WASHINGTON (February 25, 1999) -- Catholics nationwide soon will be asked to sign the Jubilee Pledge for Charity, Justice and Peace as parishes prepare to start the Third Millennium.
The jubilee pledge is being promoted by the U.S. Bishops' Subcommittee on the Third Millennium and several other Bishops' committees to mobilize Catholics to act for justice.
The pledge received widespread distribution as part of Jubilee Pledge for Charity, Justice and Peace: A Catholic Commitment for the New Millennium, a kit to help pastors and parish staffs plan activities leading up to the year 2000. Kits went to 18,000 parishes in February.
"The jubilee pledge aims to help Catholics think beyond Y2K computer problems and look at where their faith leads them as they near the third Christian millennium," said Bishop Wilton Gregory, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Subcommittee for the Third Millennium.
"It offers people an opportunity to recommit to serving the poor through prayer, study, service, donations and advocacy for greater justice and peace. "
The jubilee pledge is a response to the challenge held up by Pope John Paul II in his apostolic letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente. In that document, issued in 1994, the Pope declared that "a commitment to justice and peace . . . is a necessary condition for the preparation and celebration of the Jubilee."
Bishop Gregory urged people to make justice a high priority.
"The pledge is a unique and valuable tool to help Catholics think about what it means to be a follower of Jesus in the new millennium," he said. "We hope that parishes will copy and distribute it to all their members."
"This unique time in history gives each of us a chance to reflect on our lives and our faith," Bishop Gregory said. "Taking the Jubilee Pledge is a concrete way to renew our commitment to serve the 'least among us' and to build a world of greater charity, justice, and peace."
Suggested uses of the jubilee pledge include distributing it at Masses, through religious education programs and in parish schools and through other activities.
The kits include a poster in English and Spanish and color and black and white brochures and information on ordering more copies of the materials. It also includes resources for the parish council, educators, social concerns committees, liturgists, homilists and other parish staff to help them incorporate the pledge into their efforts.