WASHINGTON, DC -- Through the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to encourage participation in the Census 2010, in order to reach hard-to-count communities.
“By reaching out to more than 25,000 parishes and missions, we hope to trumpet the importance of being counted as well as channel interested persons toward employment as census takers,” said Beverly Carroll, assistant director for African American Affairs of the Secretariat.
Archbishop José Gomez of San Antonio, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Cultural Diversity, urged parishes and dioceses to encourage local people to participate.
"It is important to get the word out because some of the populations we serve tend to normally be undercounted," Archbishop Gomez said. "Pastors have a responsibility to know their flock. The Church commends to bishops, priests and their many co-workers the care of all Catholics in their parishes and dioceses. The U.S. Census is a useful tool for learning about God's people, who and where they are, and many other facts that shed light on their lives, possibilities and struggles. A Church that seeks to evangelize is characterized by outreach. The U.S. Census gives us important information to do that."
The information gathered by the Census is confidential and only shared in aggregate numbers (statistics) once the surveys are completed.
Jesuit Father Allan F. Deck, executive director of the Cultural Diversity Secretariat stressed the social and political urgency of being counted.
“It is in peoples’ best interest to be counted,” Father Deck said. “This is how our country makes decisions about allocation of resources and local representation, regardless race or immigration status. Your participation is vital to insure that your
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