Social Justice Ministry

Who we are…
St. Peter’s Social Justice Ministry is a faith-centered group which meets once a month to pray, study, plan and act.  Catholic Social Teaching educates us about the elements of Social Justice and helps us to identify issues for action for ourselves and the St. Peter’s community. We have focus areas that include Immigration/Refugee rights, Racial Justice and Dialogue, Ending Homelessness and Education for at risk students. In each of these areas, St Peter Catholic Church has ministries that, through our faith, take action.

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sebastian_cuOur first “Justice on Tap”
at Dilworth Neighborhood Grille gathered 60 parishioners in December for an evening of discussion about immigration and refugee policies over a meal and beverages. Dr. Sebastian Cobarrubias led a review of themes from the film “The Visitor” and prompted questions among the group. He also informed the participants about migration facts, trends and considerations.  Special guests Mohammed Al Kurdi and a young woman who has recently migrated from Syria told of their experiences resettling in Charlotte and the need for support in the community.

Charlotte Catholics: Their Stories in Black and Whiteolc-race-relations_1
Our Lady of Consolation and St Peter Catholic Churches came together for a dialogue about working together as Catholics to bridge racial perspectives and build an integrated faith outreach.  Action initiatives are being planned among our communities.  olc-race-relations_2web olc_blackwhite-catholics

 

 

 

 

Young Adults Put Mercy in Action at Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice ilovesocialjusticeposterOn the heels of an American presidential election characterized by vitriol, 1,800 young adults from Jesuit institutions across the country gathered in the nation’s capital at the 19th annual Ignatian Family Teach-In to learn, advocate, serve and meet others devoted to unity and peace. More>>

Read Bob Macpherson’s blog Unconfortable-Spirituality from the Family Teach-In for Justice

Link to Xavier University Migration programs: http://www.xavier.edu/mission-identity/programs/Mission-Animators-Projects.cfm

Jesuit Refugee Service provides education for children  See stories here: Education for All act  and   http://jrsusa.org/newseducation5

Parishioner Bob Macpherson shares his experience with Jesuit Refugee Service –  Read Here

 

Fr. Pete Neeley, SJ, of the Kino Border Initiative spoke at Mass on November 19 & 20 about the humane services this Jesuit initiative offers people on the US/Mexico crossing.  In our parish effort to connect with the situations affecting migrants on our borders, we connect with Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and the Kino Border Initiative (KBI). These Jesuit organizations companion, serve direct assistance, and advocate for people migrating to a better life.  The KBI website is at https://www.kinoborderinitiative.org/
A small delegation of St. Peter parishioners volunteered to visit the KBI in Nogales, Mexico.  Please read the blog to “relive” their experiences.
Nogales Blog by Bob Macpherson    Kino stories by Martha Schmitt

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The Kino Border Initiative (KBI) is a binational organization that works in the area of migration and is located in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.   The KBI was inaugurated in January of 2009 by six organizations from the United States and Mexico: The California Province of the Society of Jesus, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist, the Mexican Province of the Society of Jesus, the Diocese of Tucson and the Archdiocese of Hermosillo.  The KBI’s vision is to help make humane, just, workable migration between the U.S. and Mexico a reality.  Its mission is to promote US/Mexico border and immigration policies that affirm the dignity of the human person and a spirit of bi-national solidarity through:

  • Direct humanitarian assistance and accompaniment with migrants;
  • Social and pastoral education with communities on both sides of the border;
  • Participation in collaborative networks that engage in research and advocacy to transform local, regional, and national immigration policies.

Last month media outlets reported that the Obama Administration will initiate a new wave of raids to detain and deport Central American families and unaccompanied minors who have recently turned eighteen, despite the well-documented humanitarian and human rights crisis plaguing the Northern Triangle of Central America.  El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala are currently experiencing some of the highest rates of homicide and violence in the world, resulting in the forced displacement of thousands of their citizens to neighboring countries, as well as to the U.S.

Will you join me in urging President Obama to stop these destructive raids?

Many of those targeted for deportation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), have valid claims to humanitarian protection in the United States but lacked adequate legal representation or were fast tracked through legal proceedings without basic due process guarantees.  (see Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and U.S.-based Jesuit law schools involvement in advocating for legal representation of children in migration and asylum proceedings)

The targeting of these highly vulnerable children and families is part of an inhumane and inappropriate response to the current need for protection of Central American migrants. Returning endangered individuals to life-threatening circumstances is a violation of our most basic commitments as a nation.  As a person of faith committed to supporting our endangered migrant brothers and sisters, join me in urging our elected officials to stop the raids targeting Central American children and families!

JESUIT CALL for an END TO IMMIGRATION RAIDS in the USA   (Link) Click here to spend a moment to Pray with Refugees 

Download Video as MP4

Video Iraq refugees living in North Carolina grateful for church’s help   Catholic Social Ministry Gathering News

Immigration Reform
Join Ignatian Solidarity Network’s call for humane reform by signing our “Ignatian Network Letter for Immigration Reform.”   Stay informed with the USCCB click on this link:  http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/index.cfm

Homeless Relief
Housing First  presentation by Caroline Chambre Hammock, Director of Urban Ministry Center HousingWorks Program, and St. Peter parishioner TOPIC:  “Housing First” – citywide initiative to end homelessness by 2016   ENDING CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS IN 2016   In response to this initiative, volunteers from our parish join St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in moving homeless families into their permanent homes  through Supportive Housing Communities. This ministry accepts furniture and household donations for pick up, moves in, decorates these homes and  provides the first meal for these deserving families.  For more information, contact Betsy Chapman at homelessreliefministry@gmail.com.

Come Meet Us And See What We’re About! Our meeting takes place on the  third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm in Biss Hall.  All parishioners are invited!
For more information about the Social Justice Ministry, please contact  Barbara Dellinger or  Bob Cook.

Join Pax Christi for an end to the death penalty. Visit the Pax Christi website to learn more.
http://paxchristiusa.org/2013/03/22/death-penalty-pcusa-endorses-starvin-for-justice-fast-and-vigil-to-end-the-death-penalty/

Click HERE to read the statement from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on the death penalty.
Click HERE to read “The Principles of Catholic Social Teaching and Gun Control”.

To find contact information for your Senator or congressperson in the House of Representative:
http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Operating Principles:  Please click here.