Nurturing Good Dads Into Better Ones
With a cocoon of support from their mothers, sisters and friends; from physicians and nurses; and even from the media, motherhood has historically been accompanied by community infrastructure that hasn't always existed for new fathers. However, with similar training, mentoring and support for their roles and responsibilities, men can approach fatherhood with skill and confidence. Father's Day, June 19, reminds us that being a dad requires both love and receptiveness to learning. "Programs and groups for new dads, conducted by and for men can provide encouragement, mentoring, accountability and a place to ask dumb questions without fear of ridicule or failure," says Richard McCord, executive director, USCCB Office of Family, Laity, Women and Youth. "Father's Day reminds us of the good job dads do, and the even better job they're capable of with some of the mentoring programs out there."
The USCCB Committee on Marriage and Family works closely with the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers (NACFLM) to implement initiatives on behalf of marriage and family life. The NACFLM website (www.nacflm.org) has a useful listing of links to other Catholic associations and groups that promote marriage and family life.
For more information, contact Richard McCord at (202) 541-3043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Day to Remember the World's Displaced Humanity
Through the U.S. Catholic bishops' Office of Migration and Refugee Services, 15, 533 refugees were resettled in new homes in communities across the United States during 2004, representing close to 30%of all refugees admitted to this country. "Although the recent upswing in U.S. refugee admissions is an encouraging development in our government-sponsored refugee resettlement program, these numbers are still a far cry from the more generous historical refugee admissions pattern of prior years," according to Mark Franken, MRS executive director. "Our nation's commitment to rescuing refugees through resettlement has waned considerably during the last decade."
On June 20, the United Nations General Assembly will draw the public's attention to the plight of more than 12 million refugees dispersed worldwide, and millions more displaced within their own countries, with the fourth commemoration of World Refugee Day. MRS operates its refugee service programs through a broad network of more than 100 diocesan community-based agencies throughout the United States, most with decades of experience.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has partnered with many organizations to organize this year's observance, "To Feel at Home." Numerous outreach events are planned, with more information available at www.usaforunhcr.org.
Strangers No Longer – A Vision for Just Immigration Reform
Bishops and their staff from Latin America and the United States continue to build the Ecclesia in America envisioned by Pope John Paul II by addressing the pastoral, policy and service dimensions of migration across the southern border. "The Catholic Church, through the bishops, is uniquely positioned to inform the current immigration reform debate and help bring about needed changes to the immigration laws that govern migration, particularly between the United States and Mexico," says Kevin Appleby, migration and refugee policy director for the USCCB Office of Migration and Refugee Services. The bishops have enumerated five principles from Catholic social teaching that specifically address the rights of those who would seek to migrate. On May 10, 2005, they also launched the multi-year Justice for Immigrants: A Journey of Hope Campaign to educate Catholics about these guiding principles and to mobilize grassroots advocacy and support for the benefits of a reformed immigration system, including an earned legalization program. In late June, Latin American and U.S. bishops will gather at the Binational Migration Conference to continue building upon their historic pastoral letter, Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, which contains a framework for responding to the ongoing migration phenomenon in the United States and Mexico and offers key recommendations for reforming the broken U.S. immigration system.
For more information, contact Kevin Appleby at email@example.com or (202) 541-3260.
Black Catholics Fight Abortion and Acts of Violence Against Women
The staggering number of abortions performed yearly, combined with escalating violence in the African American community raise red flags and call for "all of us to get involved in standing up for life," says Beverly Carroll, executive director, USCCB Secretariat for African American Catholics. "The future of the Black family depends on it." This June's observance of Abortion Awareness Month creates an opportunity to inform, stimulate interest and motivate individuals and organizations on the need to address this crisis. The latest issue of the National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life (NBCAL) newsletter contains various articles characterizing Catholic doctrine within the context of these two issues, events past and present in the African American Catholic community and announcements of future activities. There is statistical data on abortions and violence in the African American community and information on recent abortion legislation.
The National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life is committed unconditionally to defending human life from the moment of conception to natural death. For more information, visit the website at www.blackcatholicsforlife.org. For a copy of the newsletter, contact NBCAL at (212) 868-1847 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact Beverly A. Carroll at 202-541-3177 or email@example.com.