The Not-So-Dreaded Talk
In the latest episode of the podcast, we bring in April Readlinger of CanaVox to talk about "the Talk". Conversations with a son or daughter about sex don't have to be nearly as awkward as their reputation indicates, and April is here to help get parents through it. Later, we mark the end of Ordinary Time and the beginning of Advent with the first of a two-part discussion about C.S. Lewis's classic novel, The Great Divorce. Stay tuned for our next episode on December 3rd, when we conclude our conversation about it.

Find previous episodes here and share it with your friends!
Pastoral Framework for Marriage and Family Life
The USCCB's newest pastoral framework will assist dioceses as local pastoral planning and implementation continue to take place since the publication of Amoris Laetitia. "Called to the Joy of Love" provides guidelines for the pastoral accompaniment of married couples and families in every phase of life, drawing upon the teachings and recommendations contained in the apostolic exhortation.

Read and download the digital version of the pastoral framework here.
A Year of St. Joseph
There is one week remaining in the “Year of St. Joseph," which was proclaimed by Pope Francis in his Apostolic Letter, Patris Corde. There's still time to seize this wonderful opportunity to increase in love for St. Joseph.

The USCCB has compiled a hub of resources, catechetical materials, and prayers/devotions to close out this special year. The Made for Love podcast even had a special episode on it with Bishop Konderla.
A Year for the Family
Marking five years since his apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, on love in the family, Pope Francis has ushered in a "year" of celebration and deepened reflection on the family. From March 19th, 2021 all the way through the 10th World Meeting of Families in Rome on June 26th, 2022, the Vatican's Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life will be especially promoting the Christian message on the family in light of the challenges of our time. The USCCB is likewise celebrating the year with its own events and resources, which you can find here.
Legal/Policy Updates
Biden Administration – The U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) was busy in the lead-up to Thanksgiving. In mid-November, a memo was issued to strip the Department’s Office of Civil Rights’ ability to enforce religious freedom protections. On November 18th, HHS rescinded waivers of nondiscrimination rules for grantees, threatening faith-based foster care. Around the same time, reports circulated about HHS’s possible plans for new gender transition, abortion, and other mandates through the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, on November 9th, the Dept. of Labor proposed rescinding Trump-era religious exemption regulations in a way that would be detrimental to the religious freedom of federally contracted employers.
Health Care Mandates in Court – On November 1st, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a lawsuit involving a Catholic hospital’s inability to perform “gender confirmation” surgeries, leaving an unfavorable procedural ruling below to stand for the time being (Dignity Health v. Minton). An Iowa court, for about the third iteration now, ordered the state on November 22nd to make its Medicaid program cover “gender confirmation” surgeries.
Catholic Schools - An Indiana appeals court revived the Payne-Elliott lawsuit of a cathedral teacher in a same-sex “marriage” against the Archdiocese of Indianapolis on November 23rd.
Free Speech Cases – The Virginia supreme court upheld reinstatement of gym teacher Tanner Cross in Loudoun County on November 15th, after he was punished for speaking against preferred pronouns at a school board meeting. The case will continue with respect to a broader challenge against the "transgender" policy. Meanwhile, the California supreme court agreed to hear a challenge to a preferred pronoun mandate in long-term care facilities. On November 4th, a Catholic student sued his New Hampshire school after being suspended from a football game for saying that there are only two genders.
Parental Rights – Parents sued the Kettle Moraine school district in Wisconsin on November 17th over its policy allowing student name and pronoun changes without parental consent. Similar policies are in litigation elsewhere in Wisconsin and in Florida.
Prisons – On November 17th, incarcerated women sued to challenge California’s “gender identity” prison placement law.
School and Kids’ Library Books – Numerous towns in recent weeks saw a sudden push by parents to remove graphic books from school libraries and child sections in public libraries that promote same-sex conduct or gender ideology, such as “Gender Queer,” “This Book is Gay,” “Lawn Boy,” and “Not All Boys are Blue.” This occurred in Anchorage, AKFlager Co., FLDowners Grove, ILDes Moines, IAWaukee, IALafayette, LAFlathead Co., MTWayne, NJCentral York, PACanutillo, TXKeller, TXFairfax Co., VASpotsylvania, VAEast Bremerton, WA; and Campbell Co., WY. The governors of Texas and South Carolina also stepped up on investigating the presence of these books in school libraries.
Local Ordinances – “Sexual orientation” and “gender identity” nondiscrimination ordinances were passed in Pflugerville, TX, on November 2nd; Durham Co., NC, on the 8th; and August, GA, on the 15th. The city council in Independence, MO, unanimously banned “conversion therapy” for minors on November 15th. And New Haven, CT, schools adopted more pro-“transgender” restroom, ID, and dress code policies on November 22nd, plus related teacher training.
IDs – Michigan state government announced on November 3rd that it is adding “non-binary” as a sex identifier option on driver’s licenses. Mississippi was reported in November to be making it easier to change “sex” on driver’s licenses.