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placeholder Network offers updates on issues affecting state’s Catholics

Newark calling Italy . . .

A blessing for church renovation

Old Glory returns to St. Elizabeth school

9/11 concert remembers, honors

Big college fair offers selection

Mass acknowledges school leaders

CTK School turns 50; opens new amphitheater

For Spanish speakers, a post-abortion retreat

St. Edward event honors Dominican sisters’ service

‘Remember Them’ celebrates Heroes for Humanity — and Oakland

Saint Mary’s College establishes new museum

Youth ‘On Fire’ on Sept. 24

Music, ethnicity hallmark of Chautauqua gathering Oct. 8

New principal named at St. Paul School

• Sister M. Agnes Gough, SHF
• Father Marvin Steffes, CPPS
• Sister Mary Hyacinthe Ruggiero, OP

placeholder September 19, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 16   •   Oakland, CA
Network offers updates on
issues affecting state’s Catholics

At Masses on Oct. 1 and 2, parishioners in the Diocese of Oakland are being asked to join Catholics across California in signing up to get a weekly update by e-mail on pending legislation on issues of life and dignity, and of great relevance to Catholic Social Teaching.

Father Dan Danielson
Laws affecting Catholics

To sign up to receive updates from the Catholic Legislative Network, go to www.cacatholic.org.

Father Dan Danielson, who is coordinating the effort for the Diocese of Oakland, says he is thinking of it as “social justice signup Sunday.”

The Catholic Legislative Network is a program of the California Catholic Bishops.

Most parishes will show a short video from Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone introducing the program, and pastors may include information in their homilies. Each parish has a coordinator who will help facilitate signups. Parishioners will be asked to fill out cards — requesting, name, address and e-mail — available in the pews.

In parishes that are not equipped to show the video in church, arrangements may be made to show it after Masses in the parish hall. Some parishes may have special events scheduled, and will have the signups on a later date.

The weekly legislative update, in English or in Spanish, is delivered by e-mail every Friday the Legislature is in session. Occasional “action alerts” are sent when timely response would be required. A recent “action alert” involved legislation that would allow minors access to Gardasil, the controversial vaccine that is intended to prevent HPV, a socially transmitted disease. The bill passed the Legislature and was sent to the governor.

“Since Vatican II, the Gospel has to be brought into the marketplace,” said Father Danielson. “Social Teaching is about transformation of society to be in line with the Gospel.”

And the task of doing so, he points out, “primarily belongs to the laity.”

“The laity can’t be involved if they don’t know what’s going on,” Father Danielson said. “Catholic Legislative Network is to inform our Catholic people about what’s going on in the Legislature and how Catholic Social Teaching principles might apply.”

It is hoped the information might “encourage them from time to time to express their views to their legislators.”

The network focuses on key life issues such as abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia and stem cell research and also covers issues of migration, education, food and care for the needy.

“The network is very secure,” Father Danielson said. “It will not be used for anything else. No fundraising.”

Pat Black, a parishioner at St. Isidore Church in Danville, said she has been receiving the reports from the network for about a year. She received information on the network from John Watkins, coordinator for Life and Justice ministries at the diocese.

“It’s so convenient to be able to stay up on the topics,” she said. She also praised its brevity. “It’s not 25 pages long, just a couple of paragraphs.”

Black said she has used the feature that allows her to craft an immediate online communication to a legislator. “It’s just so convenient,” Black said. “Sometimes I’ll copy something, put it on my desk to do it . . . and it doesn’t get done.”

The communication from the legislative network targets the individual’s legislator. When those districts are redrawn, Father Danielson said, those will adjust automatically.

Watkins encourages all adult and teen members of a family to sign up for the Catholic Legislative Network. It’s an opportunity, he said, “to educate on what we are called to do as Catholics.”

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