Advocacy at St. Francis
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” -Proverbs 31:8-9
“We need to participate for the common good. Sometimes we hear: a good Catholic is not interested in politics. This is not true: good Catholics immerse themselves in politics by offering the best of themselves so that the leader can govern.” – Pope Francis, 9/16/13
Are you interested in:
- addressing root causes of social problems in our world?
- helping political policies better reflect our Catholic values?
- the work of social justice, advocacy, and community organizing
- moving the needle of systemic wrongs and not just doing charity
- building the Kingdom of God here on earth
- making a real difference in people’s lives?
Part of our responsibility as Catholics is to participate in the debate over the values and vision that guide our communities and nations. Thus, our parish has prioritized coordinating opportunities for our parishioners to discern the “signs of our times” that threaten the vulnerable and poor, learn about the issues in light of our Catholic social teaching values, and then take action through Christian acts of charity and justice.
We take the Church’s words seriously that although there is no perfect policy, economic model, or presidential candidate, we nevertheless have an obligation to use our talents, resources, and opportunities of democracy to shape a society that is more respectful of the life, dignity, and rights of the human person and God’s creation. Pope Francis has echoed the line that previous popes have said, “The Church cannot and must not sit on the sidelines in the fight for justice.”
These words echo our founding Franciscan pastor, Fr. David McBriar, OFM, who always asked us, “What does the city need, and how can we help?”
We align all our advocacy work with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, particularly the Office of Justice, Peace, and Human Development and the Committees on Racism, Domestic Justice and Human Development, Pro Life Activities, International Justice and Peace, and Migration. The Catholic Church also provides formation and guidance for advocacy through Justice for Immigrants, Catholic Climate Covenant, Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. There are also a variety of Vatican Pontifical Councils dedicated to the work of advocacy related to integral human development, justice and peace, migration, health care, and family life.
This work is at the core of what it means to be a follower of Jesus in our world.
Finally, the US Bishops have also written a powerful teaching document to the Catholic faithful on our political responsibilities called Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (en Español). This statement represents our guidance for Catholics in the exercise of their rights and duties as participants in our democracy.
For more information and questions, contact Trevor Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Opportunities for Advocacy
Justice and Peace Formation and Advocacy Committee – Trevor Thompson – 919-847-8205 x270
This committee provides parish leadership for justice and peace formation and political advocacy in light our faith and our call to faithful citizenship. This committee works with parish staff and pastor to guide our efforts in being a voice of advocacy for the most vulnerable. This committee is focused on the following issues: immigration, climate change, beginning and end of life issues, racism, mental health, peacemaking/nonviolence, education, housing, and jobs. Our committee keeps abreast of these issues in light of Catholic Social Teaching and offers a variety of formation opportunities and advocacy actions for our community to live out its mission.
ONE Wake – Trevor Thompson – 919-847-8205 x270
Over the past couple years, St Francis of Assisi has been sharing in a new county-wide effort to involve citizenry in tackling the region’s most pressing problems: affordable housing, equitable education, and jobs with liveable wages. ONE Wake is about people: developing their innate skills and ability to work with each other to identify common problems, to find or create workable solutions, and to work together to implement systemic changes within society to achieve the common good. ONE Wake is a non-partisan, multi-ethnic, multi-issue group of religious congregations, associations, and other non-profits in the Wake County area with aggregate membership totaling in excess of 50,000 households. ONE Wake is a recipient of grant dollars from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development for their work of justice and advocacy for the most vulnerable. To read more about ONE Wake, go to their website: https://www.onewake.org/
USCCB Advocacy Alert
We encourage all Catholics to sign-up for the Advocacy Alerts from our US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). This is a wonderful way to keep up-to-date on how we might advocate to our legislators on behalf of our Catholic values.
For more information and to sign-up: https://www.usccb.org/take-action.