Immigrants today experience economic, social, legal, and pyschological crucifixions.
Last April I was working on a video documentary on the U.S.-Mexican border. It was Holy Week. Each day I talked with undocumented immigrants, church workers, coyote smugglers, and border patrol agents, trying to capture something of the complex and painful drama of illegal immigration.
In a 1990s article from Salt of the Earth, Jack Jezreel wrote about the surprising success of JustFaith, the parish-based program on social justice, at its beginning.
In 1988, I decided to give parish work one more try. I reluctantly accepted a position as minister of social responsibility with Church of the Epiphany in Louisville, Kentucky, a position that focused on what today we call "parish social ministry."
The most vibrant parishes focus as much on ministry to the poor as they do on ministry in the liturgy, says the founder of JustFaith Ministries.
In 1988 Jack Jezreel reluctantly became a parish social minister as a means to an end: to earn enough money to start a farm. "I realize that peace-and-justice work will always be done by only a handful of parishioners, it will most likely remain on the periphery of parish life, and it will be eyed suspiciously by most parishioners," he wrote in his job application for Church of the Epiphany in Louisville, Kentucky.
Health care reform is about more than reducing insurance premiums, says this Catholic health care executive. It’s about caring for the sick.
On March 5, 2009, Sister Carol Keehan, a Daughter of Charity and president of the Catholic Health Association (CHA), which represents more than 600 Catholic hospitals and medical facilities, participated in a White House roundtable on health care reform. The gathering included members of Congress, journalists, and invited interested parties, such as Keehan.
When I give talks on health care reform to faith communities, I often use the parable of the Good Samaritan.
After the priest and the Levite have passed by an injured traveler, the Samaritan man is moved with compassion, providing first aid and then medical care for the stranger. The parable poignantly exemplifies the core tenet of our Catholic social teaching: the respect for human dignity. Sadly, the United States is alone among industrialized societies in its failure to recognize the fundamental right to health care that human dignity demands.
You have spoken out strongly in favor of canonizing Dorothy Day. How is she a saint for today?
A deal that sounds too good to be true probably is-especially for subsistence farmers.
Tona Boyd graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2003 with majors in government and Spanish and a peace studies minor. During her junior year she oversaw the student peace conference, and after graduation she went on to Harvard Law School. She's currently a clerk on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia and will be working next year as a trial lawyer for the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Patrick Edrey graduated from St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota with a major in peace studies in 2004, and he's worked on the issue of homelessness ever since. He currently serves as a family advocate at Simpson Housing Services in Minneapolis, where he helps families achieve stability and work toward permanent housing.
When he was at the University of St. Thomas in the early 1990s, Stephen Bauer combined his entrepreneurship major with a justice and peace studies minor, which confounded more than a few of his classmates.
"People saw these two fields as completely separate," he says. "But it seemed to me very natural to put them together."
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