Pope Francis, our Holy Father, has named this year Holy Year of Mercy. For many of us, his word “mercy” carries tones of forgiveness and reconciliation. We think of the mercy we are shown when we fall short or miss the mark. As Pope Francis has said, mercy means more than asking and granting forgiveness, but being “called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time.” God’s mercy is a call to deep compassion. Holy Father has said, “This is the opportune time to change our lives! This is the time to allow our hearts to be touched! … It is the time to listen to the cry of innocent people who are deprived of their property, their dignity, their feelings, and even their very lives.”
Many Opportunities to Help
We in the Social Justice ministry feel especially called during this year of Mercy to create space and opportunities for all the members of our parish to participate in social justice activities that allow our hearts to be touched. Catholic social justice teaching is paramount to our faith and one of the church’s greatest contributions to the Christian tradition.
Social Justice Ministry in Action
The Social Justice ministry will continue to do some of the things we as a parish are used to doing, such as collecting food, clothing, diapers, and other necessities for Pregnancy Aid. We will continue the parish tradition of hosting a homeless family through the Catholic Housing Network (formerly Phoenix Housing Network). We will continue to donate food and clothes to Nativity House, which serves the chronically homeless.
Looking at the Structural and Systemic Causes
We are also choosing to invite everyone in our parish into a deeper conversation about the structural and systemic causes of the problems we address through these programs. What are the structures at play that lead to homelessness? What are the societal and systemic issues that create such need among certain cross sections of society? What feeds and supports the systems of oppression? And what is a uniquely Catholic response to this?
Showing Mercy to the Least Among Us
As Catholics, we have been called to show mercy to “the least among us”. Following in the lineage of Dorothy Day, Mother Teresa, and others we are called to be the hands, eyes, and ears of God for each other, and this call asks us to get very uncomfortable. We need to be uncomfortable enough with the state of things, and clear enough that we are one and the same with those who are suffering, that we will be motivated to use all that we have – our time, energy, talents, and gifts – in service of justice and compassion.
Doing the Work of Mercy
Social Justice ministry provides opportunities to stand in solidarity with those who are suffering. We invite you to join us and if you are not able to join us at this time, please pray for us, that our hearts are inflamed with God’s love, so that we can do the work of mercy in the world.
Join Us to be the Face and Hand of God for Those In the Margins
The Social Justice Ministry meets the 4th Wednesday of each month in the Parish Center at 6:30 PM. All are welcome.
I Want Social Justice