Supreme Court Will Decide Whether to Review Voucher Case
When the Supreme Court reconvenes Monday, October 5, people from all around the country will be waiting to see whether the Court agrees to review the school choice initiative in Wisconsin. "We support programs which empower parents to educate their children according to what's best for their sons and daughters," says Msgr. Thomas McDade, the U.S. Bishops' adviser on schools. "Just as young people's needs vary, so do schools. It's up to Moms and Dads to find the right match for their child.. When true educational choice is realized for all people, and especially for poor people, the entire educational picture of the nation wins."
Msgr. McDade can be reached at 202-541-3130.
Bless the Dogs, Cats, Gerbils, Guinea Pigs, White Mice
On October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, parishes around the country will recall the saint's affection for the animals of the earth because he saw himself a brother to all creation. Some parishes will celebrate the feast day with a blessing of animals in honor of St. Francis. Others will recall the saint, who is the patron of the environmental movement, with special prayers for the environment. "Care of the environment is a vital issue for people today," says Walt Grazer, manager of the U.S. Bishops' Environmental Justice Program. "It's a religious issue and churches are addressing it with everything from prayer at Mass and special blessings on the Feast of Francis to programs of education and action to improve neighborhoods and streams."
Walt Grazer can be reached at 202-541-3182.
Churches Work to Combat Domestic Violence
An estimated three million to four million U.S. women are battered by their husbands or partners annually. "Domestic violence is the most common form of violence in our society, affecting as many as one in four people in a typical congregation," notes Sheila Garcia, an adviser to the U.S. bishops' on women's issues. "Noting that violence against women is never justified, the U.S. Catholic bishops invite parishes to join in the national observance of October as 'Domestic Violence Awareness Month.' Questions to be addressed include how to reach out to provide safety and support to abused women and their children and how to use marriage preparation and religious education programs to educate about domestic violence."
Sheila Garcia can be reached at 202-531-3041.