Justice and Peace
Vessels of Mercy a prayer for the Year of Mercy
God of Mercy, As you have forgiven us so you send us forth To bear your message of mercy to all.
Give us willing feet and gentle hands. Bless us with listening ears and searching eyes.
Endow us with understanding minds. Ordain us with compassionate hearts.
In our acts and in our words make us vessels of your mercy to reach out to the broken on behalf of the father who wipes away our debts as lovingly as he wipes away our tears and calls his children home.
Help us lift your people in body and spirit. And so make every year a year of mercy. Amen
“The United States prides itself on both its competitive sense of initiative and its spirit of teamwork. Today a greater spirit of partnership and teamwork is needed; competition alone will not do the job. It has too many negative consequences for family life, the economically vulnerable, and the environment. Only a renewed commitment by all to the common good can deal creatively with the realities of international interdependence and economic dislocations in the domestic economy. The virtues of good citizenship require a lively sense of participation in the commonwealth and of having obligations as well as rights within it.” The United States Catholic Bishops , 1986
In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation...It is necessary that all participate, each according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This obligation is inherent in the dignity of the human person...As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life.“ p.78 Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.
"The work for justice requires that the mind and the heart of Catholics be educated and formed to know and practice the whole faith...Foremost amongst those teachings are the four basic principles of Catholic social doctrine: the dignity of the human person, the common good, subsidiarity, and solidarity...but the foundational principles that guide these teachings should not be ignored in any case nor used selectively in order to serve partisan interests." p.4-5
To download a free copy of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship or for more information visit usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship.
2016 Bread for the World Offering Of Letters Campaign
UPDATE: Thank you for your help on behalf of poor and hungry people! Our parish's letters were combined with hundreds of letters across the diocese, and were hand-delivered to Senators Durbin and Kirk on Tuesday, June 7 on Bread for the World's Lobby Day. We are excited for this partnership between the Joliet Diocese and Bread for the World, and we look forward to continuing and building on our work together in the months ahead!
Who is Bread for the World? Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
The Goal: We want Congress to increase funding for nutrition programs from $115 million to $230 million, with a focus on programs for mothers, newborns, and young children . We will urge Congress to pass the Global Food Security Act, which continues U.S. investments in improving nutrition and increasing the productivity of smallholder farmers.
The Outcome: Good nutrition is crucial for the health, growth, and strength of both bodies and minds. Focusing on women and young children is important because these groups are the most vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition. Nearly half of the world’s smallholder farmers are women, with higher rates in developing countries. Women are also the ones in a family primarily responsible for caring for the children. Bread for the World Institute’s analysis shows that giving children good nutrition early in life — starting in the womb — benefits them in a multitude of ways throughout their entire lives.
ONE FOOD ITEM
Yes, food pantries are in need of donations. The Justice and Peace Committee invites you to help with filling that need by bringing ONE FOOD ITEM each Sunday. The committee also invites you to use that action as a motivation to look into why so many Americans need to depend on food pantries? Why so many of our children go to school hungry, what that means for their future, how food is distributed in the U.S. and around the world, how it is manufactured and by whom, what that means for everyone’s health.
Please bring ONE FOOD ITEM, but also be attentive to the information provided near the collection baskets. What a sight and sign it would be if even 100 of our families reached into their pantry each Sunday for the sake of others and filled the baskets!
50 Million Americans—1 in 4 children—don’t know where their next meal is coming from. A Place at the Table tells the powerful stories of three such Americans, who maintain their dignity even as they struggle just to eat. In a riveting journey that will change forever how you think about the hungry, A Place at the Table shows how the issue could be solved forever, once the American public decides—as they have in the past—that ending hunger is in the best interests of us all.
WATCH the trailer for "A Place at the Table" a powerful documentary that investigates incidents of hunger experienced by millions of Americans every day!
"The Justice and Peace Committee responds to Jesus' message of hope to the world, especially to the poor of the world. Our purpose is to learn and share information with the parish regarding the causes of poverty, causes of conflict and the misuse of the resources of the planet that are meant to enrich everyone and then to provide some of the avenues of action to help remedy unjust situations."
Some areas of concern could be: expanding access to affordable housing, supporting environmental protection laws, participating in a living wage campaign or advocating for international assistance.
If you are involved in or interested in any Social Justice issues and would like to go a step farther, please contact the Parish Office at 815.722.6653.
WHAT IS FAIR TRADE?
Quality Products. Improving Lives. Protecting the Planet.
Fair Trade goods are just that. Fair. From far-away farms to your shopping cart, products that bear our logo come from farmers and workers who are justly compensated. We help farmers in developing countries build sustainable businesses that positively influence their communities. We're a nonprofit, but we don't do charity. Instead, we teach disadvantaged communities how to use the free market to their advantage. With Fair Trade USA, the money you spend on day-to-day goods can improve an entire community’s day-to-day lives.
SEVEN THEMES OF CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING
LIFE AND DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
- Abortion, euthanasia, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, death penalty, prevention of conflicts, resolution of conflicts by peaceful means.
CALL TO FAMILY, COMMUNITY AND PARTICIPATION
- How we organize our society in economics and politics, in law and policy.
- Marriage and the family to be supported and strengthened.
- The right and duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITY
- Every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. Corresponding to these are duties and responsibilities to one another, to our families, and the larger society.
OPTION FOR THE POOR AND VULNERABLE
- We recall Mt. 25:31-46, the Last Judgment, and are instructed to put the needs of poor and vulnerable first.
THE DIGNITY OF WORK AND THE RIGHTS OR WORKERS
- The economy must serve people, not the other wary around. The basic rights of workers must be respected, the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions, to private property and to economic initiative.
- We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic and ideological differences. We are our brothers and sisters keepers, wherever they may be.
CARE FOR GOD'S CREATION
- We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. Care for the earth is a requirement of our faith.
Clarification of Church's Social Justice teachings can be found at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops official site at usccb.org.