Insights: When Shelter in Place Ends; Help for Migrants

COVID-19 Updates on Restriction Rollbacks and Assistance

The CCC continues to post daily updates of the Governor’s briefings on the state’s COVID-19 response and two new items are of particular importance this week.

For the first time since statewide shelter-in-place orders were issued, Governor Newsom laid out preliminary guidelines of what needs to be in place for restrictions to begin to be eased. Those guidelines include the ability to monitor and protect communities through testing; prevent infection in vulnerable communities; the ability of health systems to handle surges and provide therapeutics to meet demand; the ability for schools, businesses, and child care facilities to support physical distancing; and the ability to determine when to reinstitute measures if necessary.  

In addition, Governor Newsom also announced that California will be the first state to provide direct financial relief to undocumented residents.  More specifically, with philanthropic contributions, Newsom says the state is creating a $125 million disaster assistance fund for undocumented Californians, who have not benefited from expanded unemployment or the federal stimulus despite paying millions in taxes every year.  Approximately 150,000 undocumented adult Californians will receive a one-time cash benefit of $500 per adult with a cap of $1,000 per household.  

Read the daily updates for more.


Appreciation for Health Care Workers

San Bernardino Bishop Gerald Barnes is praising healthcare workers for their contributions and willingness to “assist in these scary, and at times, hopeless circumstances.”

“I am profoundly grateful to all of you for the work you do,” Bishop Barnes said in a released statement. “You remain compassionate, kind and present to the sick and dying. I know many of you go beyond the call of duty to bring comfort and relief to those who are dying, lonely and in need of solace. You are the faces of Jesus to the sick and dying, sharing the love of God and spreading the good news of God’s kingdom without words but through your actions.”

Read more here.


National Crime Victims’ Week

Catholic dioceses in California will join in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 19-25, 2020, to raise awareness of victims’ right and services.  The commemoration is an annual event established in 1981 to draw attention to the people and families whose lives have been affected by violent crime. 

This year’s theme is Seek Justice, Ensure Victims’ Rights, Inspire Hope.  

During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, California dioceses actively work to promote healing opportunities for individuals and communities. While outreach activities may look different this year as a result of the pandemic, Restorative Justice offices of the state’s dioceses normally offer special events, classes, and reflection on the meaning and application of restorative justice in today’s society. In addition, masses and prayer vigils are usually dedicated to the cause.

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Pope’s Letter Sends Praise and Asks for Universal Wage Consideration

Several California bishops praised Pope Francis’ Easter Sunday letter to leaders of grassroots movements around the world for showing the love of Christ to so many through their “noble and essential” work.  Significantly, the Holy Father suggested this might be the time to investigate a universal wage to address structural inequities that leave so many unable to support themselves.  

The group, who has met with the Pope in the past, is collectively known as the World Meeting of Popular Movements, a “truly an invisible army, fighting in the most dangerous trenches; an army whose only weapons are solidarity, hope, and community spirit, all revitalizing at a time when no one can save themselves alone,” according to Pope Francis’ letter.

The Holy Father also called for consideration of a universal living wage, “which would acknowledge and dignify the noble, essential tasks you carry out. It would ensure and concretely achieve the ideal, at once so human and so Christian, of no worker without rights.”

Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles responded to the letter, echoing the Pope’s sentiments about the underprivileged in society and those organizations that seek to serve them:

“Our Holy Father’s letter reminds us that the brunt of this pandemic, like the brunt of every social crisis, is being borne by the poor and those who live on the margins of society,” said Archbishop Gomez in a statement.

“As a society, we are seeing very clearly in this health emergency that we are responsible for one another and that we are called to serve one another and care for one another. This is a beautiful truth that we are witnessing every day during this pandemic — in our hospitals and homes, in our charities, and in all the quiet, unseen acts of self-sacrifice and service in our families and communities.”

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco extolled Pope Francis’ recognition of those who are working to serve the marginalized in his released statement.

“I join my voice to that of Pope Francis in thanking our brothers and sisters of popular movements and organizations for being the face of the compassionate Christ to the face of the suffering Christ. Even with government-sponsored programs, in times of crisis it is always the poor who suffer the most, especially those living in the shadows of society. Thank you for being the invisible army, fighting in the most dangerous trenches, bringing light, sustenance and hope to those who are most dear to our loving God,” said Archbishop Cordileone.

The World Meeting of Popular Movements was initiated by Pope Francis to enliven and encourage grassroots organizations to become “protagonists of change.” It has held meetings in South America, Rome, and Visalia, California in 2017.


50th Anniversary of Earth Day


This coming Wednesday, April 22, will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in the United States. On April 22, 1970, more than 20 million Americans — approximately 10 percent of the U.S. population at the time — took to the street in hundreds of cities around the country to protest environmental degradation and call for a new way forward for our planet.

The result: Earth Day awareness and activism have led to the Clean Air, Clear Water, and Endangered Species Acts. 

As Catholics, we are deeply committed to our environment and our home. The California Conference of Catholic Bishops released Care for the Common Home last year, calling for a spiritual conversion that respects our common home and cares for all.

In Laudato Sí, His Holiness Pope Francis’ encyclical on the subject, called for a unified global dialogue “about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affects us all.”

It is hopeful that with a renewed sense of global support to fight the current pandemic, that same renewed cooperation can extend into the care of our planet.


Pope Francis’ Prayer to Mary for the Coronavirus

O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey

as a sign of salvation and hope.

We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick.

At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain,

with steadfast faith.

You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need.

We are certain that you will provide, so that,

as you did at Cana of Galilee,

joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love,

to conform ourselves to the Father’s will

and to do what Jesus tells us:

He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us,

through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.

We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.

Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.


Jesus' resurrection shows us that death does not have the last world; life does. Christ has been raised, so it is possible to have a positive outlook on every event of our existence, even the most difficult ones and those charged with anguish and uncertainty.



April 17, 2020
Vol. 13, No. 14

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