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Pope's Call for 'a Poor Church for the Poor'
By U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Jan 18, 2014 - 12:43:48 AM

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WASHINGTON--The 2014 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering will focus on the message and vision of Pope Francis: "Becoming 'a Poor Church for the Poor.'" The gathering will be in Washington, February 2-5, 2014. In his first audience, March 16, 2013 Pope Francis told members of the media, "How I would like a Church which is poor and for the poor."

The Gathering will include an opening plenary address by John L. Allen Jr., former senior correspondent for National Catholic Reporter, associate editor at the Boston Globe and Vatican expert for CNN and National Public Radio, February 2. Michael Naughton, professor of Catholic studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, will give the Monday morning keynote. Naughton coordinated the 2012 reflection by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, "Vocation of the Business Leader." Michel Roy, secretary general of Caritas Internationalis, will offer brief comments following Naughton's keynote.

The Social Ministry Gathering is sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and 15 national Catholic partner organizations, including Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Catholic Charities USA, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Rural Life and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.

On February 4, attendees will participate in Capitol Hill visits, during which state delegations will advocate several issues with members of Congress. Legislative priorities will include challenges for families, the minimum wage, the impact of migration on children, technological warfare, peace in the Holy Land, criminal justice, human trafficking and economic inequality.

The registration form and more information is available online

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