Blessed Fr. Serra and the Native Americans of CA

Posted on 13. Sep, 2015 by .


This acrylic on wood painting of Blessed Junipero Serra and his nine missions was executed by Catholic folk artist Jen Norton earlier this year. (CNS photo/courtesy of Jen Norton) See SERRA-IMAGES Aug. 17, 2015. Editors: Permission was granted for editorial use only with the CNS article in which the painting is mentioned.

The  Most Rev. Jaime Soto, Bishop of Sacramento and president of the California Catholic Conference, today announced an ambitious 18-month program to review and revise the cultural content and displays at the California missions under Church authority and to undertake a similar effort to review the Third and Fourth Grade curriculum in Catholic schools to better reflect modern understandings of the Mission Era and the relationship between Spanish civil authority, the Catholic Missions and local Indian tribes.

“The Mission Era gave rise to modern California, but it also gave rise to controversy and to heartache when seen through the eyes of the First Californians,” said Bishop Soto.  “For many years, the Indian experience has been ignored or denied, replaced by an incomplete version of history focused more on European colonists than on the original Californians.”

“Today, on the verge of Blessed Fr. Serra’s canonization, the time has come to confront that incomplete history and to work with Native American educators, respected historians, Catholic school officials and others to change that and to reflect the best scholarship we can about that era,” said Fr. Ken Laverone, provincial vicar of the Franciscan Province of Santa Barbara, a partner with the Catholic bishops of California in this effort.

To read the full article, click here.

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Grant Awarded to Restore Justice

Posted on 12. Sep, 2015 by .


The following is from the Catholic Legislative Network:

ca-bishops-logoThe Catholic Campaign for Human Development awarded a $500,000 National Grant to the California Catholic Conference to implement Restorative Justice practices to address violence in nine (Arch)dioceses.  This funding allows us to continue the work we began two years ago, when first awarded this grant.

Diocesan efforts have spent the past two years identifying community needs, lifting up and educating grassroots leaders and leading Night Walks in the state’s most violence-plagued neighborhoods. We are also providing direct services that respond to the needs of victims, offenders, families and communities impacted by crime and the policies of the correctional system.

Discussion-Group-GraphicThe focus now is to expand our grassroots organizing, education and program efforts. By  responding to the needs of those most impacted by crime and violence, it is our mission to reduce violence and lift up crisis communities.

The CCHD also awarded us an additional grant for a communications intern to assist in our work. We will be enhancing our web presence with a focus on increasing the use of social media.

We invite you to join us to LEARN about restorative justiceand what our Church teaches. PRAY for all who are affected by our criminal justice system. ACT to bring healing to your own community.

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Sexual Exploitation At Home and Abroad

Posted on 01. Aug, 2015 by .


These three videos below all unpack the issue of human trafficking with an emphasis on sex trafficking. Jada-Pinkett Smith, Amber Lyon, and Noy Thrupkaew examine an issue that is alarmingly common in most countries around the world, especially in developing countries. Please take the time to view at least one of these reports:



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Shepherd Toolkit

Posted on 01. Aug, 2015 by .


The Franciscan Action Network and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops have published a tool kit about ending human trafficking. SHEPHERD stands for:

Stop Human Trafficking and Exploitation. Protect, Help, Empower, and Restore Dignity. This toolkit will help you to learn about human trafficking from a Catholic perspective, equipping yourself with the educational tools to raise awareness of human trafficking in parishes, schools, or other social networks. We encourage you to use SHEPHERD resources to organize workshops, discussion groups, and prayer sessions.

For more information, click here.

Click the links below to access the toolkits in English:

Becoming a SHEPHERD:


The Leader Guide:



Haga clic en los enlaces abajo para ver las guías en Español:

Convertirse en un SHEPHERD:


La guía para los lideres: 




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Death Penalty Statement by US Bishops

Posted on 29. Jul, 2015 by .


The bishops chairing two committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) renewed the bishops’ opposition to the death penalty in a message, July 16. The message commemorated the 10th anniversary of the bishops’ Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty and their accompanying message, “A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death.”

“Our faith tradition offers a unique perspective on crime and punishment, one grounded in mercy and healing, not punishment for its own sake. No matter how heinous the crime, if society can protect itself without ending a human life, it should do so. Today, we have this capability,” wrote Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, OFM Cap., of Boston.

To read more, click here.

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