Insights: New Charter for Health Care Workers, National Marriage Week

Black History Month: Path to Sainthood

With February being Black History Month, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has recognized four individuals of African decent who are on the road to sainthood.

The article, found here, profiles Venerable Pierre Toussaint. A hairdresser of high society women, Toussaint became very wealthy but used his wealth to shelter orphans, refugees and other street people. He founded one of New York’s first orphanages and raised money for the city’s first cathedral.

Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange was the founder and first Superior General of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first congregation of African American religious women in the history of the Catholic Church. She and the others in her congregation educated youth, provided a home for orphans and nursed the terminally ill during the cholera epidemic of 1832.

Venerable Henriette Delille resisted the obstacles she encountered as part of a black religious congregation in her lifelong home of New Orleans. She founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family. When she died in 1862, her obituary read, “...Miss Henriette Delille had for long years consecrated herself totally to God without reservation to the instruction of the ignorant and principally to the slave.”

Fr. Augustus Tolton was the first Roman Catholic priest in the United States publicly known to be black when he was ordained in 1886. His success at ministering to black Catholics quickly earned him national attention within the Catholic hierarchy. “Good Father Gus” as he was called was known for his eloquent sermons, his beautiful signing voice and his talent for playing the accordion.


New Charter for Health Care Workers

This week, the Holy See announced a revision to the New Charter for Health Care Workers which provides a summary of the Church’s positions related to biological science and health care.

The Charter is a revision of the original Charter for Healthcare Workers, which was published in 1994, translated in nineteen languages and became for twenty years a basic text for healthcare workers.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has published similar guidelines known as the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.                                   

These guidelines are used in Catholic health care facilities and by health care professionals as ethical pathways in medical decision-making.  They also serve as instructive standards for Catholics on the important issues they face in health care situations.

These standards are vitally important as the sanctity of life is continually under assault in today’s society. The New Charter for Health Care Workers and the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services help clarify Church teaching with regards to medical science as it develops and applies new treatments and approaches.


Celebrate National Marriage Week USA

National Marriage Week USA and World Marriage Day are opportunities "to celebrate the gift and blessing of marriage," said the chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

"Promoting and strengthening marriage remains a pastoral priority of our Conference," wrote Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, in a letter to his brother bishops. "Marriage, both as a natural institution and as a Christian sacrament, is an irreplaceable good for society and all people."

National Marriage Week USA is celebrated each year February 7-14, and World Marriage Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of February, this year February 12.

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Because We Are Catholic Bulletin Insert                      

The new issue of Because We Are Catholic, Welcoming the Stranger: Practical Advice for the Undocumented,  is now available as bulletin inserts in both English and Spanish.

As the new Administration continues to take action, the future of the almost 11 million undocumented individuals in the United States has become uncertain.  An atmosphere of anxiety permeates some of our communities, where many fear their families will be torn apart and their lives shattered.

This most recent issues lays out practical advice for undocumented individuals amidst the loud and frightening rhetoric taking place today. Click here for more.


Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Credits

As taxes are prepared and filed this year, note there are two programs aimed at helping low-income wage earners with both the preparation and returns.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.

The Earned Income Tax Credit The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) provides a rebate to low-income workers based on a percentage of their income. Unlike most tax credits, the EITC is refundable, and some may be eligible for an EITC of up to $4,824, depending on income and the number of children under their care.

Click here for more information on ETIC and here to locate a VITA professional.


February 10, 2017
Vol. 10, No. 6

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