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.”
-Luke 4:18–19

“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

Voices from Death Row:

A Conversation with Lyle May and Tessie Castillo

Join Tessie Castillo and Lyle May, co-authors of Crimson Letters: Voices from Death Row September 22nd 6 – 7:30pm on Zoom for a Q&A book discussion and discourse on faith and activism.

Lyle May, who is currently serving a death sentence in North Carolina’s Central Prison, will call in from prison share his faith journey to Catholicism, his struggle to find hope and purpose while serving a death sentence, and to answer audience questions about life and faith on Death Row.

Please join us for this important and moving conversation.

To sign-up and get access to the zoom link, go to http://bit.ly/voicesfromdeathrowSFA

Our St. Francis Prison Pen Pal Ministry is instrumental in helping make this event happen. For more information about this ministry, go to https://www.stfrancisraleigh.org/prison-pen-pal/

On September 15, 2020, we hosted a virtual event via Zoom sharing the details of St. Francis of Assisi Church’s solar project, how this commitment helps our parish live out our mission and values, and ways to take the next step in solar for your church, business, or home. This program included presentations from St. Francis staff person Trevor Thompson, St. Francis parishioner Larry Petrovick, St. Francis solar contractor Scott Alexander from Eagle Solar & Light, and Fr. Pat Cahill, pastor and Bill Maloney, Solar Project Manager, both from St. Eugene Catholic Church in Asheville, NC.

You can access a recording of this event by clicking on this link: WHY SOLAR ON A CHURCH?

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

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.

If you are interested in being part of the next cohort, or have further questions, contact, becky.cawley@stfrancisraleigh.org or 919-847-8205×267.

Racial Equity

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 being part of the next cohort, or have further questions, contact, becky.cawley@stfrancisraleigh.org or 919-847-8205×267.

If you are interested in learning more about racial justice and the systemic nature of racism – click here.

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