Catholics Confront Global Poverty, sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), invites one million Catholics to join an initiative designed to defend the life and dignity of people living in poverty throughout the world, and to urge our nation to act in response to the many faces of poverty.
Promoting peace, justice, care of the earth and solidarity with the poor are an integral part of the mission of religious life. Your own congregation already has a wealth of resources, experts and experiences that can help to build a movement that’s one million strong. Catholics Confront Global Poverty offers the following ideas as ways to integrate these principles even more deeply into the communities where you live and minister. We also welcome your ideas and best practices.
- Further your understanding of how the issues related to international assistance, peace, debt, trade, natural resources extraction, climate change, and migration affect real people around the world by reading the stories and listening to the podcasts found at usccb.org/globalpoverty or crs.org/globalpoverty.
- At usccb.org/globalpoverty or crs.org/globalpoverty you can also sign up to receive regular updates about new resources and ways your community can be involved in Catholics Confront Global Poverty in the future.
- If you live with others, plan an evening to explore and discuss global poverty as a community. For further engagement, choose one issue to learn more about and act upon. Consider writing an e-mail message to an elected official about that issue, or visit the Catholics Confront Global Poverty action page to view current Action Alerts on this issue.
- At a community meeting, discuss how you can educate and engage the people in your ministry settings around these global issues.
- In your community and/or ministry setting, invite others to join you in a rosary or other prayer of solidarity for global poverty. Pray each decade for one of the issues related to global poverty found at usccb.org/globalpoverty or crs.org/globalpoverty. As you pray together, remember those living in extreme poverty and pray for elected officials with the power to enact U.S. policy to combat poverty.
- View the DVD, The Line in the Sand: Stories from the U.S. Mexico Border, available from crs.org/dramaproject. This stage drama by Villanova University theater students, tells the story of immigration from all sides of the issue.
- Do you minister to young children? Help them to experience the stories of people in developing countries through resources on the CRS Kids site, www.crs.org/kids/index_flash.htm, which features coloring pages for young children, recipes and more.
- Do you minister to older youth? Invite them to learn more about the Church’s social teachings at one of the following web sites:
- Make financial contributions to poverty-fighting organizations like Catholic Relief Services at donate.crs.org.
- Invite the experts on global issues from your own religious community to share their knowledge and stories with the people in your ministry setting or wider community. Suggest them as speakers for local social justice gatherings, youth ministry events and campus ministry efforts.
- Is the coffee you use in your house or ministry setting “Fair Trade certified”? This certification means that the producers are part of a poverty alleviation program that guarantees workers a fair wage. Make a commitment to use Fair Trade coffee in your community and encourage its use in other settings. Go to the Catholic Relief Services web site crsfairtrade.org to learn more and to order Fair Trade coffee and chocolate.
- Ask your local grocery stores to sell Fair Trade certified goods. Adopt a local supermarket. Visit with the manager to discuss Fair Trade items. Invite others to stop by and ask for the products as well. Visit crsfairtrade.org for more ideas.