Poverty is Focus of CCHD Survey
As Members of Congress return to business September 3 and mid-term elections approach, they should find the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) research study helpful in mapping their strategy. Conducted among low-income and poor Americans, the survey polled approximately 400 poor people across the country about what it means to be poor in America, the cause of poverty and the best solutions. "This survey provides a rare glimpse into the attitudes of poor Americans about a subject they know firsthand," said Barbara Stephenson, Director of Communications, Catholic Campaign for Human Development. "It also explores the impact of September 11, 2001, on the nation's poor." To request a summary of the research or an interview with Father Robert Vitillo, executive director of CCHD, one of the largest private funders of self-help programs conducted by poor people in the United States, contact Barbara Stephenson.
Barbara Stephenson may be reached at 202-541-3364.
Journal Questions Focus on Terrorist Attacks
When students return to school this year they will look back at the attacks of the United States of America on September 11, 2001. The journal The Living Light, an official publication of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Department of Education, looks closely at the question of the mystery of evil and offers thought-provoking reading for teachers and parents in answering difficult questions. "The events of 9/11 caused many of us to wonder about where God is in the face of evil," said Daniel S. Mulhall, Assistant Secretary for Catechesis and Inculturation at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Department of Education. "Only by reading and discussing, thinking and praying, can we hope to understand how we deal with unbelievable horrors such as this."
Daniel S. Mulhall may be reached at 202-541-3097.
Nine-Day "Novena" Approach to September 11
Catholics across the country seek to commemorate the tragic events of September 11 one year ago and respond in a faith-filled way. The church will draw on the tradition of the devotional prayer called a "Novena" to mark the anniversary over a nine-day period. Nine Days to 9/11: Looking Back and Moving Forward is a resource for dioceses, parishes, organizations, and educational programs that is designed to help them plan commemorative activities during the nine days leading to 9/11. "This anniversary will be a time to remember and pray for those who lost their lives and who lost loved ones," says Joan Rosenhauer, Special Projects Coordinator, USCCB Department of Social Development and World Peace. "It will also be a time for Catholics to consider how we can participate in shaping both a safer world and a better world, where all people know justice and peace in their lives." The materials are posted on the internet: www.usccb.org/publishing/9-11.
Joan Rosenhauer is available at 202-541-3381.
University Catholics Focus on Future
Catholic Campus Ministries across the country are preparing in many unique ways to make the first anniversary of September 11th a day of remembrance, healing and hope. At Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, WV, students will remember loved ones with a balloon launch in which each balloon carries the name of a friend or relative. Plans for an extensive day of commemoration are also underway at Villanova University, where people will gather for quiet reflection, a screening of interviews about the effects of September 11th on faculty and staff, a blood and bone marrow drive, a panel discussion, a special Mass in honor of the victims, and finally a candlelight prayer. Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA will host a commemoration called "Reflect, Remember, Renew," which will culminate with a campus-wide "Americana Celebration" on September 12th. "We have all learned something about ourselves, our country, and our world because of September 11th," says Michael Galligan-Stierle, Ph.D., USCCB Assistant Secretary for Catholic Higher Education and Campus Ministry, "and it is very appropriate twelve months later for university communities to pause in faith and assess how their lives have been impacted."
Michael Galligan-Stierle, Ph.D. is available at 202-541-3165.
U.S./Mexico Border Delegation to Meet with Congress and Administration
Since June, a near record number of migrants have died attempting to cross into the United States from Mexico. Many observers blame border blockade policies employed by the U.S. government for driving migrants into remote areas of the desert in the Southwestern United States. "One of the most disturbing impacts of the attempt to seal off the U.S.-Mexico border has been the expansion of lucrative migrant smuggling networks, increasing the incidence of abuse and abandonment of migrants by unscrupulous smugglers," said Kevin Appleby, Director of Migration and Refugee Policy. "Another has been the impact of the increasingly intrusive Border Patrol presence on local communities." The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Office of Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS) will host a delegation of advocates from border States September 23-25, 2002 in Washington The purpose of the delegation is to visit members of Congress and Administration officials to discuss the impact of border policies on migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border searching for work.
Kevin Appleby is available at 202-541-3260.