During the February 2013 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington, DC the Vincentians that attended, together with members of other Catholic organizations, brought their concerns directly to Capitol Hill.
They lobbied and sought support on these key points: (1) Comprehensive Immigration Reform and (2) Building a Circle of Protection for the Poor and Vulnerable in the US and abroad, in spite of budget constraints.
The US Catholic Bishops recommend that now we follow-up on the action in Washington by visiting US Representatives and Senators in their district offices, amplifying the messages brought to Congress. District visits were instituted last year as a way to extend the advocacy reach of the meeting by enlisting others and giving them the opportunity to carry the same message to their representatives. An invitation to that effect was issued to all Western Region Council Presidents, with key talking points and background information on the issues to be discussed.
Sheila Gilbert, our National President, also issued an Action Alert for all Vincentians to make their voices heard on the same key issues. If you have not yet participated, please send a message to your representatives by clicking on this link:
Why is this important? We have already discussed the urgency of advocating for Immigration Reform.
When it comes to food and nutrition, just 4.16% of the needs are fulfilled by not-for-profit organizations, mainly faith based, such as SVdP, the rest depends on federal nutrition programs. To make this visual, faith based organizations provide 1 out of 24 bags of food.
If Federal nutrition programs are cut, can SVdP possibly supply also the other 23 bags? Federal nutrition programs are essential for the survival of the poor and vulnerable in this country and abroad.
Remember that we Vincentians are doing all we can for the people we serve; advocacy is simply asking the broader society to do their part. Do not be shy!
Our elected leaders are waiting to see the public's reaction to the sequester, the automatic budget cuts that were triggered on Friday. We must express our outrage over these across-the-board cuts and their negative impact on hungry and poor people. If public opposition isn’t forceful enough and Congress doesn't act, we will see Millions of hungry people in the United States and around the world.
“We cannot suffer with the poor when we are unwilling to confront those persons and systems that cause poverty. We cannot set the captives free when we do not want to confront those who carry the keys.ant to confront those who carry the keys. We cannot profess our solidarity with those who are oppressed when we are unwilling to confront the oppressor. Compassion without confrontation fades quickly to fruitless sentimental commiseration. (p. 122)”
Henri J. M. Nouwen Donald P. McNeill Douglas A. Morrison in their work Compassion We cannot profess our solidarity with those who are oppressed when we are unwilling to confront the oppressor. Compassion without confrontation fades quickly to fruitless sentimental commiseration.
Compassion, by Henri J.M. Nouwen, Donald P. McNeill and Douglas A. Morrison (page122)