Social Justice Concerns
We foster education, prayer and action around various social justice concerns and reach out to the parish in various ways to build the reign of God in our midst.
ABOUT THE SOCIAL JUSTICE AND CONCERNS COMMITTEE
The Catholic Church teaches us to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with one another and with God. Our parish can be a primary place
where we learn to love and care for each other and the world. Throughout his life, Jesus brought people together to learn, to pray, to care for each other and to care for the most vulnerable. The St. Francis Xavier parish community is our gateway to learning, understanding, and living the word of God.
Catholic social teaching recognizes the life and dignity of all people, the call to family, community and participation, the rights and responsibilities we all have to ourselves, others, and to our community and the special consideration which must be given to the weak , poor and vulnerable among us. How we live these teachings is an individual decision which can only be made as one comes to understand themself and the teachings of the Catholic Church. While it is an individual journey, it is not made alone but rather as part of the larger community.
The Social Justice and Concerns Committee, through its programs, materials and links posted on this webpage and various outreach activities will try to provide information in which an individual can find assistance as they seek to understanding how they are called to act. We also hope that through these efforts, St. Francis Xavier Parish will continue to strengthen as a community where individuals can find fellowship, support and opportunity to act out their faith in helping to build the reign of God.
THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING
Catholics worldwide strive to follow Jesus’ example of relating to one another. He openly embraced those that others shunned. He looked into the eyes of the afflicted and poor with compassion and love. Jesus calls us to do the same. He calls us to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, and welcome the stranger.
The Church identifies seven key principles of Catholic Social Teaching that stand today as a guide for furthering the education and understanding of what our response should be to the needs of those in our midst. The mission and vision of the St. Francis Xavier Social Justice Concerns Committee, our programs and services, are all wrapped around these vital tenants.
Life and Dignity of the Human Person. All people are sacred, made in the image and likeness of God. People do not lose dignity because of disability, poverty, age, lack of success, or race. This emphasizes people over things, being over having.
Call to Family, Community, and Participation. The human person is both sacred and social. We realize our dignity and rights in relationship with others, in community. “We are one body; when one suffers, we all suffer.”
We are called to respect all of God’s gifts of creation, to be good stewards of the earth and each other.
Rights and Responsibilities. People have a fundamental right to life,
food, shelter, health care, education and employment. All people have a right to participate in decisions that affect their lives. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities to respect the rights of others in the wider society and to work for the common good.
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable. The moral test of a society is how it treats
its most vulnerable members. The poor have the most urgent moral claim on the conscience of the nation. We are called to look at public policy decisions in terms of how they affect the poor.
The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers. People have a right to decent and productive work, fair wages, private property and economic initiative. The economy exists to serve people, not the other way around.
Solidarity. We are one human family. Our responsibilities to each other cross
national, racial, economic and ideological differences. We are called to work globally for justice.
Care of God’s Creation. The goods of the earth are gifts from God. We have a responsibility to care for these goods as stewards and trustees, not as mere consumers and users.
Church of the Week, March 28-April 4, 2016
Social Justice Meeting the first Thursday of each month - 6:30 p.m Xavier Hall.
There was no room for them in the (St Cloud) inn
Actually “St Cloud” is a collective name for Sauk Rapids, Sartell, St Joseph and Waite Park.
According to the Catholic Charities Outreach Advocate there are at least 100 homeless youths ages 16-24 in the St Cloud area every night. They sleep outside on cardboard, in cars, at a friend’s house or in a charitable shelter. Because of these horrible conditions they are more prone to need our medical services and find it more difficult to find or keep a job. While these statistics are embarrassing, these homeless youths are only a small fraction of the hundreds of individuals and families in the St Cloud area that can’t find affordable housing because their job only pays $12 - $15 an hour. Money is available to build affordable housing, developers want to build them. So what’s the problem? There isn’t enough support from our communities for city and county leaders to counteract the criticism from NIMBY people (“Not in my back Yard”) Having affordable housing will help fill vacancies at work, children will do better in school, families will use fewer medical services and neighborhoods will be stronger. We need to build community support by talking to our neighbors about this need and calling our Ward representative on the city Council to support affordable housing. At the first Christmas Mary and Joseph were told “there is no room in the inn”. Let’s not miss this opportunity again.