Mental Health Awareness Month; CA Elections News

Earth Hold

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an immense amount of stress globally over the last year, with increased anxiety and fear. Additionally, there has been an increase in child abuse and domestic abuse, further signs that proper social and emotional health are not being adequately addressed.

In their 2018 pastoral statement on mental health, the California Conference of Bishops encouraged all "to encounter our brothers and sisters who struggle with mental illness.  Even those who do not have serious mental health problems can, to some extent, understand the experience of those who do: for not one of us is entirely free from periods of anxiety, emotional distress, troubling or intrusive thoughts, or strong temptations."

You will find links to PDFs of the statement in English, Spanish and Vietnamese as well as a study/discussion guide for small groups to reflect on the document here

Many Catholic Charities around California offer mental health programs and counseling:

This is just a sampling of mental health resources offered by dioceses, ministries and parishes throughout the Golden State.  Check with your diocese or your parish for resources available in your community.

“I have a dogmatic certainty,” said Pope Francis, that “God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else- God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.” – Pope Francis.


Newsom Recall Qualifies While CA Loses Congressional Seat

It was an unusually busy news week for California elections in a non-election year. Secretary of State Shirley Weber announced that the campaign to recall Governor Gavin Newsom officially has enough signatures to trigger a recall vote, while California's unprecedented population exodus cost a congressional seat.

More than 1.6 million signatures to recall Newsom have been verified, well over the 1.4 million needed to qualify the measure. While signatories technically have until June 8 to remove their names from the effort, it is not likely to be reversed, resulting in a special election likely to occur later this fall.

The U.S. Census Bureau also announced this week that for the first time, California will lose a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, dropping the state’s delegation from 53 to 52. The 2020 census results that triggered the removal of one seat cited California's slowed, almost stalled population growth. The State of California will still maintain more seats than any other state, but other states with populations booms like Florida and Texas will be allowed to gain a seat.


U.S. Bishop Chairmen Express Support for Commitments at Leaders Summit on Climate

President Joe Biden convened the Leaders Summit on Climate on April 22-23, which included a video message by Pope Francis.   Chairmen of the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committees on Domestic Justice and Human Development and International Justice and Peace, released a statement in support of the Holy Father:

"Pope Francis addressed a virtual gathering of over 40 leaders from the highest levels of world government at the White House's Leaders Summit on Climate, saying, 'our concern is to see that the environment is cleaner, healthier and conserved, and to take care of nature so that it takes care of us.'

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California shouldn't scrap 'safeguards' in End of Life Options Act

The following opinion-editorial by Matt Valliere appeared in the Daily News on April 21, 2021.

Assisted suicide is already legal in California through the so-called End of Life Option Act, narrowly passed by the California Legislature and signed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown in 2015. The bill received opposition from both Democrat and Republican Assembly members and state senators but was passed, many feel inappropriately, during a Special Legislative Session focused on Medi-Cal funding.

Despite the bill's narrow passage, now just a few years into the new law, proponents of this law want to eliminate the very "safeguards" they used as arguments for its passage. The new bill, Senate Bill 380 by Sen. Susan Eggman will get rid of the scheduled 2025 review process that doctors, patient advocates, and legislators allowed for an examination of California's experience with this controversial law. This new bill will also eliminate the 15-day safety period to receive the deadly prescription drugs.

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The CDC Revises Guidelines for Vaccinated Individuals

While demand for COVID-19 vaccines has fallen over the