Lenten opportunities to live out your faith in action.
Office for Social Concerns
Catholic Diocese of Columbus

I nformation and Response NETWORK 
Latest Updates
Office for Social Concerns

Opportunities to live out your faith in action.


The diocesan offices for Social Concerns and Marriage and Family Life have teamed up to provide a Lenten journey for families: three ways to grow together – prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
CRS Rice Bowl
Encounter Lent

CRS Rice Bowl   is a Lenten faith formation program to ensure that the Catholic community of the United States is present in over 100 countries worldwide, serving the poorest among us through Catholic Relief Services. Please use your CRS Rice Bowl during Lent and make a difference. For details, visit www.crsricebowl.org or contact the diocesan Office for Social Concerns at 614-241-2540 or  socmailbox@columbuscatholic.org .  
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

All persons with disabilities have gifts to contribute to the whole Church. Embrace. Welcome. Participate. We All Belong. For resources available to individuals, families, and parishes to work towards the goal of full participation, visit www.columbuscatholic.org/persons-with-disabilities
Statement from Bishop Brennan on Flu / Coronavirus Concerns

Bishop Brennan encourages all members of the Diocese of Columbus to take reasonable precautions and demonstrate good judgment in safeguarding their own health and the health of others. To read the entire statement, CLICK HERE.

40 Days for Life
Faithful believers are praying that this effort will mark the beginning of the end of abortion in America. This peaceful prayer vigil will take place at an abortion facility in Columbus. Participants are asked to volunteer for one-hour shifts and sign a statement of peace. For details and to sign up for a time, visit Greater Columbus Right to Life’s website at  www.gcrtl.org/40-days-for-life.html  or call 614-445-8508.

Voices of Experience on the Death Penalty is March 9
Journey of Hope... From Violence to Healing and Death Penalty Action present "Voices of Experience on the Death Penalty" at St. Francis DeSales High School, 4212 Karl Road, Columbus, starting at 7pm on March 9. Speakers include murder victim family member George White and exonerated Ohio death row survivor Kwame Ajamu, who will share their experiences with murder and its aftermath, including wrongful conviction and the healing power of forgiveness.

This presentation follows visits to four central Ohio Catholic schools over the previous week.   Now is a vital time for Ohio on the issue of capital punishment because a growing chorus of state elected officials, past and present, have encouraged a discussion to explore whether to end the death penalty in our state. 
The Fruits of the Gospel of Life
Evangelium Vitae  25 Years Later   

March 25, 2020

Upcoming speakers panel on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic Church, 807 Havens Corners Road, Gahanna. Come learn how the encyclical letter  Evangelium Vitae  has produced many fruits in the work of building a culture of life and how it continues to address the challenges of our day. Written by Pope St. John Paul II, this Church teaching on the value and inviolability of every human life inspired Catholics around the world. The evening includes a video anniversary message from Bishop Robert J. Brennan and presentations on the following topics: Walking with Mothers by Monica Flynn of Mommies Matter; Post Abortion Reconciliation and Healing by Becky D’Alesio of Catholic Social Services’ Project Rachel; Bioethics and End of Life Issues by Fr. Bob Penhallurick, Chaplain of the Catholic Medical Association Guild of Central Ohio; and the Death Penalty by Jim Tobin of the Catholic Conference of Ohio. Co-sponsored by St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic Church and the diocesan Office for Social Concerns. Free and open to the public. For more details, call 614-241-2540 or email  socmailbox@columbuscatholic.org .   CLICK HERE FOR FLYER

Walking with Moms in Need: A Year of Service
The 25th anniversary year of  Evangelium Vitae  gives us a wonderful opportunity to assess, expand, and communicate resources to pregnant moms and families in need. USCCB is inviting parishes to join a nationwide effort from March 25, 2020 to March 25, 2021 entitled: “Walking with Moms in Need: A Year of Service.” For details, visit www.walkingwithmoms.com .

ARCH Reentry Cost of Poverty Experience (Reentry Simulation)
Sunday, March 15, 2020 Noon to 3 p.m., St. Bernadette Church, 1343 Wheeling Road,Lancaster, Ohio. The Reentry Cost of Poverty Experience (COPE)   offers a glimpse into the life of individuals and families dealing with reentry. You will experience a small part of the obstacles, decisions, and consequences people face in different circumstances and roles related to reentry. This event will highlight ways for local faith communities and community partners to get involved in helping with reentry services and support in Lancaster/Fairfield County. All are welcome, but registration is required. You can   click here to register.

ARCH Business Leaders Breakfast for Second Chance Employment  
As an extension of our prison ministry efforts, ARCH (Accompanying Returning Citizens with Hope) will host a breakfast for business leaders interested in learning more about hiring returning citizens and second chance employment. The breakfast is on Thursday, March 26, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Martin de Porres Center, 2330 Airport Drive, Columbus. For details and registration, visit https://www.archreentry.com/business_leaders_breakfast2

April is Autism Awareness Month
For a copy of a bulletin insert developed by the diocese to promote greater inclusion of persons with Autism in the life of the Church and society, visit  www.columbuscatholic.org/persons-with-disabilities .  Bulletin Insert:   English  |   Spanish

Laudato Si' Week is May 16 to 24
Join Pope Francis and take the next step in your Laudato Si’ journey. Commit to an ambitious action that grows your response to “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” No matter where you are in your journey, take the next step as a community during Laudato Si’ Week, 16-24 May, when Catholic communities everywhere celebrate the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’. For resources, visit www.laudatosiweek.org .
Good Friday Walking Stations of the Cross
April 10, 2020 

Many facets of faith and justice will be the focus of the annual Good Friday Walking Stations of the Cross. The walk begins with opening prayer at St. Joseph Cathedral, 212 E. Broad St., Columbus, at 8 a.m., Friday, April 10, 2020. Hundreds of participants from across the diocese will process to locations throughout downtown Columbus to recognize Jesus Christ’s suffering and crucifixion as well as to reflect on current areas of social concern. Open to all ages. For more information, contact the diocesan Office for Social Concerns at (614) 241-2540 or the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at (614) 241-2565. For details, CLICK HERE .
United States Census 2020

Your response matters. Social service agencies, health clinics, fire departments, schools, even roads and highways. The census can shape many different aspects of your community. The census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year. The results determines of seats in Congress for each state.

Be counted and encourage others in your community to be counted, especially those living in the margins. Learn more about how to respond to the U.S. Census.

Use these resources on your Lenten journey.

Respect Life March Action Guide
This action guide by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will provide helpful ideas to build a culture of life.   CLICK HERE .

Death Penalty Q & A Resource
As Ohio’s policy leaders discuss the future of the death penalty, more Catholics are asking questions about Church teaching. The USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities developed a new handout answering questions about the death penalty with updated language from the revised Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Online text, Click Here.    |   Handout, Click Here.  

New Anti-Human Trafficking Resources
Each year, thousands of vulnerable men, women and children are trafficked across our borders and then forced into slavery. Many are fleeing terrible situations in their home countries, and come to the United States to find a better life. Unfortunately, the nightmare often begins when they reach our shores. For over a decade, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has been a national leader in advocacy and education to eradicate sex and labor trafficking. Help to #endslavery. For resources, CLICK HERE .
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship
USCCB’s teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics is available online with a new Introductory Note. Supplemental resources such as videos and bulletin inserts are also available at www.faithfulcitizenship.org .

Civilize it: Dignity Beyond the Debate
The USCCB is calling on Catholics to bring the best of ourselves and our faith to the public square through civil discourse.  Civilize It is a non-partisan call to focus on the dignity of all people, even when we disagree, and to put faith in action by bearing witness to a better way forward. To take the Civilize It pledge, visit www.civilizeit.org .

A clean heart create for me, God:
renew within me a steadfast spirit.
Psalm 51:12
Advocacy, Upcoming Events, Resources

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Sent by
Jerry Freewalt
Office for Social Concerns
Catholic Diocese of Columbus
197 E. Gay Street
Columbus, Ohio  43215
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The Office for Social Concerns is the central diocesan resource for Catholic Social Teaching, reaching out through prayer, education, service, and advocacy.  
A clean heart create for me, God:
renew within me a steadfast spirit.
Psalm 51:12