Posted on 23. Aug, 2013 by admin.
This year is the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August of 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. To listen to it, watch the video or click the link below:
Posted on 03. Mar, 2013 by admin.
Our understanding of justice is rooted in the life and preaching of Jesus Christ, who declared: “The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives, sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim a year of favor from the Lord” (Luke 4: 18-19). Although uncertain and tentative at first, Francis came to recognize that Jesus called him through his experience of prayer and through the needs of his poor brothers and sisters. For Francis, this meant not only serving lepers, but living among them, expressing compassion in a visible, practical way.
Each person has been created in the image and likeness of God, and has been accorded great dignity. Yet we know that many in our world do not have access to fundamental human necessities, such as adequate food, clean water, shelter and health care. Our world is blessed by God and rich with resources, but billions of our brothers and sisters cannot access these essential resources. To proclaim justice means to work for the life, dignity and well being of all people, regardless of human difference.
We work for social justice among all peoples: in our communities, our states, nation and world. We feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, and care for the sick. We join our voice with those who advocate for a more compassionate society and a world without extreme poverty. The teaching of the Catholic Church is clear: the promotion of justice in our day is constitutive of preaching the Gospel. The US Bishops offer us a Catholic framework for economic life. Our country plunged into crisis in September 2008, and millions of families have suffered severe economic hardship. For a reflection on this in light of Franciscan values read Br. Bill Short’s Franciscan Economic Perspective.
The dignity and life of migrants is of special concern to the Franciscans of the St. Barbara Province. Many Catholic brothers and sisters in our midst are immigrants, some with legal documentation and some without. All are worthy of respect, all have dignity. We note with concern a rising tide of indifference and intolerance toward the migrants among us, despite the clear teaching of our tradition and our Church. We call on all people to respect the human dignity and human rights of immigrants, whether refugees or economic migrants. [some province statement about solidarity with migrants]
Posted on 21. Dec, 2012 by admin.
FI is pleased to release Franciscans International; Seeking Justice through the United Nations, a collection of case studies which reflect the variety of human rights challenges that FI addresses through our advocacy at the UN. This booklet serves as an introduction to the work of FI, with first-hand accounts of the experiences of our Franciscan partners at the grassroots around the world and their collaboration with FI in bringing crucial human rights issues to the attention of leaders at the highest international level. We invite readers to consider each case study from both a practical and a spiritual perspective.
This resource offers an excellent introduction to our work, the work of Franciscans defending human rights around the world, and the broader challenges in ensuring human development and social justice. We hope it will challenge you to reflect on the contribution you can make in seeking justice in your community, in your country, and across the world.
Posted on 09. Dec, 2012 by admin.
“All across the nation, blue collar workers and service personnel are being asked to bear the brunt of a brutal economy not caused by them. While corporate profits have risen dramatically over the last thirty years, workers’ wages and benefits have remained stagnant. Let’s support union organizing wherever and however we can: prayer, petition and participation.” Click on the link before to read about how some people are participating
Regan Chapman, O.F.M. (St. Barbara Province)
Posted on 25. Oct, 2012 by admin.
Cesar E. Chavez National Monument Dedication
October 8, 2012
Mark Schroeder, OFM
Here is my brief description of a “monumental” day for the Farm Worker Movement….Please check out the slideshow in the post following this one.
I was invited to attend this dedication, with my name on the “White House list” at the invitation of Virginia Nesmith, Director of the National Farm Worker Ministry. (I am past President of the Board.) Being approved on the White House list allowed me to be in the crowd closest to the podium.
There was an excitement in the air, no doubt about that. Yet I was deeply moved when the speakers began, realizing that the importance of us people of faith to uphold the rights and dignity of farm workers was now permanent–like this brand new national monument standing in the likes of how the Grand Canyon National Monument is permanent!
And my eyes teared when President Obama ended his long speech by quoting the last lines of the familiar “farm worker prayer” of Cesar Chavez. It became clear to me that this whole event is about:
* the iron-clad faith of Cesar who was a man of deep prayer and non-violence;
*the vast amount of prayers that decades of farm workers, far from family and home, have prayed–now with one more prayer offered by the President of the United States;
*the challenge of people of faith, like myself, to continue working for Justice.