Ensuring eligible Californians get the EITC tax credit; celebrating Black History Month and World Day for the Sick and state Catholic Conferences supporting measures that restrict abortion in this week’s Insights.
Earned Income Tax Credit
It’s tax season again, and as you prepare your taxes or assist others with theirs, please keep in mind the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), a generous tax credit available depending on income level.
Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) are for working people with low to moderate income. Because it is a credit and not a deduction, the EITC will put money back directly into the pockets of families.
Other credits to consider are the federal Child Tax Credit and California Young Child Tax Credit for parents.
In addition, the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals.
To learn more and to see if you qualify, visit CalEITC4me.org. A social media toolkit is also available to help spread awareness of EITC and VITA in parishes and communities.
World Day for the Sick
World Day of the Sick is being observed today (Feb. 11), providing us with an opportunity to remember the ill and the dying, caregivers, and all those who struggle with health issues, especially as we approach the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is also a time to highlight and reflect on the work underway to transform society’s care for the sick and dying. Work on the Whole Person Care Initiative (WPCI) continues in dioceses around the State.
A partnership between Alliance of Catholic Health Care, the Catholic bishops of California, the Providence St. Joseph Health and Dignity Health systems, and other Catholic hospitals in the state, WPCI seeks to ensure that parishioners and patients are accompanied, loved, and supported in their serious illness and end-of-life journey.
Training workshops feature sessions on Catholic end-of-life teaching, preparing advanced directives, advice on what to expect in a health care setting, how to support caregivers, and more. The Dioceses of San Diego, Stockton, and Monterey will each hold commissioning ceremonies or masses for those who have completed the workshops.
Black History Month
February is Black History Month, and there are several ways you can participate in celebrating the heritage of Black Catholics.
The University of San Francisco will be hosting a free webinar, “Black Catholics in Conversation.” In this event honoring the history and experiences of Black Catholics, California Supreme Court Justice Martin Jenkins (2020-21 USF Alumnus of the Year) and USF Trustee Timothy Alan Simon, Esq. will engage in a fireside conversation on faith, justice, and community.
The 20th Annual Black History Month Mass, hosted by the African American Catholic Center for Evangelization (AACCFE), will be celebrated on Saturday, February 19, 2022, at 5:00 PM at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles, but you can also tune in on Youtube or Facebook @olacathedral.
The Archdiocese of San Francisco released a video last year telling the story of the parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi, who played an important role in the formation of the town of East Palo Alto. You can watch it here.
Catholic Conferences Support State Measures to Restrict Abortion
“In materials on its website, the California Catholic Conference said this effort by state officials “completely misses a vital, life-affirming point. California is already uniquely situated to respond actively to the needs of women, children, and families.”
WASHINGTON — As many state legislatures consider restrictive abortion measures in current legislative sessions, the Catholic conferences in these states are paying close attention to these bills and urging Catholics to advocate for them.
The abortion bills, proposed by Republican lawmakers, are coming in advance of a decision by the Supreme Court this summer in the Dobbs case involving Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks.
If the ruling overturns the court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide, it will leave it to the states to make abortion policies.
USCCB Expresses Gratitude to Catholic Schools and Applauds Bipartisan Legislation Honoring Catholic Schools
“Catholic schools provide the nation with a model of education and formation that begins with a deep and full understanding of the nature of the human person, and sees as its end the flourishing, and ultimately, the salvation of each person. Catholic schools form students in humility, wisdom, and virtue so that they may recognize and love what is true, good, and beautiful. This becomes the foundation for a life ordered to service of God and others, a freedom in Christ that the world alone cannot provide,” he said. “We recognize the primacy of parents in the education of their children and seek to incorporate families ever more deeply into the life of the school and the Church. On this occasion of Catholic Schools Week 2022, I offer my sincere gratitude to all our Catholic school leaders and staff, with assurances of my prayers for them and for the critical mission they serve.”
To caress an elderly person expresses the same hope as caressing a child, because the beginning of life and the end are always a mystery, a mystery that should be respected, accompanied, cared for, loved.
February 11, 2022
Vol. 15, No. 6