Seton Catholic High School on Wednesday May 16, 2018 in Vancouver, Washington. (PHOTO by Stephen Brashear)

WSCC ACTION ALERT: Please share your voice! Catholic schools are integral to the education system in Washington state.  They provide $302 million in annual savings to Washington taxpayers, educating over 28,000 students.  In comparing school district sizes, the Catholic school system would rank as the fifth largest school district in the state.  Additionally, Catholic schools serve as a vehicle for lifting students from poverty through education. As the economy has slowed during the pandemic, Catholic schools have been deeply impacted  in Washington.  Parents face difficulty paying tuition, and parishes supporting Catholic schools are experiencing decreased collections.

Act now  to urge your US Congressional leaders to include Catholic schools in COVID-19 relief programs.

The WSCC supports signature gathering for Initiative 1698  (I-1698), a state pro-life initiative that will require an ultrasound be performed prior to an abortion.  An abortion will then be prohibited if a fetal heartbeat is detected.  Exceptions will be made for cases preventing the death of a pregnant woman and for cases involving a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of a pregnant woman.  Abortions performed under these circumstances will be reported to the Washington State Department of Health and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Petition signatures may be collected on church premises pending approval of the pastor.  Signatures should be returned to organizers and postmarked by June 24.  Additional initiative details can be found on the WSCC website.

USCCB: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released statements on racism and protests in the US.  In addressing the death of George Floyd, Archbishop José Gomez, USCCB president, stated, “We should honor the sacrifice of his life by removing racism and hate from our hearts and renewing our commitment to fulfill our nation’s sacred promise – to be a beloved community of life, liberty, and equality for all.”  Seven bishop chairmen of USCCB committees also released a statement addressing racism and the protests: “While it is expected that we will plead for peaceful non-violent protests, and we certainly do, we also stand in passionate support of communities that are understandably outraged.  Too many communities around this country feel their voices are not being heard, their complaints about racist treatment are unheeded, and we are not doing enough to point out that this deadly treatment is antithetical to the Gospel of Life.”  Locally, Archbishop Paul Etienne also issued “A Call to Address Racism In Our Hearts and Community”: “As Catholics . . . We cannot stand by and not respond to incidents of racism and inhuman treatment of our black brothers and sisters.”

The bishops’ statements also referenced Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love  a pastoral letter addressing racism.

5 Lessons from the Pastoral Letter Against Racism 

“Encounter, Accompany, Listen, Learn”: Pope Francis and U.S. Bishops Respond to George Floyd’s Killing

Pastoral Ministries Update

Per Joe Cotton, If you are looking for meaningful analysis and guidance on ending racial injustice through the lens of restorative justice principles and practices, I implore you to spend time with these resources:

The Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice by Fania Davis and Reckoning with Violence  an opinion piece in the New York Times by Michelle Alexander that points to key reflections from Danielle Sered’s book Until We Reckon.

Agape Service Project – Support Flyer

JustFaithMinistry Virtual Introductory Presentation

Mental Health for YA Webinar Flyer