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Social Justice

In order to define social justice, let us begin, by taking a look at what social ministry is.
Social Ministry has two main aspects:

Social Service is giving direct aid to someone in need. It usually involves performing one or more of the corporal works of mercy. That is, giving alms to the poor, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick or imprisoned, taking care of orphans and widows, visiting the shut-ins etc. Another name for it is charity.

Social Action is correcting the structures that perpetuate the need. Another name for this is Social Justice. Through the lens of social justice, we begin to take a look at the problems and issues facing us in our own communities, the nation and finally the world, and we begin to ask questions such as, "Why is there so much unemployment in our area?" "Why are there so many poor in our community?" "How will the deforestation of our rain forests affect our global climate?" etc. Very often when you are performing social service, you also become involved in solving the problem which created the need; the two are closely related and often blend together. An example of this would be if someone comes to your food pantry and tells you he/she has no food because he/she lost their job recently. You may know of an employer looking to hire someone right away for a job requiring little or no skills. You give that person food, and then place that person in touch with the employer. You then would have solved both problems for that person: (a) you would have fulfilled the immediate need of food through an act of charity (Social Service) and (b) you would have corrected the problem which created and perpetuated the need (Social Justice).

As members of the Social Justice Committee we have participated in educating and raising awareness in Environmental Justice, Justice for Immigrants, Connecticut Catholic Advocacy Network and Faithful Citizenship. We have also hosted Social Justice Leadership Workshops sponsored by the Office of Catholic Social Justice Ministry of the Archdiocese of Hartford.

Parishioners are always welcome to participate in this ministry.

Contact: Clare Ryan  Phone: 860-673-0756 Meets: as needed

Clara Ryan


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