This Saturday I was blessed to be part of the first ever conference of the Diocese of Austin Secretariat of Justice and Charity (SJC). The SJC is composed of the office of Social Concerns headed by Barbara Budde and the office of Pro-Life and Chaste Living headed by Marie Seale. I cant even begin to list everything that falls under the umbrella of the SJC. Generally anything that could be considered a social outreach ministry, a pro-life group or a sexual morality ministry would probably fall under the SJC. Abortion advocacy and healing, Catholic Charities, NFP resources, Catholic Relieve Servies, Death Penalty Advocacy, and Missions all of these and more are part of the SJC. Needless to say the conference had a lot of ground to cover.
So it should be of no surprise their key note speaker Jack Jezreel spent most of his time really… talking about you. Hey how are those questions coming along? You see the SJC is devoted to the idea that Christ’s love covers all human life without exception, from conception till natural death. And it’s the SJC goal to carry out Christ’s love by serving the least and most vulnerable among us. Here is where you come in, the SJC believes that Christ has given *you* a personal call to be a part of this great plan and he has given *you* the gifts they need to accomplish their goal. Jack Jezreel’s main theme was how do we turn *you* into conduit of that good news. You are so awesome! Are you ready to tell me how God is calling you to make this happen?
The conference presented a lot of good ideas. Perhaps God has called you to build a culture of life here in Central Texas. The Gabriel Project Life Center could be waiting for you. The GPLC serves families in crisis pregnancies by providing free emotional and spiritual support, pregnancy tests, mentoring, baby items and other services. Perhaps you have a gift to be a live saving abortion clinic side walk counselor. Or the loving ear on the other side of the Gabriel Project Hotline for crisis pregnancies.
Perhaps God is calling you to help educate your parish about important Pro Life issues. For that the office of Pro-Life and Chaste living has developed the speakers bureau. You can help bring to your parish trained speakers on important topics like Bioethics, Abortion Apologetics, The Death Penalty, End of Life Issues or The Environment. And if you identify a need in your parish not yet met by the existing speakers you can work with the office to develop a new program to meet the needs of your parish and the diocese.
Perhaps God has chosen you to serve our brothers and sisters in other parts of the globe. You could serve Catholic Relief Services by being an advocate on global poverty or by helping promote fair trade products. You may be needed to serve our immigrant community with the legal services provided by Catholic Charities or at the housing provided by Casa Marianella.
God may be calling you to be a prophetic voice on issues ranging from the death penalty to prison reform or world peace making. God maybe calling you to serve the homeless at the Mary House catholic worker community or with the mobile loaves and fishes a ministry.
Ok now don’t look so overwhelmed all that God is asking of you is to change the world. Sometimes we need a place to start. Start with prayer. Without prayer to give you the guidance and strength you will only be part of the problem. Then you will need to start building your conscience. Let you parish priests no you are interested in learning more about Catholic Social Teaching. Or to save time let me just tell you the best program I know of to prepare your conscience to answer Gods call.
Justfaith is the main ministry Jack Jezreel. JustFaith is a 30 week process in which participants essentially form a Small Christian Community. Together this community reads about a dozen books (they are all great), holds three retreats and three service events. The community prays together often and forms really tight bonds. As a graduate of the program I can say with certainty if you complete the program you mind, life and soul will be transformed. And you will be ready to bring Gods good news to the poor. JustFaith will be beginning at Saint Ignatius in early October so now is the time to learn more about this program.
My challenge to you this post is to change the world. Well that’s a tall order. My challenge for you is discern the gifts and the calling Christ gave you to change the world. I challenge you to join justFaith. You will not regret it.
To learn more about-
- Just Faith: Jack Kern ( email@example.com )
- Ministries in the Office of Social Concern: Barbara Budde ( http://www.austindiocese.org/staff_detail.php?id=1576 )
- Ministries in the Office of Pro-Life and Chaste Living: Yvonne Saldana ( http://www.austindiocese.org/staff_detail.php?id=2330 )
- Gabriel Project Life Center or Hotline: Rebecca Niemerg ( http://www.austindiocese.org/staff_detail.php?id=2583 )
- Catholic Charities: Christine Reyes-Paiz ( http://www.austindiocese.org/staff_detail.php?id=2172 )
- Casa Marianella: http://www.casamarianella.org/contact-u/
- The Mary House: Lynn Goodman-Strauss (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Texas Coaliton to Abolish the Death Penalty: http://tcadp.org/about/contact
- Pax Christi: Cheryl Grossman ( email@example.com )