CCC Responds to Abortion Council’s ‘Report;’ New Director of Pastoral Engagement

California Future of Abortion Council’s ‘Report’ is Disappointing, Deceptive

The following statement was released last week by Kathleen Domingo, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, regarding the report released by the California Future of Abortion Council:

 “[Today,] the California Future of Abortion Council released a new report entitled, ‘Recommendations to Protect, Strengthen, and Expand Abortion Care in California.’ This report is a direct response to oral arguments heard before the Supreme Court on Dec. 1 in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the decision of which could potentially overturn Casey v. Planned Parenthood and Roe .v Wade, returning the question of the legality of abortion to each state.

“The Abortion Council’s ‘report’ can only be described as ‘disappointing and deceptive.’ It suggests that abortion is the answer to every question involving the health of women and families and ignores the real health challenges faced by women, especially women of color.  

“The report’s drafters call for geographic, financial, and cultural access to abortions, all paid for with public tax dollars. They seek to fund loans for medical professionals who will perform abortions and increase access to late-term abortions. Most egregiously, the report calls for violating conscience protection for medical students by forcing them to be trained in abortion procedures. And, it seeks to force Catholic healthcare to either offer abortions or go out of business, particularly in remote regions where Catholic hospitals provide services for some of the most underserved people in the state.

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California Catholic Conference Welcomes Ken Johnson-Mondragón as New Director of Pastoral Engagement

This week, the California Catholic Conference (CCC) announced that Ken Johnson-Mondragón will join the Conference as the first-ever Director of Pastoral Engagement, a position unique to California’s Catholic Conference. 

Beginning in February 2022, Johnson-Mondragón will be working on the Catholic Bishops’ desire to bridge legislative priorities and pastoral ministries of the Catholic Church in California. His work will focus on researching, analyzing, and expanding the ministry of Catholic social teaching in California by increasing awareness and engagement of the state’s roughly 11 million Catholics.    

“The Bishops of California believe strongly that the CCC legislative priorities and pastoral engagement should work cohesively,” said CCC Executive Director Kathleen Domingo. “Ken joins our team at an exciting time as we increase our work on environmental justice, invite new people into conversations about human dignity, and focus on supporting all families to thrive in our state.”

Johnson-Mondragón’s extensive experience seizing opportunities that support faith formation include a gift for creating curriculum and a deep understanding of the needs and challenges of Catholics in California parishes. His most recent work with the USCCB included supporting and implementing V Encuentro. It resulted in the concluding bilingual document “Proceedings and Conclusions of the V National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry.” 

Johnson-Mondragón has also served as the Director of Latino Research and Development at RCL Benziger and as the Director of the National Research and Resource Center for Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Ministry at Instituto Fey y Vida. 

“For the better part of the last 25 years, I have dedicated myself to equipping pastoral leaders in the Church to accompany and minister to Hispanic/Latino Catholics, first in California and then throughout the country,” said Johnson-Mondragón. “I am excited for this opportunity to build on what I have learned to offer practical guidance throughout the dioceses of California to strengthen the connection between pastoral care and Catholic social teaching.”

Johnson-Mondragón is the 2015 recipient of the Catholic Press Award for Best Review for “Book Review Symposium – Young Catholic America: Emerging Adults In, Out of, and Gone from the Church” by Christian Smith, Kyle Longest, Jonathan Hill, and Kari Christoffersen, and was awarded the 2008 National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana Leadership Award. In his free time, he enjoys cycling along the American River Parkway and spending time with his three children.”

The California Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in California.  Governed by the California Catholic Conference of Bishops, it advocates with policymakers and the public to advance the Catholic vision of human life and dignity, the good society, and concern for the poor and vulnerable. It educates and empowers Catholics to put their faith into action consistent with Catholic teaching.



Caritas Launches Three-Year Global Campaign to Care for Our Common Home

This week, Caritas launched a global campaign, “Together We,” to bring people together to carry out new actions and initiatives that combat poverty, restore dignity to the excluded, and protect nature in the spirit of integral ecology. 

The program will last three years, with the first year focused on education, the second on action, and the third on a celebration of progress. Caritas Communities of Care groups can sign up here, where you will also find a campaign packet, prayer, and social media posts.  


Support Relief Efforts for Tornado-Devastated Areas

More than 80 people lost their lives in tornados that swept across six Midwest states last week. Several towns were leveled, and tens of thousands remain without power.

The worst of the damage in Kentucky occurred within the Diocese of Owensboro, including the loss of one parish building at Resurrection Church in Dawson Springs.

Catholic Charities of Owensboro is spearheading the Church’s response and is being supported by Catholic Charities USA’s Disaster Relief program. In this season of giving, please consider supporting our Catholic brothers and sisters who are working to rebuild their communities and their lives. Donations to support relief efforts can be sent directly to Catholic Charities of Owensboro, or Catholic Charities USA.


Vatican Publishes Schedule of Pope’s Christmas Liturgies