On any given day, we can our feel overwhelmed by the fragility of life in what Pope Francis has called a “throwaway culture.” We know we need to pray for healing, for peace, and for justice: “Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” We also know that we need to reach out beyond our comfortable lives and share the abundance of love that we have been given by God. There are so many whose lives are broken and are looking for some sign of hope and mercy in a dark world. Our best gifts are often our presence, our friendship, and our solidarity. When we do this work, it is frequently the case that God surprises us when we discover that Christ is already streaming his light and love in the darkest of places.
Below are a number of ways that you can come together with other parishioners, or even explore on your own, the depth and richness of our tradition. Let us know how we can help you find your way!
Events and Small Group Courses
We also host speakers and occasional community conversations on important social topics connected with our faith. (Speakers)
Our most popular learning opportunity is (JustFaith), an intensive small group experience focused on Catholic Social Teaching and living Christ’s call to compassion in the modern world. JustFaith runs from September through April in 24 sessions.
We periodically offer small group mini-courses that allow participants to explore a single social issue more deeply through the lens of the Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching in a way rooted in prayer, study, and action. Past topics have included immigration, climate change, health care reform, and peace-making and non-violence. If you are interested in exploring a specific topic in a future Study Circle, contact Trevor Thompson, 919-847-8205 x270
Way of Francis
The Way of Francis is a comprehensive exploration of Christian and Franciscan spirituality. It includes a focus on “justice and peace,” where the pilgrim parishioner has an opportunity to explore how he or she is tending the gifts of our world and all life by hearing God’s call to care for creation and the least among us. This exploration of justice and peace will be integrated with other aspects of the spiritual journey, such as prayer, the Eucharist, and family life.
(Way of Francis)
Justice and the Arts
The Justice Theater Project is an advocacy and activist theater group inspired by the social justice teaching and tradition of the Catholic Church. The mission of the Justice Theater Project is to use the dramatic arts as a way to call to the fore of public attention the needs of those who are poor, marginalized and oppressed. Every year, JTP identifies a theme related to a difficult social issue and offers at least three productions that engage the theme. With other planned programming like pre-show talks or panel discussions, participants have an opportunity to explore the social issue in greater depth. JTP also puts on an awesome annual production of The Black Nativity, a retelling of the Christmas nativity story through dance, Gospel music, and the poetry of Langston Hughes. Finally, every summer, JTP puts on the popular JTP summer camp that welcomes many youth in the Triangle area.
Catholic Social Teaching
The church’s social teaching is rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amid the challenges of modern society. We offer here a way to explore, read, ponder, question, reflect, and believe more deeply. We highlight a Catholic Social Teaching theme each month under “Faith in Action: Catholic Social Teaching”
(Click here) for more information about Catholic Social Teaching
Prayer, charity, and solidarity comprise the essence of our faith.
Part of feeling overwhelmed by the immensely complicated social issues of our world is that we have nowhere to think about them in a safe and prayerful space. We don’t know what to think or feel about hunger or racism or any number of issues in light of our faith, so we end up confused and paralyzed. We might even opt out of thinking about our world’s problems.
Yet, we know that making some kind of meaning from all the chaotic violence and brokenness within us and in our communities is vital for our own sanity. It is also the necessary ingredient before we can confidently be an advocate on behalf of another person who has no hope or whose dignity is being threatened.
Our Gospel tradition and the Church’s social teaching are rich treasures of wisdom for finding this sanity, building a just society, and living lives of holiness. It is important that we do this thinking and feeling work so we can indeed be “salt of the earth” and “light of the world.” As St. Paul reminds us, we are called to put on the mind of Christ. Join us as we learn how in our everyday lives we can show God’s love and participate in the promise of a world of justice and peace.