Both our local and national media have recently observed that poverty is an invisible issue. As an editorial recently declared in a national newspaper:  "Until recently, in fact, the poor have barely been an afterthought during this presidential campaign."

A local editorial writer pointed to the need to address "what poverty means to all of us in this community, with specific interest of the effect of poverty on children, youth and families."

The statistics concerning children's poverty in our city are troubling. 40% of our children live in poverty. Monroe County child abuse and negligence reports are up by 47% over last year. The infant mortality rate is worse than many developing countries.

The Children's Sabbath is a national effort to gather the community to pray, learn about and reflect on the troubles of our children in our community. It is sponsored by the Children's Defense Fund and staffed locally by the "Children's Agenda."

In conjunction with the Children's Sabbath, on Sunday, October 21 a special multi-cultural Mass will be celebrated here at the Cathedral at 11:15 a.m.. by Bishop-Emeritus Matthew Clark. It will focus on the needs of children from an international and local  perspective, followed by refreshments prepared by the many diverse cultures of our neighborhood.

From 12 noon to 2:00 p.m., several agencies, specializing in family issues will be available in the Cathedral Hall to speak with any family members concerning child/family support services.

Please join us and spread the word about  this important day of reflecting on this most vital concern which can hopefully stimulate us to action on behalf of our most important and vulnerable  resource: our children.