The Social Justice Hui is a chance for people from all around the Diocese of Dunedin to gather and share stories of hope and need within our diocese and beyond. The hui is happening the day before Oscar Romero's first ever feast day!
Starting with a time of prayer and reflection together, we will then hear a bit about Oscar Romero. Who was this man who has inspired so many and what led to the transformation in his own life?
There will then be time for us to think about social justice challenges for our times, noting Pope Francis' call for us to hear both the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor. We will also listen to a few stories of social justice happenings around our diocese, and hear about some opportunities to live out justice in our small patch of the world.
Click here to register and join us for this day of connection, reflection and inspiration! There is no cost for this event.
The Inspiration for the Day: Celebrating the First Feast Day of St Oscar Romero:
Sometimes, listening to the cries of the earth and the cries of the poor in our world today, it can all seem a bit overwhelming. How can we respond to these cries,where do we start and can we actually make a positive difference? Faced with daunting injustices and a hurting planet, sometimes we also overlook the promise and reality of our faith- that we have been gifted with the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to make a positive difference in this world - if only we choose to unwrap that Spirit gift and allow it authority in our lives.
Jesus modelled for us how a merciful and loving encounter with people is at the heart of God’s justice and as priest and author, Richard Rohr, notes ‘To look life straight in the eye, to see its pain and its beauty- this is an essential part of glimpsing the way forward.’
On 23 March 2019 we will have the opportunity to ‘glimpse the way forward’ as we gather together for the hui, building connections between young and old, parishes and schools; as we look at what is happening social justice – wise in our Diocese and as we seek to integrate the care for all creation in our faith and daily lives.
The hui is also an opportunity to look at the life and legacy of one of our newest saints, Oscar Romero. Canonised on 14 October 2018, his first Feast Day is 24 March, so we are getting in a day early to celebrate and learn a bit more about this amazing Archbishop who was murdered for his support for the poor and oppressed, while saying Mass at a hospital chapel in San Salvador, on 24 March 1980.
Romero is a saint for our times who modelled a Church for the poor. Like Jesus, he urges us to allow the suffering we see around us to have an impact on our priorities and preferences and our way of living.
Romero wasn’t a perfect man and and his own life was transformed when, as bishop in a rural area of El Salvador in the early 1970’s, he drew close to the poor and oppressed people in that area and witnessed the slaughter of innocent people by the military. For his work for peace in El Salvador he was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize. His legacy and challenge to all of us in the Church is noted by Jesuit Fr Dean Brackley:
‘The church will only be bearer of credible hope for humanity if it stands with the poor, with all who are victims of sin, injustice and violence. If we walk with them, as Romero did, we will embody the good news that the world so longs for. We do not need a church that invites us to hide from today's horrors, to escape the problems of this world, but to bear its burdens…
That is what Romero did, inspiring countless others to collaborate with him… Romero sought not what was best for the institution as such but what was best for the people. In the long run, that is what is best for the church, too. The institution that strives to save itself will lose itself. If it loses itself in loving service, it will save itself.’(sourced from National Catholic Reporter, Editorial, 12 October 2018).
The Church is all of us - so let’s come together on 23 March, as the body of Christ in our world today, share our Spirit-filled gifts and energy and envisage how we can continue to be of loving and healing service in this beautiful and wounded world of ours.
Refugee Powhiri Welcome Volunteer Project
Wanted: volunteers to be part of a team who welcome former refugees and migrants to our city.
We are partnering with Araiteuru Marae, the Red Cross, Dunedin Multi-Ethnic Council and other community organisations to create a uniquely Dunedin welcome for newly-arrived former refugees and migrants. This will involve hosting four powhiri a year. We need 10-15 volunteers from our community to be part of this important venture. Even if your knowledge of the Maori language and Maori customs is very limited you are still very welcome to be part of this.
What is involved:
1. Come along to the Powhiri at Araiteuru Marae on Saturday July 14 from 10.45am -4.00pm. Once you have been part of the powhiri welcome you are considered family and can then be among those who show hospitality. (If you can’t make it on this day other arrangements can be made.)
2. There will be a training day for volunteers. Date to be advised
3. Then commit to some of the powhiri (even 1-2 a year) as part of the hospitality team.
Doing justice, loving mercifully and walking humbly with God ( Micah 6:8)
There is a new Dunedin Justice and Peace Committee called JustPeace Dunedin starting up in our Diocese. Meetings are held at 7pm every 4th Thursday of the month at the offices of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, 518 Castle Street. Please come and join us or contact Lynne Toomey ([email protected]) or Jeremy Simons ([email protected]) for further details.
Catholic Social Teaching Resources
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is the Catholic Bishops’ agency for justice, peace and development. We are working on behalf of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference for a world free of poverty and injustice through community development, advocacy, education, and emergency relief. Click here
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Click here
Faith Doing Justice is a great website full of great resources on Catholic Social Teaching. Click here
Eureka Street is a publication of the Australian Jesuits. It existed as a monthly, and briefly bi-monthly, print magazine for 16 years, commencing in March 1991. Today it exists as a vibrant online journal of analysis, commentary and reflection on current issues in the worlds of politics, religion and culture. It aims to participate in public discussion and influence public opinion regarding the Things That Matter in Australia and the world. Click here