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Archive for February 2016

Facts About the Little Sisters of the Poor Case That May Surprise You!

A Message from the Executive Director
Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Dear Friends,

The world watched while the Pope, during his US tour, made a surprise visit to the Sisters “in support of the Sisters’ legal fight.” As you may know, on Holy Wednesday, March 23, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear Little Sisters of the Poor case in Zubik v. Burwell—a case that also includes several other ministries.

I am writing today to invite you to visit our new resources on this case:

Website: New website that explains the case: thelittlesistersofthepoor.com
Rally: On March 23, there will be a rally in front of the Supreme Court. For rally coordination details, please contact Meg McDonnell at Women Speak for Themselves.
Meet the Little Sisters in this series of 90 second videos. Guaranteed: your spirits will be lifted! Then share it with a friend!

The fate of the Little Sisters is the fate of all Americans. I hope you will partner with us in educating the public about the importance of this case and in fighting for religious liberty!


1. 1 in 3 Americans are not even covered by the mandate HHS is fighting so hard to force the Little Sisters to follow.

2. Exxon, Chevron, and Pepsi—as well as other large corporations—are exempt from the mandate, because they never changed their plans and are “grandfathered.” Family plans with the U.S. military, the largest employer in the world, are also exempted.

3. If the Little Sisters do not provide these services, the government is threatening to fine them with $70 million in fines per year.

4. This case does not endanger or affect the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It only deals with a regulation created by an agency—Health and Human Services—which would force the Sisters to provide services like the week after pill, ella, to its employees.

5. The government claims it offered them an “opt out.” The Sisters wish that were true. The government’s plan is an “opt in” that uses the Little Sisters’ healthcare plan. This is why the government insists it needs the Sisters’ signature.

Learn more at thelittlesistersofthepoor.com.


Kristina Arriaga
Executive Director

Pleae Join the Supreme Knight in Signing Petition for Middle Eastern Christians

Dear Brother Knight,

Christians in the Middle East continue to suffer, and in order to help them further, we need to do our part in convincing the U.S. Government to officially designate their persecution as genocide. Already many of our brother Knights have helped us give generously to humanitarian relief for those affected, with more than $8 million dollars raised. These funds have provided assistance in the form of food, clothing, shelter, general relief, education, religious instruction, medical care and much more.

Pope Francis has called what is happening to Christians in the Middle East “genocide.” The European Parliament has done the same, as have prominent voices such as the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, and Genocide Watch. This is not a partisan issue. Presidential candidates and elected leaders of both American political parties have said Middle Eastern Christians are facing genocide. But despite the evidence that these individuals and institutions have found compelling, the U.S. State Department has still not made such a designation. Experts indicate such a designation could help those who are suffering so much by opening up for them certain legal protections and options that might otherwise be unavailable.

Please take two minutes to join Supreme Knight Carl Anderson as well as Catholic bishops, Christian religious leaders and other advocates in signing the petition at StopTheChristianGenocide.org.


Knights of Columbus

Knights of Columbus
1 Columbus Plaza
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 752-4000

40 Bucks for Lent!

The Knights of Columbus is asking those considering a Lenten sacrifice to give “40 Bucks for Lent” and to use the hashtag #40BucksForLent to help Middle Eastern Christians and other religious minorities suffering religious persecution there.

Knights of Columbus
1 Columbus Plaza
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 752-4000

Sisters of the Poor at the Supreme Court on March 23rd

A Message from the Executive Director
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Dear Friends,

My beloved uncle is in his late 90s. Every time I see him, he tells me he is looking forward to meeting Jesus. He is comforted by what’s ahead in heaven. In heaven, he will not be living in the small apartment his daughter built for him in her garage. He knows there is no pain or yearning. He knows that as soon as he dies, his wife of 72 years will follow. He even knows that there is a golf course where he can play 18 holes, as he did almost every day of his life until he was in his early 80s.

My uncle waits for heaven. Every day he wakes up alive, he is disappointed. Me? I am not too keen on the idea of dying. I know, I am a coward. After all, if I believe what I say I believe, I should feel like my uncle—homesick for heaven.

In one of the many conversations I’ve had with the Little Sisters of the Poor, I told one of them about my uncle. In turn, she told me a story. She was once paged by one of her residents. Thinking that the 90-year-old woman was in distress, she ran to her room. But the elderly woman was just calmly sitting in her rocking chair. She looked at the Sister and said she had a question. “Has God forgotten me? If not, why have I not died?”

The Sister looked at me with significance, so I waited. Then I asked her, with some impatience, what her answer had been. She smiled. “I told her that God still had plans for her, but we did not necessarily know what they were.” Her answer was reassuring, but it was something in the way she said it—so confidently, so warmly—that did it for me. I smiled too.

Over the last few months, we have spent quite a bit of time with the Sisters. We have talked extensively about the Sisters’ beautiful calling to live with and care for people in need. As I talked to one Sister in particular, I realized that, though her work is that of angels, she is as human as I am. I am sure she had other plans before she was called to do what she does. Maybe she hoped to get married and have children. Maybe she really enjoyed makeup and high heels—like the purple ones I wore and she admired in one of our meetings. Maybe she wanted to travel the world, or write a book, or sleep until noon on Saturdays.

Maybe she wanted all of these things and more. Instead, she gave up everything to serve those whom society too often forgets. Hers is not a job that you leave at night. It isn’t even like having children, who will one day leave and start lives of their own. The Little Sisters of the Poor live with the elderly day and night. When one of their residents ends the journey on earth, they joyfully take on another to serve—with vows of poverty, obedience, chastity, and hospitality.

It is sad and unfair that the Sisters’ lives of sacrifice and service are now disrupted by an unnecessary court case. The Supreme Court will have to decide whether the federal government can force the Sisters to provide services—such as the week after pill—that go directly against their conscience when these services can be easily provided through the existing exchanges and other government programs.

Just last week someone actually claimed the Little Sisters of the Poor are not a religious organization but a social service agency. But no American can actually believe that. They get the Sisters.

Just a few days ago the New York Times published this article about the Little Sister who begs for donations in Brooklyn. They got the story right. I hope it inspires you just as my friends, the Little Sisters of the Poor, inspire me every day.

As always, I appreciate your continued support.


Kristina Arriaga
Executive Director