Social Justice

Mercy

Mercy is not an abstract concept but a lifestyle.  A Christian who chooses to be merciful experiences true life and has "eyes to see, ears to listen, and hands to comfort!"

How sensitive or immune are you to the needs of the poor?

  •          Do you see pain, and do not touch it?
  •          Do you hear weeping, but do not comfort it?
  •          Do you see injustice, but say and do nothing about it?

‘As you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me.’ (or, if you ignore others you ignore Me)

Act!  Touch those in need!  Learn more:

If you are performing works of charity and mercy now, what more can you do?  Work for justice! 

Catholic Teaching on Immigration

God the Father continuously asks us to do challenging things.  Jesus does too!  Lent is a good time to reflect on our challenges in building the Kingdom of God on earth.

  • God may challenge you to become an immigrant and leave your home, as he told Abraham.  (Genesis 12: 1-4) 
  • Jesus does challenge you to “Love your enemies!” (Mt 5:43-48)  You may think of an immigrant or refugee as an enemy.
  • How much do you really trust God?  (Psalm 23:1-4)
  • How do you respond to others when God calls on you to do something uncomfortable?

Learn more!

INFORM AND FORM YOUR CONSCIENCE

Catholics must deal with many moral issues in an informed manner.  Our Bishops provide guidance on how to inform and form your conscience.  Review and act upon the following

  1. Forming Your Conscience

  2. Review issues and Catholic teaching

  3. Learn!  Review the following on the Bishops Web Site

    • Scripture (but learn the official teaching and meaning of the Word)

    • Catechism

    • Social Teaching

4.  Examine your conscience

5.  Pray!!!

6.  Fear no evil and trust in God!  (Psalm 23)

7.  Act!  Be compassionate, merciful, and work for Justice!

POVERTY AWARENESS

 Jesus taught “The Kingdom of God is at hand!”  (mentioned over 120 times in the Gospels)  Jesus focused on the vulnerable and outcasts, with whom He walked, talked, taught, comforted, healed, and fed.  Jesus lived in solidarity with the poor.  Do you?

  • "I want a Church which is poor and for the poor!" (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium)
  • Join the U.S. Bishops and the Catholic Community in the United States in taking up Pope Francis' challenge to live in solidarity with the poor!
  • Learn about the many issues of poverty and activities this month, e.g., dignity for workers, migration, care for creation, restorative justice, and many more. 

Act!  If you are performing works of charity now, what more can you do? 

  • Join with the Social Justice Ministry and Catholic Charities!
  • Help us Shelter 1 homeless family (was sleeping in a car)! 
  • Help set up an apartment!
  • Support financially ($33 = 1 day of CCFW shelter with a case manager, mentoring, job search, etc.; $99 = 3 days of shelter, etc.)!

Contact the Social Justice Ministry coordinator for details on how to get involved (Robert Torres, socialjustice@gscc.net   

The Teaching of Charitable Works & Social Justice

 

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39)

 

Charity:  In practical terms, how do you love yourself? 

When you are hungry, you ____;

When you are thirsty, you ____;

When you are ___, you___.

 

 

Justice:  Why are there so many hungry?  What are the real root causes of this?We are all each other’s keeper, because God entrusts us to one another. Solidarity is our responsibility and commitment to the common good of all and each individual. We stand with and for each other in pursuit of justice and peace.

Charitable works and social justice stand on the two feet of Catholic social teaching.  You are called to share treasure to help the poor and vulnerable (charity).  But you also are called to use your time, talents, and treasure to help change root cause conditions that oppress human dignity and cause poverty (justice).

Justice:  Justice asks the question after charity -- why are there so many homeless?  What are the real root causes of this?  We are all each other’s keeper, because God entrusts us to one another. Solidarity is our responsibility and commitment to the common good of all and each individual. We stand with and for each other in pursuit of justice and peace.

Contrasting Charity and Justice.  Charity is like first aid – take care of the initial need.  Justice is providing long term care until healing is achieved.  And like the Good Samaritan, God calls on us to be merciful and generous to those in need.

The Practice of Charity and Justice – An Example.  In spite of all that we are doing, there are around 2,000 homeless in Tarrant County.  Some 93% of them are vulnerable

  •  Children                     29%
  • Women                       24%  (domestic violence)
  • Mentally ill                 19%
  • Chronic homeless       11% (disabled, etc.)
  • Veterans                      10% (PTS, etc.)

How can you help assure charity, justice and dignity of life for the poor and the vulnerable?  Here are some options.  What others do you have?

  1. Charity.  Donate additional funds to Catholic Charities Fort Worth (CCFW) homeless programs.  $33 shelters a homeless person for a day at CCFW.  Send a Check to CCFW and write “Bridge to Housing” in the memo line.
  2. Dignity.  Volunteer your time and talent directly to Catholic Charities Fort Worth (CCFW) homeless programs as a mentor to help a homeless family transition from crisis to stability to thriving with dignity.
  3.  Justice.  Support the Social Justice Ministry’s Shelter 1 Project, which advocates obtaining additional funds for CCFW to shelter one (1) Tarrant County homeless person/family. 
    1. CCFW can shelter a homeless person/family for one year for $12,000.  That’s 365 of us giving an extra $33 to CCFW.
    2. During that time, CCFW case workers and mentors guide a homeless person/family from crisis to stability to thriving in jobs with living wages, savings, and appropriate debt.
    3. Tell your family and friends about the Shelter 1 Project and become an advocate for their participation. 
  4.  Justice.  Value workers by providing and/or advocating for a living wage (http://livingwage.mit.edu/counties/48439) for all workers ($22 an hour in Tarrant County for 1 adult and 1 child).  This applies to those who you employ or use in any capacity, including lawn care workers, housekeepers, restaurant workers, car wash workers, etc.
  5.  Justice.  When you purchase food, goods, and services, ensure that providers and workers are slave free.

Reflect on Pope Francis’ thoughts:

  • “But to all of you, especially those who can do more and give more, I ask: Please, do more! Please, give more!
  • When you give of your time, your talents and your resources to the many people who struggle and who live on the margins, you make a difference.
  • It is a difference that is so desperately needed, and one for which you will be richly rewarded by the Lord.”

 ACT!!!

  • Pray for healing, compassion, justice, and peace. 
  • If you are charitable, work for justice.
  • Volunteer for outreach opportunities at GSCC 
  • Join the Social Justice Ministry
  • Join our bishops in advocating for justice and human dignity (www.usccb.org).

Being Like Jesus

Among many things, Jesus prayed, taught the ignorant, fed the hungry, healed the sick, consoled the grieving, talked with outcasts and strangers, admonished the sinner, challenged those in power, and forgave. His challenge to each of us in everyday life is “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15: 12)

Did you know?

Did you know that Scripture has over 2,000 verses about poverty, oppression, and injustice? God is pleading for us to love mercy and justice, feed the poor, and care for the least among us.

Do We Know?

If there is a ministry or need that we are missing, please contact:

Sarah Luter at sluter@gscc.net,  817-421-1387 ext 209

Connect Group Lead: Robert Torres

 

                         

Living  a Socially Just Life

THE LEAST OF MY BROTHERS (MATTHEW 25: 34FF)

‘I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ The corporal and spiritual works of mercy, commandments, beatitudes, and recent Church teachings give us concrete examples for how to love others. Consider what you can personally do (time, talent, treasure) - starting at home and reaching out to others via GSCC Connect Groups in Ministry.