Support for Those Affected by the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

January 18, 2015

Dear Fellow Parishioner:

This weekend the Archdiocese has asked us to take up a second collection. Here is the request from Margaret Slawin from the Office of Development and Stewardship-

I am writing to inform you of an additional special collection to provide support for those affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The countries affected by this crisis are having such devastating consequences not only on those infected by the disease (including healthcare workers), but also on the health care system, livelihoods, food security and social system throughout the region of the affected countries. Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, Chairman for Catholic Relief Services, has asked for our support.

These funds will be used by Catholic Relief Services and other various partners to meet the most urgent needs facing people in West Africa who have been exposed to the disease. The efforts made by Catholic Relief Services and the USCCB have been aimed at reducing the mor- tality rate, improving access to health services, maintaining the food supply, and increasing security in affected areas.

I ask you to conduct the second collection the weekend of January 17 and 18, 2015 and ask your parishioners to be as supportive as possible. Contributions should be made payable to the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and indicate Ebola Outbreak Collection…If you have any questions regarding this information or other development related matters, please contact me at slawinm@archspm.org or 651-290-1649.

I encourage everyone to be supportive of this special collection. This is a powerful way for us to help our brothers and sisters in need.

Peace, Fr. Brian

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9 Days for Life Unites Faithful in Prayer, Action around Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

A period of prayer, penance, and pilgrimage, January 17-25, 2015, will mark the anniver- sary of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion throughout pregnancy. The “9 Days for Life” Novena encourages nationwide solidarity in prayer for daily intentions, including for cou- ples experiencing infertility, those mourning the loss of a child through abortion, children in need of adoptive homes, and for an end to abortion and use of the death penalty. Resources for the novena are available in numerous ways, including an app.

The initiative is part of the 2014-15 Respect Life Program of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) with the theme “Each of Us is a Masterpiece of God’s Crea- tion,” which is adapted from the words of

Pope Francis’ 2013 Day for Life greeting. In addition to the prayer intentions, each day of the program raises awareness on issues such as domestic violence, post-abortion healing, por- nography addiction, and end-of-life matters.

“Pope Francis reminds us constantly of the loving concern Christians have for all peo- ple at any stage of life who’ve been cast aside or forgotten by society,”

said Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activi- ties. “The 9 Days for Life novena offers a chance to join in prayer and solidarity with the unborn, victims of violence, those suffering from addiction, and those whose hearts ache
to be part of a family.”

There are four ways to participate in the program for both English and Spanish speakers: subscriptions to daily content through email or text messages; the “9Days for Life” app; and downloadable print materials. Con- tent will also be shared via a Facebook event (accessible from www.facebook.com/peopleoflife) and other social media with the hashtags #9daysforlife and #9díasporlavida.

Catholics are also encouraged to partici- pate in local events such as Masses, blessings for pro-life pilgrims, or a parish holy hour for reparation and healing for all affected by abor- tion. More information is available at www.9daysforlife.com and www.usccb.org/ respectlife.

(Our Archdiocesan “Prayer Service for Life” will be held January 22nd at 10:30 am at the Cathedral.)