1. National Migration Week is January 6-12. This year’s theme: “We are Strangers No Longer: Our Journey of Hope Continues.” Celebration includes a postcard campaign for comprehensive immigration reform. It is spearheaded by USCCB Migration and Refugee Services and urges Congress to pass fair and comprehensive immigration reform to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented persons, preserve family unity as a cornerstone of the immigration system, provide legal paths for low-skilled immigrant workers to come and work in the U.S., restore due process protections to immigration enforcement policies and address the causes of migration rooted in persecution and economic disparity. National Migration Week resources can be found at: www.usccb.org/about/migration-and-refugee-services/national-migration-week.
2. Interesting data from R. Gordon Melton, Ph.D., ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and distinguished professor of American religious history at Baylor University. Melton predicts Catholics will grow to 100 million adherents by mid-century. His observations and those of other researchers are found in an insightful blog by former AP religion writer David Briggs, now with the Arda, the Association of Religion Data Archives.
3. For Poverty Awareness Month, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development highlights how government policies can address serious needs in our nation.
4. Courts are responding to lawsuits opposing the Health and Human Services mandate in the Affordable Care Act. Last count from the Becket Fund finds 12 early opinions on the merits, nine in favor of plaintiffs and three against for for-profit businesses asking for a halt to enforcement of the law that many religious organizations and businesses argue would force them to violate their conscience. The HHS mandate requires employers to pay for contraceptives, including abortion-inducing drugs, and female sterilization for employees.
5. God loves you.