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National Catholic Call-In Day; Confusion Regarding CA’s FAIR Act

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February 23, 2018

National Catholic Call-In Day to Protect Dreamers

Join the Bishops of the United States on Monday, February 26, by phoning your Congressmember and asking them to protect Dreamers.

Unless Congress takes action soon, nearly 1.8 million young people who were brought to the United States by their parents as children will face deportation. We need to ask Congress to come to a bipartisan deal to protect them.

You can also send an email if you are unable to call on Monday.

In a released statement earlier this week, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB President; Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, USCCB Vice President; and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, together wrote, “Our faith compels us to stand with the vulnerable, including our immigrant brothers and sisters. We have done so continually, but we must show our support and solidarity now in a special way. Now is the time for action.”

Read the statement in its entirety here. Click here to find the number for your member of Congress and participate in this important issue.


Confusion Continues to Reign Regarding California’s FAIR Act

Six years after its enactment, the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act (“FAIR Act”) continues to generate considerable confusion among school officials and parents.  The recent November 2017 adoption by the State Board of Education of a number of textbook series as recommended materials for the teaching of history and social studies has generated a renewed round of questions and concerns about the requirements of the FAIR Act.  Therefore, this is an opportune time to review the FAIR Act, specifically what it does – and does not­ – require.

The FAIR Act was enacted as Senate Bill 48 (Leno) of 2011 (SB 48) and went into effect in 2012.  The FAIR Act made a number of changes to provisions of the Education Code applicable to public schools dealing with the course of study, classroom instruction, and instructional materials.

First, the legislation’s stated intent was to ensure the study of the “role and contributions” of various groups that accurately portray the cultural and racial diversity of our society. The measure amended Education Code Section 51204.5 to provide that in addition to already-required social sciences instruction on the contributions of men, women, and minorities to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States, instruction in social sciences shall also include a study of “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.”

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CCC Closely Monitoring Current and Emerging Legislation

The deadline to introduce new bills in the California Legislature passed last week and the California Catholic Conference (CCC) is now vetting over 2,000 bills that have the ability to have significant changes to the landscapes of education, immigration, restorative justice and social issues in the state.

Harassment discussions have dominated dialogue in and around the Capitol.  With over 20 pieces of legislation introduced this year regarding the subject, this will overshadow a lot of these major policy issues.  

SB 320 continues to be of high priority. SB 320 (Leyva, D-Chino) would require the on-campus health centers of public universities in California to offer abortion-inducing drugs. Click here to send a letter to your lawmaker demanding a ‘No’ vote this bill.

To date, there are several K-12 education measures aimed to continue addressing California’s teacher shortage. Of high priority is SB 1214, authored by Sen. Portantino (D- La Candada Flintridge), which is co-sponsored by the California Catholic Conference and the California Federation of Teachers.  

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Reflections On a Visit to Gaza and the West Bank of Israel

The following appeared in the Catholic Inland Byte.

Bishop Rutilio del Riego had studied the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for practically his entire adult life. He had thought about it and prayed about it through the lens of his Catholic faith. He had even visited the Holy Land once before.

But it wasn’t until he recently traveled back to Israel, where he visited Gaza and the West Bank for the first time, that he says he came to understand the human reality of the conflict. Bishop del Riego, Auxiliary Emeritus of the Diocese of San Bernardino, was among 10 Hispanic bishops to make the ten-day pilgrimage, “Bridges, Not Walls,” January 18-27.

“It impacted me seriously,” says Bishop del Riego, reflecting in his office at St. Junipero Serra House of Formation a few days after his return. “I already knew the situation, more or less, but it’s different when you see. 

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Bereavement Ministry Training

The California Catholic Conference Office of Restorative Justice will be hosting “Bereavement Training in the Aftermath of Violence” at Villa Maria del Mar Retreat Center in Santa Cruz from April 10-12, 2018.

This training is intended for Parish Bereavement Ministry directors, ministers, and those who accompany the bereaved. Participants will learn how to more effectively minister to survivors of violent crime, particularly those who've experienced the death of a loved one to homicide. 

Training, accommodations, and meals are provided free of charge. Transportation is not included.

Participants will also gain insight into and understanding of the impact of homicide on survivors, and explore concrete ways to minister to them. In addition, they will learn about the criminal justice system’s response to survivors and things to consider when developing opportunities for ongoing support. 

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February 23, 2018
Vol. 11, No. 7