Justice and Peace Formation
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”
“The Church cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice.”
– Pope Benedict XVI
The Church has a responsibility to bear witness to the Kingdom God breaking into our world in the here and now through our works of mercy and justice. The requires that we be rooted in the wisdom from our faith tradition, and, with well-formed consciences, be engaged with the social problems of the world as we work with others to address injustice and oppression and work for the common good of all, especially the most vulnerable.
The following opportunities invite you to continue your learning of our Catholic faith, especially the well-formed but not well-known Catholic social teaching tradition. If you are interested in how faith and politics go together in the Catholic tradition, or how to think about complex social problems through the lens of faith rather than partisan politics, or how to work more effectively and prudently for the kingdom of God, a kingdom of justice and peace, then these opportunities are for you!
Throughout the year, we offer a variety of small group opportunities, film and book discussions, community conversations, workshops, guest speakers, and more. We look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events!
Scroll down to read about upcoming opportunities!
Justice & Peace Formation Opportunities
Book and Film Discussion
on Faith and Racism
In the fall of 2018, the US Bishops published a pastoral letter on the sin of racism in our country, saying in that document that “racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart.” The bishops spoke about individual racism and systemic racism being part of the story. It is the latter version of racism that many of us are waking up to in new and challenging ways over the last weeks.
There are films to watch, books to read, news programs to engage in, podcasts to listen to, people to be in dialogue with, and more. It can be overwhelming and confusing to take it all in, but it also can be an enlightening time, one where we grow in faith, hope, and love and in our commitment to justice and peace.
What we are proposing are two dates in August where we can gather virtually via Zoom to discuss some of what we learning through our reading and watching.
To sign-up and see the book and film list
The Beautiful Diversity
of the Catholic Church
The Catholic Church is one of the most diverse institutions in the world. The Diocese of Raleigh is home to many individuals from different cultural backgrounds and traditions whose stories are an invaluable addition to our communities. Now more than ever, it is important that we as Catholics discuss our distinct faith traditions and appreciate how our differences bring us together.
Join us for a panel discussion with various members of the Triangle Catholic community as they share their unique Catholic experiences. We will have several different cultural traditions represented.
August 11, 2020, 7pm via the virtual technology of Zoom.
Hosted by Emerald Izuakor, St. Francis of Assisi parishioner, and Trevor Thompson, Director of Office of Justice and Peace at St. Francis of Assisi. Also, we will be featuring the art of St. Francis of Assisi parishioner Leticia Álvarez.
Please RSVP for participation at www.bit.ly/SFAcatholicdiversity and you will be sent a link for participation prior to event.
Artist Credit: Leticia Álvarez
Small Group Opportunities
JustFaith is an adult small group formation program (curriculum of JustFaith Ministries) that we offer annually that focuses on discipleship of Jesus and God’s call to live with the works of mercy, social justice, and deep compassion in a world scarred by poverty and ecological damage, in what Pope Francis calls a “throwaway society.” JustFaith participants meet weekly for 24 weeks (usually mid-September through mid-April) in a small group of 8 to 15 people. Participants are invited to a lively and challenging process of spiritual transformation through books, videos, discussion, prayer, retreats and meetings with people experiencing poverty and injustice.
If you are interested in being part of the next cohort, or have further questions, contact Trevor.Thompson@stfrancisraleigh.org or 919-947-8205×267.
Engaging Spirituality (also a curriculum of JustFaith Ministries) is an adult small group formation program that looks deeply at the injustices in our wounded world like the flagship JustFaith program, but this particular curriculum invites participants to develop a contemplative practice that allows for a deeper relationship with God that is necessary to the work of justice and peace. If we are called to contemplation and action, this program helps make sure our contemplative side is well-formed. The group will engage in silent centering prayer practices, active listening, journaling and retreats, and other practices that invite a deepening relationship to God through scripture, poetry, creation, the saints, and the lives of the poor and vulnerable.
We are offering a series of facilitated small group discussions on the topic of racial justice and our Catholic faith. Using a curriculum developed by JustFaith Ministries, this program invites participants to formulate their own Christian-rooted responses to racism. Through the fostering of active listening, dialogue, and prayer, this module forms a group that is rooted in trust and compassion. Through new learning from articles, videos, and resource books (including our US Bishops document on Racism called Open Wide Your Hearts), it lends new insights to participants’ awareness of privilege and racism. By encouraging new spiritual practices and informed action, it cultivates an expanding community of Christians who work to dismantle racism in their respective contexts.
If you are interested in learning more about racial justice and the systemic nature of racism – click here.