Social Justice Blog

Love the Earth!

There are lots of ways that we are helping the earth at St. Patrick’s… We collect gently used books for the children at Loaves & Fishes. We recycle boxes, and paper! We compost…We re-purpose hundreds of pounds of food annually through our Surplus Food Ministry. Drivers pick up bakery goods from neighborhood Starbucks and Caribou Coffee shops and drop them off in our freezers. Another driver takes them to Mary’s Place downtown. It is the full circle of justice… It gives businesses a tax break, re-purposes food to feed hungry people, and reduces garbage bills and food waste in landfills!

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I was imprisoned and you visited me.” Matthew 25:36

This weekend marked our journey from darkness to light with the celebration of Easter! The long days of Lent are over. For some, the endless days of darkness and despair continue with no end in sight. Blue skies, sunshine and a limitless horizon are a distant memory. Days are marked with grief and loss due to incarceration. Second chances are gone… 

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“What are you holding on to?”

Perhaps this idea cuts to the heart of Lent. “What are we holding on to?” And, on a deeper level, “What can we let go of?” Maybe this is the season not only to free ourselves of unwanted items that we no longer need. Maybe the real call this season is to consider what we can let go of that is holding us back from joy. Are we holding on to anger, resentment, or old grudges? Do we hold limiting ideas of what is possible for us? Is there an unanswered call to reconcile, forgive those who have harmed us? Is there a window of grace this Lenten season to ask forgiveness?

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The Global Refugee Crisis

This year, St. Patrick’s will offer Operation Rice Bowl to support this global outreach that helps so many refugees around the globe. Catholic values are the cornerstone of this work. The Catholic Church believes that each person is, “sacred” and, “born in the image and likeness of God.” We believe in the dignity of each person and are called to work globally to build peace and justice.

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On love, books, blankets and grace…

If the measure of our days could be calculated by love, books, blankets and grace, I would tell you that if we used Monday as a measure… it’s beyond counting! Loaves & Fishes is always a night filled with grace. Our amazing team shows up, cooks, serves, offers smiles, washes pots and pans, and mops floors. This is done with a sense of joy and gratitude.

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Over 200 Attended Selma: Bridge to the Ballot and Beyond, the Ongoing Struggle for Voting Rights in America!

In every generation, people of faith are called to work for justice… The generation that marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama walked that difficult road that so many had done before! They were guided by faith, hope and a deep sense of the historic moment that demanded justice. The long sought after dream of freedom could not be denied.

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Sondra Samuels inspired at the Fall Forum!

We were thrilled to have a full house for our Annual Fall Forum, Bridging the Divide. Sondra Samuels, President and CEO of the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), has lived on the Northside of Minneapolis with her husband and children for 19 years. She and Andre Dukes, colleague and Youth Pastor at Shiloh Temple are working with parents to lead change, close the, “achievement and opportunity gaps” and inspire children to go to college. By partnering with over 40 agencies including Catholic Schools, they are changing the narrative about what is possible. Beating the odds against poverty has never been easy… 

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The Cathedral of Saint Paul

The Cathedral inspires by its sheer size and reflects a desire to give honor and glory to God. It stands as a witness to our Catholic faith. The sanctuary is magnificent with marble stretching across the altar, stairs, and entrances. Marble pillars stretch over 175 feet high to connect a ceiling filled with stunning artwork and stained glass windows. Rose windows, statues and chapels create a sacred space. Behind the altar there are individual Shrines to the Nations with Saints representing early immigrants to Minnesota, including our beloved Saint Patrick!

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“Here’s to the Crazy Ones"

This phrase launched the revival of one of the world’s most beloved brands and companies, Apple. According to Forbes, December 14, 2011, “The Real Story Behind Apple’s ‘Think Different’ Campaign, the author of that line is Rob Stilanen. When he wrote the epic poem, “Here’s to the Crazy Ones” he was trying to describe what it takes to achieve greatness. The last two lines of the epic poem, “Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people, who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do,”1 describes business genius, and anyone seeking to change the status quo.

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“If you want peace, work for justice”

These are the words used by Pope Paul VI in his 1972 address for World Peace Day. His words are even more relevant today. We grieve with the police officers and their families that died serving their communities. We grieve for the victims of gun violence in our cities: Orlando, Dallas, Falcon Heights, Chicago, Minneapolis and St. Joseph, Michigan to name a few. We not only hold the immediate families, friends, colleagues and communities who are profoundly feeling these losses in our prayers, we also pray for all of the first responders, police, medical personnel and everyone who plays a role with these devastating situations.

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Abby Bloom Inspired!

I always felt like I had missed something during my childhood. After meeting my large, extended family, I knew I had come home! It was an incredible journey… a dream come true! 

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The powerful generational gift of compassion

The spirit of love, compassion and service not only makes our families stronger, but it also builds a beloved community. Tied into our aspirations for a more just and equitable community is our faith that by working together we can make a difference. Love that extends itself to complete strangers is inspiring. It shows up quietly without any expectation of reciprocation. It is a reflection of people grounded in Gospel values that speaks volumes without saying a word.

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Thoughts on the 2016 Legislative Agenda

As I have reflected on the legislative agenda for the 2016 session, a theme keeps emerging… family. How do we lift up family life? Support living wage jobs so people can provide a life for their families? How do we make sure that every child has a chance for a great education and learns the essential skills to pursue higher education? How can we make sure that all children have a home and enough to eat?

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