PEACE AND JUSTICE MINISTRIES
"There is no peace without justice..." --St. Pope John Paul II
Peace & Justice Ministry has to do with social justice and, as St. Pope John Paul II said, “There is NO PEACE without justice...” The ministries at St. Therese Church that have to do with social justice are:
- Christian Services (a ministry of giving economic assistance to the poor in our area)
- Detention Ministry (a ministry of giving time and attention to youth who are seing time in jail), and
- The Rosary Makers (a ministry of making and distributing Rosaries to those in poor areas or countries).
To find out more about each of these, click on one of the links to the left.
CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING is a body of doctrine developed by the Catholic Church on matters of poverty and wealth, economics, social organization, and the role of the state. Its foundations are widely considered to have been laid by Pope Leo XIII's 1891 encyclical letter “Rerum Novarum,” which advocated economic Distributism and condemned Socialism, although its roots can be traced to the writings of Catholic thinkers such as St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine of Hippo, and is also derived from concepts present in the Bible.
According to Pope Benedict XVI, its purpose "is simply to help purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgment and attainment of what is just…. [The Church] has to play her part through rational argument and she has to reawaken the spiritual energy without which justice…cannot prevail and prosper. Justice is not a mere human convention. When, in the name of supposed justice, the criteria of utility, profit, and material possession come to dominate, then the value and dignity of human beings can be trampled underfoot. Justice is a virtue which guides the human will, prompting us to give others what is due to them by reason of their existence and their actions. Likewise, peace is not the mere absence of war, or the result of man's actions to avoid conflict; it is, above all, a gift of God which must be implored with faith, and which has the way to its fulfillment in Jesus. True peace must be constructed day after day with compassion, solidarity, fraternity, and collaboration on everyone's part."
St. Pope John Paul II said that its foundation "rests on the threefold cornerstones of human dignity, solidarity, and subsidiarity." These concerns echo elements of Jewish law and the prophetic books of the Old Testament, and recall the teachings of Jesus Christ recorded in the New Testament, such as His declaration that "whatever you have done for one of these least brothers of Mine, you have done for Me."
To read what the U.S. Catholic Bishops have to say about economic justice, please check out their statement on the following website (written November, 1996): http://www.old.usccb.org/jphd/cffel.pdf.