St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) – priest, bishop, teacher – spent much of his life ministering to and advocating for the poor and marginalised. He wrote that all are called to love and to serve. He was clear, also, that
“The possessions which we have are not our own: God has given them to us to cultivate, and he wishes us to render them fruitful and profitable.”
Pope Benedict XVI explained that “For the church, charity is not a kind of welfare activity which could equally well be left to others, but is a part of her nature, an indispensable expression of her very being”. (Deus Caritas Est, 2006)
And Pope Francis urges us to respond with love to the needs of others: “Before all else, the Gospel invites us to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others and to go forth from ourselves to seek the good of others. Under no circumstance can this invitation be obscured!” (Evangelii Gaudium, 2013)
The Justice & Peace group at St Francis de Sales parish allows us to try to follow these calls and put our faith into action. Our activities include:
- regular cake stalls and a fayre at Christmas
- fundraising events such as quiz nights and musical evenings
- awareness-raising about issues of social justice (speaker meetings etc)
- J&P services such as Mass, Stations of the Cross, prayer walks
These events enjoy wide support within the parish and we also have links with other parishes in the pastoral area.
For the future we are hoping to do more to build on our links with an orphanage in Mexico City, as well as ongoing fundraising efforts for our parish charities (local and international projects).
How you can help
We would be delighted if you would like to join our group and become involved in promoting Justice & Peace in the parish and more widely. This could include:
- practical help such as baking cakes or helping with the running of evening events
- helping with planning by attending meetings (we meet about 5 times a year)
- helping to promote J&P events eg making posters/flyers, selling tickets
- taking on specific tasks eg taking minutes, helping with the admin of the 100 club, contacting speakers, representing our parish at regional/diocesan J&P events
We look forward to hearing from you! Please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, to register your interest.
Lucy Tyler (Co-ordinator, J&P group)
“Holiness is found in a path opened to us in our daily lives” St Francis de Sales