Advocacy and Justice


Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Office of Advocacy and Justice promotes the social mission of the Church through education and legislative advocacy efforts. Called to evangelize individuals, institutions, and the culture through personal witness and public outreach, we act on behalf of those who are voiceless. We provide opportunities in the parish and community for ongoing conversion and social transformation, seeking always to protect and defend the sacredness and dignity of human life.

Contact Us


Deborah Stafford Shearer, Director
407-658-1818 x1084  |

Deborah Stafford Shearer has been with the Diocese of Orlando for more than 21 years. Most of those years have been dedicated to serving as the Director for the Department of Advocacy and Justice. An Orlando native, Deborah graduated from Rollins College and holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Central Florida. Deborah’s role is to serve as an advisor and consultant to the bishop on issues of public policy and Catholic Social Teaching. She fulfills the mission of the office by overseeing the implementation of the social mission of the Church in the Diocese of Orlando.

News and Events

National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children, September 10

Since 1973, over 59 million children have been abandoned by our society through abortion but we are refusing to forget them and that’s what the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children is all about. On September 10th, thousands of pro-life faithful from coast to coast will gather to proclaim the humanity of all unborn children and pray for an end to the injustice of abortion. We will also remember their mothers and fathers and others who have been part of an abortion decision and pray for their forgiveness and healing.

Many parishes and sites are holding services throughout the Diocese of Orlando. To find the location of other Day of Remembrance services in your area, click here.

40 Days for Life Focuses on Ending Abortion


From September 28 to November 6, our community will take part in 40 Days for Life. 40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life campaign with a vision to access God’s power through prayer, fasting, and peaceful vigil to end abortion.

The mission of the campaign is to bring together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity during a focused 40-day campaign of prayer, fasting, and peaceful activism, with the purpose of repentance, to seek God’s favor to turn hearts and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life, thus bringing an end to abortion.

For more Info click here.

2016 State Respect Life Conference – “Merciful Like the Father”

SRLC2October 14-15, 2016

Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church,

5300 Old Howell Branch Road, Winter Park, FL

Register Now


Laudato Si’

Resources on Pope Francis’ Encyclical on Ecology and Care of God’s Creation

Respect Life Program 2015-2016

RespectLife2015The Parish Respect Life Packet Materials are explained here for your planning purposes.  Additional materials including liturgy guides, homily suggestions, flyers and posters are available for download here.

Download graphics that compare the mapped locations of Community Health Centers across the US and in Florida versus the location of Planned Parenthood facilities, as prepared by the Charlotte Lozier Institute.  An additional summary bar chart by state is available here.

The theme of the Respect Life Program 2016-2017, which begins in October 2016, will be Moved By Mercy!

Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) Multimedia Youth Arts Contest

Congratulations to our 2016 award winners! View the winning entries at the Catholic Campaign for Human Development page.

Please place the 2017 CCHD Multi-Media Youth Arts contest on your calendar (deadline March 1, 2017).  Our office staff members are available to meet with teachers over the summer or during the school year to explain the guidelines and goals of this program.  See more at the CCHD website.

Jubilee of Mercy – December 8, 2015 – November 20, 2016

Jubilee Year of Mercy Resources from CRS

Resource Brochure

Need a pro-life pamphlet? Do you need a good brochure to help explain our beliefs on the death penalty, stem cell research, and other issues? Search our Resource Guide and find what you’ve been looking for! Click here to download a list of available resources from the Office of Advocacy and Justice.

Religious Freedom at Risk


Click on the graphic to find resources about protecting religious freedom.