Political Action Item: Feminists Choosing Life https://www.fclny.org/ want your help with S470. It claims it will help NY better understand and address the unmet health and resource needs of pregnant women in NY. This bill is discriminatory as written, considering it targets ONLY non-abortion related pregnancy resource centers. The bill’s impacts are potentially harmful to pregnant women, considering its likely to deprive rather than increase necessary resources for pregnant women. Key NY Senators are Daphne Jordan, [email protected] , Pamela Helming, [email protected] , Joseph P. Addabbo, [email protected] & Simcha Felder, [email protected] . Please let them know we appreciate their position on LIFE and that we need them to defeat or amend this bill, on behalf of their constituents, and women and children across our great state. View this short video to better understand the Reproductive Health Act (RHA): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5P6a7HRugo Thank you for taking action.
The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25-37) has much to tell us about how to do God’s Will. First, we must love God whole heartedly. Love of God should propel us to act lovingly toward our neighbors. This is the essence of Catholic Social Teaching.
It’s likely if you are a consumer, you have bought products that began with someone working long hours in bad conditions for next to nothing pay. That is modern day slavery. Use this link to learn more and take the slavery footprint survey. It doesn’t stop there. The website developers have a plan for how we can make changes. Let’s live out our Catholic Social Teaching principle of Life and Dignity of the Human Person!
As missionary disciples, we are called to respond to God’s love through both Charitable Works and Social Justice. This video helps to explain it.
Resources in times of need: Dial 2-1-1! 24/7, 365. All types of services available by county or region. Below are web links.
- If you are a resident of Ontario County, connect with the Finger Lakes Life Line. Help is also available to Yates County residents through the Salvation Army.
- In Yates County, The Living Well Mission cares for you.
- In Steuben County, The Institute for Human Services is the clearing house for your help.
Ministry for Migrants: Rural & Migrant Ministry works for the creation of a just, rural New York State through: Nurturing leadership, standing with the disenfranchised, especially farmworkers and rural workers, changing unjust systems and structures.
Covid-19 related items: Are you eligible to get the Child Tax Credit? Maybe you need rental assistance? Maybe you are on the verge of eviction. Where do you turn? The US Catholic Bishops have this page as a resource for you or someone in need.
The members of OLOL’s Social Ministry Committee plan events for us to encounter God as we join in acts of service. See the bulletin for ways you can help locally.
Our diocesan public policy committee annually identifies issues for parishes to educate and bring all people to a greater love of neighbor as self. Annually they award grant $ to grass-roots organizations made up of people living in poverty who are working to improve their situations.
Archbishop Gomez, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, calls all Catholics to be rooted in our faith as we approach our work against racism, injustice, and divisiveness. View his most recent speech. Other resources and action items are available asking to be added to their email list: [email protected]
The Diocesan Social Ministry Conference will be 5/25/22 in person at Notre Dame Retreat House, Canandaigua or via Zoom. The Theme will be Laudato Si and its Action Platform Launch. Call Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes: 315-789-2235 if interested in attending.
Since life is our greatest gift from God, we are to uphold life from the moment of conception to natural death. Here are some websites that help us with this: https://www.respectlife.org/, https://www.usccb.org/prolife. Advocating for life is a year round, lifetime activity. Whether you have questions or need support, our Office of Life Issues for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester is available to help. Check out this short video from our Catholic Bishops about respecting others and the roles we have as co-creators with God.
Stand Out for Life is our diocesan peaceful, prayerful event happening every 4th Saturday that affirms the dignity of all human persons, with a special emphasis on children in the womb, pregnant moms in need – being exploited for profit, abortion workers, etc. This event happens every 4th Saturday, from 9 -10:30AM outside of the Regional Headquarters of Planned Parenthood of Central and Western NY (114 University Ave., Downtown Rochester). If you participate, bring your Rosary, wear a mask, practice social distancing and consider bringing a friend!
Each October all parishioners at all worship sites are encouraged to learn and pray about the gift that life is. The committee sets out Baby Bottles for special offerings given to area Pregnancy Care Centers. The Yates chapter of the American Federation for Suicide Prevention invites everyone to walk to end suicide. January is declared Poverty Awareness Month. On 1/22 we observe a day of prayer and penance, called the “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children,” in commemoration of the many infant lives lost due to Roe vs. Wade and its reversal. This coincides with the March for Life in our nation’s capital. Our diocese makes busses available for us to participate. It is a pilgrimage that you will never forget. Education on issues to be advocated for in February’s Public Policy weekend also begin in January.
Read to inform yourself with these titles: Fratelli Tutti, On Fraternity & Social Friendship & Laudato Si by Pope Francis, Open Wide our Hearts, a pastoral letter against racism, “Civilize It” to help us have civil conversations with others who share differing opinions and Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, which helps us to be the best voters we can be.
Anti Racism: Open Wide Our Hearts is our USCCB’s Pastoral Letter against Racism. The resources on a Catholic Response to Racism are vast. Black Women and Criminal (In)Justice, (Resources for the discussion) was recorded (Feb. 2021). The National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry suggests several resources. The Catholic Mobilizing Network seeks to end the death penalty (the opposite end of the spectrum of the beginning of life) and implement restorative justice. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) recently released a version of the Stations of the Cross which focuses on overcoming racism. You can find them at www.usccb.org/resources/stations-of-the-cross-overcoming-racism.pdf.
PUBLIC POLICY & VOTING
Annually, the Diocesan Public Policy Committee (DPPC) identifies priorities for action. Every second weekend of February we are asked to contact our elected representatives about an issue identified by the DPPC. Go to our News & Events page to learn what issue and action to take this year. The NYS Catholic Action Network (CAN) assists us in helping to bring to our attention issues on which our voices will speak for the voiceless.
How we vote is an expression of how we embrace the elements of Catholic Social Teaching. The public dialogues offered and recorded by The Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University include voting, racism, and many other issues.
Before the pandemic OLOL Social Ministry Committee also encouraged us to serve in these ways:
Local Pantry: Consider donating the second of your BOGO items! Foods, toiletries, paper supplies — even pet food (for the non-human friends who may be in need) — can be left in the collection boxes at all worship sites. Items are delivered monthly to the local food distributions. Help delivering to the food distributions and assisting at them is always welcome.
Helping Hands Funds: Financial assistance is available to those in need by contacting one of the parish offices. These funds go directly to vendors to assist with rent, utility bills, medical bills and other emergency needs.
Angel/Giving Tree: During Advent parishioners are made aware of the needs of the elderly who may no longer have family to give them gifts. Parishioners purchase and wrap gifts based on needs found on gift tags. Help collecting the parcels and distributing them is always welcome.
Equal Exchange: Fair Trade is about small farmers in the Developing World receiving a fair price for their labors. But it is also about much more. Through Equal Exchange’s Interfaith Coffee Program, our congregation becomes part of a life-centered economic model which puts people and the environment before profits – a model rooted in the principles of justice, equity, cooperation and sustainability. With your help, we can build a better future for ourselves and our global neighbors. Equal Exchange products are available at worship sites throughout the cluster
Operation Rice Bowl: During Lent we partner with Catholic Relief Services to pray and collect funds that help brothers and sisters in developing countries.
Pet Food Collection: Held during winter in order to help raise and collect food for pets in our parishes to help out struggling families.
Grandma’s Kitchen: Provide food after school for students staying for activities at Penn Yan Academy
Coffee Hour: Coffee and conversation with residents of Clinton Crest.
Immigrant and Migrant Ministry: “And when did we see You a stranger and welcome you?”(Matthew 25:38) Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:45) These words from scripture remind us of our call to be open and welcoming to immigrants because we were all immigrants at one time too. Throughout the Our Lady of the Lakes Community we have immigrants, many wanting to become citizens, living in our midst. They are people of great faith and deep devotion. Many seek assistance to learn English and study for citizenship through Literacy Volunteers of Ontario-Yates. Another important way to help is to offer to get involved with the Alianza Agricola division of the Worker Justice Center of NY. Its other active programs include: human trafficking, domestic violence, legal education, worker advocacy, workplace safety and community engagement.
Diocesan Social Ministry Conference Held annually each spring.
The Catholic Family Center serves the needy of the greater Rochester area (of which we are a part). It is coordinating help to resettle Afghan refugees.