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Quarterly Newsletter winter 2012

The Catholics Confront Global Poverty quarterly newsletter strives to provide you with concise updates and easily accessible resources on the global poverty issues you're advocating for. We hope this newsletter is helpful for you as you continue to advocate with and on behalf of our brothers and sisters who are poor and marginalized.

Thanks to you, poverty focused international assistance increases in 2012 budget!

The thousands of calls and letters that you and other advocates for poverty focused international assistance have been sending to legislators have won a significant victory for this essential funding. Just in time for Christmas, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, a budget that actually increased funding for these accounts by nearly 3 percent over 2011 levels. This was an extraordinary turn-about, as you have been working diligently to keep the funding from being significantly reduced. This outcome means that our nation will continue to do its part to feed the hungry, vaccinate children from deadly diseases, shelter refugees fleeing conflict, and provide clean water to impoverished communities around the world. This is a significant accomplishment in such a difficult economic environment. The budget, however, did deal a blow for migrants and refugees, with significant cuts to Emergency Migration and Refugee Assistance and Debt Restructuring accounts. These budget battles are expected to continue through 2012 year, with more at stake and more serious cuts to poverty-focused international assistance looming. Thank you for looking out for our brothers and sisters who are most vulnerable. Your persistence paid off! For more information, please read CRS press release.

Illustrate how international assistance makes a difference

Translating dry budget numbers into human faces and stories can be an advocates biggest challenge, especially when trying to build support in the wider faith community. Check out a new three-minute CRS video, found on YouTube that does a nice job of illustrating how foreign assistance funds simple and effective technologies that bring drinking water to people like those in Betany Village in Madagascar. Share the latest Radio Public Service Announcements by Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany on the importance of international assistance! Download the 30 second version Download the 60 second version

Another way YOU can have an impact on the lives of our brothers and sisters living poverty overseas
During the holy season of Lent consider participating in CRS Operation Rice Bowl program. CRS Operation Rice Bowl offers simple yet powerful ways for parishes, schools and families to bring our Catholic faith to life during the holy season of Lent! By praying with our families and faith communities; fasting in solidarity with those who hunger; learning more about the challenges of poverty overseas; and giving sacrificial contributions to support those in need, we can make a difference in our world. Learn more about the focus countries for 2012: Madagascar, Vietnam, El Salvador, India, and the United States Diocese of Arlington. Order your materials.

Hone your advocacy skills at annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering.

Catholics committed to policies that protect our brothers and sisters who are poor both globally and locally will have the chance to hone their knowledge of the issues and sharpen their advocacy skills at the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, Feb. 12-15 in Washington DC. Titled Faithful Citizenship: Protecting Human Life and Dignity, Promoting the Common Good, the event is sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and 14 other partners, including CRS. The gathering will include workshops on both domestic and global justice issues, daily liturgy, key notes, Hill visits for advocacy, and strategies for follow up.

Plenary speakers include: Mr. John Carr, Executive Director, Justice, Peace and Human Development, USCCB Dr. Carolyn Woo, President and CEO, Catholic Relief Services Dr. Arturo Chvez, President, Mexican American Catholic College Mr. David Brooks and Mr. Mark Shields, Political Analysts, PBS NewsHour Social ministry advocates are encouraged to plan advocacy visits to the local office of your Representative and Senators during the Presidents Day holiday recess (February 20-24, 2012), the week directly following the Capitol Hill visits from the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering. Resources, registration information and more can be found on the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering website.

Advocacy tools to use in the New Year

Keep tabs of your elected officials calendar. You can find out when they will be visiting their home districts by checking the legislative recess calendar for the House of Representatives and the Senate. Build skills with advocacy tips and resources found on the advocacy section of the Catholic Social Ministry website. There you can tune into a webinar on tips for making visits to the hill, and you can find links to downloadable advocacy resources. Subject the rhetoric of the upcoming national elections to the critical lens of Catholic Social Teaching by studying Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States. This document helps Catholics apply the churchs teaching to the issues that are discussed in campaigns and debates. The document can be downloaded from the USCCB website, where you can also find additional resources for education and prayer.

Webcasts offer a primer in global issues

Catch up on global issues with these downloadable webcasts. Gather a group or listen privately to information from CRS policy experts. Mark your calendar for upcoming webcasts!

Registration information can be found on our webcasts page, or through email invitation, so watch your inbox. o Wednesday, January 25, 2012 Focus: Pursuing Peace in the Holy Land following the Arab Spring

o Wednesday, February 22, 2012 Focus: Faithful Citizenship

o Wednesday, March 14, 2012 Focus: Two Feet of Love in Action: Highlighting Operation Rice Bowl and Catholics Confront Global Poverty

Previous sessions aired in September 2011 through December 2011 include: o More Than Hope for the Democratic Republic of Congo: Recent Elections, Conflict Minerals, and Working to End Violence and Instability November 30, 2011. Presenters: Steve Hilbert (USCCB), Ed Kiely (CRS) and Kathleen Kahlau, (CRS) o Sharing Strategies and Resources for Engaging Young People to Address Global Poverty October 31, 2011 Presenters: Ted Miles (CRS) and Jill Rauh (USCCB) o More Than Hope: Catholic Voices for Peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo October 27, 2011 Presenters: Bishop Djoma and Sr. Marie-Bernard of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Paul Miller (CRS). Hosted by The Catholic University of America o Modern-day Slavery: Reauthorizing the Trafficking Victims Protection Act September 28, 2011

Presenters: Kevin Appleby (USCCB) and Jill Marie Gerschutz Bell (CRS)

Let us know what you think about the CCGP Quarterly Newsletter!
You can email your Catholics Confront Global Poverty team at . We welcome your feedback and suggestions! Stay tuned - the next edition of the newsletter is scheduled to come out April 17, 2012. Cant wait till then? You can always receive the latest information on our website and by taking us on the go: USCCB Twitter CRS Twitter USCCB Facebook CRS Facebook