-Elect:

The American people have made their decision on the next President of the United States, members of Congress as well as state and local officials. I congratulate Mr. Trump and everyone elected yesterday. Now is the moment to move toward the responsibility of governing for the common good of all citizens. Let us not see each other in the divisive light of Democrat or Republican or any other political party, but rather, let us see the face of Christ in our neighbors, especially the suffering or those with whom we may disagree.

We, as citizens and our elected representatives, would do well to remember the words of Pope Francis when he addressed the United States Congress last year, “all political activity must serve and promote the good of the human person and be based on respect for his or her dignity.” Yesterday, millions of Americans who are struggling to find economic opportunity for their families voted to be heard. Our response should be simple: we hear you. The responsibility to help strengthen families belongs to each of us.

Continue Reading

 

Follow USCCB 2016 General Assembly Meeting

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will gather for its annual Fall General Assembly November 14-16, 2016, in Baltimore, Maryland. Catholic News Service will be following the event and posting updates as they are released. You can follow their coverage at catholicnews.com.

During the Assembly, the bishops will elect a new president, vice president, and five committee chairs.

In addition, they will discuss and vote on the Conference’s strategic plan for 2017-2020, and receive a report and recommendations on promoting peace in violence-stricken communities.

The bishops will also vote for new chairmen-elect of the following five USCCB committees: Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governances, Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, Committee on International Justice and Peace, and the Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People.

Follow the event here.

 

 

Prayer After An Election

U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops

 

God of all nations, Father of the human family,

we give you thanks for the freedom we exercise

and the many blessings of democracy we enjoy in these United States of America.

We ask for your protection and guidance

for all who devote themselves to the common good,

working for justice and peace at home and around the world.

We lift up all our duly elected leaders and public servants,

those who will serve us as president, as legislators and judges,

those in the military and law enforcement.

Heal us from our differences and unite us, O Lord,

with a common purpose, dedication, and commitment to achieve liberty and justice

in the years ahead for all people,

and especially those who are most vulnerable in our midst.

Amen.

Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States of America, pray for us.

 

 

 

November 11, 2016
Vol. 9, No. 36

En Español

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/insights-prop-62-disappointment-post-election-day-statements-and-sentiments

Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto Issues Statement Following Election of Donald Trump

The Most Rev. Jaime Soto, Roman Catholic Bishop of Sacramento, issued this statement today following the election yesterday of the Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States:

This was a very contentious election, mired more in anxious frustration than hope.

Mr. Donald Trump has been chosen to govern as the 45th President of the United States.  We owe President-elect Trump the assurance of our prayers as well as our commitment to be faithful citizens, binding the wounds of a divided nation and forging a society with life, liberty, and justice for all.

President-elect Trump has been honored with the highest public office of the most powerful nation in the world.  It is a position that comes with a heavy burden for which much wisdom, fortitude, and charity will be required.

As we come to the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, we should remind ourselves that God chose to reveal His almighty power though the humble mercy of Jesus.  President-elect Trump and all those who have been entrusted with the welfare of this Nation as well as the family of Nations would do well to renew themselves at the wellspring of this saving mercy.  For this we pray as together we cross this threshold.

PRAYER AFTER AN ELECTION

God of all nations, Father of the human family,

we give you thanks for the freedom we exercise

and the many blessings of democracy we enjoy in these United States of America.

We ask for your protection and guidance

for all who devote themselves to the common good,

working for justice and peace at home and around the world.

We lift up all our duly elected leaders and public servants,

those who will serve us as president, as legislators and judges,

those in the military and law enforcement.

Heal us from our differences and unite us, O Lord,

with a common purpose, dedication, and commitment to achieve liberty and justice

in the years ahead for all people,

and especially those who are most vulnerable in our midst.

Amen.

Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States of America, pray for us.

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/sacramento-bishop-jaime-soto-issues-statement-following-election-donald-trump

Coming Together as Faithful Citizens for the Common Good

usccb1-150x150The American people have made their decision on the next President of the United States, members of Congress as well as state and local officials. I congratulate Mr. Trump and everyone elected yesterday.  Now is the moment to move toward the responsibility of governing for the common good of all citizens. Let us not see each other in the divisive light of Democrat or Republican or any other political party, but rather, let us see the face of Christ in our neighbors, especially the suffering or those with whom we may disagree.

We, as citizens and our elected representatives, would do well to remember the words of Pope Francis when he addressed the United States Congress last year, “all political activity must serve and promote the good of the human person and be based on respect for his or her dignity.” Yesterday, millions of Americans who are struggling to find economic opportunity for their families voted to be heard.  Our response should be simple: we hear you.  The responsibility to help strengthen families belongs to each of us.

The Bishops Conference looks forward to working with President-elect Trump to protect human life from its most vulnerable beginning to its natural end. We will advocate for policies that offer opportunity to all people, of all faiths, in all walks of life. We are firm in our resolve that our brothers and sisters who are migrants and refugees can be humanely welcomed without sacrificing our security. We will call attention to the violent persecution threatening our fellow Christians and people of other faiths around the world, especially in the Middle East. And we will look for the new administration’s commitment to domestic religious liberty, ensuring people of faith remain free to proclaim and shape our lives around the truth about man and woman, and the unique bond of marriage that they can form.

Every election brings a new beginning.  Some may wonder whether the country can reconcile, work together and fulfill the promise of a more perfect union. Through the hope Christ offers, I believe God will give us the strength to heal and unite.

Let us pray for leaders in public life that they may rise to the responsibilities entrusted to them with grace and courage.  And may all of us as Catholics help each other be faithful and joyful witnesses to the healing love of Jesus.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

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Article source: http://www.pacatholic.org/coming-together-as-faithful-citizens-for-the-common-good/

California Catholic Conference Expresses Disappointment in Loss of Prop 62

119 K Street 2nd Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814  |  916 313-4000 | General Email: leginfo@cacatholic.org | © 2014 All Rights Reserved

Article source: http://www.cacatholic.org/california-catholic-conference-expresses-disappointment-loss-prop-62

Girl on a Train

LifeAndDignityA few days ago, I was in a crowded metro car during early morning rush hour. At one stop a rather ordinary, but nervous young woman boarded. As the train started moving again, she braced herself and then spoke aloud to everyone.

She tried to project her voice, with a controlled self-consciousness as she did so. She explained, haltingly, that she had recently become homeless, had nowhere to go, and would be grateful for any money or help offered. She hesitated, and then added that she had just learned she was pregnant. When finished, she looked down at the floor, eyes clouded with uncertainty.

I’ve been riding the metro for several years. This was the first time I have seen a young woman explaining that she was both homeless and pregnant, her words faltering as she looked around at the many faces ignoring her. Her entire appearance expressed, in a striking way, someone who was both trying to contain her fear yet summon the courage to express her urgent need.

A few people came forward, holding out $20 bills, which she accepted with trembling hands. I felt compelled to do more, to give her something beyond the expectation that she would have to live in the streets and the subway, day by day, begging for money. I grabbed some paper and jotted down information about a local maternity home.

I offered her the piece of paper. She was startled, then took the paper and read. She looked back at me, curious. I gently explained how it was a place that could help her out. I saw a sense of longing well up in her, and something else: a flicker of hope in her eyes. I smiled at her and nodded reassuringly. She smiled in return, and thanked me quietly.

That brief encounter was very powerful. It was a small connection, with few words exchanged; but I’ll never forget the look of hope in the girl’s eyes. I pray that she was able to reach the maternity home so she will not have to spend nights on the streets, alone and vulnerable.

As it gets colder and we approach the holidays, let us especially keep in mind all who are homeless and all women facing unexpected pregnancies, especially young unmarried pregnant women who feel they have nowhere to go, no one to trust. If you know of any women in these circumstances, there are pregnancy help centers and maternity homes that can offer resources and support. Some homes have special programs to help mothers finish their education and get a job. Check with your parish or diocesan pro-life office about local resources.

The more we educate ourselves about what help is available to women in crisis pregnancies, the more we can be a light to others in dark situations. Even for the stranger we encounter, it is always possible to offer a bit of hope, no matter how small.

By Kimberly Baker, USCCB

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Article source: http://www.pacatholic.org/girl-on-a-train/