Wednesday, December 28, 2016

January is Poverty Awareness Month

Poverty USA, an initiative of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), urges  us to take a series of actions during Poverty Awareness Month, which encompasses the entire month of January. The first step is to learn about the circumstances affecting 43 million people who live in poverty in our country.  Take the Hunger Quiz

Poverty USA has put together a calendar with other actions and reflections for the month. The reflections go beyond the reality of poverty itself and broader related issues, such as immigration, climate action and racial justice.  Even though the actions are aimed primarily at Catholics, they easily apply to other people of faith and conscience.  Here are a few selected entries.

January 7. “All discrimination as regards wages and working conditions must be carefully avoided” (Gaudium et Spes). Is the dignity of workers respected in your community? Read about how one interfaith group is addressing this issue.

January 9.  During National Migration Week, pray for our brothers and sisters forced to leave their homes and reflect on the theme, “Creating a Culture of Encounter.

January 11. 24% of the black population and 21% of the Hispanic population live in poverty. As the diverse but united Body of Christ, let us be inspired by faith communities seeking justice for all of our brothers and sisters.

January 14 Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si') is the appeal from Pope Francis addressed to "every person living on this planet" for an inclusive dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet.

January 15:Today is the 2017 World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Pope Francis asks us to reflect on the theme, “Child Migrants, the Vulnerable and the Voiceless.” Learn how parishes are helping unaccompanied migrant children.

January 16: “True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring” (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.).

January 18: During this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, consider how ecumenical work for justice witnesses to our unity. “No one can claim the name of Christian and be comfortable in the face of hunger, homelessness, insecurity, and injustice.” (U.S. bishops, Economic Justice for All).

January 22: "All of us are asked to obey [Jesus’] call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the 'peripheries' in need of the light of the Gospel" (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium). How will you “go forth” with Two Feet of Love in Action today?

January 27: “When a family has nothing to eat, because it has to make payments to usurers, this is not Christian, it is not human! This dramatic scourge in our society harms the inviolable dignity of the human person” (Pope Francis).

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