St. Margaret Mary Parish Peace & Justice Advisory Working Group

This group provides advice and support to the parish Justice & Outreach Minister in planning educational events, advocacy campaigns, liturgical resources and other activities that enable the parish to fulfill its social mission to provide charity and justice in our community, our nation and our world.

The Church teaches that social justice is an integral part of evangelization, a constitutive dimension of preaching the gospel, and an essential part of the Church’s mission.  … We need to build local communities of faith where our social teaching is central, not fringe; where social ministry is integral, not optional; where it is the work of every believer, not just the mission of a few committed people and committees.

Communities of Salt & Light: Reflections on the Social Mission of the Parish National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1993
What we can’t do alone we can do together

Please select for more information on:

Future Programs, Campaigns, and Events

We need to build local communities of faith where our social teaching is central, not fringe; where social ministry is integral, not optional; where it is the work of every believer, not just the mission of the few committed people and committees. . We need to share and celebrate our common social heritage as Catholics, developing materials and training tools that ensure that we are sharing our social teaching in every educational ministry of our parishes.

Communities of Salt & Light: The Social Mission of the Parish, U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1993

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Parish Social Mission Weeks

The most important setting for the Church's social teaching is not in a food pantry or in a legislative committee room, but in prayer and worship, especially gathered around the altar for the Eucharist. It is in the liturgy that we find the fundamental direction, motivation and strength for social ministry.

Communities of Salt & Light: The Social Mission of the Parish, U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1993

Periodically our parish focuses on the principles of Catholic Social Teaching in a more intentional way. During our parish social mission weeks our liturgies, homilies educational programs and other parish activities raise up one or more important aspect of Catholic teaching as it relates to human dignity, human rights and our special concern for the poor.

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E-Mail Legislative Alert Network

The voices of parishioners need to be heard on behalf of vulnerable children— born and unborn —on  behalf of those who suffer discrimination and injustice, on behalf of those without health care or housing, on behalf of our land and water, our communities and neighborhoods. Parishioners need to bring our values and vision into the debates about a changing world and shifting national priorities.

Communities of Salt & Light: The Social Mission of the Parish, U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1993

What is the E-Mail Legislative Action Alert Network?

In order to bring our Catholic values and visions into the political arena, our parish E-Mail Legislative Action Alert provides parishioners with an opportunity to become involved in the political process on issues that affect the human dignity and rights of all people in accordance with Catholic Social Teaching. Participants will receive timely legislative action alerts on the issues of their choosing. This action alert network is only available to those with access to e-mail.

How you can participate in the E-mail Legislative Action Alert Network

  1. Study the issues described below and determine which ones you would like to address as a member of the action alert network.
  2. Complete the response form and return it in person to the parish office or retun it by mail to: Legislative Action Alert Network, St. Margaret Mary Parish, 1450 Green Trails Dr., Naperville, IL  60540.

Your information will be added to the network and you will begin receiving background materials on pending legislation, official Church position statements and action alerts on the issues you have chosen.

The following are the issues that the Legislative Action Alert Network addresses

Abortion/Euthanasia/Cloning & Stem Cell Research

Human life is a gift from God, sacred and inviolable. This is the teaching that calls us to protect and respect every human life from conception until natural death. Because every human person is created in the image and likeness of God, we have a duty to defend human life in all its stages and in every condition. … Abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human life and dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental good and the condition for all others.

(Faithful Citizenship, U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1999)
Anti-Poverty (TANF/Welfare/WIC)
For the Catholic community, the measure of welfare reform is whether it will enhance the lives and dignity of poor children and their families. The target of reform ought to be poverty, not poor families. The goal of reform is reducing poverty and dependency, not cutting resources and programs. Church teaching on economic justice insists that economic decisions and institutions be judged on whether they protect or undermine the dignity of the human person. We support policies that create jobs with adequate pay and decent working conditions, increase the minimum wage so it becomes a living wage, and overcome barriers to equal pay and employment for women and minorities.
Death Penalty
Our nation’s increasing reliance on the death penalty is extremely troubling. Respect for human life must even include respect for the lives of those who have taken the lives of others. It has become clear, as Pope John Paul II has taught that inflicting the death penalty is cruel and unnecessary. The antidote to violence is not more violence. As part of our prolife commitment, we encourage solutions to violent crime that reflect the dignity of the human person, urging our nation to abandon the use of capital punishment.
Education/Childcare
All persons of whatever race, sex condition or age, by virtue of their dignity as human beings, have an inalienable right to a quality education. The provision of a quality education, which helps prepare each person to address the complex challenges of our society and world, is a lifelong process and is the responsibility of all members of our civic society. All parents—the first, most important educators –should have the opportunity to exercise their fundamental right to choose the education best suited to the needs of their children, including private and religious schools. Families of modest means especially should not be denied this choice because of their economic status.
Environment
Our call to environmental justice includes supporting policies that promote sustainable economic practices that reduce the current stress on natural systems, remain consistent with sound environmental practices, and establish common ground between the needs of workers and the environment. We support policies that place the needs of the poor as a priority through a more just and equitable sharing of the earth’s resources and foster environmental justice through the elimination of discriminatory practices which place a disproportionate burden on poor people and communities of color. We support efforts to promote policies which ensure a fair balance between public and private costs of environmental protection and seek alternative agricultural and energy sources that rely less on chemical intensive agricultural practices and non-renewable energy sources.
Health Care
Our nation’s health care system still serves too few and costs too much. Decent health care is an essential safeguard of human life. We believe reform of the health care system must be rooted in values that respect the essential dignity of each person, ensure that human life is protected, and recognizes the unique needs of the poor. Our criteria for reform include respect for life; priority concern for the poor, universal coverage, pluralism, cost containment and controls, and equitable financing. As part of our efforts to achieve fundamental health care reform, we will support measures to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid and work for incremental measures that extend health care coverage to children, pregnant women, workers, immigrants and other vulnerable populations.
Housing/Homelessness
The lack of safe, affordable housing is a national crisis. We support a recommitment to the national pledge of “safe and affordable housing” for all and effective policies that will increase the supply of quality housing and preserve, maintain and improve existing housing. We promote public/private partnerships, especially those that involve religious communities.
Hunger
Food is not like any other commodity: it is necessary for life itself. Our support for Food Stamps, the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC) and other programs that directly benefit poor and low-income people is based on our belief that no one should face hunger in a land of plenty. Those who grow our food should be able to make a decent living and maintain their way of life. … Our priority concern for the poor calls us to advocate especially for the needs of farm workers whose pay is often inadequate and whose housing and working conditions are often deplorable. In a world where 800 million people, half of them children, are starving or malnourished, we support food and agriculture policies that makes food security for all people its first priority.
International Peace & Human Rights
Building peace, combating poverty and despair, and protecting freedom and human rights are not only moral imperatives, but also wise national priorities. … We urge the reshaping of foreign aid programs designed to combat poverty, with sustainable development and economic opportunities for the poor. We urge accelerated progress toward preventing nuclear proliferation, eliminating nuclear weapons, and restraining conventional arms trade. … Respect for fundamental human rights is necessary if nations are to serve human dignity and the common good, including civil, political, social and economic rights. … With respect to international human rights, there is a pressing need for the United States to pursue a double task: 1) to strengthen and expand international mechanisms by which human rights can be protected and promoted; and 2) to give greater weight to the human rights dimensions of U.S. foreign policy.

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Resources

As bishops and pastors, we believe the Church' social teaching is integral to our identity and mission as Catholics. This is why we seek a renewed commitment to integrate and to share the riches of the Church's social teaching in Catholic education and formation at every level. . The test of our Church is not simply have we 'kept the faith,' but have we shared the faith.

Social Teaching: Challenges & Directions, U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1998

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