While serving as a sign of Christ’s saving presence in the heart of the city, and anchored in prayer and worship, the St. Olaf Commission on Social Justice promotes understanding and commitment to Catholic social justice teachings through education, advocacy, direct action and service. For more information, contact Ann Christiansen, chairperson, 763-520-9318.
Upcoming and ongoing sponsored events include:
- Fair Trade Coffee (distributed through Catholic Relief Services). Upcoming dates to be announced.
- Membership and Participation in DCEH (Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness) and Heading Home Hennepin: Ending Homelessness by 2016. Parish activities include: education and advocacy to prevent homelessness, build affordable and supportive housing, strengthen street outreach and create empowerment and support programs for persons experiencing homelessness and poverty. During the state legislative sessions, parish volunteers staff information and action tables, called Take Five. For more information about education and advocacy plans and efforts contact Ann Pannier at 612-824-6572. Also visit www.dceh.org.
- Project Homeless Connect: A one-stop shop of services for people experiencing homelessness. Upcoming date to be announced. Over 1200 volunteers and 2500 guests participated in learn about and receive comprehensive services. Visit www.homelessconnectminneapolis.org.
- Racial Justice Initiatives flow out of the history and mission of the St. Olaf Faith Sharing Anti-racism Group. This group formed over five years ago in response to the Archdiocesan evangelization initiative. The Racial Justice Initiatives’ mission and activities now work in collaboration with and are supported by the St. Olaf Commission on Social Justice. Mission: to serve as a living sign of Christ’s saving presence in the heart of the city by sharing our faith with each other to produce the fruit of evangelization, which is changed lives in a changed world. The challenge is for all to engage in intentional growth, guided by the Spirit on a course of conversion, fueled by choosing to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ in every moment. This mission demands that racism be eliminated in our homes, parish, neighborhoods, and the entire world, transforming the world into God’s Kingdom on earth by:
• causing a change in our attitudes and behaviors that will lead to conversion of heart and reconciliation among peoples of every racial, ethnic, and cultural background;
• committing ourselves to take concrete, visible steps to eliminate personal and systemic racism;
• witnessing through our lives and actions the unconditional love of God for all human beings regardless of our racial or national origin.
Our vision is a parish and a world transformed into God’s kingdom where racism has been eliminated by living an intentional response of prayer, conversion and solidarity with all our sisters and brothers.
- Discussions that Encounter: Race and Racism in American Society. Held the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month at St. Olaf Catholic Church and Bethesda Baptist Church at 1118 So. 8th Street, Minneapolis 55404. The primary goal of the Discussion Forums is to bring people together from all walks of life to engage in in-depth conversation about the injustices of the race concept and the chance for individuals to build new relationships. Another important goal is to reverse social and political beliefs and actions that work to divide and diminish the full participation and power of all persons in society and church. For more details about discussion topics and speakers or to get involved, contact Bill Keatts at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rev. Arthur Agnew, pastor Bethesda Baptist Church at 612-332-5904, email@example.com.
- JustFaith and Engaging Spirituality are adult faith formation programs with an emphasis on Catholic social teaching, scripture and spirituality and current social and economic issues of overcoming poverty, racism, and building just communities. Look for information later this summer about formation groups to begin in October. Visit www.justfaith.org or contact Joan Miltenberger at 612-767-6211 or jmiltenberger@SaintOlaf.org for more information.
- Membership and advocacy support with Catholic Charities Sowers of Justice, MN Catholic Conference of Bishops, MICAH (Metro Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing), JRLC (Joint Religious Legislative Coalition), and others.