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Insights: Catholic Advocacy Day Next Week; The Reality of Poverty in CA

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April 21, 2017

Next Week’s Catholic Advocacy Day Focuses on Children

Oftentimes, we define success by how much money we make or how many luxuries we acquire.  When you think about it, however, true success isn't about money or things.  It's about our health.  It's about our community.  It's about our kids. 

Have we set our children up to succeed or fail?  Have we provided them with the opportunity for a good education?  Have we given them a safe and stable environment that supports them at home and at school?  Have we protected all of God's children - the unborn, the migrant, the young and the vulnerable?

This year's Advocacy Day on April 25 will focus on the safety and well being of our children, and providing pathways to ensure they have opportunities to thrive.  

 

You can participate in the event, even if you are not present in Sacramento, by visiting our Action Alert page where you can join with the delegates to tell your elected representatives you care about the well-being of California's children.

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Analysis: Intelligent Action Needed to Reduce California’s High Poverty Rate

While California is known for being one of the nation’s wealthiest states with a median household income of approximately $61,818 per year, and with a larger economy than all but five nations worldwide, we are also becoming the United States’ leader in poverty and childhood poverty rates.

According to the Official Poverty Measure (OPM) of the United States Census Bureau, approximately 5.8 Californians live in poverty. The measure sets the poverty threshold at $24,339 for total yearly household income for a household of four (two adults and two related children), $12,486 for a single person under 65 years of age, and $11,511 for individuals 65 years and older. While not taking into account many pertinent geographical factors, under this official measure, this number amounts to 15 percent of Californians living in poverty. Under this limited metric, California (by far the most populous state) ranks twentieth for percentage of the population living under the poverty level, while it ranks tenth in the nation for having the highest median household income.

However, while these numbers are already glaring, the official measure does not take into account important factors that affect the reality of poverty in our state.

Aware of these limitations, the U.S. Census Bureau publishes a Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which makes “adjustments in the official poverty threshold to account for geographic price level differences, particularly for differences in the cost of shelter as measured by rents.” According to the SPM, California ranks highest compared to the rest of the states, with approximately 7.9 Californians living in poverty.

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Diocesan Statement:  Fatal Fresno Shootings Call All The Faithful To Prayer, Reflection And Reconciliation 

The Diocese of Fresno released the following statement in response to the senseless shootings that took place in Fresno this week:

In less than two minutes, three lives were taken for no apparent reason beyond an incomprehensible depth of hatred carried in the heart of one man.  Scripture states: “Whoever says that he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”  (1 John 2:9-11)

Once again, our community is touched by darkness.  Family, friends, neighbors and the vast multitude of good and caring people in our community must now decide, once again, how we will respond to this senseless tragedy.  We must reflect on what we have experienced and how we feel about it. Anger and outrage are certainly a natural reaction; yet, these feelings must also be experienced as an invitation to prayerful reflection so that our raw feelings do not take hold and lead us into the very darkness we abhor.

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Pope Francis appoints Fr. John Dolan as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego

The Vatican Press Office yesterday announced that His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed Fr. John P. Dolan, the current pastor of St. John the Evangelist parish in Hillcrest, as auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of San Diego.  He will take up his duties June 8, following his episcopal ordination at St. Therese of Carmel in Del Mar.

Bishop Robert McElroy noted two central characteristics of Father Dolan's priesthood: the great love which he has for the priests and the people of God, and the intensely joyful spirit that permeates his life and mission.

 "Our local church," Bishop McElroy said, "will be deeply blessed by these gifts in Bishop-Elect Dolan's new episcopal role of leadership, sacrifice and prayerful service."

McElroy’s comments came this morning during Bishop-Elect Dolan’s introduction to staff and family at the diocesan Pastoral Center.

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Innovative Program to Combat Chronic Homelessness Launches in Santa Rosa

One year ago, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of San Rosa (CCSR) began a groundbreaking pilot program to bring innovative permanent supportive housing to Sonoma County. As project lead, CCSR developed partnerships with a private hotel owner, the county, and other non-profit service providers to convert a 104-unit hotel – The Palms Inn – into permanent supportive housing for some of the area’s most vulnerable residents: homeless veterans and other chronically homeless adults. The program operates under the Housing First philosophies of very low barriers to entry and a focus on serving those with the highest need.

These “single room occupancy” units are permanent homes – and a dream come true for residents, many of whom were living in cars, on the streets, or in shelters before they moved to their own private unit at The Palms.

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April 21, 2017
Vol. 10, No. 14