Sunday, February 21, 2010

Important Calendar Dates and District Color Corps Events

6 March 2010 – (5th Annual People’s Mass) – (Migrant Heritage Group)
TIME: 6:30 PM Report time, 7:00 AM Procession into Church

PLACE: St. Matthew's Cathedral, DC
1725 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Report to Conference Room West
We are asking for 4 or 5 Color Corps per Assembly.

13 March 2010 – Absolute Last Deadline for all Exemplification Ads and Exemplification Candidates for March 20 Exemplification - Absolute deadline for Hotel Reservations

13 March 2010 – Biennial Meeting
TIME: Mass: 8:30 AM in Church
Registration: 9:30 AM
Seating Delegates for Biennial Meeting 10:30 AM
PLACE: Mass: St. Peter's Catholic Church – Small Chapel
2900 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, MD 20832.

Registration and Biennial Meeting in Church Hall

15 March 2010 – Absolute Last Deadline for all Exemplification Candidates for April 18 Exemplification and for all Exemplification/Banquet Fees
Program Ad fees, Candidate fees, Dinner reservations and fees, and Ladies Program reservations and fees MUST be received by this date.

20 March 2010 - District Meeting and Priest Exemplification
TIME: Brief District Meeting at 9:00 AM, and Full Dress Rehearsal at 9:45 AM
The Rehearsal will be the first Exemplification of AWD - Priests.
PLACE: St. Mary of the Assumption - Upper Marlboro, MD
Turn in any last minute ads, applications, and fees for the April 18, 2010 Exemplification.

21 March 2010 – Maryland State Council Founders Day Mass & Reception
TBD Time and Place

26 - 27 March 2010 – Maryland District Exemplification – Holiday Inn, Frederick, MD

28 March 2010 - Palm Sunday Blessing of Palms and Mass - Tentative
TIME: 9:00 AM Report time, 9:30 AM Procession into Church
Mass with Archbishop Whuerl at 10:00 AM
PLACE: St. Matthew's Cathedral, DC
1725 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
Report to Conference Room West
We are asking for 4 or 5 Color Corps per Assembly.

28 March – 3 April 2010 – Holy Week
No events should be scheduled this week.

4 April 2010 – Easter Sunday

10 April 2010 – MD State Spring Meeting – North Beach, Maryland
Calvert Council Home #7870, Padua Hall, North Beach, MD

10 April 2010 – Calvert Province Flag Team Competition
Calvert Council Home #7870, Padua Hall, North Beach, MD

11 April 2010 – Divine Mercy Sunday – Schedule is Tentative
TIME: Report at 1:15 PM to the Usher’s Room
Line up at the Sacristy by 1:45 to escort Clergy
Program starts at 2:00 PM
PLACE: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC
Upper Church
DRESS: Full Regalia – NO SWORDS
Our Contact is Joe Feakes – Event Chairman.

17 April 2010 – Catholic Scout Retreat Flag Ceremony
TIME: Report at 6:15 PM for Procession/Ceremony at 7:00 PM
PLACE: Our Lady of Mattaponi Youth Retreat Center, Upper Marlboro MD

Directions are below for Sunday. Black Tux and Swords.

18 April 2010 Catholic Scout Retreat Mass
TIME: Report at 8:30 AM for Mass at 9:00 AM
PLACE: Our Lady of Mattaponi Youth Retreat Center, Upper Marlboro MD
Mass will be Celebrated by Archbishop Wuerl.

DIRECTIONS: Take the Beltway to Exit 11A (Pennsylvania Avenue East, Route 4). Take Pennsylvania Avenue East (Route 4) for about 6 miles to Rome 301 South (towards Richmond). Turn right on Route 301 and follow for about 4 miles to Croom Road. (There is a shopping center on the right, and an AMOCO Station on the left). Turn left on Croom Road and follow for about 5 miles. Turn left on St. Thomas Church Road and follow for one mile to Mattaponi Road. Turn right on Mattaponi Road. Go one quarter mile on Mattaponi Road to the driveway on the left. There is a red brick entrance for the Retreat Center

18 April 2010 - Exemplification of the Fourth Degree
University of Maryland University College Inn and Conference Center (Marriott) University Boulevard at Adelphi Road College Park, Maryland

May 2010 - Election of Assembly Officers for Fraternal Year 2010 - 2011

1-2 May 2010 – DC State Council Convention

14 – 16 May 2010 - 112th MD State Council Convention

16 May 2010 – Ocean City Parade to Mass at 111th Maryland State Convention
TIME: Report at 2:00 PM for Parade starting at 2:15 PM, Mass at 3:00 PM
PLACE: In front of Princess Royale Hotel

WHITE Jackets and swords for this event. Flag Team and Mass Detail will be supplied from local assemblies.

16 May 2010 – Our Lady of Lujan Mass (TENTATIVE)
TIME: Report at 12:45 PM for 1:30 Mass
PLACE: Basilica of Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, DC
Crypt Church
Contact person is Mrs. Estella Nimo at 703-931-2053. There will be a Procession with a Statue of our Lady, followed by four banners, then four Flags.
6 Color Corps are requested. A row of seats will be reserved in the rear. We will wear Black Tux Jackets for this Event.

16 May 2010 – 16th Annual AMS Memorial Day Mass (TENTATIVE)
TIME: 4:30 PM Mass. Report time is 3:45 PM. BLACK TUX
PLACE Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC
All Sir Knights are invited.

Report attendance to District Marshals. We will wear Black Tux Jackets for this Event.

16 May 2010 - Scout Religious Emblem Presentation Prayer Service and Ceremony
TIME: 3:00 p.m.,
PLACE: St. Mary of the Mills, Laurel, Md

24 May 2010 - Memorial Day – 10:00 AM Outdoor Mass at Catholic Cemeteries
TIME: Report at 9:15 – For 10:00 AM Mass
PLACE: Gate of Heaven Cemetery - Silver Spring, MD
Mount Olivet Cemetery - District of Columbia
St. Mary's Queen of Peace Cemetery - Helen, MD
Resurrection Cemetery - Clinton, MD
All Souls Cemetery – Germantown, MD
Details on time, contact and other details to follow. No Swords

29 May 2010 – AWD Color Corps Competition

TIME: 9:00 AM, District Staff report at 8:30 AM
PLACE: St. Mary the Assumption School – Upper Marlboro MD
Lunch will be provided at the end of the meeting.
All Officers to include Commanders, Vice Commanders are REQUIRED to attend. Admirals and Captains are recommended to attend. All other Officers are invited and may attend.

13 June 2010 - CORPUS CHRISTI SUNDAY – Celebrated locally at parishes holding any special services.

14 June 2010 - Flag Day
Local events and programs

26 June 2010 – 13th Annual National Filipino Pilgrimage
TIME: Report at 1:15 for Mass at 2:00 PM
Devotions start at 10:00 AM. There will be a Procession, Rosary and
Devotion to Our Lady of Antipolo at 12:15 PM
PLACE: Basilica of the National Shrine to the Immaculate Conception
Celebrant TBD. White Jackets and NO SWORDS.

White House Seeks $125 Billion for Veterans in 2011

White House Seeks $125 Billion for Veterans in 2011
Homelessness, Claims Increases and Access - Priorities for VA Budget
WASHINGTON – To expand health care to a record-number of Veterans, reduce the number of homeless Veterans and process a dramatically increased number of new disability compensation claims, the White House has announced a proposed $125 billion budget next year for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“Our budget proposal provides the resources necessary to continue our aggressive pursuit of President Obama’s two over-arching goals for Veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “First, the requested budget will help transform VA into a 21st century organization. And second, it will ensure that we approach Veterans’ care as a lifetime initiative, from the day they take their oaths until the day they are laid to rest.”
The $125 billion budget request, which has to be approved by Congress, includes $60.3 billion for discretionary spending (mostly health care) and $64.7 billion in mandatory funding (mostly for disability compensation and pensions).
“VA’s 2011 budget request covers many areas but focuses on three central issues that are of critical importance to our Veterans – easier access to benefits and services, faster disability claims decisions, and ending the downward spiral that results in Veterans’ homelessness,” Shinseki said.

Reducing Claims Backlog
The president’s budget proposal includes an increase of $460 million and more than 4,000 additional claims processors for Veterans benefits. This is a 27 percent funding increase over the 2010 level.
The 1,014,000 claims received in 2009 were a 75 percent increase over the 579,000 received in 2000. Shinseki said the Department expects a 30 percent increase in claims – to 1,319,000 – in 2011 from 2009 levels.

One reason for the increase is VA’s expansion of the number of Agent Orange-related illnesses that automatically qualify for disability benefits. Veterans exposed to the Agent Orange herbicides during the Vietnam War are likely to file additional claims that will have a substantial impact upon the processing system for benefits, the secretary said.
“We project significantly increased claims inventories in the near term while we make fundamental improvements to the way we process disability compensation claims,” Shinseki said.
Long-term reduction of the inventory will come from additional manpower, improved business practices, plus an infusion of $145 million in the proposed budget for development of a paperless claims processing system, which plays a significant role in the transformation of VA.

Automating the GI Bill
The budget proposal includes $44 million to complete by December 2010 an automated system for processing applications for the new Post-9/11 GI Bill. VA also plans to start development next year of electronic systems to process claims from other VA-administered educational programs.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill authorizes the most extensive educational assistance opportunity since the passage of the original GI Bill in 1944. Over $1.7 billion in regular Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit payments have been issued since the implementation of the program on Aug. 1, 2009. In 2011, VA expects the number of all education claims to grow by 32 percent over 2009, going from 1.7 million to 2.25 million.
“To meet this increasing workload and process education claims in a timely manner, VA has established a comprehensive strategy to develop industry-standard technologies to modernize the delivery of these important educational benefits,” Shinseki said.

Eliminating Homelessness
The budget proposal includes $4.2 billion in 2011 to reduce and help prevent homelessness among Veterans. That breaks down into $3.4 billion for core medical services and $799 million for specific homeless programs and expanded medical care, which includes $294 million for expanded homeless initiatives. This increased investment for expanded homeless services is consistent with the VA secretary’s established goal of ultimately eliminating homelessness among Veterans.
On a typical night, about 131,000 Veterans are homeless. They represent every war and generation, from the “Greatest Generation” to the latest generation of Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. To date, VA operates the largest system of homeless treatment and assistance programs in the nation.

Targeting Mental Health, Preventing Suicides
“The 2011 budget proposal continues the department’s keen focus on improving the quality, access and value of mental health care provided to Veterans,” Shinseki said.
The spending request seeks $5.2 billion for mental health, an increase of $410 million (or 8.5 percent) over current spending, enabling expansion of inpatient, residential and outpatient mental health services, with emphasis on making mental health services part of primary care and specialty care.
The secretary noted that one-fifth of the patients seen last year in VA’s health care facilities had a mental health diagnosis, and that the department has added more than 6,000 new mental health professionals since 2005, bringing to 19,000 the number of employees dedicated to mental health care.
The budget request will enable the department to continue expanding its programs for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), along with the diagnosis and treatment of depression, substance abuse and other mental health problems. Shinseki called PSTD treatment “central to VA’s mission.”
The proposed spending will continue VA’s suicide prevention program. Since July 2007, the department’s suicide prevention hotline has received nearly 225,000 calls from Veterans, active-duty personnel and family members. The hotline is credited with saving the lives of nearly 7,000 people.

Reaching Rural Veterans
For 2011, VA is seeking $250 million to strengthen access to health care for 3.2 million Veterans enrolled in VA’s medical system who live in rural areas. Rural outreach includes expanded use of home-based primary care and mental health.
A key portion of rural outreach – which shows promise for use with Veterans across the country – is VA’s innovative “telehealth” program. It links patients and health care providers by telephones and includes telephone-based data transmission, enabling daily monitoring of patients with chronic problems.
The budget provides an increase of $42 million for VA’s home telehealth program. The effort already cares for 35,000 patients and is the largest program of its kind in the world.

Serving Women Veterans
The 2011 budget provides $217.6 million to meet the gender-specific health care needs of women Veterans, an increase of $18.6 million (or 9.4 percent) over the 2010 level. Enhanced primary care for women Veterans remains one of the Department’s top priorities. The number of women Veterans is growing rapidly and women are increasingly using VA for their health care.
Shinseki said the expansion of health care programs for women Veterans will lead to higher quality care, increased coordination of care, enhanced privacy and dignity, and a greater sense of security among women patients.
Among the initiatives for women in the 2011 budget proposal are expanded health care services in Vet Centers, increased training for health care providers to advance their knowledge and understanding of women’s health issues, and implementing a peer call center and social networking site for women combat Veterans. This call center will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Delivering World-Class Health Care
During 2011, VA expects to treat 6.1 million patients, who will account for more than 800,000 hospitalizations and 83 million outpatient visits.
The total includes 439,000 Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, for whom $2.6 billion is included in the budget proposal. That’s an increase of $597 million – or 30 percent – from the current budget.
The proposed budget for health care includes:
· $6.8 billion for long-term care, an increase of $859 million (or 14 percent) over 2010. This amount includes $1.5 billion for non-institutional long-term care;
· Expanding access to VA health care system for more than 99,000 Veterans who were previously denied care because of their incomes;
· $590 million for medical and prosthetic research; and
· Continuing development of a “virtual lifetime electronic record,” a digital health record that will accompany Veterans throughout their lives.
VA is requesting $54.3 billion in advance appropriations for 2012 for health care, an increase of $2.8 billion over the 2011 enacted amount. Planned initiatives in 2012 include better leveraging acquisitions and contracting, enhancing the use of referral agreements, strengthening VA’s relationship with the Defense Department, and expanding the use of medical technology.

Preserving National Shrines
“VA remains steadfastly committed to providing access to a dignified and respectful burial for Veterans choosing to be buried in a VA national cemetery,” Shinseki said. “This promise requires that we maintain national cemeteries as shrines dedicated to the memory of those who served this nation in uniform.”
The requested $251 million for cemetery operations and maintenance will support more than 114,000 interments in 2011, a 3.8 percent increase over 2010. In 2011, the department will maintain 8,441 acres with 3.1 million gravesites. The budget request includes $37 million to clean and realign an estimated 668,000 headstones and repair 100,000 sunken graves.

Building for the Future
$1.15 billion requested for major construction for 2011 includes funding for medical facilities in New Orleans; Denver; Palo Alto, Calif.; Alameda, Calif.; and Omaha, Neb. Also budgeted for 2011 are major expansions and improvements to the national cemeteries in Indiantown Gap, Pa.; Los Angeles; and Tahoma, Wash., and new burial access policies that will provide a burial option to an additional 500,000 Veterans and enhance service in urban areas.
A requested budget of $468 million for minor construction in 2011 would fund a wide variety of improvements at VA facilities.