Social Justice

Current members of the commission are:  
Immaculate Conception: Jenni Doseck
St. Joseph: Bob Scherger, Holly Combs
St. Lawrence: OPEN
St. John: Kristin Ruppert

Learn more about Catholic Social Teaching and the way to put your faith into action in the Petersburg Parishes.
What is Social Justice?

Since at least 1891, the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church has reiterated the moral obligation of all members to put their faith into practice. This is what Catholics mean when we speak of “social justice.” It is not about subscribing to any particular political viewpoint, but about practicing what we preach, having a vibrant living faith.

So what do we preach? Most importantly, the Catholic Church teaches us to recognize that we are all brothers and sisters, created in God’s image, and we must love one another. Putting this into practice goes far beyond merely being nice to our neighbor. Within Catholic Social Teaching, we are called upon to take responsibility for each other and our world, working for systemic changes in public policies so that economic, governmental, and other systems and institutions are more responsive to human needs and protect the common good on a global level. (adapted from information provided by the Diocese of Salt Lake City)

In the spring of 2012 the Petersburg Parishes established a common social justice initiative with the creation of a social justice commission. For many months this group has met and studied Catholic Social Teaching, has documented existing social ministries, and begun to develop plans for future initiatives.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds. Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
--James 2: 14-18 (New American Bible)

James fully and completely embeds the concept of charity within the practice of Christianity. Contrast the above scriptural citation, from the earliest days of the Church, with the following:

The Church's deepest nature is expressed in her three-fold responsibility: of proclaiming the word of God (kerygma-martyria), celebrating the sacraments (leitourgia), and exercising the ministry of charity (diakonia). These duties presuppose each other and are inseparable. For the Church, charity is not a kind of welfare activity which could equally well be left to others, but is a part of her nature, an indispensable expression of her very being.
--Pope Benedict XVI, in Deus Caritas Est, December 25, 2005 (25)