Poverty Overshadows Return to School
September is Back to School Month, but for many children living in America there is little opportunity to achieve future success by gaining the essential fundamentals of a decent education because their families are poor and have no fixed address and cannot register their children or because their children must attend school hungry, in poor health or in fear of violence. September is an ideal month to shine a spotlight on the 12 million children in America living in poverty—that's one out every six children in the United States, or nearly 17 percent of all our children who are growing up with less than a fighting chance to use education to break the cycle of poverty in their families. Americans need to find out what they can do as a community to raise the level of education for poor and low-income children and involve all citizens as agents of change. "Changing attitudes at the youngest level is critical to breaking the cycle of poverty in America," says Father Robert Vitillo, Executive Director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, one of the nation's largest private funders of self-help programs for poor and low-income people.
For more information, contact Father Robert Vitillo at 202-541-3367 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seafarers Find Solace on the High Seas
In this technological age of immense oil tankers and ever-larger cruise ships, seafarers of today are even more indispensable than their counterparts of old. Working aboard today's ships, they no longer count their time in port in days, but in hours, making it challenging to build and maintain lasting ties with their faith and families. World Maritime Day, marked September 25, presents a time to reflect on the service and needs of the maritime crews of many nations who travel the world making their living on the high seas. Through the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS), the Catholic Church operates in more than 65 U.S. ports to assign chaplains to seafarers aboard ship and on shore. AOS chaplains are themselves familiar with the maritime world and assist seafarers in contacting loved ones, as well as in achieving a safe work environment, a just contract, a safe haven and warm welcome while in port, spiritual renewal, and recreation. "As ambassadors of Christ and servants of the sea, AOS chaplains are vital resources in bringing the means of grace to those of the sea," explains Father John Jamnicky, USCCB's Apostleship of the Sea National Director.
For more information, contact Father John Jamnicky at 202-541-3226 or email@example.com.
Feeding Teens' Spiritual Hunger Vital to Their Development
Is it possible that youth will abandon their own faith roots if they learn about the faiths of their peers? Is their knowledge of other traditions too limited? Do they need guidance in choosing the best resources and practices? "At a certain point in their teen years, youth find it increasingly important to make a connection to the world of religious tradition," says Father Francis Tiso, USCCB's Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. Engaging youth in interfaith education introduces them to other faiths and shows ways that good learning processes can go on, with support from members of various faith communities. Such discussions encourage youth to think critically, allow them to benefit from sharing their own experiences and reflections, strengthen their faith, and expand their horizons. Likewise, teachers are challenged to come up with pedagogical methods for introducing teenagers to world religions beyond the basic facts.
For more information, contact Father Francis Tiso at 202-541-3020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.