Our Mission Statement

Inspired by the vision of the Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching, the members of the Justice and Peace Committee at Our Lady of the Lake Parish seek to foster ways which promote the dignity of all persons and all creation and bring about justice and peace. Challenged by the example of Christ, the group strives to follow and to teach, by example, this foundational dimension of our Faith.




Our Lady of the Lake Justice and Peace Committee Statement of Commitment and Action

The Our Lady of the Lake Justice & Peace Committee affirms its commitment to respect the dignity of every human being, strive for justice and peace among all people, and seek and serve God in all persons and in creation.

1. We will go deeper in faith.

We will strive to read, study, and live the words and actions of Jesus. We seek courage and humility to listen and respond to the promptings of the Spirit.

2. We will listen and respect all voices.

We will strive to actively listen and acknowledge each other's stories, fears, hopes, and beliefs, even when we might disagree. We will work to foster dialogue to promote diversity and pluralism in our communities and world.

3. We will lift up truth.

We will strive to replace fear with facts when it comes to public and private discussions about immigrants, refugees, ethnic and religious groups, racial diversity, and other related issues.

4. We will live our belief that all people are made in God's image.

We will live our belief that all people are made in God's image, affirm diversity as a gift, blessing, and opportunity for our nation, and reject racist, xenophobic, homophobic and religious prejudice.

5. We will welcome the stranger.

We will advocate for immigrants, refugees and asylees and their families, reject mass deportations of immigrants in our communities, and seek a comprehensive and humane national immigration policy. We will work to bring those here out of the shadows of fear to places of sanctuary and safety.

6. We will exercise the preferential option for the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized.

We will work to alleviate poverty, homelessness, and mass incarceration and support and protect the marginalized and most vulnerable in life. We will foster a culture that supports and honors life, God's greatest gift to us.

7. We will value and honor women.

We will work to replace misogyny with mutual respect. We name sexual harassment and sexual assault a sin and a crime. We will pursue gender fairness and equality in our Church, homes, workplaces, schools, communities and political systems. We will promote positions of leadership for women in our Church.

8. We will nurture family.

We will honor and support the family in all its forms and will strive to further policies that keep families intact, nurtured and valued in our country and in the world.

9. We will support workers.

We will support the right of productive work for all people, including a fair, safe, and inclusive workplace, a living wage, and the right to organize.

10. We will protect our environment.

As stewards of creation, we will work to preserve and protect the Earth from climate change. We will advocate for the poor and marginalized who bear the brunt of environmental devastation and injustice.

11. We will work to realize God's peace in the world.

Christ calls us to be peacemakers. We will reject war and all forms of physical, psychological, emotional, and cultural violence, abuse, and neglect. We will seek to reduce gun violence and disarm weapons of mass destruction and work towards merciful, fair, and effective solutions that preserve life and promote justice. When we protest in our streets, schools or workplaces, it will be with dignity, discipline, and non-violence.

12. We make these commitments to you and with you, oh God, as a sign of our faith, hope and love. We ask you to give us strength, wisdom and the means to fulfill our commitments.




INVESTING for the COMMON GOOD

Legend of the Quetzel Bird

A long time ago, there was a great fire in the forest that covered the Earth. People and animals started to run, trying to escape the fire. The owl, Tecototl, was running away but noticed a small bird hurrying back and forth between the nearest river and the fire, picking up small drops of water in its beak, then returning to the fire to throw that tiny bit of water on the flame. Owl approached the Quetzal bird and yelled, "What are you doing? Are you stupid? You are not going to achieve anything by doing that. You must run for your life."

Quetzal bird stopped for a moment, then looked at the owl and answered, "I am doing the best I can with what I have."

At that, Owl went to the river & took up water into its beak. Others followed.

It is remembered by our grandparents that a long time ago the forests that covered our Earth were saved from a great fire by a small quetzal bird, by Owl, and by many other animals and people who got together to put out the flame.

An Aztec story

While we parishioners may have diverse thoughts on what the most urgent injustices are in our world, and different views on how to bring about justice, all of us recognize that life is threatened on our planet and we thirst for justice.

We as the OLL Justice and Peace Committee have come to realize that we can and are called to act for justice using whatever resources we have - our voice, our money, our physical skills, and our inner energies of compassion and solidarity, expressed in prayers from heart and head.

Recently, our committee has studied how we can use investments - individually and collectively owned - to move our world towards justice. In the process, we studied Principles for USCCB Investments and opened a conversation with our Seattle Bishops about how the Archdiocese works with these. (Letter is on OLL website.) Bishop Mueggenborg replied for the Bishops. In his comments, he affirmed that this indeed is a field and opportunity for Catholic witness, advocacy and action.

Ways investments can be used for the common good

1. Invest in companies that support Catholic Social Principles. (Some are listed below.)
  • Ask your investment manager what screening is done to avoid investing in companies with unethical practices. (This action alone raises consciousness!)
  • Direct your investment manager to use Catholic Social principles as a guide in selection.
  • Invest in a particular corporation because of its ethical practice; write to inform the company of your choice.
2. Practice shareholder activism.
  • Vote your shareholder resolution (If you don't, your vote goes with management.)
  • Support a group (NWCRI, ICCR - see back resources.) which advocates for justice by developing shareholder resolutions and bringing them to shareholder meetings.
  • Ask an organization to which you belong about their investments, what guidelines they use, whether they have considered being the sponsor of a shareholder resolution to effect change within a corporation.
3. Philanthropic investing
Invest (with an expectation of return) in deserving people or groups that will use your loan to improve lives and protect the planet.
  • Community Development Loan Funds
  • Groups involved in microfinancing.
4. Divest.
If a corporation engages in practices contrary to Catholic Social Principles and refuses to dialogue about policy change, consider divesting and informing the company about your decision.

***CATHOLIC SOCIAL PRINCIPLES
1. Life and Dignity of the Human Person
2. Call to Community and Participation
3. Rights and Responsibilities
4. Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
5. Dignity of Work
6. Solidarity
7. Care of God's Creation
www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catholic-social-teaching

Resources

Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment (NWCRI)
Based in Seattle, NWCRI acts for corporate chage through dialogue with companies and shareholder resolutions.

Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility
(Umbrella entity for faith-based shareholder activities)

Grameen Foundation
(One of the first micro-loan groups; lots of partners)

Kiva.org
(Loan as little as $25 to create opportunity around the world.)

US SIF: Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment
(Learn about sustainable, responsible, impact investing.)

Read:

WHAT THEN CAN WE DO? (Lk 3:10)

Raise Awareness
  • Ask a retailer what the working conditions are where their goods are manufactured.
  • Ask a store to carry fair trade / direct trade products.
  • Write the CEO or board of a corporation asking questions about: work conditions; wage standards; health/safety policies; efforts to make "sustainable" products, or produce them in sustainable ways; gender equity on boards and in leadership.
  • Ask your health care provider, insurer, pharmacist what they know about the availability of the medication you use to people in need of it globally.
  • If you are not purchasing a particular product, tell the merchant why.
Get Educated
  • Do a web search on "impact invexting", "shareholder activism"< Catholic Social Principles".
  • Research a fund, manager or company to determine if it aligns with your values. (Eg: weaponfreefunds.org can tell you if a mutual fund invests in companies that manufacture weapons.)
Try voting a shareholder resolution.
  • A vote NOT cast by the shareholder is considered support for the management point of view. Many shareholder resolutions are non-controversial, but practice with some of these! Then, when something substantive comes along that could make corporation policy more just, you'll be ready!
  • Encourage groups which exercise shareholder activism/advocacy (NWCRI, ICCR) by donation, reading their materials, a word of encouragement.



  • Weekly Announcements

    Read the Justice and Peace Committee bulletin announcements each weekend in the Our Lady of the Lake Parish bulletin under the "Justice & Peace" column. Click here, and select this week's bulletin, then go to the "Justice and Peace" section.



    Essays

    Short essays expressing thoughts by Committee members inspired by Catholic Social Teaching

    Events

    Upcoming events and announcements

    Correspondence

    Exchanges with other individuals and organizations

    Prayers

    Some of our favorite prayers and meditations on peace and justice

    Readings

    A list of books and articles we have studied

    Links

    Links to other organizations and online resources

    Parish

    Our Catholic Parish in Seattle, WA. If you got here from that Web site, simply close this window to return.

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