Diocese of Winona-Rochester Social Concerns   
News and Announcements
 "To promote and support parish social action through education"

Our committee meets on a monthly basis to discuss the issues of Social Concerns within our Diocese, and to plan opportunities to learn and explore issues of concern. Updates and information are available below. Feel free to contact us by responding to this newsletter or through the feedback button at the bottom of the newsletter with any questions or feedback. 

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Profiles in Justice:
History of the Mankato Peace Vigil
After the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan in response to the tragic event of 9/11, my friend Cheryl Lee, a Quaker, and I, Gladys Schmitz, SSND, returned home from an anti-war rally in St. Peter, Minnesota. To make sure our voices were heard, we decided we would meet every Wednesday in front of the Post Office in Mankato, Minnesota, from 12 to 1 p.m. to say NO to an unjust war! We said to each other, “somebody in Mankato has to say PUBLICLY that our war against Afghanistan is NOT a good war!” ....Read Full Article.

Submitted by Sr. Gladys Schmitz, SSND
Do you know someone who is passionate about charity and justice? Is there someone in your parish or in your life that you would like to see highlighted in "Profiles in Justice"? Let us know! We want to share their story, their faith, their hope and their love!
Action Alerts
Click on the red "take action" line to get more information and to take action today!

Recent nominees to the federal judiciary have endured pointed questions about their faith during confirmation hearings and in written questionnaires. Religious tests are unconstitutional and unjust, and they are an attack on all people of faith. Religion inspires people to serve their neighbors by living out their faith in their local communities. Yet religious tests tell not only Catholics, but all Americans, that they cannot both serve their country and live out their faith. These attitudes may have prevailed at points in America's history, but they should not find new life in this country's future.

As of December 14th, Congress had passed five spending bills for fiscal year (FY) 2019, but seven others remain outstanding, including those funding the Department of State, Department of Justice, and Department of Homeland Security.
It is critical that we, as Catholics, urge Members of Congress to recognize that several of the outstanding bills fund important refugee and immigration-related programs – while also rejecting funding increases for inhumane immigration enforcement efforts.

Your voice is needed to protect babies who are born alive after an abortion. The U.S. Senate could vote as soon as this week on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (S. 311).
Please contact your Senators immediately and urge them to co-sponsor and vote for S. 311 and to ask Senate leadership to schedule a floor vote on the bill this week .

This declaration expresses the U.S. Catholic community’s call to climate action, arising from our theological foundation, proclaimed to all within our one human family. From this call we envision, pray for, and act towards a thriving future, with our family and the gift of God’s creation.
Please encourage the leader of your Catholic institution to sign the declaration. 

Join Catholic Bishops in participating in the Call-In Day to Congress on Monday, February 26, 2018 !Your advocacy is critical to help the nearly 1.8 million Dreamers, young people who were brought into the United States by their parents as children. They may face deportation as soon as March 6th, unless Congress reaches a bipartisan deal to protect them. Click the red link above for more information and steps to take!
Upcoming Events
There is still time to answer the call to be an advocate for life and dignity!
Registration has been extended, so you still have time to join us! Register HERE.

Following New York's recently signed abortion law -- legalizing abortion through all nine months of pregnancy and removing protections for babies who survive an abortion -- the USCCB is calling on all Catholics to "fight with renewed vigor for the unborn." Catholics at the Capitol is the event that will equip you to be an effective advocate. Catholics from across Minnesota are coming together for life and dignity on Tuesday, February 19th !

Through this day of prayer, inspiration, education, and advocacy  you can help advance truly pro-life legislation that helps mothers, families and children, born and unborn, from conception to natural death and everything in-between!

If you have any questions about transportation or registration, please contact:
-Mankato Deanery: Richard DeBona
-Worthington Deanery: Nicole Henrichs
-Rest of the Diocese: Tom Parlin
"Stand Out Firmly for Justice"

Date: February 7, 2019
Location: InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel, 11 E Kellog Blvd, St Paul, MN 55101
JRLC DAY on the Hill
JRLC's Day on the Hill is their annual policy briefing and lobby day. Participants are briefed on the JRLC issues that are being debated and voted on at the State Capitol. Clergy and lay people from across the state attend Day on the Hill to show our interfaith commitment to social justice and to participate in the lawmaking process. The event includes prayer, issue briefings, time to meet with your district and opportunities to take action.
  Oscar Romero: Saint of Liberation - Our Newest Saint! Movie and Discussion     
February 18, 6:30-8:00pm      

When the military junta seized control of the national government in 1979, he publicly criticized the United States' backing of the junta. The night before his murder at the altar, he pleaded with men of the army not to kill their own people. "No soldier is obliged to obey an order contrary to the law of God. It is time your recover your conscience, cease the repression of your neighbors."  In the eloquent speech, he upheld the gospel and simultaneously signed his own death warrant. He was canonized a saint in October 2018.  
 Donations Appreciated
We’ll be sharing more details of the day as things get firmed up, but for now, please reserve the date and plan on joining us.

For more information on either event, please contact Richard DeBona in the Mankato office at rdebona@ccsomn.org .
Two upcoming events in the Mankato Deanery!

Tuesday, March 19 th evening
At the HILL with the SSNDs

Here’s the 2” trailer to entice you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TZea91MrcY
We’ll also be focusing quite a bit on the 1 st North American martyr, Fr. Stan Rother – killed in Guatemala; and the Sisters’ visits to El Paso and the Texas-Mexico border.


ALL are welcome for a gathering out in Waseca at Sacred Heart parish, on Saturday morning, 9:30AM-12NOON, March 23 rd (weather-delay of March 30 th ) to shed some light on the dire situation in Palestine and Israel.
Spotlight on Resources
A Bible Study on the Life and Dignity of the Human Person
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have identified seven core themes in Catholic Social Teaching (CST). This seven session bible study, “Life and Dignity of the Human Person,” is the first of these seven themes. This study may be adapted to meet the needs of a given group to meet weekly or monthly. Each session can be run approximately 60 to 90 minutes.

Leaders of this study act more as facilitators rather than teachers. Knowledge of the material is not a prerequisite for a good study. The discussion questions in each section are meant to be thought provoking, used to open up a discussion into practical ways to live our faith. The facilitator of the group is a fellow learner.  If questions arise, the facilitator can refer them to a pastor, members of parish staff, or the Parish Social Ministry Office of Catholic Charities, and bring answers back to the next meeting.  
If you have questions or would like information on facilitator training, please contact:

-Mankato Deanery: Richard DeBona
-Worthington Deanery: Nicole Henrichs
-Rest of the Diocese: Tom Parlin
CRS Video Stations of the Cross: HERE
CRS Stations of the Cross are Perfect for Lent
Walk alongside Christ on the journey of his Passion and remember our brothers and sisters both around the world and
in our own cities who experience suffering and poverty each day.

CRS Stations of the Cross: HERE
What are you doing in your community?
Is your community doing a project or working on an issue that you would like to share? We would love to highlight your efforts, events and ministry! Let us know what you are doing.
How are we doing?
 We would love to hear your feedback on this newsletter. What do you like? What is helpful? What would you like to see? We can't wait to hear from you!  Send Feedback

Looking for past editions of our newsletter? You can access them ALL on Catholic Charities of Southern MN's Parish Social Ministry Page.