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St. Joe’s Social Justice Updates

The  gun  violence  sub-committee  will  meet  on  Thursday,  February  9 at  7  p.m.  in  the  community  room.  We  will  be  joined  by  members  of  Mom’s  Demand  action  to  discuss  ways  we  can  work  together  for  our  common goal  of  reducing  gun  violence,  especially  against  children.  Parishioners  are  invited.  Gun  violence  is  now  the  number  one  cause  of  death  for  children in  the  U.S.

 

Gun Violence Awareness Sub-committee

Announces it next meeting will held in Parish Community Room on Thursday, February 9th at 7pm.

Special Guests:

Moms Demand Action (For Gun Sense in America) Buffalo; and

WNYers Against Gun Violence (Gun Sense NY).

Moms Demand Action will update us on its ongoing programs, upcoming events and membership organization.

WNYers Against Gun Violence will discuss the status op recent gun safety legislation in New York and current court cases. Will also discuss lawsuits filed against gun manufacturers by the Cities of Buffalo, Rochester, NYC and others.

Please join us as the need for gun safety legislation grows with every day and every mass shooting!

 

 

The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) and the Erie County Opiate Epidemic Task Force  have been offering free trainings, where participants will learn to recognize the signs of an opioid overdose and use Narcan (naloxone) to reverse an opioid overdose.

Narcan is first aid. Narcan is a drug that can reverse the deadly effect of an opioid overdose. With an alarming number of suspected overdose deaths related to cocaine and fentanyl, having Narcan available can keep your family member, friend or co-worker alive.

The Community Mental Health Committee of St Joseph University Parish will also be offering this free training after the 11:30 am Mass on Sunday, February 26. It will only take 10 minutes and you may end up saving a life. Please plan on attending.

 

 

Please join the 13th Forward coalition on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 as we kick off Black History Month with an all day Advocacy Day in Albany!

Why you should join us 

For the past two years, we have been working with State Senator Zellnor Myrie, Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, and impacted people across the state to build the movement for incarcerated workers’ rights and an end to slavery and forced labor in New York State. As of the most recent election, 7 states have now outlawed slavery in their state constitutions – it’s past time that New York did the same. Sign up to join us for a day of rallying and meeting with lawmakers to urge the passage of the No More Slavery in NY Act and the Freedom and Opportunity for Incarcerated Workers Act!

 

Why Black History month?

By continuing the fight to end racial injustice and exploitation, we honor and uplift the contributions of Black leaders. While the negative impact of forced labor of incarcerated people affects all New Yorkers, Black people have been disproportionately impacted beginning with the “Auburn system” of forced prison labor, which was created right here in New York, at Auburn State Prison over 200 years ago. On the first day of Black History Month, we acknowledge the sacrifices of those before us and continue to strive for racial justice and an end to the exploitation of Black and Brown communities in New York.

 

Event Details:

When: Wednesday, February 1st, 2023, 10am-4pm

Where: Empire State Plaza at 10am

We’ll meet at 10am in the underground concourse of the Empire State Plaza, followed by a rally and meetings with legislators to demand No More Slavery in NY! We should wrap up the day around 4pm and head back to our respective regions of the state. Lunch and transportation will be provided!

 

Please fill out the rsvp form– by 1/18 if possible- so transportation logistics can be coordinated.

 

Can’t wait to see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

The Race, Power, and Privilege:

A Faith Perspective, which was organized and sponsored by our parish, Elim Christian Fellowship, Trinity Episcopal Church , and VOICE Buffalo was a resounding success. Over 325 attendees participated in the series. Our own parishioner Cecile Mathis-Dorliae emceed each session, as panel members shared their own personal and professional life experiences in Buffalo dealing with racism and white privilege, culminating in a call to action, led by Reverend Denise Walden-Glenn, Executive Director of VOICE Buffalo, Dr. Henry Louis Taylor, Founding Director, Center for Urban Studies, University at Buffalo. The Event Organizing Committee, composed of members from each congregation and VOICE Buffalo continues to meet, and will focus on the following action steps:

  1. Creating an opportunity for the 3 sponsoring congregations to get together as a way to build/deepen relationships across racial lines while exploring future collaborative efforts;
  2. Determine how best to connect with VOICE Buffalo and support its efforts moving forward;
  3. Work with Dr. Taylor and other community groups to organize a Summit in Buffalo of all interested and like minded community groups and organizations seeking to build power needed for systemic change.

Thanks again to all of you who supported and participated in this effort.  If you have any questions, or would like further information, please contact Dennis

Walczyk, Coordinator of Social Justice Ministries, at dc.walczyk@gmail.com

 

 

Announcing a new St. Joseph University Parish Ecumenical Outreach Program:

Buffalo has been a very welcoming community for refugees from all over the world for years. Recently, refugees, with full legal status, have arrived from Afghanistan, Syria, Guatemala & Ukraine. Earlier this year parishioners who have been active in our St. Vincent de Paul Chapter were inspired to expand their ministry: assisting Catholic Charities in setting up households for these new arrivals. Our volunteers go into the house or apartment to clean and furnish the entire place bringing in everything from A-Z necessary to establish a household. Our volunteers joyfully clean and move in furniture to create a welcoming environment for our new neighbors who have been forced to leave their home country. These volunteers may never meet the people they are helping, but are making our world a kinder place working as Jesus worked, recognizing the value of every person.

Since January, our small core group of volunteers has attracted, via word of mouth, members from other denominations & parishes, including Quakers and members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, St. Gregory the Great and Sts. Peter & Paul parishes to assist in these efforts. We have already set up 11 HOUSEHOLDS!

Because Catholic Charities expects to welcome more  refugees, we see our work continuing. We certainly welcome cash contributions c/o St. Vincent de Paul (for a rented storage unit), but we also need donations of small appliances, paper goods, toiletries, new pillows, twin or standard mattress pads, indoor TV antennas. We also welcome your physical labor, if you are willing and able. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Kathy Elias at (716) 308-7461, or via email:  kelias365@gmail.com.

 

 

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!

 

Welcome Ukrainians- Another Amazing Job!  So many dedicated workers who came together over the weekend – such camaraderie, dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to help  and usually a fun time too!

Everyone always seems to find their area of expertise and jump in and get the job done.  I was able to talk with the Father and son next door ( whom we settled last September.),they assisted our delivery guy last night

with the mattress we had to replace because of water damage.  Again, communication was challenging but the  18 year old Roman, knew a little English and google translate – we muddled through.  Bottom  line -Dad asked to help when we settle another family!  It was touching!

 

You are each a Blessing and make this possible!  Next time before the majority leave we do need to thank the Lord for his blessings for What we have found together!