A NEW YEAR PROVIDES NEW OPPORTUNITIES TO CONFRONT GLOBAL POVERTY
There’s so much hope and promise for change at the beginning of a new year, and it’s no different with 2014. After all, legislators are back to work in this second term of the 113th session of Congress and they’re off to a good starting passing several spending bills that will keep the government operating until the end of the fiscal year in September. We, too kick off 2014 with a bold start thanks to the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering (CSMG) taking place in Washington, D.C. from February 2-5, 2014. This annual gathering is an opportunity for Catholics to connect, learn, pray and advocate. Even if you cannot attend the gathering, you can still advocate and make your voice heard in the halls of Congress by following the simple steps outlined here.
PROGRESS IN THE PHILIPPINES THANKS TO YOUR PRAYERS, ACTIONS AND GIFTS
In this special piece from Jim Stipe, CRS Communications Officer for Digital and Visual Media, who traveled to the Philippines shortly after Typhoon Haiyan struck on November 8, 2013, we get a glimpse into the progress that’s being made for millions of our brothers and sisters in the Philippines. His powerful and moving account gives us hope that our brothers and sisters in the Philippines are recovering and rebuilding after the tragedy. Jim also shares how important your advocacy efforts have been to help accelerate relief and rebuilding efforts.
BISHOP PATES TRAVELS TO HOLY LAND TO SUPPORT PEACE PROCESS
Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, represented the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) at a recent gathering of Bishops from Europe, South Africa and North America in the Holy Land for the 2014 Co-Ordination of Bishops’ Conference in support of the Church in the Holy Land. Read more about the gathering and their work to support peace.
ARCHBISHOP WENSKI, BISHOP PATES ASK CONGRESS TO REMEMBER VALUES OF HUMAN LIFE AND DIGNITY IN TRADE DEALS
Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, Florida, and Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, called for Congress to defend human life and dignity, protect the environment and public health, and promote justice and peace in our world when considering upcoming trade agreements. Find out more about their work and the letter they sent to Congress.
SURROUND SYRIANS WITH SUPPORT: AN UPDATE ON THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS
Sadly, the violence in Syria continues and the humanitarian crisis intensifies, yet the Catholic Church, through CRS and our Caritas partners, continues to respond. We care for those impacted by the violence and forced to flee their homeland simply because we’re Catholic. Find out how you can surround Syrians with support and get the latest updates from the field.
SET THE TABLE TO END HUNGER: THE FIGHT FOR PASSAGE OF THE FARM BILL CONTINUES IN CONGRESS
Following the passage of a nutrition bill in the House of Representatives in September which cut the Food Stamp program by $40 billion, Congress must now decide if there is enough agreement to proceed for reauthorization of the Farm Bill. If there is not agreement, Congress must find a way to ensure programs that feed our brothers and sisters who are hungry and poor at home and abroad can continue. Learn more about hunger and malnutrition and why CRS and the USCCB continue to press for improvements to the Farm Bill.
A JOURNEY TO THE LAND OF A THOUSAND HILLS: DIOCESAN PARTNERS TRAVEL TO RWANDA
Nine diocesan partners traveled with CRS to Rwanda in August 2013. Rwanda is called the Land of a Thousand Hills due to its terrain. This group of diocesan partners traveled many of the hills of Rwanda together to learn about CRS and our partners’ work in order to build global solidarity back in their home dioceses. Caroline Stanfill from the Diocese of Richmond and Sara Blauvelt from the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. share their experiences in a special interview.
A CALL FOR PEACE: THE SYRIAN CIVIL WAR AND REFUGEE CRISIS
Recently, Pope Francis renewed his call for a peaceful end to the ongoing violence in Syria as he met with Catholic humanitarian groups, including Catholic Relief Services and our worldwide Caritas partners. While CRS President, Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo, and Chief Operating Office, Sean Callahan, attended those meetings, Bishop Gerald Kicanas, CRS Board chairman, traveled with a delegation to Lebanon, a small country coping with a staggering influx of refugees. Learn more and read Bishop Kicanas’ reflections on the trip.
FIGHTING HUNGER THROUGH THE FARM BILL: UNCERTAIN FUTURE IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
It’s hard to believe, but we still have a few hurdles to jump before Congress passes the Farm Bill. You’ve advocated with us throughout the spring, and now it looks like your voice will be needed yet again this summer to ensure that the House of Representatives crafts legislation that feeds hungry people, promotes stewardship of creation, fosters small family farmers and helps rural communities. Learn more about the Farm Bill and why your action is needed.
INCREASE YOUR IMPACT THIS AUGUST
It’s the perfect time to meet with your Representatives and Senators during the month of August because Congress is in recess, which means your Senators and Representatives are in their home offices. Learn more about how to contact your Senators and Representatives and how to plan a visit with them.
FEDERAL SPENDING AND THE POOR: A DOOMED ALLIANCE?
Millions of families worldwide struggle to live on less than $1 a day. There families suffer from poverty, lack of potable water, have access to little or no food, live in refugee camps, endure illness and are victims of natural disasters. How is the sequestration in Washington impacting out assistance to them, and what can we do to live out our mission? Read more.
ADDRESSING GLOBAL HUNGER: THE FUTURE OF FOOD AID AND LEARNING FIRST-HAND ABOUT HUNGER IN BURKINA FASO
More than 80 percent of the people in Burkina Faso live in extreme poverty. This landlocked West African country has been plagued with economic hardships, human rights abuses and political unrest. Geographically, Burkina Faso suffers from poor rainfall, soil degradation and high population density. Read more about the people of Burkina Faso and how food aid helps families who are hungry.
OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN THE HOLY LAND HAVE BEEN WAITING TOO LONG FOR PEACE. Now is the time to act!
With President Obama’s recent trip to the Holy Land and his reaffirmation of the two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians, we are hopeful for a renewed peace process. The Church stands ready to help advance a peaceful and just solution for all of our Jewish, Christian and Muslim brothers and sisters living in Israel and Palestine. You, too, can add your voice to the call for peace! Thank President Obama for his leadership on this issue by sending your message today!
CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES AND THE UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS STAND WITH THE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY IN THE HOLY LAND
Raise your voice for peace and prosperity for all the people of the Holy Land. Join the Catholic community of the Holy Land to oppose the re-routing of the separation wall in the Cremisan Valley, West Bank. Your signature will be delivered to the appropriate Israeli authorities. The final court ruling will be held on February 12 so make sure to sign now.
A PATHWAY TO FULFILLING DREAMS UNVEILED
It may still be winter throughout much of the United States, but Washington D.C. is heating up with some exciting news.
At the end of January 2013 a bipartisan group of eight Senators proposed a framework for comprehensive immigration reform legislation while President Obama outlined his vision of immigration reform in a major speech. These are small, but important, steps forward for our brothers and sisters who have migrated in search of a better life for themselves and their families.
Catholic Relief Services and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops welcome these new developments and look forward to working with Congress to improve our nation’s immigration system so that it better respects human life and dignity while also ensuring the integrity of our borders. Read the CRS and USCCB press releases for a review of the Church’s position on this issue.
In the coming weeks and months as Congress works on immigration reform legislation your voice will be needed. Please stay tuned for opportunities to take action. For more information about this issue and our Catholic response, please visit the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Justice for Immigrants Campaign and read the pastoral letter “Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope” concerning migration.
CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES ADVISES SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON IMPROVING “FEED THE FUTURE” PROGRAM
Tanzania Country Representative tells Congress the Obama Administration program should help more poor farmers
WASHINGTON, DC, November 28, 2012— Conor Walsh, the head of Catholic Relief Services’ program in Tanzania, told a Senate subcommittee Wednesday that the Feed the Future program needs to steer more of its help to poor farmers in its target countries instead of over-focusing on commercial agricultural enterprises.
“Possibly driven by pressures to show results quickly and demonstrate the impact of scarce development funds, some Feed the Future investments appear focused on improving the capacity of existing commercial agriculture producers, sometimes at the expense of addressing the needs of smallholder farmers and other vulnerable populations,” Walsh told the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs and International Environmental Protection. Senators Richard C. Lugar of Indiana and Ben Cardin of Maryland were among those in attendance. Read more…
Read the CRS Newswire for the latest information on CRS’ work to assist victims of disasters and help people lift themselves out of poverty through long-term development programs in some 100 countries around the world. CRS Newswire features timely analysis by CRS experts and reports on our efforts to create a more just and peaceful world.
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