It is by my deeds that I will show you my faith (James 2:19)

'You have already been told what is right and what Yahweh wants of you. Only this, to do what is right, to love loyalty and to walk humbly with your God.' (Micah 6:8. NJB)

 

The Christian church has always had a strong element of social justice. For how can we claim to love God, if we do not love our brother (1 John 4:20). As followers of Jesus Christ, we too are called to bring good news to the poor,  proclaim freedom for prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed and to proclaim the year of the  Lords favour (Luke 4)

The whole Christian church, and each Christian, is called to charity, to solidarity and to be a prophetic voice for justice.

  • Charity. The call to give from ourselves to those in need: to give money (alms) to the poor, to give time to visit the house bound, to give clothes, food, shelter and hope to those who need our support at this time.
  • Solidarity. The call to include all. Solidarity moves us beyond charity and into deeper relationship with the whole world. If we live in Christian solidarity with all, then the community of the people of God is always a demonstration of what God wants – where all is shared in solidarity, with joy.
  • Justice. The challenge to build a world where everything is as God wants it to be – the Kingdom of God here and now. In this world, all are equal, none left behind. All aspects of creation, all ages and abilities of people are respected and affirmed as part of Gods glorious plan.

 

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Some resources for those interested in reading more about Catholic Social teaching


  • Catholic Social Teaching: "Faith in a better world". British website offering accessible, positive, understandable information about all aspects of Catholic Social teaching. livesimply is based on a radical idea that God calls us to look hard at our lifestyles and live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with poor people at home and overseas.

  • A guide to Catholic Social Teaching from the US Bishops Conference is available HERE

 

  • 'The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church' is a book containing all the Catholic church's official teaching on these matters - including human rights, the common good, solidarity, subsidiarity, family, work, ecomonics, politics, the international community, environment, peace, etc. The text is available to download for free HERE.

 

  • At the Second Vatican Council, the Council issued a new Pastoral Constitution - 'The Church in the Modern World', also known as 'Gaudium et Spes'. The full text is HERE and, while it requires time and discussion, is a worth while study for every adult Catholic.

 

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Some Irish Christian groups that work for justice

 

An Irish charity working to eradicate poverty and promote justice for all. Trocaire is an agent of the Irish Bishops Conference, and has a mandate to both work to eradicate poverty and to educate us here in Ireland.

Click HERE for a powerpoint introduction to Trocaire & Catholic Social teaching

 

  • Social Justice Ireland. Working to build a just society where human rights are respected, human dignity is protected, human development is facilitated and the environment is respected and protected.

 

We are an agency for the personal and social development of adults, from a faith perspective. We provide opportunities and resources for people in areas where economic resources are low, to deepen and develop their understanding of God, God’s dream for people and articulate the values they live out in the cultural, economic and spiritual climate of their milieu. We work organically, with people where they live and continually adapt sessions to what ever is emerging in conversation with the participants.

 

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) is a direct service non-profit organisation whose work primarily involves person-to-person contact with people who have a variety of needs. In addition to direct assistance, we try to promote self-sufficiency, enabling.  people to help themselves. Any assistance offered by the Society is given in a non-judgemental spirit of compassion, based on the need of the individual or family. While we act as a short-term safety net for those who fall outside the care of the Welfare State or need emergency financial support, we try to embrace those who are marginalised by helping them to rekindle their self-respect and sense of worth. The Charity's Mission is also to rectify the causes of poverty which perpetuate the problems faced by those we work with.

 

  • Ruhama: Supporting women affected by prostitution

Established in 1989, Ruhama is a Dublin-based NGO which works on a national level with women affected by prostitution and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation. Ruhama (Hebrew for renewed life) regards prostitution as violence against women and violations of women's human rights. 'Prostitution and the accompanying evil of trafficking for prostitution, is incompatible with the dignity and worth of every human being' - UN Convention 1949.We see prostitution and the social and cultural attitudes which sustain it as being deeply rooted in gender inequality and social marginalisation. Ruhama works from a position of respect and uncritical acceptance of the women and seeks to actualise belief in their inner capacity to effect change in their own lives.

Ruhama was founded as a joint initiative of the Good Shepherd Sisters and Our Lady of Charity Sisters, both of which had a long history of involvement with marginalised women, including those involved in prostitution.

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Some Limerick groups working for justice

 

The Social Service Council’s aim is to promote the dignity and growth of individuals, families and groups. The Centre is a home for many support groups, the Council provides support for young, old, parents & families.

 

 

... an independent non-governmental organisation which works to support and promote the rights of all migrants living in Limerick. Our vision for Ireland is a society where equality and respect for the human rights of migrants are social norms. Our core values are rooted in the human rights framework, with a belief in equality and non-discrimination in both public and private life. We believe that it is a humanitarian imperative to be welcoming towards new communities arriving in Ireland, and to extend particular support to the most vulnerable amongst them.

 

  • Fair Trade

- Do you know that Limerick is a fairtrade city. Click HERE for more.

- Do you want to find out about Fair Trade in Ireland. Click HERE for information.

- Find out how to become a Fairtrade parish or diocese HERE

 

We are a Limerick City based voluntary group, initiated in 1999 by the Franciscan and Mercy Orders, and a Registered Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee, having a Board of Directors whose members come from a wide range of backgrounds and diverse experiences.

We work in the areas of Hospitality at Limerick prison, Education & development, Support & counselling, Information, referral, & advocacy, Response to childrens needs, Raising public awareness, Research, & Reintegration of people who have been in prison.

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How does it help, my brothers, when someone who has never done a single good act claims to have faith? Will that faith bring salvation?

If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on, and one of you says to them, 'I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty,' without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that?

In the same way faith, if good deeds do not go with it, is quite dead.

But someone may say: So you have faith and I have good deeds?

Show me this faith of yours without deeds, then!

It is by my deeds that I will show you my faith.

(James 2: 14-19)