WASHINGTON (April 25, 2001)
On Sunday, May 6, 2001, the church throughout the world will celebrate the 38th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, the Fourth Sunday of Easter. The purpose of the world Day of Prayers for Vocations is to ask the Church to "...pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into His harvest." (Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2). "This week will provide an opportunity for the local church to mobilize the many people in the diocese dedicated to vocation efforts -- vocation personnel, priests, religious, teachers, parents, as well as all the faithful in the diocese -- to discuss the need for vocations, to pray for an increase in vocations, and to consider participating in creating a positive atmosphere surrounding church vocations," says Father Edward J. Burns, Executive Director, Secretariat for Vocations and Priestly Formation.
Father Edward Burns is available at 202-541-3033.
Opportunity to Explore Church's Death Penalty Position
May 16 has been set for the execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, and the event is awash in public controversy. Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein, O.S.B., archbishop of Indianapolis and chairman of the Indiana Catholic Conference, notes that while it would be difficult to imagine a more heinous crime than the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, Church teaching still opposes the death penalty, even for McVeigh. Among the reasons he cites are that the death penalty contributes to a culture of violence and fails to act as deterrent to future violence. "In some ways, we are giving Timothy McVeigh exactly what he wants: more notoriety," says Dan Misleh, Policy Advisor, USCC Office of Domestic Social Development. "He has called this 'state-sponsored assisted-suicide'. But Catholic Social Teaching urges a respect for all life, even the lives of those who have failed to show respect for other. We cannot teach that killing is wrong by killing those who kill."
Dan Misleh is available at 202-541-3190.
Catholic Organization Helps Hispanics & Latinos Capture their Dreams
At an indoor, Latino cooperative market in the Little Mexico neighborhood of South Minneapolis, Manuel Gonzalez has finally realized his dream of opening a restaurant. Manny's Tortas serves more than 150 specialty sandwiches a day to hungry patrons of the Mercado, an anchor of the community's redevelopment and a magnet for Hispanic and non-Hispanic residents alike since it opened in July 1999. The project was made possible through the efforts of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)-funded Interfaith Action, in partnership with a community development corporation. "Each year, CCHD funds community development projects like this,"says Father Robert J. Vitillo, Executive Director of CCHD. They allow many Latinos throughout the United States to realize their American dreams by providing access to small business training classes on everything from taxes to permit procedures and marketing to microcredit."
Father Vitillo is available at 202-541-3367.