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January 13, 2012, Vol. 5, No. 1
En Español

  • California Bishops Support Life & Family Initiatives 
  • Fifty Thousand Expected to Walk for Life Next Week
  • New President for Catholic Relief Services
  • Check Out Our Updated Website
  • On the Web

California Bishops Support Life & Family Initiatives

California’s Bishops are supporting two initiatives seeking qualification for the November ballot – parental notification before a minor’s abortion and an end to the use of the death penalty. Because of the centrality of life and family to Catholic teaching the Bishops are making an exception to their normal procedure and voicing support for initiatives prior to qualification for the ballot.

In a joint statement issued this week, the Bishops pointed to the unique political moment in California politics in which both questions could be placed before voters:

“These two initiatives,” says the statement, “have appeared at the same time on the political landscape and bring into sharp focus important moral issues, namely our society’s treatment of nascent life, family life and even a sinful or errant life. In keeping with our fundamental principles, we believe that social policy should respect and support the role of parents in caring for their children. Justice should uphold human dignity as it protects the community.” (Read the entire statement.)

The Bishops have made exceptions to their procedure in the past, but it is rare – hundreds of measures circulate but do not receive enough signatures. Catholics around the state have already expressed widespread support for both of these initiatives and many are active in signature-gathering efforts to place the measures before the electorate. Practices on such efforts vary by arch/diocese. Information on local guidelines can be found here as well as background on the issues.

Should the measures qualify, they will appear on the November 2012 General Election Ballot. For more information, contact Carol Hogan, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Fifty Thousand Expected to Walk for Life Next Week

The 8th annual West Coast Walk for Life will be held on Saturday, January 21, 2012 in San Francisco.

Each year the event has grown in size as singles, couples and families join clergy and youth groups to reinforce the message that women deserve better than abortion. The planners expect more than 50,000 participants this year, arriving by car, public transportation and 225 buses. Twelve California bishops also plan to attend.

The day begins with a 9:30 a.m. Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral, 1111 Gough Street. From there, it is a short walk from to Civic Center Plaza, Grove Street and McAllister—a new location this year—where there will be an information faire and rally. At 1:30 p.m., following the rally, participants will walk almost two miles down Market Street, the City’s main thoroughfare, to the Ferry Building, where the Walk concludes.

Planners offered their special thanks to the Walk for Life partners, the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the Knights of Columbus, for their continuing support of this dramatic event.

The Catholic San Francisco has more information here. Contact Carol Hogan, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , for more information.

New President for Catholic Relief Services

Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo, dean of the business school at the University of Notre Dame, has been selected by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) board of directors to serve as the agency's next president and CEO. Woo will succeed Ken Hackett, who is retiring after leading CRS for the past 18 years.

Woo, 57, has served as the dean of the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame since 1997. She served on the CRS board of directors from 2004 until 2010. At the start of this year, she became the seventh chief executive of CRS since the agency was founded in 1943.

"Dr. Woo is a woman of deep faith with a strong commitment to the mission of the Church. She will bring exceptional abilities and gifts to the task of serving the poor around the world in the name of Catholics throughout the United States," says Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, who chairs the CRS board of directors.

"CRS is so blessed to have had Ken Hackett's leadership these 18 years, now to be followed by another outstanding faith-filled leader in Dr. Woo," he says.

Click here for CRS’s complete story on the appointment and to learn about the work of organization around the world.

Check Out Our Updated Website

Our website has a new look. With the rapid expansion of membership in the Catholic Legislative Network and what seems to be an unrelenting march of web development, we want to be sure www.cacatholic.org keeps up with the “signs of the web 2.0 times.”

The site is organized around the legislative priorities of the California Catholic Conference: Life, Human Dignity and Economic Justice, Education, Family Life, Restorative Justice and Religious Liberty. Social media – especially Facebook and Twitter – are integral throughout. All of the information needed to communicate with your elected representatives is in one convenient place. And Spanish translations are being woven into the fabric of every page.

We’re trying to make it easier for you to be an “informed” faithful citizen; so we invite you to use the resources of www.cacatholic.org to stay up to date on state, national and world policy issues and to learn more about our strong Catholic social teaching. Please check it out and enjoy!

And, if so moved, tweet or share one of the site’s stories on your Facebook page so that others can learn and use the resources available on www.cacatholic.org.  

Further changes are in the works and will be introduced throughout the year. For more information, contact Steve Pehanich, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or Trish Spindler, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

On the Web

  • January has been declared National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. As a global institution, the Catholic Church, well positioned to respond to human trafficking, has denounced this horrific crime because it constitutes an offense against human dignity and fundamental human rights. Click here to find out more.
  • Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop Cirilo Flores, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Orange, California, coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of San Diego. Read more here.
  • Save the Date – August 3rd and 4th 2012 – Responsibility Rehabilitation & Restoration: A Symposium on Crime, Punishment and the Common Good in California. The event will take place at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. For information, go to www.restorejustice.com.

Tags: Catholic Relief Servicesdeath penaltyinitiativesparental notification