Members of the Committee for Social Justice
For Members Only
What is it?
In June of 2000, a representative group of students and staff from two of Trenton’s Catholic schools asked the Board of Trustees to raise the profile of social justice issues in our school Board. The result was the formation of a Board Task Force on Social Justice whose work encompassed the 2001-2002 school year.
This present committee owes its existence to the Trustees’ further support of the recommendations of that Task Force. Its work was inspired by the themes emerging from the Church’s celebration of the Jubilee and, in particular, the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia in America (1999). Specifically, the Board of Trustees mandated this committee in the fall of 2002 to assume the following responsibilities:
- promote the integration of the social teachings of the Church into the curriculum and broader life of the schools around a three-fold structure of service, education and action
- support school based initiatives geared to promoting the social teachings of the Church;
- develop and/or promote professional development opportunities for staff around the social teachings of the Church
- promote practices in all undertakings of the Board in a manner consistent with the social teachings of the Church
- seek funding (in addition to Board funding) from outside agencies (e.g. CIDA)
- serve as a clearinghouse for the identification of resources related to the Church’s social teachings
- network with other jurisdictions in the area of social justice
- work with the Archdiocese of Kingston to develop a mechanism for cooperation with the Board in the area of social justice
- annually consider with the Archdiocese of Kingston the identification and promotion of social justice themes that would inform social actions projects at the local level
What is the membership of the Committee?
The following groups are represented on this Board Committee:
- school administrators
- Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Kingston
- The Office of Youth Ministry of the Archdiocese of Kingston
- school councils
- the Coordinators of Pastoral Service
- The Office of Curriculum and Staff Development
- And the Office of Religious and Family Life Education
What does the Committee have to do with me?
One of the most distinctive features of our Roman Catholic faith is our Church's rich tradition of social teaching. It is critical to the unique profile of Catholic education that this teaching be explicitly integrated not only into the curriculum but also into the overall life of our school communities.
All of the stakeholders in Catholic education, from parents to teachers to administrators to students to support staff and to pastors have traditionally involved themselves in a wide range of social action activities. Whether it is a food or clothing drive, a class discussion about poverty in our world, or participation in a public demonstration, Catholic schools have historically demonstrated consistent leadership in these areas.
Today, we need to both preserve and build on these practices in order to continue to participate meaningfully in the mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world. This will become even more evident in light of the initiatives that will be taken within the Archdiocese of Kingston. Arising from the recommendations generated from the Jubilee Ecclesia in America project, it is clear that Pope John Paul II’s exhortation will be a major item on our agendas in the future.
How can the Committee help me?
It is our hope that the work of this committee will make it easier for you to both understand and access resources that will allow you to integrate the social teaching of the Church into the work that you do as a member of your school community. Through newsletters, workshops, web postings, joint projects with the Archdiocese of Kingston, guest speakers and more, learning opportunities will become more available. As well, perhaps you have been involved with an ongoing project related to social action that you would like to share with other schools or for which you require additional support. Or perhaps you have a cause whose profile you would like to raise throughout the school system. The committee may be able to help you or your group with any of these.
How can I find out more about the work of the Committee?
You can call the Office of Religious and Family Life Education. Better yet, you can get involved by contributing to the work of one of the sub-committees. Contact us through one of the numbers at the end of this pamphlet.
The Committee for Social Justice is always looking for creative suggestions as to how we can be faithful to our mandate. Please pass on your suggestions to us. Correct us when we fall short of the mark; celebrate our achievements with us.