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Social Justice & Outreach

Justice and Charity

Charity and Social Justice are often seen as synonymous. In reality, they are interrelated, yet distinct aspects of the Church’s call for us to be salt for the earth and light for the world (Matthew 5:13 – 16).

Charity and Social Justice are often seen as synonymous. In reality, they are interrelated, yet distinct aspects of the Church's call for us to be salt of the earth and light for the world (Matthew 5:13–16). 

The following from the Office of Social Justice (OSJ) illustrates the differences between these two callings. 

Charity is a response to immediate needs. 
Justice is a response to long-term needs. 

Charity is directed at the effects of social injustice, its symptoms. It addresses problems that already exists. 
Justice is directed at the root causes of social problems. Justice addresses the underlying structures or causes of these problems. 

Charity is private, individual acts. 
Justice is public, collective action. 

STB's developing relationship with the San Lucas Mission in San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala illustrates the aspects of Charity and Justice in action. In 2009, in response to a devastating mudslide that killed ten people, dislocated hundreds and destroyed the small plots of farmland for many families, STB members contributed to a fund for the affected families. This Charitable act provided relief for an immediate need in the form of water and other life-sustaining necessities. 

Since October 2010, STB has been selling Fair Trade coffee from the coffee cooperative run by the Mission. Purchasing coffee through the cooperative supports the farmers by providing a consistent price for their product, at a level at which they can provide for their families' food, education and shelter...to be able to stand on their own. STB members have been on mission trips to San Lucad, gaining firsthand knowledge of their projects, and most importantly, developing relationships with the local Mayan people.The support for the cooperative, and other aspects of the San Lucas Mission, are examples of Justice in action. 


Other examples of Charity at STB: 
Food Shelf Sunday 
Paint-a-thon 
Christmas Giving and Easter Baskets for the poor and people with disabilities 
Haiti hurricane relief fund 
Syrian refugees relief fund


Other examples of Justice at STB: 
Habitat for Humanity 
Higher Ground ministry 
Prison ministry 
Dorothy Day Annex 
Parish-wide education on Catholic Social Justice Teachings