Local Community is important to all of us
We have the same hopes and fears of other residents in the area.

St. Mary's Parishioners are invited to attend Mass and Social gathering in Long Prairie.

Food Delivery
As a Church we care for those in our Community.

During one of the Food Drives, St. Mary's Parish collects bags of groceries for the Food Shelf in Alexandria.

JPIC

A Challenge sent out by Pope Paul VI.

Peace Pole Blessing
The Peace Pole is 'planted'.

Fr. Steve blesses the Peace Pole which was donated by the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

Our Transportation to 'work' each morning

Members of St. Marys travel to San Lucas Mission to spend 10 days 'experiencing' the lives of the people that live there.


JPIC Committee at St. Marys

Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation

Interim Committee Chair:
Tammy Boushek

Meeting Date: 3rd Wednesday of Month

Meeting Time: 5:30 PM

 

Who We Are

Philosophy:

Aware of the gospel imperative to "Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself", which requires concern for all human beings, the people of the Church of St. Mary believe that the practice of social justice and charity are integral to our life as Catholic Christians.  Practicing charity and promoting social justice are responsibilities of our faith community.

Mission:

The mission of the Committee for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC), is to serve as a catalyst to empower our parish as the People of God to fulfill Jesus' teachings of love, justice, freedom and peace by continually responding in an organized way to societal and individual human needs, at both the local and global level.

Purpose:

The JPIC Committee will strive to assist the parish community to understand and act on Catholic Social Teaching.  This will be achieved by identifying, supporting, and training leaders who will organize people and activities around four specific, complementary ministries.

  • Direct Service - "Serving the least among us"
  • Legislative Advocacy - Advocating for Justice
  • Global Solidarity - Building Solidarity Beyond Parish Boundaries
  • Community Organizing - Organizing for Justice

The common theme that brings together these four main areas of social concerns is regular formation and reflection on Catholic social teachings (theological reflection).

Catholic Themes

Themes of Catholic Social Teaching

 The JPIC Committee at St. Mary's strives to keep these principles as the cornerstone for all efforts. The Church’s social teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amidst the challenges of modern society. Modern Catholic social teaching has been articulated through a tradition of papal, conciliar, and episcopal documents. The depth and richness of this tradition can be understood best through a direct reading of these documents. In these brief reflections, we highlight several of the key themes that are at the heart of our Catholic social tradition.

Life and Dignity of the Human Person

The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. This belief is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching. In our society, human life is under direct attack from abortion and euthanasia. The value of human life is being threatened by cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and the use of the death penalty. The intentional targeting of civilians in war or terrorist attacks is always wrong. Catholic teaching also calls on us to work to avoid war. Nations must protect the right to life by finding increasingly effective ways to prevent conflicts and resolve them by peaceful means. We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.

 

Call to Family, Community, and Participation

The person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society—in economics and politics, in law and policy—directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. Marriage and the family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined. We believe people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.

 

Rights and Responsibilities

The Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities--to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.

 

Option for the Poor and Vulnerable

A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.

 

The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers

The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected--the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions, to private property, and to economic initiative.

 

Solidarity

We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world. At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Pope Paul VI taught that “if you want peace, work for justice.”1 The Gospel calls us to be peacemakers. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.

 

Care for God’s Creation

We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. Care for the earth is not just an Earth Day slogan, it is a requirement of our faith. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation. This environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions that cannot be ignored.

 

This summary should only be a starting point for those interested in Catholic social teaching. A full understanding can only be achieved by reading the papal, conciliar, and episcopal documents that make up this rich tradition. For a copy of the complete text of Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions (No. 5-281) and other social teaching documents, call 800-235-8722.

 

 

Copyright 2005, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

 

Publication No. 5-315

USCCB Publishing

Washington, D.C.

ISBN 1-57455-315-1

 

1 Paul VI, For the Celebration of the Day Of Peace (Rome: January 1, 1972).

 

Text is drawn from Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions (Washington, DC: USCCB, 1998) and Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility (Washington, DC: USCCB, 2003).

 

USCCB Permissions

Fair Trade

The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), formerly the International Fair Trade Association, was created in 1989 and is a global association of 324 organizations in over 60 countries[1]. Members are fair trade producer cooperatives and associations, export marketing companies, importers, retailers, national and regional fair trade networks and Fair Trade Support Organizations.

WFTO's mission is to improve the livelihoods and well being of disadvantaged producers by linking and promoting Fair Trade Organizations, and speaking out for greater justice in world trade.

WFTO's core fields of activities are:

  • Developing the market for fair trade.
  • Building trust in fair trade.
  • Speaking out for fair trade.
  • Providing networking opportunities
  • Empowering the regions.

In 2004 WFTO launched a fair trade certification. The FTO Mark identifies registered Fair Trade Organizations worldwide (as opposed to products in the case of FLO International and Fairtrade mark) and guarantees that standards are being implemented regarding working conditions, wages, child labor and the environment. These standards are verified by self-assessment, mutual reviews and external verification. The FTO Mark is available to all WFTO members who meet the requirements of the WFTO Standards and Monitoring System and so far over 150 organizations have registered.

 

What can we do?

St. Mary's will try to utilize products from the Fair Trade, if possible and will also be looking into selling some of them at fund raisers such as Silent Auctions.  If you are interested in purchasing products, contact some of the local partners listed below: 

Catholic Relief Services: http://www.crsfairtrade.org/

Coffee:

Equal Exchange: http://interfaith.equalexchange.com

Chocolate:

SERRV : http://www.crsfairtrade.org/chocolate

Craft Partners:

SERRV:  http://www.crsfairtrade.org/crafts

Peace Pole

Have you seen it?

Our Peace Pole is a four sided pole which has the word “Peace” carved/engraved into each of the four sides in eight different languages. This will be a gift from the School Sisters of Notre Dame.  Initially, it will have English, Arabic, Spanish and Hebrew. The next four languages chosen to reflect the peace message:  Korean, Norwegian, Swahili (Kenya & Tanzania) and Hebrew. 

Fr. Steve blessing the Peace Pole in September 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guatemala Trip

 

Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” 

-Matthew 25:40- 

Check out our August 2011 Mission Trip Blog - http://guatemalamissionstmarys.blogspot.com/

MissionPic.jpg

What is your mission?

How about a trip to Guatemala that touches lives?

LEARN and SERVE

Come learn about cultures, global realities, and the daily lives of the poor.  Give the gift of your presence and compassion and in return, receive the gift of insight.

Be a part of making God’s love visible

Take the time to experience and truly appreciate the EIGHT BEATITUDES as you interact and work with the poor in San Lucas.

A MINISTRY of PRESENCE and A MINISTRY of DOING

There is a grossly uneven distribution of global wealth, and this provides an excellent opportunity for those who have been blessed with relative prosperity to reach out to those who are less fortunate. The journey of working with the poor will make lasting changes in their lives, and cause you to reflect and grow spiritually in life-giving ways. As you grow in your spiritual life through your interactions with the poor, you will witness God’s love.   These interactions, relationships, and experiences gives your companions (the poor), the strength to hope, as they live from one day to the next. By doing missionary work, you will have a better understanding of the meaning of Christ’s message:                

Love your neighbor as yourself” 

San Lucas Mission information: www.sanlucasmission.org/groups_volunteer.php

Meeting Minutes

Committee for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation
Church of St. Mary
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 5:30 PM

Present: Ken Howell, Tammy Boushek, Jerry Kalinowski, Don Skrove, Rita von Holtum, Fr. Steve Binsfeld, Kathleen Lingor, Suzanne Sudmeier (new member), Kathy Langer, Director of Social Concerns, Catholic Charities; Doug Scott, Rural Life Coordinator, Diocese of St. Cloud. Absent: Gloria Deick, Rick Wagner.

JRLC: Ken announced that he, his wife Jeanne and Rita von Holtum are joining the Moorhead group and going to Day on the Hill tomorrow. They have appointments with Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, Rep. Torrey Westrom and Mary Fransen. The three focal discussion topics this year are: 1) minimum wage, 2) childcare/homeless and 3) impartialty of the judiciary. They will give us a follow up report at next month’s meeting.

Global Solidarity/Fair Trade: Visit Fair Trade Proposal for selling coffee at Sunday Mass.

Environmental Group Update: Dr. Bernie Evans will present and lead a discussion on the theological aspects of care of the environment. The title of his presentation is “Climate Change”. This will take place next Tuesday evening, March 18th at 6:30 PM in the Great Hall. Ken reviewed the structure for Dr. Evans presentation. A Q & A session will follow the break with questions directed to a panel of three people: Dr. Evans, Al Schmidt, parishioner and biologist with the DNR and also Jean Johnson from the local Climate Lobby group. Hospitality responsibilities reviewed. Fr. Steve will print handouts.

Rural Life Celebration 2015: Our parish has been asked and is considering hosting the diocesan Rural Life Celebration in August 2015. All parishes of the diocese would be invited; Bishop Kettler will attend and say mass. Kathy Langer and Doug Scott gave a slide presentation of previous celebrations to give us a feel for how each host parish put together their celebrations in past years. Kathy shared a 3 page handout describing the roles and responsibilities of Catholic Charities, the Diocese and the host parish in putting on this event. Listed under parish responsibilities are six categories:

1) Mass Preparation, 2) Meal Preparation, 3) Environment and Decorations, 4) Entertainment/Program, 5) Fundraising and Donations and 6) Office Secretary/Liaison.

These celebrations are held on a parishioner’s farm; the Bishop will say mass, there will be a speaker and of course there will be food. There were many discussion topics and many questions. Here are a few of the comments and/or discussion topics:
Large canopies/tents are used; some for eating space, one for the altar, another for the choir. Also there are outdoor picnic tables for eating. Bales for sitting; golf carts for transporting people between the parking area and the event.
Food: everything from hot dogs to pork chops have been chosen by the various host parishes. Advise: pick a food chairman who knows how to select an appropriate menu and cook for large groups.
Range of numbers attending: 300-800. Fr. Steve thought ours could be around 1000.
Prep of the liturgy and music is done locally and submitted to Kathy. She states “you can pretty much do your own thing with this….make it your own”.
Kathy’s handout lays out the whole process well. The key is finding responsible chairman’s for each of the six categories.We need a fundraising/donations committee. Kathy states that historically there have been many in-kind donations. Donations and fundraising surprisingly has not been a difficult issue. Doug states that historically the KC’s have been very helpful. Host family is usually the general chair. Jerry K. already has a good lead on a host family who has given a preliminary nod to hosting.

Our Plan: Discuss with parish council and parish key staff people, brainstorm for key chairman people and then collectively decide if we are able to commit to hosting this event.

One on One Training: Tammy has been in touch with Rick Wagner. He provided a name of someone who presented at the Isaiah Training he attended last fall who could come and provide this for us. Kathy also said she would be happy to come and do the same…possibly in May when she returns about the Rural Life Celebration. The committee prefers Kathy. Tammy will get in touch with her and finalize a date and time.

Human Trafficking: Rita reported that six shelters for human trafficking victims in Minnesota will open in the future (funded by the 2 million dollar package approved by the legislature).One is the former Dorothy Day House in Duluth. We are considering a donation to this shelter. Will discuss and decide at April meeting.

Diocesan Mission Rally: This will be held Tuesday, April 8th from 8:30 to 2:30 at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Parish, Long Prairie. This year’s rally will focus on the ways we live out mission in our own communities as well as across the globe, and how the two fit together in living out our baptismal call. We will finalize plans to attend soon.

Next month’s meeting: Wednesday, April 9th at 5:30 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathleen Lingor