Working Toward Peace in Northern Ireland
One week before St. Patrick's Day, March 10, the British government is slated to begin transferring political powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly created under the Good Friday Agreement. "This is unlikely to take place, however, given serious conflicts over the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons" says Fr. Jack Cullinan, SJ, Foreign Policy Advisor to the United States Bishops. "The dispute is likely to be the focus of press coverage of visiting political leaders from Northern Ireland, the Irish Republic and the United Kingdom during the week of March 17." The U.S. and Irish bishops, working ecumenically with their Protestant counterparts, have strongly supported the Good Friday Agreement, and continue to press for its full implementation.
Fr. Jack Cullinan, SJ can be reached at 202-541-3445.
Women Put Their Stamp on America
March is Women's History Month. It has been observed each year since 1987, when Congress passed a bipartisan resolution of support. The observance recognizes the contributions of women from all races and ethnic backgrounds to government, education, business, religion, the arts--all areas of U.S. life. "Women's History Month invites us to reflect on how women from all cultures have worked together to build our country," says Sheila Garcia, advisor to the U.S. Bishops on women's concerns. "It reminds us to recognize and to thank the remarkable women in our own lives--mothers, grandmothers, teachers, mentors--who have challenged us reach our full potential." This year's theme is "Women Putting our Stamp on America." The official poster features 37 U.S. postage stamps honoring women.
Sheila Garcia can be reached at 202-541-3040.
Working to Assure a Better Tomorrow for Women
In collaboration with the Catholic Health Association, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the U.S. Catholic Church's domestic anti-poverty program, has launched a national Welfare-to-Work Initiative to respond to the needs of vulnerable communities in the wake of federal welfare reform. "During Women's History Month, we focus on and celebrate the successes of women throughout history. The CCHD is working to assure the women of today a better tomorrow," says Alexia Kelley, CCHD's Resource Development Coordinator. The project will replicate successful models of CCHD-funded, worker-owned, home care and child care cooperatives at eight to eleven sites across the country. "Through worker-owned cooperatives, not only will women be able to get off welfare by holding living wage jobs with benefits, but they will share management responsibilities and receive dividends from the success of their businesses."
Alexia Kelley can be reached at 202-541-3375.