If you feel called to peace and justice work or want to see what we currently are up to, come on the third Sunday of each month. At this time, due to the pandemic, we meet by video conferencing at 11:00 a.m., which allows for attendance at the 9:30 a.m. Sunday mass. O be included in these meetings, please contact either Alan Peroutka at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ed Curtin at email@example.com
Since its inception, the Peace & Justice Commission of St. Philip Neri has tried to embody the spirit of Christ in our parish and community. Members have been active in civic and social organizations that have tried to improve the quality of life for our neighbors. With humility and perseverance, as individuals and as a group, we are aware that the Church is a sacrament of Christ's presence in the world. We pledge ourselves to be brothers and sisters to all of our neighbors, to welcome them and to minister to them in our corner of the universal church.
Our charter comes from the Gospel, Matthew 25. We recognize Christ and minister to him in our sisters and brothers who are homeless, hungry, imprisoned, veterans and needy. In the words of the Second Vatican Council, "The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the people of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the followers of Christ."
In August 2020 the Commission held a retreat and identified these current priorities for focus and action:
Anti-Racism, an issue of current heightened social awareness and concern, has become a high priority focus for the Commission. The actions we are taking include educating ourselves on racism’s history and current issues, and providing opportunities for learning and discussion of racial issues with interested members of the parish. Individual members of the Commission also have organized a weekly vigil to stand in solidarity with people of color.
Homelessness is a pressing, highly visible issue in Portland. The Commission is actively supportive of the proposed Catholic Charities project to provide low-income housing on our St. Philip Neri campus and participate on its steering committee. With neighbors and parishioners, we continue our tradition organizing an annual Thanksgiving dinner for the unhoused. This year will consist of a delivered meal to homeless encampments. We also are pursuing opportunities to help feed those in need.
The Environment. Embracing Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si, the Commission is committed to educating the parish on current environmental issues and tracking and supporting local and national initiatives and action.
Parish and Community Outreach and Involvement. The Commission is committed to improving communications with parishioners and our broader community to promote, support, and cooperate with peace and social justice initiatives both within and outside the church. We work with our own and other parishes, neighborhood associations, the local neighborhood emergency team, ecumenical projects, and vicariate and archdiocese initiatives.
Immigration. In recent years, the Commission has supported immigrants who need assistance as they integrate into our community. We will look for opportunities through Catholic Charities to provide future support for immigrant individuals or families in our community.
Civic Participation. In the Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue and participation in political life is a moral obligation. The Commission encourages civic participation through voting, expressing opinions, encouraging fair elections, and encouraging volunteerism.
Equality. St. Philip Neri has been known and appreciated for being a welcoming, open community. We hope to make St. Philip Neri a home to those who may not feel welcome elsewhere.