US Bishops’ Justice News: December Notes for Neighbors

Put your faith into action.

This edition of “Notes for Neighbors” can help you put faith in action by loving your neighbor in your own back yard and on the other side of the globe. We hope you will enjoy these resources and share them with others.

Featured Quote from Pope Francis

“We must also turn this contemplative gaze to the cities where we live, ‘a gaze of faith which sees God dwelling in their houses, in their streets and squares . . .’  When we turn that gaze to migrants and refugees, we discover that they do not arrive empty-handed. They bring their courage, skills, energy and aspirations, as well as the treasures of their own cultures; and in this way, they enrich the lives of the nations that receive them. . . . A contemplative gaze should also guide the discernment of those responsible for the public good, and encourage them to pursue policies of welcome, ‘within the limits allowed by a correct understanding of the common good’– bearing in mind, that is, the needs of all members of the human family and the welfare of each.”

– Pope Francis, Message for 51st World Day of Peace (Jan. 1, 2018)


In the News

The following stories highlight Church leaders’ words and work around recent current events.


CSMG “Early Bird” Rate Extended to Dec. 8; See Our Line-up of Special Guests and



Between now and December 8, you can still register for the 2018 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering (CSMG) at the “early bird” rate of $340. On Dec. 9, the registration fee will increase by $80, and on Jan. 6, by an additional $80. Don’t miss any of the great CSMG 2018 lineup of 50+ sessions with 30+ presenters from 25+ organizations, including Cardinal DiNardo (president of the USCCB); Mauricio López, Haszel Dallana, and Adelson Da Silva of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network-REPAM; panelists Sr. Patricia Chappell, Dr. Maryann Cusimano-Love, Kim Daniels, Dr. R.R. Reno, and Fr. Matt Malone; Bishop Murry; Bishop Elizondo; and others. Register now!


Advent Resources to Help You

In addition to USCCB’s general Advent calendar, here are some resources to help you reflect on love of God and neighbor during this time of prayerful waiting.


World Day of Peace (Jan. 1): Migrants and Refugees

The theme for Pope Francis’ annual World Day of Peace message for 2018 is Migrants and Refugees: Men and Women in Search of Peace. In his Message, he urges us to turn a “contemplative gaze” toward our migrant and refugee brothers and sisters and to respond to their plight with four “mileposts for action.” Use this two-page handout (also en Español) to help Catholics reflect on this important issue.


Celebrate Poverty Awareness Month (January)

Take up Pope Francis’ challenge to go to the peripheries by participating in Poverty Awareness Month in January.  Celebrate this month using our online and print materials, including a calendar, reflections, and a pastoral aid. Materials are also en Español. Sign up to receive daily reflections by email, and follow the action on Facebook and Twitter.


As always, thank you for your work to proclaim the Church’s social mission and inspire solidarity with our neighbors.

Susan Stevenot Sullivan
Director, Education and Outreach
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 4th St. NE
Washington, DC 20017