Practical, hands-on actions are the best way for individuals and faith communities to put their faith into action, says the Michigan Catholic Rural Life Coalition (MCLRC). Here’s how they say to get involved and get growing.
Urban planting: Turning blight into bounty in the inner city
Armed with soil and seeds, Catholics in blighted cities are taking social justice into their own hands.
In Camden, New Jersey a jumble of railroad tracks, freeways, and abandoned factories lace through the Waterfront South area on the Delaware River just across from Philadelphia. During heavy rains, a nearby wastewater treatment plant frequently leaks raw sewage onto the streets.
Leave no trace: "Uncontacted" people in South America
The modern world threatens the existence of a small group of our own species.
Multinational mining interests, illegal logging, and slash-and-burn agriculture are among the many threats to the fragile ecosystems of South America’s rain forests. Efforts to protect them often cite the important role of rain forests as a preserve of plant and animal biodiversity or focus on their importance as the “lungs of the world.”
The Gospel of Ayn Rand: What's informing budget policy
The politics of radical individualism threatens the common good.
Women and children last: Budget priorities
Would we so willingly cut programs for the poor if we knew them by name?
When I was in high school, I bagged groceries for my pocket money, and I often saw a WIC tag next to food items as I restocked shelves: peanut butter, milk, cheese. As a middle-class 16-year-old who never missed a meal, I didn’t even know what WIC stood for (“Women, Infants, and Children”) or that it provided free food to pregnant and nursing mothers and their infants and young children, until my mother told me that it started when she was pregnant with me.
Little house in the big city
Can the $300 home add dignity to the lives of the world’s poorest people?
According to U.N. projections, a trend of demographic concentration in the world’s great urban centers will intensify in the coming decades, compressing the world’s poorest into fast arising slums. Viewed today, these too dusty or too muddy, sewage- and garbage-choked ghettos already make an unhealthy, unpleasant sight and a terrible place for the majority of the world’s children to grow up.
What's left in his legacy: John Paul II and social teaching
As a voice for peace and justice, Pope John Paul II was a man for all political reasons.
Parks and re-Creation
A group of young people in the Bronx finds that by beautifying an old eyesore, they’ve unleashed a desire to serve their community.
David Shuffler walks through the park that he helped build in the South Bronx on his way to work.
Grass and young trees line his path through Concrete Plant Park, named after the factory that was once on the site. Some of the old factory structures remain—but they’ve been transformed into public art.
Collateral damage: Microloans gone bad
If profit is the prime motive, the poor will always get the raw end of the deal.
Papal prescription for universal health care
The pope’s stance on health care may be hard pill to swallow for opponents of reform.
More than 100 million people a year across the world are driven into poverty because of the cost of illness or “catastrophic injury,” the United Nations reported in November. Whether in the affluent or the developing world, nations that rely on individual resources to sustain health care systems (rather than pooled government resources) produced the highest amount of health-related impoverishment among their citizens.