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St. Joe’s Catholic Social Teaching Committee Updates

Update from St. Joseph University Parish Gun Violence Awareness Committee

As you are probably aware, our Parish Gun Violence Awareness Committee organized a spirited campaign and petition drive in early 2022 to convince local retail stores (Wegmans, Tops, Barnes and Noble) to remove magazines from their racks that promoted the possession, distribution, and use of automatic rifles, guns, and ammunition. This effort was very successful, resulting in the retailers removing the magazines from their shelves. During the week of April 8, one of our Committee members was in the Barnes and Noble store on Niagara Falls Boulevard, and noticed that there were gun related magazines back on the shelves. Our Committee was contacted with this information, and quickly sprung  into action. Staff and management of this outlet were contacted, and the magazines were promptly removed.




“What is Trauma” presented by Cameron Burns, Crisis Services, March 10, 2024Brought to you by the Committee Mental Health Community, St. Joseph University Parish

Thanks very much to all of you who came to the Community Room last weekend to sign the letter demanding that Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, the Buffalo Common Council, and the Buffalo Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services fully enforce the Proactive Rental Inspections Law. Enforcing this law will help reduce childhood lead poisoning due to lead-based paint hazards that exist in the City.  WE COLLECTED OVER 200 SIGNATURES.  The letter and signature pages were hand-delivered to City Hall.


With gratitude,

The St. Joseph University Parish Social Justice Committee








There is a gun show scheduled at the Knights of Columbus Fr. Justin Council Hall in Cheektowaga for next month. The St. Joseph University Social Justice Committee’s Gun Violence Awareness Subcommittee has been working diligently over the past several months to have the gun show cancelled or moved from the K of C facility.
After several months of discussion with leadership of the Knights of Columbus, and with no movement forward, members of our Committee, along with representatives from some of our partners in this effort (Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, Sisters of St. Joseph) met personally with Bishop Michael Fisher in December.
Please see Bishop Fisher’s response to our Committee contained in the letter below.
                                LETTER FROM BISHOP

Donations given to Mulumba Global Charities during 2023 Alternative Christmas Marketplace helped to purchase uniforms for children in 3 schools in Namibia. Seraphin Mulumba, President of Mulumba Global Charities, sends his deepest gratitude to all who supported this effort.


Scenes from Alternative Christmas Market Place December 9th and 10th



Congratulations and thank you to Sister Eileen O’Connor for your many years of service, and leadership, of our Social Justice Ministries at St. Joseph University Parish……a good time was had by all at the October 29th celebration






Andrew Prinzing, who chairs our Racial Justice and Solidarity Committee, recently returned from the annual National Catholic Mobilizing Network Conference in Minneapolis, where he presented a workshop on “Restorative Practices.” During his presentation, he spoke about how our Committee implements these practices during discussions about racial healing.  Congratulations  Andrew! We are so glad that you are with us.



Theresa Flores, founder and director of the SOAP Project (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) speaks to us about the prevalence of human trafficking- October 10, 2023

MHA to Offer Two New Grief Support Groups



Gun Violence Awareness Committee

The NRA, perhaps the best-known “gun rights” organization in the US, tracks bills introduced in state legislatures and offers a tool for people to contact their state legislators about pending gun bills. They urge people to oppose gun safety bills, and support bills that would have the effect of expanding access to guns. We want the opposite, so let’s turn the tables. Let’s consult the NRA’s list of pending legislation. If there’s a bill pending in our state, let’s contact our state legislators and tell them to support the bill if it furthers gun safety, and oppose the bill if it makes it easier to get and use guns.




Every day, more than 120 people in the United States are killed with guns. We are dedicated to creating a future free from gun violence – and that starts with electing candidates who will implement better gun laws. Learn more about what it means to be a Gun Sense Voter. Go to

  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has recently announced the 3D Printed Gun Safety Act, federal legislation that would ban online distribution of blueprints for the 3D printing of firearms and help prevent the proliferation of ‘ghost guns’. Ghost guns are homemade firearms that have no serial number, making them untraceable and extremely difficult to regulate. The components are often purchased in ‘ghost gun kits’, or can be 3D printed using instructions found on the internet. In the past year, according to the New York Police Department, there has been a 75% increase in ghost gun seizures in New York City”. Please consider contacting Senator Gillibrand to let her know you are supportive of her efforts:  (202) 224-4451 (phone) or email via


  • Members of our Gun Violence Awareness Committee representing at the End Gun Violence Gathering and Candlelight Vigil held June 2nd at Buffalo’s Front Park


Scenes from the Gun Violence Awareness Committee information weekend held June 3, 4




Refugee, Immigration, and Human Trafficking Committee Bike Drive

Bike Collection for Refugees 2023 Report

Our Refugee, Immigration, and Human Trafficking Awareness Committee completed its 2023  Bike Drive by collecting over 200 bicycles that were distributed to refugee children and adults via Our Lady of Hope Parish, Catholic Charities, Jewish Family Services, International Institute, St. Luke’s Mission, and Peace House. Since this effort began in 2019, 892 bicycles have  been collected, made road worthy, and distributed.  Thanks to Colleen and Paul Colligan for their leadership; the dozens of volunteers who have cleaned, restored, picked up, and delivered  bikes, Fr. Jack for letting his garage bay be used for storage, and all of you who donated bikes and cash to ensure the ongoing success of this effort. See you again in 2024!


Racial Justice and Solidarity Team

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

The Racial Justice and Solidarity Team cannot thank you enough for the incredible turnout at the “One Body In Christ” Concert. Your presence, love and support confirmed what we stand for at St Joseph’s University Parish, Diversity.

The Concert itself, consisted mostly of people from around the globe gathered in worship, praise, adore and testify as

One Body in Christ for the Glory of God.

It was an astounding cultural display in music, language, traditional outfit and color from God’s incomprehensible creation of man. That diversity is beautiful is not an understatement. God truthfully has the eyes of beauty.

Thank you Parishioners and Friends for your presence






The  Gun  Violence  Awareness Committee

Pictures from presentation organized by our Gun Violence Awareness Committee held on May 4 : “The Toll of Gun Violence in WNY” by Dr. Allison Freeman and Dr. William Kelly






Understanding Coercion-Based Trafficking – On January 24th, St. Joe’s welcomed guest speaker, Assistant US Attorney Meghan Tokash, who shared her insights on coercion-based human trafficking.  The presentation explored what might make a person vulnerable to human trafficking and the ways traffickers use various psychological and emotional factors to target and compel victims.  AUSA Tokash also shared tips about what members of the community can do to help in the fight against trafficking, including being conscious of the sources of food in our stores and labor practices in our favorite restaurants.


From our Racial Justice and Solidarity Committee
New Lending Library opens!
The community room will now host a cart containing several dozen books, for both children & adults, with the shared theme of racial justice.  Feel free to browse through the offerings & find one to inform and inspire you.  Just fill in the sign out sheet on the cart’s clipboard, listing the name of the borrowed items.  When you return the book(s), input the return date.  If you have any recommendations of other books to be added to the library, or even wish to donate one, just advise the parish Racial Justice Committee.

Prayer Shawl Ministry welcomes new members!  Join us on Tuesday afternoons at 1 pm or Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm as we gather to create prayer shawls & lap robes for those who would benefit from  a warm garment created with love.  We will provide lessons in knitting and crocheting as well as all needed supplies and patterns. All are welcome!