Connecting with the CCHD Collection

Every year, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving (that’s this Sunday!), the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (an initiative under the US Conference of Catholic Bishops) holds its annual collection. This collection is different from others not only because 25% of the collection goes to your own local diocese, but also because the remaining 75% of the proceeds go to social justice projects across the country. Grassroots organizations apply for grants through the CCHD, and the grant money is used to address the root causes of poverty by helping people to help themselves.

What does this have to do with Catholic higher education? Catholic colleges and universities have a long history of rich partnerships with CCHD-funded groups – from helping a community coffee shop get off the ground to leading advocacy for workers’ rights.

Campuses can get involved in the fight against poverty in a number of ways – whether students donate funds, host a collection at their university, or educate and learn by reading the blog for the USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development, which often features CCHD storiesThis weekend, contribute to the Twitter campaign #powerofCCHD. If you want your campus to partner with a CCHD-funded group in your diocese, contact us at ACCU and we’ll put you in touch!

CST Themes Connect

How does sustainability relate to other aspects of social justice and Catholic Social Teaching?  A recent post on the blog Catholic Ecology emphasizes the connections between caring for God’s creation, promoting the life and dignity of the human person, and honoring the call to family, community and participation while musing over the possible content of Pope Francis’s upcoming “eco-encyclical.” How else are the themes of Catholic Social Teaching interconnected? Encourage your campus to reflect on how everything we do ultimately affects another member of our one human family.

This “culture of waste” tends to become the common mentality that infects everyone. Human life, the person is no longer perceived as a primary value to be respected and protected, especially if poor or disabled, if not yet useful – such as the unborn child – or no longer needed – such as the elderly. This culture of waste has made us insensitive even to the waste and disposal of food, which is even more despicable when all over the world, unfortunately, many individuals and families are suffering from hunger and malnutrition. Once our grandparents were very careful not to throw away any leftover food. Consumerism has led us to become used to an excess and daily waste of food, to which, at times, we are no longer able to give a just value, which goes well beyond mere economic parameters. We should all remember, however, that throwing food away is like stealing from the tables of the the poor, the hungry! I encourage everyone to reflect on the problem of thrown away and wasted food to identify ways and means that, by seriously addressing this issue, are a vehicle of solidarity and sharing with the needy.

– Pope Francis

Peace & Justice in ACCU’s Fall Newsletter

ACCU just released Update, its Fall 2014 newsletter! You can read it in its entirety here, but be sure to pay special attention to the sections devoted to peace and justice. These highlights include:

  • CRS Student Ambassadors encourage and facilitate informed action for justice
  • Saint Louis University holds prayer vigils for Ferguson
  • Benedictine University president earns a diversity award
  • St. Thomas Aquinas College receives a recycling award
  • the Ignatian Solidarity Network hosts a U.S. delegation to El Salvador
  • Loyola University Chicago welcomes ‘Dreamers’
  • ACCU has launched a new blog (but you already know that!)

To subscribe to Update, please email Paula Moore.

New Resource: Blog on Religious Freedom

The Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University has started a blog on topics related to religious freedom.  Cornerstone: A Conversation on Religious Freedom and Its Social Implications provides an online platform for opinion shapers to debate the meaning and value of religious freedom, including its relationship to political, economic, intellectual, and social flourishing and to US foreign policy interests.