1. Cardinal Seán O’Malley and bishops who serve on the U.S.-Mexico border will join members of the USCCB Committee on Migration to remember the deaths of migrants in the U.S. desert and to pray for immigration reform. Their actions follow the example given by Pope Francis at the Italian island of Lampedusa, where he remembered migrants from Africa who have died trying to reach the island and Europe. The U.S. bishops will call attention to the humanitarian consequences of the broken U.S. immigration system and to call upon Congress to pass immigration reform. They will gather for Mass Tuesday, April 1 at the Border wall on International Street in Nogales, Arizona.
2. The visit March 27 of President Obama to Pope Francis at the Vatican is a moment of pride for our country. The U.S. bishops appreciate the Administration's collaboration on such matters as comprehensive immigration reform and international peace. There remain areas of concern, such as religious liberty, marriage and the right to life. The bishops have been encouraged by Pope Francis in their efforts to address these issues. The bishops look forward to the meeting and the opportunity for President Obama to meet and visit with Pope Francis.
3. All ears will be on the U.S. Supreme Court March 25 for oral arguments on the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga cases, in which owners of for-profit businesses argue that their religious beliefs preclude their providing abortion-inducing drugs and devices in employee health plans, despite a mandate from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
4. Almsgiving is a traditional way to observe the season of Lent. One worthy charity is Catholic Relief Service and its Operation rice Bowl. http://www.crsricebowl.org/
5. God Loves you.