Building Your Toolbox for Justice

Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me. [Matt 25: 40] Last year we looked at how our Catholic faith calls us to seek justice for the most vulnerable; to right the structures of sin that exist in society.

To do this work requires understanding those structures. This year we will expand our toolbox by exploring different areas where we often see structural injustice – immigration, racial issues, homelessness, hunger and creation care. We will converse with experts on the social structures that underlie these issues and spend time reflecting with one another on what we might be invited to do about changing them.

For more information, please contact Kate Tromble at ktromble@trinity.org or (202) 903-2809.

Upcoming Sesssions

Racial Justice
Professor Marcia Chatelain will lead a discussion about race and its effects on social structures. We will investigate issues of white privilege, how our views of race define the structures we create in society, and what our Catholic faith says about altering those structures.
Saturday, December 1, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (McKenna Hall)

Homelessness
What are the primary causes for homelessness, and why is it so hard to find housing? What is the difference between homelessness and chronic homelessness? What are we invited to do, to assist our homeless neighbors? These are questions we will explore in this session about structures in society that lead to and perpetuate homelessness.
Saturday, January 12, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (McKenna Hall)

Hunger
Bread for the World will join us to explore global food policy, how decisions are made about who gets assistance with food, and possible actions Christians can take to reduce the number of hungry people in the world.
Saturday, February 2, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (McKenna Hall)

Care for Creation
It might seem odd to talk about the natural world as a structure. But in this session we will ponder how our individual actions, governmental policies, social systems, and structures impact the Earth and those with whom we share it. We will also look at Laudato Si’ and other Catholic teachings about caring for creation.
Saturday April 27, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (McKenna Hall)

Past Sessions

2018-2019

Immigration
Don Kerwin of the Center for Migration Studies of New York, along with David Laing and Claudia Cubas of the Capital Area Immigration Rights (CAIR) Coalition will explore the structural aspects of our immigration system as well as the injustices built into the system.
Saturday, September 15, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (McKenna Hall)

Don Kerwin presentation Building Your Toolbox

CMS Background Information

CAIR Volunteer Information

Immigration and Detention Visitation - What Can You Do

2017-2018

Where does the idea of justice come from in the Catholic faith?
Fred Kammer, S.J. explored the scriptural and doctrinal bases for justice and how the Church came to be involved in this work.

Resources:
November 4 Session Notes
5 Kinds of Justice
Cycle of Baal

What does it mean to be part of a Jesuit parish that promotes justice?
Bill Kelley, S.J. explored the Jesuit tradition of serving the faith and promoting justice and how that tradition continues on through current parishes.

Resources:
Society of Jesus 32nd General Congregation, Decree 4 — Faith and Justice
Progression of Justice

What is the role of the laity in working for justice?
Kevin Ahern, author of Structures of Grace and assistant professor at Manhattan College, led a discussion about lay movements within the Catholic Church; what roles they have played in the past and continue to play as well as how parishioners might take a lead in working for justice.

Resources:
Catholic Organizing in the Anthropocene Handout
Catholic Organizing in the Anthropocene Presentation

How do we identify where to use these tools?
In this last session, we explored how we listen for and recognize God's invitation to work for justice. Both as we identify the issues we are called to work on individually and as a parish. We concluded with a prayer service.