Why a Social Action Committee?

A few thoughts on a legacy which flows from our Centennial Celebration:
an established Social Action Committee. Aren’t we already doing a lot to help
those in need? A legitimate reflection; immediate needs are met by giving out
food, clothing, etc., but has the Good News of Jesus been well served? Charity is
the highest virtue – the voluntary giving of our time, money, energy. Yet charity
alone can present a danger; persons and situations remain unchanged, persons
are not empowered. Worse yet, we may remain unchanged and we may benefit
from a significant ego boost for our good works.

Charity and justice, though different, are inseparable. In “The Joy of the
Gospel” Pope Francis expresses his wish for the Church, “How I would love a
Church which is poor and for the poor.” Ch 4, #198. He wants us to take a good
look at our relationship to Jesus. Are we true followers of Jesus? Have we
incarnated the mind and heart of Christ? Jesus wanted the blind to see, liberty
for the captives and deliverance for the oppressed. Jesus, the icon of
vulnerability, felt the pain of the poor and the sick. He addressed both their
spiritual and physical needs and empowered people, “pick up your mat and
walk.” Mk 2:11. He was not just into free handouts.

Social justice is about ad-just-ing ourselves to God; fulfilling His will that
we be children of the same Father. This is a tall order; letting go of ourselves:
our need to control, to be safe and secure, and to be recognized. We need to
put the focus on God and on others. Can we be a Church that is poor and for the
poor; creating a world of equality and respect for all? Our Social Action
Committee raises awareness as to parish community, local and universal needs.
It educates on relevant issues and advocates for those in need. To accomplish
these goals, the cooperation and collaboration of the whole faith community is
required.

Sr. Celine Dery

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