Insights: Catholics Reaching Out; Supporting Farmworkers

Catholics Reaching Out to Neighbors Amidst COVID-19

During his 2018 homily during World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis emphasized that, “As believers, we must stretch out our hands as Jesus does to us.”   In California, Catholics have responded swiftly and efficiently to the pleas for help in the wake of COVID-19 shelter-place orders.

Established in early April, two weeks after the declaration of the shelter in place order, the Archdiocese of San Francisco and Catholic Charities created Love Your Neighbor, a hotline to shop and deliver groceries to inbound and at-risk residents unable to shop.  Calls are answered in English and Spanish from 9 am – 5 pm Monday through Friday with an after-hours voicemail. In San Francisco, call (888) 237-7807 or email

The Love Your Neighbor ministry is in addition to ongoing efforts that have been in place  for decades such as rent assistance and payment of utility and medical bills to enable residents to stay at home, regardless of their income. Not unexpected during this unprecedented time, there has been a tremendous increase in requests for assistance.

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Supporting Migrant Farm Workers

Last week, the USCCB released a statement supporting migrant farm workers during the COVID-19 crisis, asking policymakers to “consider the realities and the emerging, pressing needs of the farmworker communities across the country.”

“Many migrant farmworkers lack access to health insurance, medical treatment, and sick or paid leave options; farmworker housing conditions are often overcrowded with little opportunity for social distancing, including transportation to and from work, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is not always available,” the Bishops wrote in their statement. “Additionally, conditions of their immigration visas can make them unwilling or unable to speak out about a need for protection due to the threat of losing their job.”



Ordination Class of 2020 Study Provides Hope for the State of Vocations in the Church

The release of the study of the Ordination Class of 2020 reveals a great sign of life and hope in the Church in the United States, despite the midst of uncertainty in the world brought by the Coronavirus pandemic.

At a moment when the faithful are prone to despair and struggle with the sadness of not having the sacraments available, and the public celebration of the Mass suspended, this profile of the 2020 Ordination Class is a ray of light. It is a tangible sign of God’s continued care for His Church. As a part of its mandate, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations sponsors an annual survey, in conjunction with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), of the members of the current year’s Ordination Class.

The survey shows a wide variety of men from varied backgrounds who have all responded to God’s call to serve His people.



Governor Lays Out Phased Reopening Plan in COVID-19 Updates

The arch/dioceses around California and the world are working on plans to re-start public Masses although a timeframe is not year clear.  Masks, social distancing, disinfectants and other preventive measures will be part of our lives for many months to come and our parishes, workplace, schools and other places we gather will reflect those changes.

This week, Governor Newsom released his first cut, “Pandemic Resilience Roadmap,” which discusses how the state is planning its path forward in phases based on science, health, and data. 

The Governor is considering four “stages” for reopening California. While California is currently in Stage 1 under shelter-in-place orders, Stage 2 could see opportunities for lower-risk sectors to adapt and reopen with adaptations. Churches and personal services fall under Stage 3. The fourth stage would mark the end of the stay-at-home order and allow for reopening of the highest risk parts of the economy such as concerts, convention centers, and live audience sports.

In addition, the Governor laid out plans to launch contact tracing efforts and programs.

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Being poor in spirit, mourning, meekness, thirsting for holiness, showing mercy, purity of heart, and being a peacemaker can lead to persecution for Christ’s sake. But in the end, this persecution is a cause for joy and great reward in heaven. #Beatitudes



May 1, 2020
Vol. 13, No. 16

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