Webinars Prepare Californians for COVID Vaccinations
Approximately ten percent of Californians have now received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. In the coming months, approval of additional vaccines as well as measures to remedy early distribution problems should substantially increase the vaccination rate.
While Californians are eager to put behind them a year of shifting tiers, distance learning and stay-at-home orders, doing so will require a combination of increased vaccinations and continuing the commonsense hygiene practices we all know by now.
In their January statement, the California bishops said that “Beyond simply protecting their own health and safety, Catholics also have an obligation to protect their family, friends and community by vaccinating as soon as feasible in accordance with public health guidelines and protocols in their area.”
Click here for English and Spanish Bulletin Announcements from the Bishops urging COVID-19 vaccinations.
Pope to Diplomats: Fraternity, the True Remedy to Crises and Divisions
In his traditional encounter with the ambassadors to the Holy See, Pope Francis reflected on the numerous crises unleashed by the pandemic, and on other problems affecting the world, stressing that the fraternity is the true cure for them.
Pope Francis met the ambassadors in the Hall of Benediction in St. Peter’s Basilica, maintaining health protocols. The traditional meeting, originally scheduled for January 25, had to be postponed because of the Pope’s sciatica pain.
Despite the social distancing demanded by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Holy Father noted, their meeting “is meant to be a sign of hope . . . closeness and mutual support to which the family of nations should aspire”. And in this spirit, he said, he was making his upcoming visit to Iraq in March.
The Holy Father then reviewed some of the crises provoked or laid bare by the pandemic and examined the opportunities they offer to build a more humane, just, supportive and peaceful world.
Black History Month: African Americans Form Community in Bay Area City
Black Catholics, parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi, played an important role in the formation of the town of East Palo Alto and in its history before and after its 1983 incorporation.
Just in time for Black History Month, the Archdiocese of San Francisco released a video telling that story, told in the voices of the pastor and some parishioners of the East Palo Alto Roman Catholic community. You can watch it here.
Devotions and Prayers for Our Second Pandemic Lent
Facing the second Lenten season still fighting the COVID pandemic, Catholics are longing to return to communal worship and are doing so, albeit with thoughtful restrictions and guidelines. Many are wondering in a world where so much has been forsaken over the last year, what else they can “give up” for Lent that has already been taken away.
Fortunately, there are resources available:
- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offers details on traditional Lenten practices, as well as the rules and regulations for fasting and abstinence.
- The Catholic Climate Covenant offers a variety of ideas including sustainable suppers, prayers and webinars to reflect on care for our common home.
- With Virginia recently eliminating the death penalty, the Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Death Penalty continues to focus on a dwindling number of states that still use the punishment, including California. The ministry offers reflections for every day of Lent on their website.
- Forty Days for Life is a non-denominational ministry that prays in front of abortion clinics. Outside, people can safely socially distance. Events are held year-round and some are held during Lent. Read more at this profile of the ministry.
As Pope Francis said, “Lent is a journey of return to God.” These resources will help us along the way.
In Case You Missed It
Legislation is likely to be approved next week that will allow low income California’s to receive $600 relief assistance from the state. Those receiving the California Earned Income Tax Credit will be eligible.
California’s junior senator, Alex Padilla has been appointed to chairman of an immigration subcommittee which will give California increased influence on migration policies. He is the first Latino to chair the committee.
An Associated Press article about parishes receiving Payroll Protection Program dollars broke into the news a couple of weeks ago and Catholics have responded in defense of the action.
NEXT WEEK: The deadline for the introduction of bills in the California Legislature is today. Join us next week for a review of the upcoming legislative session and on which bills the California Catholic Conference will concentrate.
From @Pontifex – #Lent is precisely the season of hope when we turn our gaze back to the God who is patient. Saint Paul passionately urges us to place our hope in reconciliation: “Be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20).
February 19, 2021
Vol. 14, No. 7