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Insights: Vatican Meeting Energizes US Workers; Join Online at RE Congress

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February 24, 2017

Vatican Meeting Energizes US Grassroots Workers

Nearly 700 delegates from around the United States spent four days in California’s Central Valley last weekend exploring the conditions faced by the poor and vulnerable in this nation.  The U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements was initiated by Pope Francis to enliven and encourage grassroots organizations to become “protagonists of change.”

Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect for the Dicastery of Integral Human Development, recently formed by the Pope, welcomed the participants with a letter from Pope Francis.

“Sooner or later the moral blindness of indifference comes to light,” wrote the Pope.  “The wounds are there, they are a reality.  The unemployment is real, the violence is real, the corruption is real, the identity crisis is real, and the gutting of democracy is real.”

Speaker after speaker detailed how the “economy of exclusion,” which the Pope targets as the main cause of oppression and a threat to human dignity, is experiences in today’s world.  Homelessness, underemployment, racism and other affronts to human dignity are common throughout the world. 

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Join Our Online Conversation at RE Congress

Every year, as many as 40,000 Catholics attend the Religious Education Conference in Anaheim sponsored by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

If you’re lucky enough to be there, please stop by the Catholic Legislative Network booth (#351) and say hello.  The staff would be very pleased to meet you.

If you can’t be there, you can still join our on-line conversation about Faith in the Public Square that we will conduct throughout the three days of the Congress.

Starting around noon on Friday, we’ll be asking people to give us their thoughts to a variety of questions about policy and faith (see below.)   Participation is simple:  Go to to see the current question.  You can respond in one of three ways:

1      Respond right on the webpage

2      Text CaCathConf to 22-333 and enter a response

3      Finally, you can also tweet your response to #CaCathConf. 

Answer as many questions as you’d like throughout the weekend.   The responses will be shown live during the three days of the Congress and can be viewed on at any time. 

Click here for a list of questions


Contact Lawmakers to Promote The Common Good

In lieu of the annual U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Social Ministry Gathering held every year to visit House Members and Senators on Capitol Hill, hundreds of Catholic leaders from throughout our country are going to visit or reach out to their local Federal representatives in their district offices this week.  With so many vital issues at hand and the changing current in Washington, D.C., the California Catholic Conference (CCC) is urging you to support them with an email to your representatives.

All of us are called to promote the common good and to shine the light of justice on people living in the shadows of crushing poverty or devastating conflict overseas, lacking access to life-giving health care, and fleeing violence as refugees and immigrants.

This week, leaders will be urging members of Congress to shine light onto the darkness of human trafficking, religious persecution, and families fleeing for their lives as refugees and migrants. They will tell Congress Members and Senators now is not the time to waiver from our nation’s tradition of “welcoming the stranger,” but instead to support and strengthen it.

Take Action Now!


CalETIC Awareness Week and Proclamation

Governor Brown has issued a proclamation declaring this week to be “California Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Week” in the State of California.

He and other state officials are trying to raise awareness of the Cal EITC tax credit that eligible low-income working families should be sure to utilize this tax season. Last year, nearly 400,000 families applied for the credit, putting nearly $200 million back in the pockets of these working Californians, but many more were eligible.

The Earned Income Tax Credit The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) provides a rebate to low-income workers based on a percentage of their income. Unlike most tax credits, the EITC is refundable, and some may be eligible for an EITC of up to $4,824, depending on income and the number of children under their care. You can find out if you are eligible for both state and federal EITC benefits by visiting


Get Inspired for Lent

This Lenten season, get inspired with Catholic Relief Service’s (CRS) faith-in-action program utilizing CRS Rice Bowl.

CRS Rice Bowl is a vehicle through which the stories of communities around the world can be shared, and an invitation through which our prayers and Lenten sacrifices have the potential to change lives. Each day of Lent, individuals are invited to use the Lenten Calendar—included with every CRS Rice Bowl—to guide their Lenten almsgiving. These daily almsgiving activities—for example, give 25 cents for every faucet found in your home—help families reflect on the realities of our brothers and sisters around the world and how they can be in solidarity during the Lenten season.

CRS Rice Bowl will also offer daily reflections for every day of Lent, from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. Sign up here.

Next week's edition of Insights will feature an update on legislative bills. Visit at any time for the latest. 

February 24, 2017
Vol. 10, No. 7