Church Promotes Jubilee Pledge for Charity, Justice, and Peace
January 1, 1999 begins the Year of Charity in preparation for the Jubilee Year and the Third Millennium. A Jubilee Pledge designed to help Catholics consider where their faith should lead them as they approach the third Christian millennium is being promoted by the U.S. Bishops. The pledge gives people an opportunity to recommit themselves to serving the poor by pledging to do such things as pray, and advocate for greater justice and peace. "As the Jubilee Year 2000 approaches," explained Joan Rosenhauer of the U.S. Catholic Conference Department of Social Development and World Peace, "more and more Catholics will be considering what it means to be followers of Jesus in the Third Millennium. Is there more to the new millennium than Y2K concerns and finding the best New Year's Eve party? Our answer is yes. There's a recommitment to the Gospel and to serving the "least among us."'
Joan Rosenhauer can be reached at 202-541-3180.
See How Immigrants Are Just like You
National Migration Week, observed January 4-10, calls on parishes to educate and to motivate American Catholics to act on the Church's teachings on welcoming immigrants. The observance brings attention to the contributions of immigrants and migrants in the United States and to the plight of those forced to flee their homes elsewhere in the world. "The overall goal of National Migration Week is to educate the native-born population about the similarities between them, newcomers to their communities, and refugees around the world." said Maureen Gross, of the department of Migration and Refugee Services. "The understanding is that when one places oneself in another's shoes, one is more likely to treat others as one wishes to be treated."
Maureen Gross can be reached at (202) 541-3385.
Encouraging Religious Vocations
National Vocation Awareness Week, celebrated January 10-16th, begins with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. On that Sunday the Gospel recalls that Jesus was baptized by John before He began public ministry. "The purpose of this week long celebration is to encourage Catholic men and women to follow the example of Jesus by offering their lives in service to God's people," says Father Timothy Reker, executive director of the U.S. Bishops' Secretariat for Priestly Formation and Vocations.
Father Timothy Reker can be reached at (202) 541-3033.
Mark Peace Week with Action Promoting Non-violence
January 15-22 marks the annual Peace Week, designated by the U.S. Bishops to urge people to work for peace and to remind them of the prevalence of violence in contemporary society. "Catholics throughout the country have been invited to celebrate a week to 'Stand Against Violence'," says Daniel Misleh, an advisor to the U.S. Bishops on non-violence. "During Peace Week, people all across the nation will recall the January 15 birthday of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who promoted non-violence, and will mark the January 22 anniversary of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. Both racism, such as that which led to the King assassination, and diminished respect for innocent life, which leads to abortion, are significant factors creating the overall sense of violence which pervades U.S. society." Misleh said. Peace Week is part of the on-going Catholic Campaign for Children and Families and is a diocesan and parish response to the U.S. Bishops' 1994 statement Confronting a Culture of Violence: A Catholic Framework for Action.
Daniel Misleh can be reached at (202) 541-3190.