On Sunday the WSCC bishops released a statement, “Caring for Creation and the Common Good in the Lower Snake River Region.” The bishops urge all to come together to care for our common home. Federal and state policymakers are particularly called upon to care for creation, address the loss of biodiversity and ensure the Lower Snake River ecosystem and its neighboring communities are able to thrive. The bishops recognize that Native American tribes of the region have a long-standing relationship of care and respect for the salmon of the Lower Snake River. Furthermore, as Pope Francis calls for in Laudato Si’, the Original Peoples of Washington state should be the "principal dialogue partners" for policymaking when large projects affecting their land are proposed. As stated in Laudato Si’, for Indigenous communities, “. . . land is not a commodity but rather a gift from God and from their ancestors who rest there, a sacred space with which they need to interact if they are to maintain their identity and values” (146).
Click here to send a letter Senator Patty Murray, Senator Maria Cantwell, and your US Representative, urging them to pass legislation that builds a culture of life. Roe v. Wade was overturned in June, giving individual states the authority to determine their own abortion laws. Abortion is legal in Washington state with no major restrictions. To build a culture of life, we must speak against abortion and advocate for legislation that advances the health, safety, and flourishing of women, children, and families. To that end, this action alert urges Congress to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act. The USCCB also supports the Child Tax Credit, paid family leave, pregnancy resource centers, childcare and pre-kindergarten programs, housing, nutrition, maternal and child health, adoption, healthy relationships, environmental protections, and the inclusion of immigrant families in social programs. Additional policy details may be found in this letter from the USCCB to Congress.
Also related to building a culture of life, last month the USCCB released a statement in response to President Biden, who stated that his top legislative priority after midterm elections will be to codify a national right to abortion. Archbishop William Lori, USCCB Chair of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, then urged the president to “recognize the humanity in preborn children” and “increase support and care for mothers in challenging situations.” Read the full statement here.
Click here to send a letter to Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell and urge them to pass the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2022. This legislation will reauthorize programs, funding, and the US Advisory Council on Human Trafficking; authorize a Human Trafficking Survivors Employment and Education Program to help victims attain self-sufficiency; authorize a program to prevent and detect trafficking of school-age children; and integrate anti-human trafficking efforts into US Agency for International Development programs. Previously, the USCCB also wrote this letter alongside other Catholic leaders to urge passage of this bill.
During the Respect Life Month of October, Bishop Mario Dorsonville, Chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration, issued a reflection titled “Migration and the Judgement of the Nations.” He criticized the current immigration system that reflects an “irreverence for human lives” that is “all too common in our present culture.” Bishop Dorsonville repeated the USCCB’s call for comprehensive immigration reform that provides for the full integration of long-time residents, promotes family unity, honors due process, respects the rule of law, expands legal pathways, preserves and strengthens humanitarian protections, priorities dignified alternatives to detention, recognizes the contributions of foreign-born workers, protects the vulnerable, and addresses the root causes of migration. The full reflection may be found here.
November is Native American History Month, and celebrations of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint, were already underway in October as Masses were held in honor of the tenth anniversary of her canonization. NorthwestCatholic covered details of the celebration at St. James Cathedral in this article. Amongst Mass attendees was 22-year-old Jake Finkbonner, who was healed from flesh-eating bacteria as a child. His healing served as the second miracle required for the approval of St. Kateri’s canonization.
Do you have a passion for creating real change for people most in need around the world? You can make a difference by following our Catholic Relief Services (CRS) campaigns on hunger and climate change, or by starting or joining a CRS Chapter. Catholic Relief Services is building a national network of CRS Chapters to mobilize Catholics and others of goodwill to end global poverty. CRS Chapters are taking critical and meaningful actions to address global poverty and advocate on behalf of our global family. Engaging in CRS Chapters empowers volunteers to live out their call as missionary disciples and to support our global family through education, advocacy and chapter giving actions such as CRS Rice Bowl. To learn more, contact Annie Nieto Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Election day is Tuesday, November 8! You can still register to vote by visiting your county elections department in person. Click here to register to vote or update your voter information. The 18-day voting period begins on October 21. Deposit your ballot by Tuesday, November 8 at 8 pm in an official ballot box, or be sure your ballot is postmarked by November 8 if sending it through the mail. Contact your countyelectionsdepartment to locate official ballot box locations near you.
November 13 is World Day of the Poor. Read Pope Francis’s 2022 World Day of the Poor message here. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is the USCCB’s domestic anti-poverty program. Learn more about poverty in America through Poverty USA, a USCCB educational resource.
November 20 is the feast of the Solemnity of Christ the King. The Solemnity of Christ the King feast day was instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI with the encyclical Quas primas. The feast day was born out of resistance to secularization and nationalism. It was intended to address those who sought to eliminate Christian influence from political life. As such, the Solemnity of Christ the King is an opportunity to remember the Church's dedication to religious freedom. Religious freedom is freedom of worship and respect for freedom of conscience. For more information about the Solemnity of Christ the King and religious freedom, see the USCCB statement, Our First, Most Cherished Liberty, and read about religious liberty on the USCCB website. In the nine days preceding the Solemnity, November 11-19, the USCCB encourages Catholics to participate in this Novena to Christ the King.