JUSTICE AND SOLIDARITY
Our Social Justice Team‘s mission is to promote social justice and solidarity. Our role is to support the efforts that promote social justice and solidarity for the poor, the less fortunate or the victims of injustice. Representatives from the different pastoral units form the Social Justice Team for the Archdiocese of Moncton.
Our work towards the realization of this mission is to discover and expose the needs of the less fortunate such as the lack of money, no means of being heard etc. We try to defend people who have been unjustly treated and help them find solutions to their problems. We also work towards finding a remedy to this situation by collaborating with other groups with whom we share common goals.
Informing parishioners as well as the general public, about those people in our society who suffer from injustice and poverty and to show them the face of today’s poor is also one of our goals. These faces are often different from what they were in the past but they are just as real today in 2010. But we also realize that our efforts to promote social justice and charity for the poor must extend beyond our parishes or pastoral units and we therefore coordinate the actions proposed by Development and Peace.
We realize that our work is an integral part of our faith. It is this faith in God that makes us different from the other groups who work for social justice. The Church invites us to learn and share with others, the ten foundational principles of its social teaching.
I suggest that you read the article: TEN FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES IN THE SOCIAL TEACHING OF THE CHURCH by Robert P. Maloney, C.M., Depaul University. It enumerates the fundamental principles that are essential to our faith and, on which, rests the Church's preferential love for the poor.
Jesus also loved the poor with a preferential love and his teachings are rooted in God, for whom every human being is equal. In JOB 33, 6 the Bible says: See, before God I am as you are; I too was formed from a piece of clay. It is onlythrough Him that we can find the vision and the energy we need to persevere and work towards finding solutions. Through prayer and our complete confidence in God, the Spirit will work through us and give us the strength we need.
Like everywhere else in the world, our church in Moncton is constantly changing. Today we see other ways of being a church. It is gradually becoming genuine, sincere and therefore richer than it has been in the past. By having social justice and solidarity at heart, we represent a church that transmits God’s love, in our everyday lives, to the people that surround us. The same love that Jesus taught us.
THE MANY FACES OF POVERTY IN 2018
It is important for the Social Justice Team of the Archdiocese of Moncton to inform parishioners of the injustice and poverty some people in our society have to endure. Yes there are still people who live in poverty in 2018! It is important that their faces be revealed so that we can truly understand them and make a difference in their lives.
This is why we would like to bring to your attention the recent document LIVING IN POVERTY IN NB : NOT EASY! (September 2018) written by Auréa Cormier, NDSC; Ph. D.; Member of the CFSJ and St-Vincent de Paul Society. This report shows us that the poor are lacking in many ways to get out of poverty: money, psychological resources, physical capabilities, access to a support system, etc.
The poor are often the victims of prejudices. In order to combat these prejudices, interviews have been made with people on social assistance to relate their living conditions. The names are fictional. These people live in different parts of the province and have been chosen to reflect the reality thousands of N.B. citizens are facing. While reading these cases, it is obvious that these persons are not “living the good life”, but are struggling to make ends meet.
While we try to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, we, as a Church, are called to act in accordance to his preferential love for the poor. The question is: do we always listen to their cry? Our reflex is sometimes to cast them aside instead of listening to their suffering, solitude and deception. Pope Francis asks us to love them, not only in words or by giving a few dollars, but by being truly engaged and showing them kindness. We need to listen and to make a personal commitment so that real changes can occur.
Let us ask Jesus to transform our hearts and open them to the poor in our province so that these people don’t have to endure these prejudices. We need to try and make a difference in their lives.
With the author’s permission, we urge you to read attentively some of the interviews taken from the report LIVING IN POVERTY IN N.B.: NOT EASY! Please click HERE for access to the interviews.
Poverty is defined as the extent of an individual’s lack of resources. We can see while reading the testimonies recounted by the people who were interviewed that the poor are lacking in many ways: lack of money, lack of psychological resources, lack of physical capabilities, lack of access to a support system, the inability to earn a living related to employment barriers etc.
As people of faith, we must combat prejudices against the poor. We need to listen to them, care for them by making personal commitments so that changes can occur.
Using a quote from Pope Francis, Love is more about giving than receiving and is best expressed through action, not words.
Gladys LeBlanc, Coordinator
Social Justice Team, Archidiocese of Moncton
International Day for the Elimination of Poverty : Organized by the Common Front for Social Justice (CLICK HERE for the Power Point presentation).
Gladys LeBlanc, Diocesan Coordinnator
(506) 857-9531, extension 1230