Justice, Peace & Outreach Commission (JPOC)

The members of JPOC have committed themselves to serve you in the work of justice, dedicating their work to education and advocacy through prayerful action rooted in the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching. We invite you to join us. Currently, JPOC has three working groups, each with a focus drawn from the seven pillars of Catholic Social Teaching. They are: The Refugee Working Group, whose work centers on support for refugee resettlement The Housing Working Group, whose work centers on bringing stability to those who are homeless, or lack safe, affordable housing The Care for All Life Working Group, whose work centers on promoting the consistent ethic of life, including care for creation.

The tasks are many. They range from prayer to the Holy Spirit for guidance, to picking up a hammer for Habitat for Humanity, to helping a refugee family find their way through the maze of an American grocery store to writing a letter to your representative regarding legislation in support of Catholic values. There is something for everyone here, whether you have one hour or one day per week to commit to living out the Gospel.

Please check the bulletin or click on the banners below to see how you can get involved.

SEVEN PILARS OF CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING:

The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. This belief is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching. We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.

The person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society in economics and politics, in law and policy directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. Marriage and the family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined. We believe people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially poor and vulnerable people.

The Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities–to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.

A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition instructs us to put the needs of poor and vulnerable people first.

The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then 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. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world. At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Pope Paul VI taught that “if you want peace, work for justice.” The Gospel calls us to be peacemakers. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.

We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. Care for the earth is a requirement of the Catholic faith. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation. This environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions that cannot be ignored.

For more information, please contact Sr. Mary Kerber mkerber@stmarys-wbl.org  651-429-7771 option 1.