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Office for Social Concerns
Catholic Diocese of Columbus

Information and Response NETWORK 
Latest Updates
Religious Freedom Week 2021: Solidarity in Freedom is June 22 to 29

The USCCB Pray-Reflect-Act series aims to help Catholics build solidarity with people of faith who are persecuted abroad and find strength to carry out the mission of the Church here in the United States. 

Graphics with the prayer intention for each day of Religious Freedom Week are available for download. Lectionary notes for Sunday, June 27 are also available. For additional resources, visit
News From United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

For the latest USCCB news on immigration visit Twitter Page @USCCBJFI

Keep the Hyde Amendment and pass a budget to build up the common good. The Hyde Amendment and similar laws have protected taxpayers from funding elective abortion for 45 years. Now, powerful members of Congress want to take away these laws that both Democrats and Republicans have supported for nearly half a century. Billions of taxpayer dollars could be used to pay for abortion. Learn more and sign petition.

Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. The Equality Act, which is coming up for a vote in the Senate soon, in many ways does the opposite and needs to be opposed. Instead of respecting differences in beliefs about marriage and sexuality, the Equality Act would discriminate against people of faith. Take Action
News from the Catholic Conference of Ohio

State Budget HB 110

The conference continues to advocate for recommendations in the State Budget HB 110 covering issues related to health and human services, support for the Multi-System Youth Relinquishment Fund and OhioRISE, care for aging and senior care, and other supports for families and children who attend Catholic schools. On June 10, the Senate passed its version of the bill. It is currently in Conference Committee to reconcile the differences. Your advocacy is important during this crucial step.

For updates and on how to contact your state representative and senator visit

Abolish Ohio's Death Penalty
Contact your State Senator: Urge support for SB 103

The Catholic Church has a long-standing history of opposition to the use of the death penalty. This opposition is ultimately rooted in mercy and is eminently pro-life. SB 103 will abolish the death penalty in Ohio. The bill is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Conference Says Goodbye to Two Long-time Staff

Carolyn Jurkowitz and Jim Tobin retiring after 34 years of Service. Carolyn Jurkowitz has served thirty-four years with the Catholic Conference of Ohio, fourteen as executive director. She started at the Conference as an Associate Director responsible for the Department of Education. Prior to this, she served ten years with the diocese of Columbus. Carolyn retires August 1, 2021. Jerry Freewalt, from the Columbus diocese, will take her place. Jim Tobin has also served thirty-four years at the Conference as the Associate Director for the Department of Social Concerns. Prior to this, he served eleven years with the diocese of Columbus. Jim retires on July 1, 2021. THANK YOU BOTH FOR YOUR DEDICATION AND FAITH-FILLED SERVICE! Read more.
Multi-System Youth in the State Budget Update

Support OhioRISE in the state budget. Encourage further actions ensuring that the proposed funding and Medicaid resources for Multisystem Youth and OhioRISE remain viable. The Ohio Department of Medicaid’s OhioRISE program is a new transformational program designed to support multi-system youth and their families. It will provide intensive wrap-around services for children with complex behavior health needs and prevent the heart-wrenching practice of child custody relinquishment. Funding for OhioRISE is irrevocably woven throughout the Medicaid managed care procurement. An amendment in the budget bill would redo the procurement process for the entire Medicaid program which will impact OhioRISE and the 50,000 to 60,000 families in Ohio it intends to serve. Help keep families together. Urge Comp Doc MCDCD 42 and MCDCD 43 to be removed from the budget bill.

Care for God's Creation

The Vatican launched the Laudato Si' Action Platform

The new platform is a unique collaboration between the Vatican, an international coalition of Catholic organizations, and “all men and women of good will.” (LS 3) Taking a truly ground-up approach, it is rooted in the strengths and realities of communities around the world, empowering all to take “decisive action, here and now” to care for God's creation as we journey towards a better future together. (LS 161) Learn more.
Resources, Upcoming Events, Advocacy

For online resources, visit our website at

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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.