WASHINGTON (February 24, 2005)
Encountering "Jesus in Disguise" among the World's Needy
Around the world, 43,000 people die of hunger every day. Currently, there are 4.4. billion people living in developing countries that lack the most basic necessities while nearly 15 million people worldwide endure desperate lives as refugees, and hundreds of thousands seek asylum and other immigration related assistance. The U.S. Catholic community provides much needed humanitarian aid and outreach programs in places like Israel and Palestine, Sudan and other war-torn nations. Catholics also fund hundreds of emergency relief, refugee resettlement and disaster assistance programs around the world.
These life-changing efforts are the result of an annual appeal to all parishes by the U.S. Catholic bishops. For over 60 years, the Catholic Relief Services Collection has made it possible to reach out in love and solidarity to the refugee seeking safe haven and peace, the victim of deadly diseases in developing countries, the family impoverished by crushing national debt in their country and the immigrant seeking citizenship and other legal services.
The 2005 CRS Collection will take place in most parishes on the weekend of March 5-6. For more information about the collection or the work of Catholic Relief Services, please contact Jim Kuh at (202) 541-3220 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the CRS Collection web site as well at www.usccb.org/crscollection.
Campaigning for Peace in the Holy Land
As Christians prepare to celebrate Holy Week, many will be pray for peace in the Holy Land. Recently, the U.S. Bishops' Department of Social Development and World Peace launched the Catholic Campaign for Peace in the Holy Land. The Campaign engages Catholics in an unprecedented inter-religious initiative that brings together Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders and communities in coordinated efforts to promote a just peace in the Middle East. The Catholic Campaign for Peace in the Holy Land invites diocesan bishops and Catholic leaders to partner actively with local religious leaders in the Jewish, Muslim and other Christian traditions; there are currently local initiatives in over a dozen cities across the country. "The Catholic Church has a strong commitment to ecumenical and interfaith dialogue. This commitment puts us in a good position to bring inter-religious leaders together in search of peace with justice," said Steve Colecchi, D.Min, Director of the Department's Office of International Justice and Peace. In January national leaders of the inter-religious initiative called upon President Bush to make the pursuit of peace in the Holy Land a top priority.
For more information, contact Steve Colecchi at 202-541-3196 or email@example.com.
The buzz of the Oscars may soon be over, but the public's interest in motion pictures continues year round. What makes a film worthwhile from a spiritual or faith-informed point of view? What impact can films have on moviegoers and society as a whole? The U.S. Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting (OFB) reviews and rates films based on their suitability for varying age groups and their artistic and moral content. Because Hollywood hype can be misleading, OFB Director Harry Forbes and his staff look for the values and messages imparted by the films. "Though competing with the internet and, of course, television, for the mass audience attention, motion pictures remain a hugely influential – for good or ill – medium, and we feel it's important to help guide Catholics in making informed choices about what they see."
The OFB critiques about 250 movie reviews a year and reviews many TV series, specials and video releases, as well as offers weekly commentary on media-related issues on Catholic radio.
For more information on the Office for Film and Broadcasting contact Harry Forbes at (212) 644-1880 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, be sure to check out the reviews posted each week at www.usccb.org./movies/index.htm.