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WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is marking Poverty Awareness Month with a new Spanish-language website, updated online statistics, blog posts on poverty and a calendar to educate Catholics about poverty through the month of January and beyond.
"We hope Poverty Awareness Month raises the consciousness of Catholics and other Americans about the debilitating poverty that smothers the spirit and weakens the soul of our neighbors everywhere," said Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, chairman of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the U.S. bishops' domestic anti-poverty program. "As we wrestle with the effects of the enduring economic crisis, let us work together so that this vital apostolate of justice and mercy will reduce poverty and restore human dignity in our society."
The Poverty USA website at www.PovertyUSA.org has been updated to reflect latest census statistics. These include that 9.5 million U.S. families, or 11.8 percent of families, live in poverty, 25 percent of children under the age of 6 live in poverty and 20.4 million people live in deep poverty or living at less than half the poverty line. Also, 23 million people are unemployed or underemployed. A Spanish version of Poverty USA is also now available at www.PobrezaUSA.org.
A January Poverty Awareness Month Calendar is also available online at: www.usccb.org/about/catholic-campaign-for-human-development/povertyusa/upload/poverty-awareness-month-calendar.pdf
The USCCB Blog (http://usccbmedia.blogspot.com) will also feature posts for Poverty Awareness Month by guest bloggers including Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace; Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona, chairman of the board of Catholic Relief Services (CRS); Carolyn Woo, president of CRS; and Thomas Meleady, former U.S. ambassador to Burundi, Uganda and the Vatican.
More information on recent efforts of CCHD to combat poverty in the United States is available online: www.usccb.org/news/2012/12-199.cfm
Keywords: Poverty Awareness Month, January, U.S. bishops, USCCB, Bishop Jaime Soto, Bishop Richard Pates, Bishop Gerald Kicanas, Carolyn Woo, Poverty USA, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, CCHD
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