WASHINGTON (February 17, 1998) -- The USCC Department of Education will sponsor Congressional Advocacy Days in Washington, March 1-3. The conference will address the main education issues proposed by President Clinton - school construction/renovation, technology grants, teacher training and recruitment, safe and drug free schools, after school programs, preparation for college, improving reading and child care. It also will look at the Republican agenda that includes parental rights, especially the "A+" savings accounts, voucher demonstration, block granting federal program funds, testing and teacher merit pay, improving reading, student and teacher safety, charter schools and increased funding for students with disabilities. Speaker Newt Gingrich is schedule to meet with the attendees on Monday afternoon and Representative Frank Riggs on Tuesday morning. Senator Paul Coverdell has been invited to speak at lunch on Monday, but that is not confirmed. Michelle Doyle, of the U.S. Department of Education, is scheduled for Monday morning.
Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore will lead an Interfaith Pilgrimage of bishops and rabbis to Israel and Rome, March 8-18. Some days later, on March 23-26, Cardinal Keeler and Eugene Fisher, of the U.S. Bishops' Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, will participate in the International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee Meeting at Santa Marta in the Vatican. The Committee was established in 1970 by the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, headed by Cardinal Edward Cassidy, and the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations. It has met formally 15 times since then, most recently in Baltimore (1992) and Jerusalem (1994). On the agenda for discussion will be education -- what we do and what we should teach about each other -- and a joint statement on ecology.
Haiti Solidarity Week is celebrated March 15-22. The small island country of Haiti, often referred to as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, still struggles today. In the United States, Haitians enrich the vibrant community and culture of the United States. Many of these Haitians fled persecution or the fear of persecution after the brutal coup of 1991. Today these individuals remain in legal limbo, anxious over the uncertainty of their U.S. citizenship status in the future.
St. Patrick's Day is March 17. This is a good time to emphasize the fragile peace process in Northern Ireland where the historic all-party peace talks face a May deadline.
The Feast of St. Joseph is celebrated March 19.
Oscars will be awarded Monday, March 23, This might be a good time to highlight Church efforts in film and broadcasting by advertising 1-800-311-4CCC, the toll-free movie review line sponsored by the Catholic Communication Campaign. Movies are reviewed by the USCC Office for Film and Broadcasting, which in 1997 classified 271 movies according to moral suitability.
March is Women's History Month and a time to pursue study into lesser known women saints, including women patronesses of parishes in the diocese. It also might be a time to identify and appreciate the contributions of local Catholic women leaders, including those who built and staff hospitals, schools and social services agencies and hold responsible positions on diocesan and parish staffs. History looks different when the accomplishments of women are included.
Promotional and educational materials for the first Catholic Home Missions Appeal will be sent to dioceses in March. The theme for this year is Strengthening the Church at Home. The national date for the appeal is April 26, 1998. The Catholic Home Missions Appeal assists needy dioceses in the United States fund basic religious services and helps keep their parishes functioning. For additional information please contact Mary M. Campbell at 212-541-3010.
Media Training programs for Bishops and communications personnel are slated for Minneapolis, April 28; Cincinnati, May 5; Tampa, September 22-23 and New York City, September 29-30. Please urge your bishops to take advantage of this opportunity.
Support Boucher/Campbell Legislation that preserves fair use and copyrights in the digital world, where digital transmission by computer has created uncertainty as to the rights of copyright owners and those who seek to make fair use of copyrighted materials. Legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate which explicitly rewrites the federal copyright law to acknowledge digital publication and transformation. Unfortunately, some of this legislation restricts digital fair use rights, so that the fair use rights currently enshrined in federal copyright law would not apply to uses of material via computer. The USCC has joined the Digital Future Coalition to oppose unbalanced copyright legislation and support legislation which (a) respects the rights of creators and copyright owners; (b) promotes information dissemination and access; (c) ensures accurate attribution of authorship and respect for a work’s integrity; and (d) ensures economic viability of the scholarly communications system. Two recent bills -- H.R. 3048, introduced by Reps. Boucher (D-Va.) and Campbell (R-Cal.), and S.1147, introduced by Sen. Ashcroft (R-Mass.), strike the appropriate balance. The USCC supports these bills. Please call on your congressional representatives to support these bills and to co-sponsor them. To see a copy of both bills and an analysis of them, please visit the Digital Future Coalition’s web site: www.dfc.org. To obtain these copies if you do not have Internet access, call Katherine Grincewich, USCC Assistant General Counsel, 202-541-3300, or send a fax to 202-541-3337.
The 1998 Source Book, which lists USCC staff who have expertise in everything from abortion to youth ministry, is available free of charge for distribution to media. For further information, contact USCC Department of Communications, 202-541-3200.
E-MAIL. The NCCB/USCC Communications Department can contact the following archdioceses, dioceses and eparchy by e-mail.
ALASKA: Fairbanks, Juneau. ARIZONA: Phoenix, Tucson. CALIFORNIA: Monterey, Oakland, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose. COLORADO: Denver. CONNECTICUT: Hartford, Bridgeport. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Washington. FLORIDA: Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, Venice. GEORGIA: Savannah. HAWAII: Honolulu. ILLINOIS: Chicago, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford, Springfield. INDIANA: Evansville, Forth Wayne-South Bend, Indianapolis, Lafayette. IOWA: Davenport, Dubuque, Des Moines. KANSAS: Kansas City in Kansas. KENTUCKY: Louisville, Lexington. LOUISIANA: Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Houma-Thibodaux, Lake Charles, New Orleans, Shreveport. MASSACHUSETTS: Boston, Melkite Diocese of Newton. MICHIGAN: Detroit, Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Marquette. MINNESOTA: New Ulm, St. Paul and Minneapolis. MISSISSIPPI: Jackson. MISSOURI: Jefferson City, Springfield-Cape Girardeau. MONTANA: Helena. NEBRASKA: Omaha. NEVADA: Las Vegas. NEW HAMPSHIRE: Manchester. NEW JERSEY: Camden, Newark, Passaic, Trenton. NEW MEXICO: Las Cruces. NEW YORK: Brooklyn, Buffalo, New York, Ogdensburg. Rochester, Rockville Centre; Syracuse. NORTH CAROLINA: Charlotte, Raleigh. NORTH DAKOTA: Bismarck, Fargo. OHIO: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo. OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma City, Tulsa. OREGON: Baker, Portland. PENNSYLVANIA: Erie, Pittsburgh. RHODE ISLAND: Providence. SOUTH CAROLINA: Charleston. SOUTH DAKOTA: Sioux Falls. TENNESSEE: Memphis. TEXAS: Amarillo, Austin, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Ft. Worth, San Angelo, Victoria. VERMONT: Burlington. WASHINGTON: Seattle, Spokane, Yakima. WEST VIRGINIA: Wheeling-Charleston. WISCONSIN: Green Bay, Madison, La Crosse.
If any communications director wants to be added to the list, please e-mail me at email@example.com.