Back to school, environment & fighting assisted suicide in Maryland

Back to school, environment and opposing assisted suicide

Back to School

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A student and sisters from the Oblate Sisters of Providence following the dedication ceremony for Mother Mary Lange Catholic School.

Families received notification about BOOST scholarship awards from the State of Maryland earlier this month. The 40 percent increase in BOOST funding passed by the General Assembly during last winter’s session is having a big impact for low-income families.

Students in elementary schools are receiving slightly larger awards while those attending high schools, where tuition tends to be higher, are receiving a $3,000 scholarship on top of the regular award.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore is celebrating the opening of Mother Mary Lange Catholic School (District 40), which is welcoming more than 400 students. Many of them rely on BOOST scholarships. Incoming students joined Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, school leaders, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, State Senator Antonio Hayes and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott for a dedication and blessing earlier this month. Read more in the Catholic Review.

The Jesuit USA East Province and St. Ignatius parish in Baltimore are expanding an early learning center into The Loyola School, a pre-K to grade four elementary that eventually will offer a free education to 200 low-income Baltimore City children. Grades will be phased in, with kindergarten starting this fall. This school joins other Jesuit schools in Baltimore focused on educating low-income students, including St. Ignatius Loyola Academy for boys in grades 5-8, and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, a coeducational school where students also gain work experience.

With the Delta variant and rising infection rates, our Catholic schools once again are implementing careful protocols for the return to school. Here is the latest from the Archdiocese of Washington, Archdiocese of Baltimore, and Diocese of Wilmington. Please thank our school teachers, staff and administrators for all they are doing for their students.


New Resource for Catholics on the Environment


The Archdiocese of Washington has released a comprehensive Laudato Si Action Plan, just in time for the annual Season of Creation that starts on Sept. 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and culminates on Oct. 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

The new plan, available in English and Spanish, offers resources and practical tips that individuals, groups, schools and parishes can take to protect our environment.

In his introductory letter, Cardinal Wilton Gregory notes, “This Action Plan contains small and big ways for us to exercise stewardship over God’s creation. I invite each of you to study this Action Plan and be challenged to protect and restore our fragile Earth and our natural resources.” Read more in the Catholic Standard.


Deadly, Not Dignified: Fighting Physician-Assisted Suicide in Maryland

Out-of-state activists are expected to be back for the next state legislative session, trying to force physician-assisted suicide into law in Maryland.

Learn about the issue, negative effects in other states where this has been legalized, and resources to help fight it here in Maryland.

Please note: Spanish-language materials are coming soon!


Emergency Rental Assistance

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has launched an Emergency Rental Assistance Data Dashboard. The dashboard tracks the progress local jurisdictions in the state are making in distributing relief funds for tenants and landlords affected by the pandemic.

The department also has advised tenants and landlords to visit rentrelief.maryland.gov or call 877-546-5595 to connect with rental assistance programs. In addition to local programs, tenants in certain properties may qualify for the department’s Assisted Housing Relief Program. Tenants in that group of properties should contact their property management company for application information.


Of Note 

U.S. Bishops Support Pregnant Worker Fairness Act: The chairmen of three committees for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, recently wrote Congress to support the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, SB 1486. The Act would require reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers, protect pregnant workers from being denied employment opportunities and more.

Action alert on immigration: The USCCB’s Justice for Immigrants initiative is asking Catholics urge their U.S. senators and representative to support the enactment of immigration reform this year. Learn more and sign the alerts.

Art of Mother Mary Lange: Servant of God Mother Mary Lange not only has a new school named after her, but you will find her legacy reflected in other parts of her adopted home of Maryland. Our Lady of Sorrows parish in Takoma Park commissioned a painting of her to grace the outside of the the community food pantry the parish opened last year. Learn more about this work of this sacred art from the perspective of the Hyattsville-based artist: “We are portraying Christ in that saint and making Christ present in that community.”

Events of interest

CANCELLED: Sept. 26: Catholic Coalition for Special Education (CCSE) fall family gathering. Contact 301-933-8844 ext 102 for more information on this and CCSE.

Oct. 2: Maryland Catholic Women’s Conference, featuring Katie Prejean McGrady as the keynote speaker

This month’s recipe is in honor of the Maryland State Fair. We chose a zucchini bread recipe that is a past winner at the fair. This year’s fair is Aug. 26-Sept. 6.

 


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