"AS CHRISTIANS, WE ARE CALLED TO BE ATTENTIVE"
“To clothe the naked: what does it mean if not to restore dignity to one who has lost it? Certainly giving clothing to one who has none; but let us also think about the women victims of trafficking, cast onto the streets, or of other many ways of using the human body as a commodity, even that of minors. Likewise, not having a job, a house, a fair wage are forms of nakedness; being discriminated against on account of race, of faith, are all forms of ‘nakedness,’ to which as Christians we are called to be attentive, vigilant and ready to act.”
- Pope Francis, General Audience, 10/26/16
CARDINAL DOLAN WELCOMES POPE'S APOSTOLIC LETTER ON 'MERCY AND MISERY'
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), welcomed Pope Francis’ November 20 apostolic letter “Misericordia et Misera” (“Mercy and Misery”).
In his letter, Pope Francis extended the Year of Mercy provision granting priests worldwide a faculty related to the sin of abortion: “Lest any obstacle arise between the request for reconciliation and God’s forgiveness, I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion.”
Cardinal Dolan responded with gratitude in the following statement: "I express heartfelt appreciation for the Holy Father’s continued proclamation of God’s mercy worldwide, clearing the path to reconciliation and healing for all who have been involved in abortion."
Protecting the Freedom to Serve Should be a Priority in 2017
On January 20, 2017, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court will swear in a new president. Great attention will be focused on President Donald Trump and his new administration as they begin to work on issues facing the nation. The Word from Lansing column for December from Michigan Catholic Conference highlights why religious liberty and the freedom for religious organizations to serve others should be an early priority in his presidency.
You may have noticed that CRS Fair Trade is now CRS Ethical Trade. The program builds upon the strong principles of fair trade while also engaging with other business models that have a positive impact on workers, the environment and local communities. With a new website, enhanced faith formation resources and an on-line ethical shopping directory featuring everything from apparel to religious gifts we hope this continues to be a useful tool for your ministry.
Advocating for sustainable agriculture and nutritious food for all
Catholic Rural Life is a long-time advocate on behalf of family farmers and farm communities.
This grew out of the economic and environmental challenges of the 1930s, and continued throughout subsequent periods of booms and busts, good times and bad, enlightened federal policies and misguided ones.
Catholic Rural Life serves as the voice of the Church for farmers, ranchers and producers whose generosity, graciousness and stewardship of the land serves us all.
Presentations on Vocation of the Agricultural Leader (VAL) Workshops are being Scheduled Around the Country
Catholic Rural Life is presenting workshops and presentations on Vocation of the Agricultural Leader. The document was published last month and presented to Pope Francis on December 10, 2016 at the Vatican as part of a meeting with the International Catholic Rural Association. The document is receiving good press.
Workshops are being planned around the country to get input that will inform a second edition in late 2017. Catholic Rural Life has already presented workshops in Great Falls, MT; Minneapolis, MN; Pierre, SD; Bismarck, ND; and has plans for presentations in Wisconsin, Kansas, California, and Texas.
To schedule a workshop or presentation, please contact CRL's Project Coordinator, Annie Brickweg, at 651.962.5839.
New Catholic Relief Services' chairman has strong Middle East focus
Bishop Gregory John Mansour, a Maronite bishop with experience in Middle East issues, will be the next chairman of Catholic Relief Services, the foreign aid arm of the U.S. bishops.
“It is my honor and privilege to be appointed as chairman of the CRS board of directors,” Bishop Mansour said Nov. 22. “As a member of the CRS board, I've witnessed CRS’ tremendous work among the most vulnerable. I have seen firsthand the suffering of Christians and others violently forced from their homes in the Middle East. Witnessing their plight was difficult, but it is heartening to see the compassionate work that CRS continues to do in the midst of chaos.”
Since 2004, Bishop Mansour has headed the Maronite Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn. He is currently on the relief agency’s board.