National Catholic Reporter

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Washington

White House, farm advocates talk about SNAP; silence from Congress

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As the Thanksgiving holiday neared, both the White House and Catholic Rural Life raised the specter of possible huge cuts in funding for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

But the silence from the House-Senate conference committee working on the farm bill -- which includes funding for SNAP -- and the abbreviated work schedule for Congress leaving little time in December for lawmakers to arrive at a compromise mean the specter could still be present as Christmas nears. The latest extension of the farm bill expires New Year's Day

Pope names Dallas seminary rector to be bishop of Fort Worth

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Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Michael Olson, currently rector of Holy Trinity Seminary at the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas, to head the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas.

Olson, 47, is a Fort Worth diocesan priest. He succeeds Bishop Kevin Vann, who was named bishop of the diocese of Orange, Calif., in September 2012.

The appointment was announced Tuesday in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop visits activists fasting for immigration reform

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The tents on the southeast corner of the National Mall were nearly empty this afternoon, with the activists inside receiving visitors quietly and with little fanfare.

Just two blocks west of the U.S. Capitol, those inside have pledged to a daily fast until Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform.

Organizers of the campaign, called "Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship," have set up visits to those fasting by members of Congress, prominent organizers, and faith leaders.

Activists to fast on Capitol Hill until Congress passes immigration reform

As an icy wind whipped the sides of a packed tent, five activists committed themselves Tuesday to fast from food and drink and to camp in front of the U.S. Capitol until Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform.

"I know that there are going to be difficult days ahead of me," said Eliseo Medina from the Service Employees International Union. "I know that going without food will not be easy and I know that I will suffer physical hunger.

Something - or something less - for everyone in new farm bill?

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The farm bill, already one year late, could be even later if the House-Senate conference committee working on the compromise version takes its sweet time.

According to Bob Gronski, a policy analyst with the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, the lawmakers are taking the bill one "title" at a time until the conference committee is satisfied with the result.

The most contentious issue is likely to be the nutrition title, which includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, once known as food stamps.

47 Catholic leaders urge bishops to support CCHD's anti-poverty work

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development deserves the full support of the U.S. bishops because of its success in fighting poverty, said a group of Catholics on the eve of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' fall general assembly Nov. 11-14 in Baltimore.

In a letter addressed to all of the bishops, 47 Catholic leaders, including three retired bishops and former USCCB staff members, urged the prelates to "redouble your commitment to social ministries that lift people out of poverty," especially CCHD.

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In This Issue

December 5-18, 2014

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