early spring ocean view

Social Justice and Peace Commission

The Social Justice and Peace Commission (SJP) acts as a focal point for initiatives and activities at Our Lady of Hope – and beyond – that enhance the economic and social rights of all.

The SJP Mission is to give life to the social teachings of the Catholic Church that will inspire our parish community to participate in the building of a merciful society, one that follows Christ in loving one another and in respecting the human dignity of every person. We work toward this mission by coordinating opportunities for parishioners to fulfill our responsibility as a Catholic community: to address the moral challenges of our time in alignment with Catholic Social Teaching.

• Uphold the dignity of each person as an equally valuable member of the human family
• Embrace our rights and responsibilities to participate in public life
• Be in solidarity with people who are poor
• Bridge differences to work together for the common good
• Uniting with workers to build an economy that puts people, not profits, at the center
• Nurture the earth

Learn more at NETWORK https://networklobby.org/about/catholicsocialjustice/

Join Us!  We meet monthly (except July) by Zoom on the 3rd Thursday at 7 pm. Please contact the parish office to get connected to members of the SJP Commission, or email olhsjp@gmail.com and a member of the ministry will get right back to you.   Check out one of our blog posts about about Caring for God’s Creation here.

The support of the parish continues to be critical to the success of the Commission’s initiatives. Thank you!

Join us in reading this article in Commonweal magazine from a couple of years ago that is relevant and helpful in our understanding of homelessness – and hopefully our ministry  https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/fallen-idol

Understanding Homelessness

What would you do if you lost your housing and/or job? What resources do you have to fall back on? Family? Money in the bank? Another place to live? What would happen to you if you didn’t have those resources?

What would you do if it wasn’t safe in your home? What if you had nowhere else to go?

Where would you go for help with a substance abuse or mental health issue? Do you have health insurance and a network of support? What would happen to you if you didn’t have those resources?

Some, even many of us, have experienced these kinds of setbacks. How did you get help? What would have happened to you if there was no one and no services to help you?

What if you became homeless? Would you be able to sleep in a large, open space with many other people? Could you manage losing control over what you can and can’t do?

As Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ says, “we tend to think that things are mainly about choice when they are really about chance.”

How to Help:

How can we “be there and be present” and “stand with them in the darkness” as homeless advocate and social worker Barbara McInnis recommended in Rough Sleepers by Tracy Kidder.

How can we be the Good Samaritan from the gospels, helping those who have fallen by the wayside?

St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen next to the Cathedral. https://www.svdpme.org/volunteer
Preble Street’s food security hub in South Portland needs volunteers for food prep and cleanup. Contact the Preble Street Volunteer Manager at volunteer@preblestreet.org or 207-775-0026 x 1162.

For more information: “Addressing Portland’s Unsheltered Homelessness” by Preble Street 

About Parish Ministries

St. Ignatius of Loyola tells us that Jesus’ desire is that we join Him in making God’s dream for the world present in our decisions and actions. In this way, we are living the gifts of the Eucharist as the visible presence of God’s love in our world. Here at Our Lady of Hope we trust that God has provided – in us – the people, talents, and resources needed to make God’s dream real.

We nourish each other as Jesus wished. Through our more than two dozen ministries we work to alleviate spiritual and physical hunger, reduce the isolation of people who are lonely or excluded, and we care for our common home – the environment, in the wider world and in our hearts.

Naturally, there’s more we could do. Ignatius called it “the magis”: doing the very best quality work that we can for the greater service of God and universal good. Your commitment and participation brings these ministries to life in the spirit of the magis.

doing our part to save the planet with globe icon and description of unplugging electronics to save energy
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