Augustinians of the Midwest Encourage Global Awareness, Prayer, Action
Augustinians of the Midwest (Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel) encourage our Friars, the people with whom and for whom they minister, and all who identify with Augustinian Spirituality to become more aware of global realities and more involved in the formulation of policies that aid the development of a society that is fair and respectful of the human life and dignity of all people.
The Province Commission on Justice and Peace promotes not only works of charity (help given directly to persons in need) but also works of justice (supporting structural changes) which address the root causes of problems and reduce the necessity for exercising charity.
We support the Augustinian Delegation at the United Nations (Non-Governmental Organization) because we believe that it enriches us with greater global awareness, providing the global perspective necessary for renewal and effective ministry in the modern world, and because we believe that it gives witness to the Catholic Christian values which St. Augustine embraced.
We are inspired by the words of the Bible and by the words of St. Augustine:
- The just will ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or see you thirsty and give you to drink? When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and give you clothing? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And the King will answer, “Truly, I assure you, as often as you did it to the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25: 37-40)
- [Jesus] came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. He went to the synagague . . . and he stood up to read. When the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him, he unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has annointed me to bring the Good News to the poor, to proclaim liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim an acceptable year of the Lord.” . . . He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4: 16-21)
- The Letter of James urges followers of Jesus Christ to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only,” calling care for those in distress “pure worship before our God” and characterizing faith that does nothing in practice as “thoroughly lifeless.” (James 1: 21-27 and 2: 14-17)
- You give bread to a hungry person; but it would be better were no one hungry, and you could give it to no one. You clothe a naked person. Would that all were clothed and this necessity did not exist! (St. Augustine, Commentary of the First Letter of John, 8.8)
We invite you to discover more:
U.N. International Days
Augustinians are encouraged to observe in their schools, parishes and communities seven U.N. International Days which reflect the Christian values. Learn more about these days, and find suggested prayer services that can be adapted to a variety of settings.
- International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – March 21 – Pray, reflect and act to end racism and intolerance. “The Role of Leaders in Combatting Racism and Racial Discrimination” is the theme for 2014.
- International Day of Families – May 15 – Support this world-wide observance to promote family-friendly policies.
- World Environment Day – June 5 – Mark this observance to promote Christian stewardship of the Earth.
International Day of Peace – September 21 – Prayer, education, action to have a sustainable peace for a sustainable future.
World Food Day – October 16 – Learning about the causes of and solutions to food insecurity, reflecting, praying, acting against hunger.
United Nations Day – October 24 – Celebrating how the U. N. helps to improve people’s lives and secure a more peaceful, more just and more prosperous world for all.
Human Rights Day – December 10 – Emphasizing the Catholic teaching on the dignity of every human person. The current theme, “My Voice Counts”, focuses on the right to freedom of expression, especially for inclusion in public policy-making processes.
Augustinian Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign – Become aware of this modern form of slavery, a sin against the Catholic Christian value of respect for life, but a reality in almost every country.
Justice and Peace at School – Resources for educators and students to expand global awareness and contribute to the building of a peaceful, just and respectful world. (Scroll down to bottom half of the page.)
Justice and Peace Fund – To encourage Augustinian friars to take part in promoting justice and peace, this fund provides small grants each year to support projects concerned with peace and justice in which Augustinians are involved and which have as a goal the production of systemic change for a more just society.
Augustine on Justice and Peace – Augustine’s thoughts about hunger, poverty, justice and peace as expressed in his preaching and writing.