Social Justice Ministry
Catholic Social Teaching: The Two Feet of Love in Action!
Based on Pope Benedict XVI’s reflections in Deus Caritas Est (God is Love) and Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth), the Two Feet of Love are Social Justice, removing root causes of injustice and addressing their structural dimensions; and Charitable Works, aiding individuals and meeting basic needs.
We’re excited to present an online video series, courtesy of Catholic Relief Services, that closely examines Catholic Social Teaching – often called the Church’s ‘best kept secret’ - and how we can best respond to God’s call to care for our brothers and sister in need. Follow the links below to learn more!
Resources for Those in Need
Our friends at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at St. Mary's in Plymouth have developed a comprehensive list of resources available in the area to assist those in need. A very special thanks to the St. Mary's Vincentians for sharing this valuable information with us.
Please visit our Diaper Pantry page and learn more about this much-needed ministry!
Just Faith's Sacred Air Program
Do you have a passion for eco-justice? Sacred Air: Climate & Energy is an eight-session small group program that explores the impact of the climate crisis on God’s creation and God’s people. In order to discern ways to restore the health of our planet and those who live on it, our small group will learn about causes and effects of the climate crisis. Sessions will be held via Zoom on Tuesday evenings, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., for eight weeks starting on June 7.
Presentation on the Society of St. Vincent De Paul Held April 30
We'd like to extend a very sincere thank-you to Marilyn Shaw, Brockton District President for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, for sharing with those gathered an overview of the Society’s organization, from its local parish Conference level to its international setting, the history of the Society, and most importantly, the purpose of the Society and the scope of its work. Here are some comments from those who attended the April 30 program:
“The recent presentation by Marilyn Shaw, regional representative for the St. Vincent De Paul Society, was excellent and engaging! There is so much to learn about the society, with such tremendous history worldwide, and its work accomplished in Christ’s name I am so grateful that our collaborative made this session possible”;
“It was great to learn about the wonderful charitable work going on here and at our neighboring parishes, and to learn how to get involved in it”;
(Please note: slides may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul)
Assisting Our New Neighbors: A Local Perspective on Refugees and Resettlement - View it Here!
On Thursday April 7, 2022, the Plymouth League of Women Voters and Plymouth No Place for Hate Committee held a free educational forum entitled Refugees and Resettlement: A Local Perspective. Held at the Great Hall of Plymouth Town Hall, the forum featured Mary Truong, Executive Director, Massachusetts Office of Refugees and Immigrants; Steve Schraeder, Catholic Charities Volunteer who described the localized resettlement process of refugees in Plymouth and Cape Cod; and a panel of recently arrived refugees who spoke about their experiences.
Fr. Joe and our Collaborative’s Social Justice Ministry has committed to support the effort of the Southeastern MA POWIR effort, through PCC POWIR. There are so many ways to help: fundraising, transportation, housing needs, educational support, financial donations, and more. If you can lend a hand, please contact Patty Kean, [email protected].
Understanding Restorative Justice: What Is It? How Can It Work in Communities of Faith?
The recent Understanding Restorative Justice Workshop was very well presented by Dr. Rachel King and Dr. Jennifer Balboni from Curry College via ZOOM on Wednesday evening, April 27. This hour and a half session was very informative and quite engaging.
Dr. King and Dr. Balboni spoke of the Restorative Justice process and how it can work in Communities of Faith, how it is now working in the Criminal Justice System and how it can work even in families! The participants had an opportunity to watch a video of a restorative justice circle session and how real healing begins to take place.
Thank you to the Social Justice Ministry for bringing this educational opportunity to the Collaborative.
REVIEWS From the Pews!
- Well done and very informative! I learned a whole NEW perspective from these wonderful women!
- The restorative justice program is rapidly growing in popularity within many police departments. I now see why. Terrific presentation!
- Restorative Justice embodies the message of Jesus, focused on care, compassion, participation, accountability, and mercy. Drs. Balboni and King gave us a great introduction to the RJ process.
- Inspirational and hopeful!
- Great presentation! We always thought there must be a better way to handle many crimes in a way that makes the victim whole and gives the offender a chance to gain the understanding and tools they need to move and live a productive life. Restorative Justice can be the answer in many situations!
- I learned a lot from the restorative justice presentation and look forward to more information as to what our role might be.
- What a great introduction to the RJ world! I knew nothing at all, and I feel very grateful for the opportunity. Jen and Rachel were superb!
Care for Our Common Home: Pope Francis Invites You to Join the Laudato Si Action Platform
The Vatican’s Laudato Si’ Action Platform is a space for institutions, communities, and families to learn and grow together as we journey towards full sustainability in the holistic spirit of integral ecology. You are warmly invited to join this community. Your unique “culture, experience, involvements, and talents” are needed on our journey towards greater love for our Creator, each other, and the home we share. (LS 14).
POWIR: Parishes Organized to Welcome Immigrants and Refugees
Our Collaborative belongs to the southeastern arm of the Catholic Charities organization, POWIR. Currently, the demand to welcome immigrants and refugees is high. Pope Francis reminds us, “...as Christians, we cannot be indifferent to the tragedy of old and new forms of poverty, to the bleak isolation, contempt and discrimination experienced by those who do not belong to 'our group'” and added, “we cannot remain insensitive, our hearts deadened, before the misery of so many innocent people. We must not fail to weep. We must not fail to respond.” (Sept. 29, 2019)
Let’s respond as a parish community!!! Stay tuned weekly to the bulletin and newsletter for how YOU can lighten the suffering of our relocated brothers and sisters in Plymouth County.
2 Current Needs...
- Drivers to take people for local appointments.
- 3-bedroom house sale or apartment rentals in Plymouth County.
An Urgent Request from the USCCB: Protect our new neighbors - urge members of Congress to advance an Afghan Adjustment Act
From the USCCB: Tens of thousands of Afghans and their families have arrived in the U.S. to be resettled and are now in need of a pathway to real and lasting safety. An Afghan Adjustment Act, patterned after similar legislation such as the Cuban Adjustment Act following the Cuban Revolution, offers an important correction by allowing these Afghan evacuees to apply to become lawful permanent residents, the same permanent status they would have received had they been admitted through the US. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). Rather than penalizing our new Afghan neighbors for being evacuated by the U.S. government, Congress has an urgent moral obligation to ensure they have a chance to integrate fully and thrive within our communities.
This need is urgent, and right now Congress is negotiating legislation that will fund the federal government for the rest of Fiscal Year 2022. It is imperative that members of Congress hear loudly and clearly that an Afghan Adjustment Act should be included in the final funding package.
Heal Our Common Home - A Virtual Workshop was held on March 12
A virtual workshop co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of Boston Social Justice Ministry, the Diocese of Worcester Environmental Stewardship Ministry and the Boston Catholic Climate Movement was held on Saturday March 12. This informative session allowed attendees to learn more about environmental justice and hear about actions Catholics are taking to build the Vatican’s “Laudato Si’ Action Platform” globally and right here in Massachusetts.
USCCB and Catholic Social Teaching
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offers a wealth of information on Catholic Social Teaching and on social justice issue in general; their website offers commentary, videos, and many other resources designed to educate us all on how and why addressing social issues is at the heart of living the Gospel.
Thank you to those who participated in our most recent Social Justice Ministry Book Discussion
Held Monday evenings in the month of February, the book discussion held via Zoom gave participating parishioners a great opportunity to review, debate, and discuss Jack Jezreel's book, A New Way to Be Church: Parish Renewal from the Outside In (2018). The main message? According to Jezreel, "If the Church is ever going to understand a dynamic communion with God and actualize its full potency as a force for good, it will happen only when the church is at the center of the work of compassion and justice, and the work of compassion and justice is at the center of the parish."
Please watch for information about upcoming book discussions - they're a great way to learn, meet new friends, and contribute to our collective mission to live the Gospel. If you have a book to recommend for discussion, please email us at [email protected].
Let Us Dream - The Path To a Better Future: The Social Justice Convocation of the Archdiocese of Boston...A Virtual Gathering was held on November 13, 2021
THANK YOU to My Brother's Keeper
MANY THANKS to Deacon Paul Key from our neighboring collaborative (St. Mary/St. Joseph) for a wonderful, inspiring presentation on Saturday, December 11 at St. Peter Lower Church. MANY THANKS also to the many participants attending this educational and informative presentation made available for our Collaborative by the Social Justice Ministry.
Our eyes have been opened to the vast needs not only in our local area but well beyond our local borders. Opportunities for parishioners in our collaborative to serve Christ in many NEW ways were highlighted by Deacon Paul.
My Brother’s Keeper is engaged in a variety of ministries of outreach including: a furniture program (furniture pick-up, cleaning, and delivery), a food program (pick-up from the Greater Boston Food Bank, packing, and delivery), a Christmas program (select, deliver, and wrap gifts), Adopt a Family, financial support, and most importantly, prayer! With 5000 volunteers, My Brother’s Keeper serves many people in many communities… a labor of love! To volunteer and to learn more: mybrotherskeeper.org
Diaper Pantry News...
SERVICE TO OTHERS IN ACTION - KYLE CAMPBELL
The young people of our Collaborative are such a blessing, participating in the life of our parishes in so many ways! One of those parishioners is Kyle Campbell, who regularly provides invaluable help at the St. Kateri Food Pantry and the Collaborative’s Diaper Pantry. Here, Kyle is shown processing a recent donation of children’s toys from Rebels & Rods of Plymouth. We are so grateful to Kyle for all his hard work, and we also send heartfelt thanks to the generous members of Rebels & Rods…you’re making many children and families very happy this year!
THANK YOU MAGGIE!!
Babies from all around Plymouth, Carver and Kingston send a very hearty thank you to St. Kateri Confirmation student Maggie Cizmar. Maggie conducted a very successful Diaper Drive to benefit our Collaborative’s Diaper Pantry and the many babies it serves. Maggie used an innovative approach, asking interested donors to respond with a ‘thumbs up’ text, requesting that diapers be left outside of the donor’s front door at a set date and time, which Maggie then picked up. And what a haul of diapers, which will keep many babies clean and dry! Thanks again Maggie, from all of us in the Collaborative.
POWIR: Parishes Organized to Welcome Immigrants and Refugees
“Let us open our heart to refugees; let us make their sorrows and their joys our own; let us learn courageous resilience from them!” (Pope Francis)
POWIR: An Update December, 2021
Our Collaborative has been blessed this past year with the opportunity to help brothers and sisters from dangerous parts of the world to resettle here in our area. We’ve assisted with rides, mentoring, household goods, but most importantly through fellowship – we’ve welcomed our new friends at our Collaborative picnic, social gatherings, and even pitched in with preparation of Thanksgiving dinner! As always, volunteers participating receive much, much more than is given.
We expect to have additional opportunities in the New Year to meet and lend a hand to more families arriving in our area and would love your help. Please watch upcoming bulletins and our newsletter for more information on how to get involved. As St. Paul said, “…remember always to welcome strangers, for by doing this, some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2)
On October 2, the Collaborative heard an excellent presentation on POWIR (Parishes Organized to Welcome Immigrants and Refugees), by Marjean Perhot, Director of Immigration and Refugees at Catholic Charities, who shared with us the following:
- 79.5 million people worldwide are in need of protection: 1 person is forcibly displaced every three seconds
- Threats to a safe home include war, persecution, poverty, and climate change
- Two-thirds of all refugees are from five countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Myanmar.
- The U.S Council of Catholic Bishops launched POWIR to develop a base of support, mentorship, and welcome for newcomers- that is, to live out social justice. POWIR is overseen and supported through Diocesan Catholic Charities offices.
- Southeastern Mass POWIR is already helping multiple families to resettle in the area. The refugee list is long and growing due to recent events in Afghanistan.
- Fr. Joe and our Collaborative’s Social Justice Ministry has committed to support the effort of the Southeastern MA POWIR effort, through PCC POWIR. There are so many ways to help: fundraising, transportation, housing needs, educational support, financial donations, and more. If you can lend a hand, please contact Patty Kean, [email protected]. Watch for more information, updates, and opportunities to assist!
The Social Justice Committee Book Discussion
This past September, on Thursday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30 pm, six people participated in a book discussion on Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future, conversations of Pope Francis with journalist and biographer, Austen Ivereigh, on the COVID crisis and our collective future. In these conversations, Pope Francis speaks to those of us in the Catholic Church and also to everyone seeking the common good for society and the planet. Each week, we took turns sharing what passages resonated, challenged, or confused us, and this created a very rich learning experience. In addition, we had the pleasure of getting to know who we worship with on a deeper level, one way to make our Collaborative worship and actions much more meaningful.
Pope Francis is challenging us be church in action and the first action we need to take is to see more clearly! Those of us who are privileged with food, housing, education, work, healthcare, security must step out of our comfort to really see the humanity in those who are living on the margins. Pope Francis challenges us next to redesign our economies so that every single person “has access to a dignified existence while protecting and regenerating the natural world.” Pope Francis warns and advises us to see sin as the “rejection of limits that love requires.” We have to limit our excesses in the name of love. We have to limit our blindness and prejudices to see clearly the dignity and need of our neighbors. The Pope also reminds us that this will take humility and plenty of humor!
The group had a great time discussing this challenging wisdom. And we reminded each other weekly as we did so, “Who am I to judge?”
What is the mission of the Collaborative’s Social Justice Ministry?
Based in Catholic social teaching, and rooted in the Gospel, the mission of this ministry is to answer the call of our baptism to know God in our brothers and sisters, to love them and to serve them. We wish to carry out Jesus’ command to ‘love one another as I have loved you’ by creating opportunities for all parishioners to provide direct outreach and service to those in need, and to advocate for policies and programs that bring about justice and peace.
For more information, please contact your Parish Office, or CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE A VOLUNTEER FORM