Social Concerns

Seeking to support parish commitment to social ministry while defending human life and dignity.

Year of St. Joseph

May 1, 2020 – May 1, 2021

Year of St. Joseph Image used with permission of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M

COVID-19: Time for Prayer and Action

As frightening and tragic as the COVID-19 pandemic has been, there is no denying the good that has been born out of the tribulation.  There are so many examples of people turning to God and to one another in love, even at this time of “social distancing.”

Bits of Inspiration in the Diocese of La Crosse

Prayer – Our Foundation

1.      In the Diocese of La Crosse, with the temporary cancellation of public Masses, daily and Sunday Masses in both English and Spanish can be seen at  www.diolc.org/live.  A number of parishes are also livestreaming and recording their Sunday Mass.  Check your parish website.  And please remember to continue to support your parish as you are able, since it will be without the usual Sunday collection. Your parish website may have an online donation option, or you can mail it to the parish office.

2.      Pope Francis has asked Christians around the world to join him in praying for deliverance from the pandemic, inviting us to a special service on March 27 from the front of St. Peter’s Basilica (video here). At its conclusion he offered a blessing “Urbi et Orbi” (“to the city of Rome and to the world”), with the Blessed Sacrament. Learn more about Pope Francis’ and the Vatican’s response to the crisis at Vatican News.

3.      A priest has called for spiritual adoption, through praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet, of COVID-19 victims dying alone. This heartbreaking reality has been seen often in northern Italy, as desperately ill, quarantined patients have been dying without family to comfort them. Learn more here.

4.  Pray the Stations of the Cross. See excellent online video versions here or here.  Or for a more exhaustive search on YouTube, click here.

5.     The US Bishops’ website has a page of resources for Catholics at home during this time, including links for Online Masses, prayers and readings.

6.      Fr. Rocky of Relevant Radio has extended an invitation to join a “Prayer vs. Pandemic” initiative, through which you pledge to pray daily for God’s intervention.  Relevant Radio’s website displays a map showing the locations of all those praying. To join, Click here.

7.  For many excellent prayer resources in this time of great need, visit the diocesan Catechesis and Evangelization website on Going Deeper in Prayer.

Covid-19: A Prayer of Solidarity

For all who have contracted coronavirus,
We pray for care and healing.

For those who are particularly vulnerable,
We pray for safety and protection.

For all who experience fear or anxiety,
We pray for peace of mind and spirit.

For affected families who are facing difficult decisions between food on the table or public safety,
We pray for policies that recognize their plight.

For those who do not have adequate health insurance,
We pray that no family will face financial burdens alone.

For those who are afraid to access care due to immigration status,
We pray for recognition of the God-given dignity of all.

For our brothers and sisters around the world,
We pray for shared solidarity.

For public officials and decision-makers,
We pray for wisdom and guidance.

Father, during this time may your Church be a sign of hope, comfort and love to all.
Grant peace.
Grant comfort.
Grant healing.
Be with us, Lord.

Amen.

Copyright © 2020, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved.

Action – Loving our Neighbor in Need

1.  Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crossehad to act quickly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that their three homeless shelters – in Eau Claire, Wausau and La Crosse – are typically filled to capacity. With great determination, along with phenomenal support in each of the three communities, Catholic Charities has succeeded in moving these shelters temporarily to other locations large enough to ensure social distancing. For more details, visit cclse.org.

Of course, in addition to this sudden huge challenge, Catholic Charities has had to carry on – and intensify – the rest of its vital work for the poor and the vulnerable.  If you are considering donating to a charity in this hour of need, please put Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse at the top of your list. Visit https://cclse.org/donatecc.  There is also a great need for volunteers of all kinds – visit https://cclse.org/volunteer-opportunities/.

2. See the guide to performing the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy during the Pandemic, issued by the U.S. Bishops.
 
3. Say no to vaccines from aborted babies’ cell lines. Read the letter of the U.S. Bishops to the Food and Drug Administration urging them not to sponsor research on COVID-19 vaccines that rely on such cell lines.  Sign the petition urging the federal government to sponsor only ethical vaccine research.

Serving a hot meal at Sojourner House in Eau Claire

La Crosse Warming Center temporary location – Cathedral School

4.      Volunteer to bring meals to the self-isolated elderly and disabled through Meals on Wheels. To find a service site near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org and input your zip code under “FIND MEALS.”  You can also do an Internet search on “Aging and Disability Resource Center,” and call a nearby one to learn what are the current needs and how you can help.

5.      One more way to help elderly neighbors get groceries and medicine is the Nextdoor app, which connects people with others in their own neighborhoods to help higher-risk individuals with whatever they need as they self-isolate.

6.     Contribute to your local food pantries. If ever there was a need to keep the pantries stocked, it is now. Do an Internet search to find out where to donate food near you.

7.  Petition Governor Tony Evers to shut down Wisconsin’s abortion facilities 
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers
 has issued the Emergency “Safer at Home Order,” which states that “the number of people needing medical care due to COVID-19 will significantly exceed the amount of available healthcare resources…” And yet abortionists continue to operatetaking innocent human lives and depriving COVID-19 victims of necessary supplies and personnelThis joint petition, between LifeSite and Pro-Life Wisconsin, calls on Governor Evers to immediately shut down Wisconsin’s abortion facilities for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency order. For a powerful statement from over 30,000 physicians telling politicians like Governor Evers that “abortion is not healthcare,” click here.

8.      Support local businesses
Restaurants, café’s, coffee shops, etc. are in economic distress because they cannot offer dine-in services, only take-out.  Now is the time to patronize them through take-out orders and the purchase of gift certificates.

One business in Tennessee, a food truck, started feeding senior citizens isolated as a result of coronavirus.  You can read about it here.

9.   Sew Face Masks for healthcare facilities.
On March 22 an email was circulating that explained how to make face masks
to donate to healthcare facilities, nursing homes or other institutions experiencing a shortage and linking to this PDF. Before beginning this project, you are encouraged to verify the need at facilities near you, since the government and industry leaders have stepped up to increase the supply of these vital face masks.

10.    Make video calls with family, especially those who are more isolated. Many platforms exist for this, including Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.   As we stay at home, we can build up our communion with family and friends.  Don’t forget to end by praying together.

11.   For many more suggestions for families at home during COVID-19, visit the diocesan Marriage and Family Life website.

 

 

Catholic Life Articles

Here are a few Catholic Life articles. To read the full article, click on the blue colored title.

  • Voting as a ChristianVoting as a Christian
    As Christians, we do not leave our faith behind when we enter the voting booth.  We understand that politics, like every other part of life, must be illuminated by God’s light or we will stumble in the dark and lose our way. A generation ago, a large majority of Americans… Read more »
  • Obtaining the Divine Mercy Sunday (April 19) indulgence this yearObtaining the Divine Mercy Sunday (April 19) indulgence this year
    Even though public Masses continue to be cancelled, Divine Mercy Sunday can still be celebrated in the home, and its plenary indulgence still received. The Second Sunday of Easter, or Divine Mercy Sunday, falls on April 19 in 2020. The day focusses the Church’s attention to the pardon won by… Read more »
  • A Facemask Mission from Ukraine with LoveA Facemask Mission from Ukraine with Love
    Valentyna Pavsyukova had an idea.  Because of COVID-19, the founder of Chalice of Mercy couldn’t travel to Ukraine to continue her charitable mission there.   But a Facebook post caught her attention.  It was an urgent plea for facemasks, especially for nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the Chippewa Valley… Read more »
  • Father Thelen: Going the Distance for His ParishionersFather Thelen: Going the Distance for His Parishioners
    The COVID-19 virus pandemic and the measures being taken to protect our safety have changed the way we are doing things. Restaurants are limited to take out or delivery, gatherings are limited to less than 10 people and non-essential businesses are either closed or by appointment only. Folks are urged… Read more »
  • Catholic Charities steps up to assist the homeless during COVID-19 pandemicCatholic Charities steps up to assist the homeless during COVID-19 pandemic
    Imagine the challenge Catholic Charities was facing. With three homeless facilities filled to capacity in the cities of Wausau, Eau Claire and La Crosse, they suddenly had to comply with social distancing requirements. This was an essential safeguard against COVID-19, but what were they to do – reduce the number… Read more »

Contact Information

Office for Ministries and Social Concerns
Phone: 608.791.0161
Fax: 608.791.2675

Christopher J. Ruff, S.T.L., Director

Jen Mickschl, Secretary