The Valley Catholic August 20, 2019 - Page 10

10 COMMUNITY August 20, 2019 | The Valley Catholic Rev Up the Sems Fun Run/Walk On June 22, the Diocese of San José held the first-ever Rev Up the Sems Fun Run/Walk at Bellarmine College Pre- paratory. Led by Bishop Oscar Cantú and Bishop Patrick J. McGrath, more than 200 people participated raising over $55,000 to benefit vocations in the Diocese. Norma Hammons receives the Ruthie Ford Regional Consultants Award at the 51st Annual “Birthright Convention” Louise Summerhill, President of Birthright International, awarded the coveted Ruthie Ford Regional Con- sultant’s Award for 15 years of distin- guished service to Norma Hammons of Los Gatos. The award was presented at the 51st Annual Conference held re- cently in Atlanta, which was attended by over 200 regional consultants from around the world. Norma is the Regional Consultant for California, which includes six Birthright offices in the region. She is responsible for providing Birthright services to women with unplanned pregnancies, for the overall adminis- tration of the six regional offices, and for the training of the operating staff and roster of volunteers. She also is re- sponsible for adding additional offices in the region. “I am humbled to receive the Ruthie Ford Regional Consultants award for 15 years of service, especially remember- ing what a strong and positive woman Ruthie was. The years have flown by in service at our San José office, and I was blessed to be co-consultant with one of the best, Betty Sweet. They are both now guiding us from above,” said Norma.” “On behalf of Birthright Interna- tional, I’m delighted to present the 2019 Regional Consultant’s Award to Norma Hammons,” said Louise Summerhill. “She is the true embodiment of the qualities required to be a successful Regional Consultant – compassion for others, strong leadership skills and a dedication to the ideals of Birthright.” Caring for Our Common Home By Mary Dateo This is the fourth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on caring for our common home, Laudato Sí. In recognition, the California Con- ference of Catholic Bishops has issued a pastoral statement, God Calls Us All to Care for Our Common Home. It invites all Californians to appreciate the beauty of our state, reiterates the urgent need for action to address the crisis of climate change, and invites everyone to safe- guard our state’s natural gifts. The Summary of the Pastoral State- ment begins, “California has been blessed with great beauty. Through all creation, God is revealed. Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Sí calls us to redis- cover in awe and wonder the beauty of creation. At the same time, we must respond to the cry of the earth in its suffering of our mistreatment of the natural world… “We, the bishops of California, are publishing this pastoral statement with a two- fold vision: to animate and energize the implementation of what we are called to do as we face the cur- rent crises in California and to offer a dynamic teaching tool that evangelizes our Catholic faith community and be- yond to respond… We invite the people of California to reflect on ways we can more faithfully and effectively care for creation in thanksgiving to God for this great gift.” God Calls Us All to Care for Our Common Home, and the Summary, can be found at Bishop Cantú has written, “Grow- ing up in a large family taught me many valuable lessons. Among them were: cleaning up after myself; being considerate of others; and sharing re- sources, food and space. As a human family, we share a common home – God’s creation. Among the very first commands God gave to humanity was “till the soil,” – that is, care for the gift of cre- ation, which is ours to use wisely and prudently. As we mark the fourth an- niversary of Laudato Sí, Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical on care for God’s creation, let us commit ourselves to cleaning up after ourselves; being con- siderate of others, especially the poor and marginalized; and caring for the common resources of God’s creation that we share.” A common theme of these statements is the importance for each person to act. “Living our vocation to be protec- tors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.” (LS 217) Several members of the Diocese have organized the Stewards of Our Com- mon Home to focus on this ministry. Their goal is to provide assistance and tools to help people, parishes, schools, and organizations to care for creation. They have created a list, “Environ- mental Actions You Can Take,” avail- able on the Diocesan website, and ask you to prayerfully consider what ad- ditional actions you can take. The Stewards plan to develop fur- ther website resources, present in- formation at Diocesan events, and organize events such as workshops and speakers. If you are interested in hearing about future activities, have suggestions, or would like to join them, information is available on the Diocesan website.