Mission Report – August 13, 2015

August 12, 2015

Next Tuesday is our annual Social Justice Assembly. To work for justice and peace is a natural aspect of Christian self-understanding.

– -Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?- Jesus replied: –‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: -‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.- (Matt 22:36-40)

The United States Catholic Council of Bishops offers this insight.

Charitable works and social justice have been called the two feet of Catholic social teaching. Charitable works meets the immediate needs of persons and families. It treats the symptoms of social problems. Charitable works calls forth a generous response from individuals and responds to particular situations. Social justice changes social structures that attack human dignity, oppress people, and contribute to poverty. It focuses on the rights of people, addresses underlying social causes, and works for long term social change. Pope Benedict XVI expresses it in this way, -The church cannot neglect the service of charity anymore than she can neglect the sacraments and the word. Charity must animate the entire lives of the lay faithful and therefore also their political activity, lived as -‘social charity.’- http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catholic-education/campus-ministry/tools-for-action/upload/cst-scripture-guide-donna-update-matt2.pdf

One of the Touchstones of Edmund Rice schools is Justice and Solidarity, through which we are invited to commit ourselves to justice and peace for all, grounded in a spiritualty of action and reflection that calls us to stand in solidarity with all those on the margins of our society.

At St Patrick’s College we offer opportunities for our students to walk on both feet in solidarity with our brothers and sisters:

  • Our chapter of the St Vincent de Paul Society are responsible for two weekly bread runs

  • Students assist with tutoring with St Albans

  • Our students through the Walkathon this year raised over $40,000 for Edmund Rice Camps, Edmund Rice Foundation,

  • The Year 11 Justice experience in Melbourne and Ballarat offers key moments in solidarity

  • Our Junior School is part of program that invites students to donate part of their weekly pocket money to build a school in Kenya.

  • The Year 10 Social raised funds that will allow refugee children to experience of day of fun and adventure that would not otherwise be possible

  • We expect justice in the way we engage with each other on a daily basis.

These commitments, and the list could go on, is our evidence of the Holy Spirit present in our community. Our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is a community that is united perfectly in and through love. In response to this most wonderful revelation how could we be anything else than a loving community that strives for justice and peace? In all the actions listed above we can recognise that the love of God is already at work in the world, and it is a joy to name it and co-operate with this gift, so that we may bring the joy of the Gospel to the world.- That we are already and always loved by God is the most profound aspect of Christian understanding.