“Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.”  Isaiah 40:1

The goal of the Social Justice Ministry is to raise awareness, foster dialog for understanding, and work together to help make a difference.

If you would like to be part of, or help with, our social justice ministry, click here to send us your information and we will contact you.

Earth Day is almost here! This annual celebration of caring for our common home is Thursday, April 22.

Recall that St. Francis of Assisi, renowned for his love of nature, was declared the patron saint of ecology by Pope John Paul II. The famous Francis poem (Canticle of the Creatures) has the refrain Praise be to You or Laudato Si’, praising God’s creation of the natural earth, or as Fr. Paul described in the 2021 Easter beach Mass, the cathedral built by God.

As the first pope to adopt the Assisi saint as a papal namesake, Pope Francis authored the encyclical “Laudato Si’: On Care For Our Common Home”. Pope Francis says instead of viewing humanity as having dominion over the earth, we must see how everything is interconnected and all creation is a “universal family”.  This calls to mind the naturalist John Muir saying “when we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” Pope Francis further explains that social and environmental challenges are one complex crisis that must be solved holistically.

April 2021 Update: Welcome to the newly established Nature section of the OLG Social Justice Ministry. Our emphasis is on a Catholic culture of life, including our responsibility to preserve a healthy natural environment for future generations. Matters of importance include biodiversity, environmental practices, and climate change.

The Laudato Si’ Pledge

Pray for and with creation
Live more simply
Advocate to protect our common home

Upcoming Events

April 22 Earth Day

May 17-24 Laudato Si’ week

Prayer Blessing

Heavenly Father, we pray you open our hearts to deepen our faith so we will know your love more intimately. In gratitude for the blessings you bestow on us daily, we gather together to uplift and support each other in working to live Laudato Si’. Through the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us, we strive to care for all of creation as faithful stewards. Be with us as we pray with and for creation, remind us to live more simply and use us as advocates to protect our common home. We ask all this through your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

Useful Links

Advocacy regarding climate change inspired by US Conference of Bishops

https://catholicclimatecovenant.org

Series of 20 articles by Fr. Emmet Farrell, Diocese of San Diego

https://www.ncronline.org/feature-series/reflections-on-the-care-of-creation/stories

Laudato Si’ encyclical written by Pope Francis

https://www.usccb.org/offices/general-secretariat/laudato-si-care-our-common-home

Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) is people and 400+ organizations called by their faith to respond and raise awareness about climate change

https://catholicclimatemovement.global/

OLG Earth Day 2021 – Care for Our Common Home

Thursday April 22, 2021 6:30 – 7:30 PM

On Thursday, April 22, our Social Justice Ministry is hosting a 1-hour virtual program about the Holy Father’s encyclical – Laudato Si’  – and our Catholic responsibility to unborn generations. Please join your parish community to learn how we can answer the call.

Thursday April 22, join the Zoom meeting directly:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86561933985?pwd=MEhEMHYrSHpwOUxNaFgycW43T3UzUT09

If the link does not work, you can go to https://zoom.us/join and use the login info below: 

Meeting ID: 865 6193 3985

Passcode: 857147

Q: Is the Covid-19 vaccine safe? I don’t want to take it until I know the results from other people
A: Yes, the 3 US-approved vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson) are deemed safe. In the US, more than 80 million vaccine doses have been administered. A small fraction of people experience non-severe side effects from the vaccine. This comes after testing on volunteers prior to approval by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

 

Q: Are the 3 vaccines effective? Will they protect me?
A: If a fully vaccinated person gets the disease, they do not experience a severe form. A total of 0 hospitalizations and 0 deaths have been recorded among those fully vaccinated by Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna.
Also, the vaccine makes you less likely to transmit the disease to others, some of whom are unable to receive their own vaccine due to existing health conditions.

 

Q: Did the Church say not to take the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?
A: No, Church teaching says “it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines” including Johnson & Johnson.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has encouraged people, only if they have a choice, to prefer Moderna or Pfizer because J&J’s research drew on fetal stem cells. The California Catholic Conference says we have an obligation to protect ourselves, our families, our friends and community by vaccinating as soon as feasible.

 

Q: How do I get a vaccine?
A: There is a state-wide website myturn.ca.gov and people may also contact a medical provider. Eligibility criteria are expanding from the most vulnerable to the lesser vulnerable, according to Government guidelines.

 

Q: Does OLG offer resources to help, particularly for those who need assistance setting up an appointment online?
A: For those seeking assistance with vaccine appointments, please Jan Vega at [email protected]. Or call the Church Office at 310-372-7077.

 

For more information on Ethical Questions about COVID-19 Vaccines, please visit https://www.usccb.org/resources/Answers%20to%20Key%20Ethical%20Questions%20About%20COVID-19%20Vaccines.pdf

Catholic Relief Services

Our faith calls us to believe. To serve. To lead. At this pivotal time when COVID-19 is impacting health, societies, and economies around the globe, we can come together as missionary disciples to make a difference.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is currently looking for individuals and communities in the Greater L.A. area who have a heart and interest in working on behalf of the poor around the world and who might be interested in learning about this new but quickly growing national CRS Network.

Background

Over the last year, Catholic Relief Services has been working on an exciting effort to invite more Catholics than ever before to play a leading role in the global movement to accelerate the end of poverty, hunger, and violent conflict around the world. A central part of this work is to inspire small but powerful groups of thoughtful committed citizens to build a national network of faith-based changemakers and people of good will who will work together to address the root causes of some the most pressing issues affecting powerless communities around the world. In the last year alone, CRS has been successful in establishing over 80 grassroots communities around the country. These virtual and place-based communities of parishioners, students, and faith-leaders have been working together to find allies in congress and in the media who are working with CRS to pass lifesaving legislation that will provide comprehensive care for the world’s most vulnerable children. Surprisingly, a lot of this work has been able to happen even in spite of the challenges with COVID. 

If you’d like to read more more about the work of CRS, here is one pager that explains the CRS Chapters initiative. This monthly action sheet will give you a sense of the coordinated work that these chapters are doing to harness the collective impact of the Catholic faith community to advance CRS’ current focus issue. Finally, here is an inspiring video that shows the impact people of faith can make for the social and global mission of the church.

Additional Resources and Opportunities