Sunday, March 22, 2020
Mar 18, 2020
Love and Mercy is our call during our Lenten Season, how are doing making them a reality?
In this time of concern and uncertainty about COVID-19, we are keeping you and every member of the Transfiguration community in our hearts and our minds. I write this week’s column with the assistance of NETWORK, a long-standing Catholic Social Justice Lobby group, primarily supported by the women religious of the United States.
The importance of human dignity and relationship is made clear in a crisis such as the one we are in the midst of at present. I encourage you and your loved ones to follow the instruction of health officials and your state and local leaders, and fall on the side of extra precaution for the sake of protecting your own health and that of our community.
I, with other church leaders, continue to advocate for the wellbeing of those at the margins and those who are most vulnerable to increased suffering. NETWORK has been in close communication with Congress, urging them to prioritize the needs of low-income individuals and families, and give particular attention to individuals at increased risk of infection, including: immigrants and children in detention, individuals in prison, those in long-term care facilities, and our neighbors experiencing homelessness.
As is often the case, it is those who have the least who will be hurt the most by this crisis. By the time you read this, the House should have voted on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This bill includes important first steps to take in responding to this crisis including:
- Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs it, including those who are uninsured;
- Paid emergency leave with both 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave;
- Enhanced Unemployment Insurance, a first step that will extend protections to furloughed workers;
- Strengthened food security initiatives, including SNAP, student meals, seniors nutrition and food banks; and
- Increased federal funds for Medicaid, as states face increased costs.
If the House has already passed this bill, please call your Representative and thank them, if it has not passed call them and encourage them to do so. As of this writing it is expected to be passed by the House and if has not been passed by the Senate please encourage all Senators to support this bill, so that it can go into effect as quickly as possible.
Thank you for taking the time to make these calls thanking them or urging them to respond to this crisis with justice and care for all regardless of insurance status or income level.
I wish you a peaceful and successful Lent!
Let us continue to pray for and take action to bring about peace in our world!
In peace and courage,