The Office of Social Justice Ministry (formerly Catholic Social Action) strives to build the capacity of the diocesan Church to act effectively in defense of human dignity, human rights and the pursuit of justice and peace. Staff members interact with the community at large through efforts such as homeless shelters, food pantries, meal programs, welfare reform, violence prevention, healthcare and advocacy. Whenever possible, an ecumenical and interfaith perspective is sought.
Social Justice Ministry includes the following programs (scroll down for summary, or click directly on the link):
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is the domestic anti-poverty program of the Catholic Church in the United States. Through CCHD, the Church helps to develop a just society by funding self-help projects and through justice education programs. Locally, funds for Catholic Campaign for Human Development are collected as part of the annual Spring Combined Collections program.
The Multi-Media Youth Arts Contest is also sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. The goal of the contest is to help young artists (youth in grades 7 thru 12) understand how low-income persons themselves can effectively lead efforts to address/solve the causes of poverty in their communities, and how all Catholics are called to act in support of such efforts as a result of their faith and the values of Catholic Social Teaching. Click here for this year's contest entry form.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) provides direct aid to the poor and involves people in their own development, helping them to realize their potential. CRS educates the people of the United States to fulfill their moral responsibilities toward our brothers and sisters around the world by helping the poor, working to remove the causes of poverty and promoting social justice.
CRS Rice Bowl brings Lent to life! The program offers new and engaging resources for families, parishes, and classrooms to help bring Lenten spirituality to life while providing hope and opportunity for people in need around the world. CRS Rice Bowl also challenges us to put our faith in action and walk in solidarity with our neighbors in need.
CRS Rice Bowl . . . For Lent . . . For Life!
Click here to place your order for ORB materials.
The CRS Fair Trade Program creates opportunities to make trade fairer for poor people overseas, through the choices we make about what we eat, drink and buy. Fair Trade is a new model of international trade, one that is built on right relationships between us and the people overseas who create the items we consume – relationships that respect human dignity, promote economic justice and cultivate global solidarity.
The CRS Fair Trade Coffee Program works overseas to help improve the lives of low-income coffee farmers. Here in the United States, it creates opportunities for us to make international trade fairer for them and countless others like them. Fair Trade Coffee can be purchased through Just Coffee, a Madison based company.
The work for justice requires that the mind and the heart of Catholics be educated and formed to know and practice the whole faith. Faithful Citizenship calls Catholics to see civic and political responsibilities through the eyes of faith and to bring our moral convictions to public life. Faithful citizenship is about more than elections. It requires ongoing participation in the continuing political and legislative process. Presentations on "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" are offered through the Office of Social Justice Ministry.
The Catholic public policy position on immigration is based on Catholic Social Teaching, which is derived from the Gospels and the words of Christ, statements and encyclicals of the Popes, and statements and pastoral letters from bishops around the world. Justice for Immigrants supports five key principles articulated by the U.S. Bishops in relation to immigration and the need for reform. The Office of Social Justice Ministry can provide speakers at a parish or school event to discuss current legislation, the ethics of reform, the current immigration system and how it relates to Catholic Social Teaching, etc. Click here to learn about the five principles of migration supported by the U.S. Bishops.
Voices for Justice is an archdiocesan legislative network that is grounded in Catholic social teaching and works to put children and families first in public policy at the state and federal level. Voices for Justice members participate in annual issues briefings, training in legislative skills, action alerts during legislative sessions, opportunities to visit with legislators and government leaders, leadership development for network liaisons, and opportunities for grounding our legislative actions in spiritual and theological reflections. Members work closely with the Wisconsin Catholic Conference and other local, state, national and international advocacy organizations. Every two years the Wisconsin Catholic Conference sponsors a day of education and advocacy for all Catholics followed by an opportunity to meet with legislators. Click here for the next Catholics at the Capitol event.