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The Menu “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the

e blind and you will be blessed.


Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” Luke 14:13-14
Newsletter of the UCC Social Justice Team Volume 2, Issue 7

What is the Social


Justice Team?
Chef’s Special: Common Good
Catholic Social Teaching: Call to Family, Community and Participation
SJ Team Mission statement:
The UCC Social Justice Team T he fact that human beings are social by nature indicates that the betterment
of the person and the improvement of society depend on each other. Insofar
as humanity stands completely in need of life in society, it is and ought to be the
connects what we experience at Mass
to how we live. We serve the beginning, subject and object of every social
common good through works of organization. Life in society is not something
accessory to humanity: through dealings with others,
mercy for the poor and
mutual service, and dialogue, men and women
vulnerable. We also work to
develop their talents and rise to their destiny.
eliminate the conditions that create Among the social ties necessary for humanity's
the need for charity by advocating for development, some correspond more immediately to
just social policy and education of the our innermost nature, such as the family and the
community. political community. Socialization is not without its
dangers, but it brings with it many advantages for the
Join us at meetings strengthening and betterment of human qualities and
this semester! for the protection of human rights.
Source: Gaudium et Spes : Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Second
We meet each Monday 6:30- Vatican Council, 1965, http://www.osjspm.org/majordoc_gaudium_et_spes_part_one.aspx
7:30PM in the Mother Teresa
more about maquiladoras, U.S. factories
room. Our Community: on the Mexican side of the border.
This semester, we will focus on:
**Studying scripture’s call for justice
Bigger Than We Think We talked to workers in their houses
By Leah Kolar, SJ Team Prayer Leader with women organizers from the CFO
**Discussing current events & (in English, the Border Workers
studying Catholic Social Teaching
**Partnering with Maryhouse
L ast weekend I took the Austin Tan
Cerca de la Frontera (Austin So Close
to the Border) trip with the American
Committee), a long-standing grassroots
organization dedicated to informing
workers about their rights under
Catholic Worker, a home for the
Friends Service Committee. The trip Mexican labor law. We saw first hand
chronically ill homeless broadened my view of community. I the conditions in which they lived in the
**Taking action in letter writing participated in a delegation of 12 people colonias, shantytowns. We shared meals
campaigns and other events from the U.S. who traveled to Piedras and discussion with organizers and
**Planning educational opportunities Negras on an educational trip to learn workers. We learned about the stringent
around the UCC conditions in the maquiladoras, the poor
wages of the workers and the
We are planning: surprisingly high cost of living facing the
**A UCC-wide Lenten service project families of these dedicated workers.
**A discussion about the presidential My favorite part, though, was
candidates platforms celebrating Three Kings Day with their
**Your ideas are needed! families Saturday evening. Their simple
love and encouragement got me
We always welcome new faces in speaking Spanish despite my hesitation.
our community! Four of the workers from Dignidad y
Justicia, a women’s fair trade cooperative
Leah with two women from the Diginity comprised of women who had been
and Justice Cooperative and their inventory. (continued on back side)
The Menu Newsletter of the UCC Social Justice Team
“But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you,
you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Luke 14:13-14

Reading Resolutions 2008 This year, check out these Dear Lord, we who are divided
books that explore the intersection of faith & promotion of justice! unloving
♦ Love that Does Justice, by Thomas Justice in the Marketplace, by John prejudiced at times
Schubeck, S.J. (Orbis Books, 2007) Medaille (Continuum International inclined to
♦ Lazatus at the Table, by Bernard Publishing Group, 2007) misunderstanding
Evans (Liturgical Press, 2006) ♦ Faith at Work, the Spirituality of intolerant
♦ A Banqueter’s Guide to the All-Night Leadership, by Donald Dorr Make us instead united
Soup Kitchen of the Kingdom of God, (Liturgical Press, 2007) loving
by Patrick McCormick (Liturgical ♦ Not on Our Watch: The Mission to open to learning
Press, 2004) End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond, understanding and forgiving
♦ No Salvation Outside the Poor, by by Don Cheadle and John tolerant
Jon Sobrino (Orbis Books, 2008) Prendergast (Hyperion, 2007) May your Spirit be present in us
♦ Quest for the Living God: Mapping ♦ Left to Tell: Discovering God in the as you are in all peoples.
Frontiers In the Theology of God, by Midst of the Rwandan Genocide, by
Elizabeth Johnson (Continuum Immaculee Ilibagiza (Hay House,
Books, 2007) 2007)
Religion and Labor Network
♦ Just One Year: A Global Treasury of ♦ A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a of Austin asks “Is There
Prayer and Worship, by Timothy Boy Soldier, by Ismael Beah Justice in Target?”
Radcliffe (Orbis Books, 2006) (Farrar, Straus and Girous, 2007) Target claims to be committed to
♦ The Vocation of Business: Social Source: educationforjustice.org high ethical standards, but in Texas,
Join Pax Christi Austin for a discussion of the Pope’s janitors were paid below minimum
wage and denied overtime by
World Day of Peace Message 7PM on Sun. Jan. 20 Target's business partner, Jim's
At Fr. Payne House at St Ignatius Church on S. Congress. Read Maintenance. They are now suing
the message and bring your thoughts, to the conversation!
Target for unpaid wages and
(see the January Catholic Spirit for the Message)
damages in two court cases.
PCA meets on the 3rd Sunday of each month, so join us and make 2008 a year Come learn more!
of commitment to Pax Christi Austin and the Catholic Peace Movement. Your
energy, ideas and faith are needed as we seek to be leaven in our community
Mon., Jan. 21, 2008, 7-9PM
and a voice for Gospel peace. Contact Bob Rankin at bobr4@austin.rr.com. University Presbyterian
Church, 2203 San Antonio St.
(parking in CO-OP garage across the street)
(Community, continued from front) Mexicans and Americans found fulfill-
fired from maquila jobs, made the tama- ment in the simple awareness and SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Workers who
les, beans and pozole, our most cele- newly-built solidarity we had created. have filed a lawsuit, Bill Beardall of
brated feast. We played with their chil- It was in community that we found the Equal Justice Center, and
dren, and Mexican workers and organiz- love and fulfillment. Before embarking Members of RLNA who are standing
ers, their families and us ‘gringos’ shared on this trip, we couldn’t have realized with workers, unions, faith
in discussion, a meal, a celebration. how big our family actually was. communities and consumers in a
By the end of the trip, as we shared For more info about the ATCF dele- NATION-WIDE CAMPAIGN to seek
our reflections about our experience gation, visit afsc.org/central/austin/ justice for all Target workers.
together in a circle, we were struck by EJthree2ndlevel.htm. To buy fair trade
how close we had grown. Tears welled items from the co-op: ethicalgoods.org. Like what you see?
up in the eyes of one of the maquila Want to become a part of it?
workers as she shared how much it A group committed to promoting justice
meant to know that some ‘gringos’ really around the UCC & in the community
did care. The U.S. delegates too had produces this newsletter, looks for
grown to love these women and their opportunities to do charity and justice,
families. Through this love, we cele- leads workshops and hosts events. If you
brated with them as we heard their suc- Maquilas have an impressive facade in front would like to help, have ideas to add, or
cesses, felt their pain and experienced and a windowless room in back for workers. have a submission for the newsletter,
their despair in the injustices through Most maquilas in Piedras Negras assemble send an email to sjteam@utcatholic.org.
which they live daily. In short, both electrical car parts.