Catholic Advocacy Day Backgrounders Now Available
“All children must be able to play, study, pray and grow, in their own families, and do so in a harmonious context of love and serenity,” says Pope Francis.
By advocating for programs that address poverty and homeless, better education, life for the unborn and improvements in juvenile justice programs, this year’s six Catholic Advocacy Day bills have a special focus on helping children reach their greatest potential.
Care for children – one of the most basic human instincts – must be a common concern of all of society. Of all of our brothers and sisters in need, they are the least able to care for themselves and deserve our unrestricted support.
Delegates from every diocese in California will meet on April 25 with their elected officials to be a voice for life and dignity in the state Capitol. The bills they will focus on are:
· AB 586 (Holden, D-Pasadena) Teacher Tax Credit (SUPPORT)
· AB 1520 (Burke, D-Inglewood) Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act of 2017 (SUPPORT)
Click the links above to learn more about each bill or visit www.cacatholic.org for the latest on these and all other bills the CCC is tracking.
California Homeless – Serving the Underserved
Homelessness is a growing concern across the state of California. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in 2016, there were over 118,142 homeless people living in the state. Although the majority of California’s homeless are found in metropolitan areas like Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, smaller cities and rural communities are not immune to the issue.
Resurrection Catholic Community in Aptos has extensive outreach ministries to serve many in the community, including the homeless. Kathy Manus, a parishioner and outreach volunteer, has been serving the homeless in the Santa Cruz area since 2006. Manus volunteers her time at St. Francis Catholic Kitchen, as well as Jesus Mary Joseph Home (JMJ), both located in Santa Cruz. “It is a pleasure to serve those in need,” Manus said.
For more than 25 years, St. Francis Catholic Kitchen has been providing a warm meal to the homeless each weekday. Volunteers such as Manus help serve meals to more than 180 daily guests and parishioners from local churches donate clothing to be distributed three days per week. One objective of St. Francis Catholic Kitchen, according to its mission statement, is “To express the teachings and love of St. Francis and the Catholic Church by providing food, clothing and shelter, with dignity, to poor and needy people.”
Many factors contribute to homelessness, but California’s lack of affordable housing is one of the largest. According to Catholic Charities of California, 6.3 million Californians live in poverty. In addition, the state’s unemployment rate is also higher than the national average. Due to the increasing cost of housing in the state, many of those who live in poverty are on the verge of homelessness, so affordable housing and shelter programs are of utmost importance.
National Health Care Decisions Week
This year, National Healthcare Decisions Day will be extended to an entire week taking place April 16 to April 22.
The event is aimed at helping people throughout the country understand the value of advance healthcare planning and the necessary steps needed to do so.
The Providence Institute for Human Caring has a new, expanded National Healthcare Decisions Day tool kit available. The kit is focused on whole person care, to help patients be involved in decisions about their care, to support families when loved ones are seriously ill, and to help caregivers receive help with coping with the strains of caregiving.
There is a personal side to health care that often gets overlooked. Health care should be based on medical needs and personal values, both physical and spiritual.
Click here for the California tool kit.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
According to the Child Help Foundation, every year more than 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies involving more than 6.6 million children in the U.S. A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds. In 2014, state agencies found an estimated 700,000 victims of child abuse, enough to pack 10 football stadiums.
Since 1983, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has dedicated April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, when communities should rededicate themselves to being supportive of families, and play an active role in preventing child abuse and neglect as well as taking positive action to promote child and family well being.
Click here to learn the signs of child abuse and what to do if you suspect abuse is taking place. And visit the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to learn how the church is protecting children today. Every child is worth the effort.
Legislative Spring Recess
Spring recess for the California legislature began yesterday. Each lawmaker will spend extended time in their districts until they reconvene at the Capitol on April 17.
Public Policy Insights will be on hiatus during the recess, but you can check our website at www.cacatholic.org at any time for the latest on bills and other important information.
From everyone at the California Catholic Conference, may you have a blessed Easter and may Christ’s glory and the promise of this season bring peace and joy.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who gave us new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3
April 7, 2017
Vol. 10, No. 13