Rally for Religious Freedom: Brigid Pierce, Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada

Outline of the speech of Brigid Pierce, President of the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada, at the Reno Rally for Religious Liberty, 23rd of March 2012.

–       Jesus commanded his followers to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to give drink to the thirsty, to care for the widow and the orphan; in short, to see Jesus in every human being, but esp in those who are poor, weak and marginalized

–       For 2000 years the Catholic Church has been carrying out that command

–       Since 1945, Catholic Charities has served our community in Northern Nevada by feeding the poor and the homeless, offering emergency assistance, distributing blankets and clothing to those in need

–       CCNN is the largest nongovernmental provider of social services in our community

–       St Vincent’s Dining Room serves an average of 583 meals per day, six days a week

–       That’s more than 15,400 meals every month

–       St Vincent’s Food Pantry distributes food to more than 23,000 persons every month

–       Our emergency assistance program offers numerous free services to those in need including rental assistance, birth certificates, work permits, ID cards, hygiene kits, bus passes and more

–       Our Holy Child Day care offers day care and preschool on a sliding scale

–       But the HHS Mandate is going to change all that

–       CCNN employs 62 people and offers health insurance to its full time employees

–       But if the HHS Mandate is not rescinded, CCNN will be fined for not offering contraception and abortion inducing drugs to its employees as part of its health plan

–       The minimum amt of the fines CCNN will have to pay is $64,000 every year

–       That’s $64k diverted from our mission to the poor in our community

–       $64k  = 28,318 meals at St Vincent’s Dining Hall

–       $64k could buy 84,000 pounds of food

–       The impact of these fines on CCNN will reverberate throughout Northern Nevada

–       It is not just the Catholic Church that will be hurt by the Mandate; it is the whole of our community – especially those who are poor, those who have lost their jobs, those who cannot make it without our help

In today’s economy, more people than ever depend on our services.  How many of your neighbors, and their children, will go without shelter, or hungry, because of the HHS mandate?”

Please help us continue our mission to help the most needy in this community.  Please help us to get the HHS mandate overturned

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