Our Lady of Hope Social Justice and Peace Ministry

The Our Lady of Hope Social Justice and Peace commission meets on the third Thursday of each month. During COVID 19, we meet by Zoom,
otherwise in person at St. Pius X Hall. If you are interested please email either Elizabeth Manning or Bill Slavick, co-chairs:

E-mail: Bill Slavick   Elizabeth Manning

Our Lady of Hope 2020 Voter Guide (Part 5)

Human Dignity , Solidarity, Subsidiarity, The Common Good

Over the past weeks our Parish Social Justice and Peace Ministry has prepared a guide to help us form our consciences and cast our vote this fall in ways that are true to the teachings of our Church. They have prepared a Guide to Voting and also are sponsoring a Town Hall meeting on October 6th to discuss these issues. The guide and comments are all based on Catholic Social Teachings. These four basic principles of Catholic Social Teaching are found in the USCCB’s Faithful Citizenship Guide: guide (pdf link: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/upload/forming-consciences-for-faithful-citizenship.pdf) . These principles will guide our discussion on timely topics, with the understanding that our approach is from a position of faith, rooted in the gospel, and not for political purpose. Each week we will highlight different topics of importance to Catholic voters. On October 6th the OLH Social Justice & Peace Commission will host a parish town hall meeting to discuss the guide in its entirety. For more information or further conversation, please contact OLHSJP@gmail.com

VOTING RIGHTS::Voting is essential to democracy. Gerrymandering and various forms of voter suppression tip the electoral scales, and disenfranchise entire social classes. All with a right to vote should be able to register easily and vote by mail or nearby, without having to wait hours or pay a poll tax or equivalent. How best to safeguard voting rights? HEALTH CARE: John XXIII’s Pacem in Terris (1963) declares health care, the safeguarding of life, a right. Affordable quality healthcare is necessary for a full and productive life. Abortion and euthanasia are alien to Catholic belief. What policies are best for all?

OUR RESPONSIBILITY: As Catholics our faith compels us to consider such issues, inform ourselves, and weigh the qualifications of candidates to address them. It will often not be easy to determine, on balance, given the array of major issues and their interrelationship, who is the superior candidate. We must, in conscience, do the best we can. We also have a responsibility to assist others in making voting judgments that best serve the common good and the dignity of every fellow citizen. We must learn to engage respectfully with others regarding political issues. Our goal as Christians must be to foster the dignity of all, to recognize that we are the Body of Christ, in love of neighbor and our commitment to justice and peace.

Our Lady of Hope 2020 Voter Guide (Part 4)

Human Dignity , Solidarity, Subsidiarity, The Common Good

Over the past weeks our Parish Social Justice and Peace Ministry has prepared a guide to help us form our consciences and cast our vote this fall in ways that are true to the teachings of our Church. They have prepared a Guide to Voting and also are sponsoring a Town Hall meeting on October 6th to discuss these issues. The guide and comments are all based on Catholic Social Teachings. These four basic principles of Catholic Social Teaching are found in the USCCB’s Faithful Citizenship Guide: guide (pdf link: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/upload/forming-consciences-for-faithful-citizenship.pdf) . These principles will guide our discussion on timely topics, with the understanding that our approach is from a position of faith, rooted in the gospel, and not for political purpose. Each week we will highlight different topics of importance to Catholic voters. On October 6th the OLH Social Justice & Peace Commission will host a parish town hall meeting to discuss the guide in its entirety. For more information or further conversation, please contact OLHSJP@gmail.com

REFUGEES & MIGRANTS: : The Good Samaritan parable instructs us to assist strangers in need. Pope Leo XIII’s On Condition of Labor (1891) affirms the right to migrate to sustain one’s life and one’s family’s. Church teaching recognizes the right of countries to regulate immigration, with due concern for justice and charity. With over 70 million refugees worldwide, what should be our responsibility,given our natural wealth, development, and prosperity, to assist with resettlement? What is our role as Catholics, in welcoming the stranger in our midst?

HEALTH CARE: John XXIII’s Pacem in Terris (1963) declares health care, the safeguarding of life, a right. Affordable quality healthcare is necessary for a full and productive life. Abortion and euthanasia are alien to Catholic belief. What policies are best for all?

EDUCATION: Gravissimum Educationis (Vatican II) affirms the inalienable right of all to an opportunity for quality education. How do we best ensure this right in an equitable and fair manner?

Our Lady of Hope 2020 Voter Guide (Part 3)

Human Dignity , Solidarity, Subsidiarity, The Common Good

Over the past weeks our Parish Social Justice and Peace Ministry has prepared a guide to help us form our consciences and cast our vote this fall in ways that are true to the teachings of our Church. They have prepared a Guide to Voting and also are sponsoring a Town Hall meeting on October 6th to discuss these issues. The guide and comments are all based on Catholic Social Teachings. These four basic principles of Catholic Social Teaching are found in the USCCB’s Faithful Citizenship Guide: guide (pdf link: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/upload/forming-consciences-for-faithful-citizenship.pdf) . These principles will guide our discussion on timely topics, with the understanding that our approach is from a position of faith, rooted in the gospel, and not for political purpose. Each week we will highlight different topics of importance to Catholic voters. On October 6th the OLH Social Justice & Peace Commission will host a parish town hall meeting to discuss the guide in its entirety. For more information or further conversation, please contact OLHSJP@gmail.com

ENVIRONMENT: Rising carbon pollution requires reduced use or elimination of fossil fuels, development of carbon-free energy sources and reduced energy use in consumption and manufacture if humanity is to survive. Genesis calls us to care for our human habitat. Laudato Si 17

ARMS AND MILITARISM: Our military consumes over half of federal expenditures, more than the next ten countries combined, seven trillion dollars since WWII. We are by far the world’s largest arms dealer. John Paul II condemned the extensive arms trade and declared the possession of nuclear weapons immoral. The Gospel rejects violence and the Vatican regularly calls for peaceful resolution of differences.

FOREIGN POLICY: Our military presence and military involvements throughout the world and our overt intelligence and surveillance network are marks of a belligerent and cynical world power. Needless wars, proxy wars, and support of oppression have occasioned great misery and killed or displaced millions throughout the world. What should be our role in world affairs? Which candidates would best support justice and charity and work for peace?

Our Lady of Hope 2020 Voter Guide (Part 2)

Human Dignity , Solidarity, Subsidiarity, The Common Good

Over the past weeks our Parish Social Justice and Peace Ministry has prepared a guide to help us form our consciences and cast our vote this fall in ways that are true to the teachings of our Church. They have prepared a Guide to Voting and also are sponsoring a Town Hall meeting on October 6th to discuss these issues. The guide and comments are all based on Catholic Social Teachings. These four basic principles of Catholic Social Teaching are found in the USCCB’s Faithful Citizenship Guide: guide (pdf link: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/upload/forming-consciences-for-faithful-citizenship.pdf) . These principles will guide our discussion on timely topics, with the understanding that our approach is from a position of faith, rooted in the gospel, and not for political purpose. Each week we will highlight different topics of importance to Catholic voters. On October 6th the OLH Social Justice & Peace Commission will host a parish town hall meeting to discuss the guide in its entirety. For more information or further conversation, please contact OLHSJP@gmail.com

RACISM: In the wake of George Floyd’s death, Americans have been obliged to face the evil of legalized racism and the continued police abuse of people of color. Confronting the economic and social consequences of white privilege is necessary to achieve a just and nonracist society. What is the government's responsibility? Who best will meet it?

INCARCERATION: The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. (716 per 100,000 of the national population). While the United States represents about 4.4 percent of the world's population, it houses around 22 percent of the world's prisoners. Our system of justice needs reform – who are the best candidates to lead this effort and how should it happen?

INCOME INEQUALITY: Since the first encyclical in 1891, the Church has affirmed the right to a living wage, enough for clothing, food, shelter, health, and modest comfort. The most recent encyclical, Laudato Si, declares that the poor should not be trampled on by powerful interests and a consumer culture that encourages taking more than a fair share of wealth. What is the proper role for government, and what is our individual responsibility?

Ignatian Solidarity Network – A Parish Journey for Racial Justice and Equity

Our Parish Council, Social Justice and Peace Ministry and parish staff members are preparing to participate in a zoom meeting this week with other Jesuit parish leaders on how to invite their faith community into reflection, conversation, prayer and action for racial justice and equity. The meeting is being sponsored by the Jesuit Provinces of the US and the Ignatian Solidarity Network. “We realize that all parishes, including those connected to the Jesuits, are in different places on this journey. Our hope for this virtual gathering is to bring together parishes that are in the beginning stages of this personal and communal work. We intend to bring together pastors, members of the pastoral council and parish justice leaders to participate in the conversation- a group that after further prayer and conversation could propose ways forward for the entire faith community.” On the call, participants will hear from 4 parishes about their ongoing racial justice work, engage in small group reflections, receive a toolkit and share ideas with other parish leaders.

Our Lady of Hope Parish Social Justice and Peace Ministry Active

Jesuit Parish Advocacy Day

One of the very positive results of our parish planning and discernment process has been the rebirth of our Social Justice and Peace Ministry. A group of parishioners has been meeting, in person and more recently, via ZOOM. One of the areas of focus has been the treatment of immigrants and refugees. The Ministry recently joined in a ZOOM meeting with members of other Jesuit-connected parishes around the country and participated in the Jesuit Parish Advocacy Day, a time when parish members meet with our Senators to urge action on immigration issues that reflects Catholic social teaching. The following is a report of that Advocacy Day experience. Click Here for Report

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673 Stevens Ave, Portland, Maine, 04103-2640
E-mail: ourladyofhope@portlanddiocese.org

Tel:207-797-7026