Tuesday, June 12, 2007


A blogger asked this past weekend about "JustFAITH", a program that the parish is promoting. The following response was written by Lorraine Priestley, one of our parishioners who helps out with this social justice program:

"JustFaith is an adult formation program for those interested in social justice ministry. JustFaith provides a program for the participants to grow in their faith commitment to the gospel message to care for the poor and the vulnerable and to become advocates of justice. (Psalms 82:3-4)

It is a program to prepare us to apply the basic seven themes of Catholic teaching on social justice which is focused on:

- the dignity of the human person,
- the family as the central social institution,
- protection of human rights and our responsibility to one another
- reaching out to the poor and vulnerable (Mt 25:31-46),
- the dignity of work and the rights of the worker,
- solidarity with our neighbor and
- stewards of God’s creation.

It is a planned 30 session curriculum with a syllabus which includes, books, videos, discussion, prayer, two retreats and four immersion experiences. It is structured very similarly to the successful RCIA program and combines the features of long term process to allow change and growth to occur, access to education and strong emphasis on community building. It is now in its fifteen year and is sponsored by Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Catholic Relief Services.

For more information go to http://www.justfaith.org/"

Also, this info was on the bulletin insert about JustFaith:

When is it?
Monday evenings, Sept 07- June 08 (except holidays + school vacations)
Other groups may meet during the day and on different evenings if there is sufficient interest

What is involved?
-weekly 2 hour meetings
-retreats in September and May
-four visits with people who have experienced injustice
-about two hours of reading / wk
-Cost: $145 per person for books (in installments; also, scholarships available)

If interested, contact Mary Tull, St Andrew parish Religious Education Office at 301-649-3555 or standrewreled@yahoo.com


At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a timely subject, given today's Gospel reading about being the salt of the Earth and the light of the world. We are each called to act in our faith, to actually bring our faith outside of the church to others in order to bring out goodness in them. Sounds like a great course- lots of hours - but a great course.

I can give my time to a cause, but sometimes I find it hard to get interpersonal regarding my faith, but, and I don't know why, I have a tendency to look at my faith inspired beliefs as intimate thoughts and ideas. And I'm hesitant to share them but with only a very few. It's funny, because when someone chooses to share their faith inspired beliefs with me, I think it's really cool and I feel privileged for the experience.

At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This might free you up from worrying about how to share your faith on an interpersonal level. St. Francis great qoute "Witness with your life first, then use your words."

I also experience some of the same hesitancy about putting it all out there! One thing that helps me is to let the Spirit flow. Invocation of the Holy Spirit is an incredibly powerful thing to do. If God wants you to share your faith in a personal way, the Holy Spirit will supply the energy and the words. Trust me, try this a few times, sometimes, it might not be the time. You will continue to witness with your love and your life. Eventually though if you are an open vessel, the Holy Spirit will give you the courage, the energy and the words. You will be astounded if you have never experienced this before. We absolutely need the gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to spread our faith. It won't be so much about you any more as it will be you allowing the Holy Spirit to work through you.

Okay, I used the word open vessel. If you are a regular confessor that is a great start. Also regular Sunday Mass attendance and week day (I still have not committed to week day yet - working on it).

PRAY PRAY PRAY. Read the scriptures. MOst protestants are under the impression that Catholics spend no time learning, studying, and contemplating scripture. Awful to admit, but they in some ways are right. If you know the scriptures, the Holy Spirit will bring them to mind(when you need them) - remember remain an open vessel.

At 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be great if Catholics could share their testimonies of faith within the walls of the church. This site is so needed for many reasons encouraging one another, learning more about the faith, sharing a personal testimonies of faith. I love it! It is a rare ministry in the Catholic Faith.

Are their ways for lay people to do this (under Pastor's direction and approval)????????? I LOVE the one true faith on earth but we need to think outside the box side sometimes. There is so much confusion, discouragment, ignorance, among so many of us!

At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with the given topic, but tonight I witnessed a really great expression of fatherly love. One of our dads volunteered to dance in the "Dad's Dance" at his daughter's dance recital. Tonight was the test run. He went all out to demonstrate, no doubt for his daughter, that he does, indeed, have disco fever. Now, this dad has always been a trooper- coaching T-ball and chairing golf tourneys, but watching him (and watching his proud daughter watch him) bust-a-move was truly a treat. So Dad- you rock- break a leg!

At 10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This site is so needed for many reasons encouraging one another, learning more about the faith, sharing a personal testimonies of faith. I love it! It is a rare ministry in the Catholic Faith"

So true! It is ministry at work, even if some is light hearted and funny. I value the coments of those who share so openly, for as I said earlier, it's hard for me to do in living person.

At 10:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who runs the Just Faith meetings?

At 7:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a teacher at St. Andrews several years ago who commonly used the phrase, "Be still and know God." For you school parents, you'll recall reading in the school office. Well, we're 5 days into summer, and I'm already finding that hard.

I was reading an article about obstacles in faith, and one cited was the unrelenting rapidity of the pace of life. It talked about how we are so accustomed to being filled with commotion that we scarcely know what to do without it (and man, is that me!).

In a house full of kids, it's hard to find quiet time, and sometimes hard to even want it- for I like the rewards that having a busy life brings:

-satisfaction in jobs done well
-having tangible and often measuarble results
-distraction (hate to admit it, but true)

So my challenge to myself this summer was to be to "be still and know God". Even if I start with a small amount of time each day. Going to Mass is a helper, even if it's still something I go and do, once I'm there, I can quiet myself and focus on why I am there. But then, there's 23-1/2 hours left in the day! I can fill-up that time with all kinds of crazy projects- EASY! So, if I am to be committed to meeting my own challenge, I think I need to fill my time with a bit more than 1/2 hour of spiritual time each day. I thought I'd take a breather this summer, but with what I really want in my life, maybe that's not the best course. I'm open to suggestions from any of you who are able to "be still".

Summer is waaay too long for me!

At 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you are a regular confessor that is a great start."

This is a concept I just DO NOT understand. Maybe I do not examine myself correctly or something, but if you were to regularly (and I'm not exactly sure what that means) go to confession, wouldn't you be confessing the same things over and over again? I mean, the things that I confess about aren't usually isolated incidents but actions that are brought on by the same issues that I'm working on from the last time I went to confession. Does one go and say, "I am still full of pride over this issue. I am still angry with this person. I still have not forgiven that person"?

(Okay- truthfully, maybe some of the players would change, but the basic actions/thoughts would all be about the same things)

I know I had a fairly strong attachment to the idea that confession was for mortal sin. Now, I do understand that even the venial sins should be confessed. I go to confession during Advent and Lent, and unless soemthing really unusual came up in my life, other than then, I'd probably be repeating myself.

At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the writings of Father Saunders, a priest and friend in Christ,......
Regular confession is a healthy spiritual practice. Each sincere Catholic needs to periodically—every month or two—do a good examination of conscience holding himself to the standard of Christ. Each person should reflect on how well he has lived a "Christ-like life" by following the commandments and the teachings of the Church.

Perhaps one's failures are not so much commissions as they are omissions. For all of these, we bring our soul to the Lord and receive forgiveness. The healing grace of the sacrament of penance washes away sin and give us the strength to avoid that sin again. The more we love the Lord, the more we are aware of the smallest sins and the more we want to say, "I am sorry. Please forgive me."

One of my favorite sayings (not particularly spiritual). If you keep on doing what you are doing, you will keep on getting what you are getting.

I am a former twice a year confessor. We are called to be in a constant state of conversion - always turning toward Christ. I love what Father says about omissions. Becoming a regular confessor has raised my awareness of sin especially sins of omission.

At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:18 am ...anon,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the craziness of life. We are particularly bombarded now with constant access to everyone and everything (cells, computers, t.v.). Also when you still have younger children, there is the added element of their exuberance! It sounds like God is giving you ample energy & health to keep up with it all! Actually health and energy are huge blessings and maybe you are only searching to temper the pace of your life.

I find my quiet time with God very early in the morning. Mind you I am not a morning person. But I guess God is willing to put up with me before my am cup of joe. Also quiet time at night before sleep. I like to pray the rosary then.

At 12:31 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

"Confession does for our soul what working the ground does for the soil. Before the farmer sows his seed he works the land, removing the rocks and pulling the stumps. Why? Because seed grows better in prepared soil."

Sometimes I have to remind myself that no rocks or stumps are too large, heavy or deep-rooted to be removed.


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