JustFaith graduates from the last 10 years at St. Francis recently gathered for a reunion party featuring Fr. David as guest speaker. JustFaith is an intense and transformative small group program in which participants learn about the needs of people suffering from poverty and injustice and explore how God is calling them to compassionate action.
The role of the church is to respond to the needs of the wider community, said Fr. David. “We exist because we ask what does the city need and how we can help. ” He also emphasized the importance of connections with other people to spiritual growth.
Three JustFaith graduates also spoke of how JustFaith transformed their lives.
Heather Curran (JustFaith Alum 2011):
When Heather joined the parish community in 2010, she was new to the area and struggling to find connection. She signed up to participate in JustFaith as the first thing she did at St. Francis. She works as a nurse in pediatric oncology.
Heather: “JustFaith has given me a lot more than time talking about the issues. It’s given me a framework going forward in thinking about issues that used to be theoretical.… It’s more than just a Bible study and learning the doctrine of the church – it’s coming together as a community.… Just Faith empowers a community to encounter the Gospel and to continue to seek and that has been an incredible blessing.”
Matthew Kane (JustFaith Alum 2006):
JustFaith has fueled Matthew’s participation in Rotary International. Through Rotary, he has helped start a nonprofit that provides textbooks for kids in rural areas of Guatemala. He has also helped found a microcredit lending program in rural Guatemala. He traces these efforts to his JustFaith experience.
Matthew: “It has helped me be proud of my Catholic faith and its focus on the dignity of the human person and its relentless focus on the option for the poor and vulnerable.”
Linda Tucker (JustFaith Alum 2012):
Linda, a retired teacher, admitted that she was a little nervous when she signed on to participate in JustFaith, and initially she was overwhelmed with so many complex social issues. But she notes that the program made the issues more central in her life.
Linda: “I couldn’t escape those issues as I had as a parent, wife and teacher busy administering to 25 children. Once I started JustFaith, I was always talking to my family and friends about it. I sent books to family and friends in Ohio, saying ‘You’ve got to read this.’ After I finished, I decided to focus on poverty and hunger.”
Now, Linda’s been actively involved in the weekly protests at the North Carolina legislature called “Moral Mondays.”
Linda: “I kept reading in the paper all the things the legislature was passing and proposing and the effect it was having on the poor. I had to do something. It was the first time I ever did anything like this. I’d never been in a protest before… I hope through the publicity that’s coming out of this that more people in North Carolina will be aware of what was happening.… How can you do this to poor people and call yourselves Christian?”
To learn more about JustFaith, call Trevor Thompson at 919-847-8205 x270 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.