Advocacy News

September 1 Marked as World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation

On August 10 the Vatican released a letter stating that Pope Francis has added September 1 to the Catholic calendar as a “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.” According to the letter, written by Pope Francis, “The annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation will offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live. The celebration of this Day, on the same date as the Orthodox Church, will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our Orthodox brothers and sisters.” Read more…

New FOCUS Publication Addresses Violence in Society

Firearm use, domestic violence, elder abuse and sexual assault are among the forms of violence addressed by Michigan Catholic Conference in its latest FOCUS publication. The document includes recommendations from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on how to minimize violence and resources for further reading, along with quotes of interest. Legislation under consideration in Lansing supported by MCC that addresses the differing forms of violence are also included. FOCUS is distributed to Catholic institutions across the state and is available at no cost to parishes, schools or other Catholic entities. Read more about this FOCUS publication…

The Word from Lansing Column: Educational Choice, An Investment in Our Children

During the months of August and September, Michigan students are once against starting school in a variety of different environments: public and private, charter and cyber, and in homeschool instruction. As education plays a large role in providing a pathway out of poverty, it is critical to ensure that all these children have quality educational options that will help them develop as individuals. This month, The Word from Lansing column highlights the value of greater educational choice, especially through innovative programs such as Nevada’s education savings accounts that provide parents with the tools to help their children succeed. A survey released in June found that sixty-two percent of Americans support the creation of these types of accounts, even though constitutional language in Michigan prevents this type of aid from being awarded to students. Read more…

Pope Francis’s 2016 World Day of Peace Theme: ‘Overcome Indifference and Win Peace’

On January 1, 2016, the Catholic Church’s 49th World Day of Peace will be celebrated, and Pope Francis has provided the world with a theme for the day as well as a message. The Holy Father’s message was released by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace which also announced the theme for the message is “Overcome Indifference and Win Peace.” According to the message from the Pontifical Council, “Peace is to be worked at: it is not something that one gains without efforts, without conversion of mind and heart, without a sense of creativity and positive engagement in discussion. Peace is possible where the rights of every human being are recognized and respected, heard and known, according to freedom and justice.” The World Day of Peace was initiated by Pope Paul VI in 1967 and is celebrated every year on the first day of January. Read more…

Photo credit L’Osservatore Romano

The Word from Lansing Column: Earned Income Tax Credit Beneficial for Working Poor

Since 2006, Michigan has offered a refundable credit on state income tax called the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Working in combination with its federal counterpart, the state EITC has been a critical and effective policy for working, low-income families since its inception. During the 2013 tax year, approximately 780,000 Michiganders benefited from the credit, which is often spent on items in the local community such as groceries, car repairs, school clothing, rent, or other bills. During the recent months, State House and Senate members have discussed cuts to the state EITC to provide further revenue for road and transportation infrastructure repairs. The Word from Lansing column for July outlines the importance of the state EITC and explains why it should preserved, not eliminated, in the State of Michigan. Read more…

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