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Insights: Pope In US, Veto Alerts, Pro Life Month

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October 2, 2015

Pope Francis in the United States

Whether you spent the night on the National Mall hoping to catch a glimpse of the motorcade, held a golden ticket for an event or watched the Pope on television, you probably experienced the grace and goodness of the Holy Father.

Pope Francis’ visit was fast-paced and action packed.  He visited with Catholic Charities clients during lunch at a soup kitchen, spoke to prisoners, met with President Obama, addressed Congress and paid his respects to the victims of September 11.  Thousands met him every step of the way and through it all he smiled and always reached out to the crowd.  Whether it was hugging a little girl that broke through security, taking the time to bless those that needed his comfort, he did it with compassion and ease.

The Franciscans and the Bishops of California arranged a private meeting between a group of California Indian Representatives and Pope Francis. The representatives came from the tribes associated with the original nine missions that Saint Serra founded. They attended the canonization mass at the Basilica in Washington DC and later spoke with the Holy Father about their tribes and their concerns.  It was a step in the process to heal the deep wounds that were inflicted upon the Native tribes of California by Spanish colonialism. The Franciscans and the Bishops are committed to following through with a promise to analyze the missions and the Catholic School curriculum with the help of the Mission Indian tribes.

Pope Francis’ mission was love.  He made a point to reach out to the marginalized at every chance.  His powerful opening at the White House, “I am a son of immigrants,” set the tone for his trip. At every opportunity he implored Americans to reach out to those in need. In his homily at Madison Square Garden, he spoke of “children who go without schooling, those deprived without medical insurance, the homeless and the forgotten elderly.”

At the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, he emphasized the importance of faith and family, “May the Lord help us to be sharers in the prophecy of peace, of tenderness and affection in the family. May his word help us to share in the prophetic sign of watching over our children and our grandparents with tenderness, with patience and with love.”

His humbleness was apparent throughout the visit.  At the conclusion of every Mass and appearance, he asked us to “pray for him.”  Those that left a mass or meeting were buoyed by these words, taking that with them and hopefully going forth and spreading that message of love.

For a list of all the Holy Father’s homilies and speeches, video on demand and other resources, visit the USCCB Media Resources page.

Important Bills Still Await Governor’s Decision

As he does every year at this time, Governor Jerry Brown is carefully evaluating many significant bills passed in the last week of the legislative session.  He has 30 days to plough through the measures which this year total around 650 but in the case of the assisted-suicide bill, AB2x15 (Eggman, D-Stockton) he only has 12 days because it was passed during a special session.

That means he must make a decision by October 7.  Thousands of Catholic Legislative Network members have already sent emails urging him to veto this dangerous bill. 

If you have not already done so, please add your voice to theirs and urge Governor Brown to veto ABx2-15.

Another major bill awaiting action is AB 775, a bill that discriminates against any and all pro-life pregnancy centers/clinics.  It forces these clinics to advertise abortion services. The governor needs to hear from you, that this violation of the First Amendment should not be made into law. Urge Governor Brown to veto AB 775.

Click here for a listing of all bills followed by the Conference.

Celebrate Respect Life Month

Pope Francis urged us to seek "respect for the sacredness of every human life, of every man and every woman, the poor, the elderly, children, the infirm, the unborn, the unemployed, the abandoned, those considered disposable because they are only considered as part of a statistic." This October, celebrate Respect Life Month, using this posterone-page flyer, Prayer & Program Guide, and seven articles on varying topics. Get more info here.

Coverage of St. Serra and Pope Francis Widespread in California, Nation & World

Here is just a sample of the thousands of reports covering California Catholics’ reaction to the visit of Pope Francis and the Canonization of St. Junipero, Serra:

Bay Area Catholics Excited for Pope’s U.S. Visit, Pope Francis Canonizes Junipero Serra as New Saint,  Saint Junipero Serra’s Canonization and ‘exciting time to be a Catholic’, Franciscans Celebrate Serra Canonization with Mass of Thanksgiving, and Orange County Faithful Hit the Road for Pope Francis’ Visit to America.