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SOCIAL JUSTICE - FRANCISCAN ACTION & ADVOCACY

Welcome & Introduction

Thank you for visiting the homepage of Franciscan Action and Advocacy, the social justice office at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Triangle, Virginia.

Please visit all of our site webpages and the parish web calendar to get a basic overview of our social justice efforts (as it relates specifically to advocacy, actions, and activities).

Special Events & Activities

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Consistent Ethic of Life

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GreenFaith

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Franciscan HNP JPIC

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Faith Education

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Franciscan Action & Advocacy Council

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We were blessed to have our ministry featured in the National Catholic Register (story by Peter Jesserer Smith)

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Environment Integral Ecology

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We encourage everyone to listen to Bishop Robert Barron’s fresh take on Catholic Social Teaching (link).

Action & Advocacy Organizations

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Anti-Human Trafficking

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The U.S. Catholic Bishops have said that “The Two Feet of Social Action” are “Charity” (direct service) and “Justice” (change): Social Justice “concerns the social, political, and economic aspects and, above all, the structural dimension of problems and their respective solutions” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, no. 201). We step with this foot when we work to address the root causes of problems facing our communities by advocating for just public policies and helping to change the social structures that contribute to suffering and injustice at home and around the world.

For example, while it’s important that we donate money, food and clothing (like at our St. Francis House), it is equally important that we at the same time advocate for just policies and solutions to larger issues and problems (for instance, at a peaceful rally on behalf of an important cause or a letter-writing campaign or forming a task force, among many other things). It is in this definition of justice, and for love of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, that the St. Francis of Assisi Parish’s Franciscan Action and Advocacy ministry is founded.

On behalf of the good of all, we are passionate about Christ-centered action and advocacy — in harmony with the Holy Bible, Catholic Social Teaching, and unapologetically Franciscan.

The entire spectrum of thought is considered, as we desire to be truly representative of the parish and leveraging the diversity of ideas to optimize effective delivery of the Good News of Jesus Christ to all.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments, input or ideas.

We look forward to working together — as we put our faith into action — loving God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, and our neighbors as ourselves — going from Gospel to life and life to the Gospel!

Pope Francis

“Everybody, according to his or her particular opportunities and responsibilities, should be able to make a personal contribution to putting an end to so many social injustices.”

“I want a mess in the dioceses! I want people to go out! I want the Church to go out to the street! I want us to defend ourselves against everything that is worldliness, that is installation, that is comfortableness, that is clericalism, that is being shut-in in ourselves. The parishes, the schools, the institutions, exist to go out! If they don’t go out, they become NGOs, and the Church can’t be an NGO.”

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Catholic Social Teaching

Catholic social teaching is a central and essential element of our faith. Its roots are in the Hebrew prophets who announced God’s special love for the poor and called God’s people to a covenant of love and justice. It is a teaching founded on the life and words of Jesus Christ, who came “to bring glad tidings to the poor . . . liberty to captives . . . recovery of sight to the blind”(Lk 4:18-19), and who identified himself with “the least of these,” the hungry and the stranger (cf. Mt 25:45). Catholic social teaching is built on a commitment to the poor. This commitment arises from our experiences of Christ in the Eucharist. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest, his brethren” (no. 1397).

Catholic social teaching emerges from the truth of what God has revealed to us about himself. We believe in the triune God whose very nature is communal and social. God the Father sends his only Son Jesus Christ and shares the Holy Spirit as his gift of love. God reveals himself to us as one who is not alone, but rather as one who is relational, one who is Trinity. Therefore, we who are made in God’s image share this communal, social nature. We are called to reach out and to build relationships of love and justice.

Catholic social teaching is based on and inseparable from our understanding of human life and human dignity. Every human being is created in the image of God and redeemed by Jesus Christ, and therefore is invaluable and worthy of respect as a member of the human family. Every person, from the moment of conception to natural death, has inherent dignity and a right to life consistent with that dignity. Human dignity comes from God, not from any human quality or accomplishment.

Our commitment to the Catholic social mission must be rooted in and strengthened by our spiritual lives. In our relationship with God we experience the conversion of heart that is necessary to truly love one another as God has loved us.

– From USCCB Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions

“Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the Church’s mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation.”

(Justice in the World, #6)

“The Holy Spirit helps us to understand that in order to be holy today, one needs a commitment to social justice.”

(Synod of Bishops, 1987)

Catholic Social Teaching “is an essential part of the Christian message…and an essential element of the New Evangelization.”

(John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, #5)

He has showed you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you?
but to do justice,
and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God.
– Micah 6:8

Franciscan Blessing/Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain to joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in this world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done,
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

Amen.

Vist our GreenFaith page

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St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church is honored to be a GreenFaith-certified faith-based environmental leader, an official “GreenFaith Sanctuary” and a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat® site!

For more information on Social Justice – Franciscan Action and Advocacy, please contact Br. Henry Fulmer, OFM:

 

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