St. Joe’s Social Justice Updates
Refugee, Immigration, and Human Trafficking Committee Bike Drive
Over 180 bicycles were donated during this year’s Drive. Since its inception 4 years ago, we have collected, repaired, and distributed over 850 bikes to refugee and immigrant adults and children living in our community. Very often this is the principal means of transportation our bike recipients use to get to work, go to school, access health care, food shop, and generally get around. And of course, children’s bikes were particularly appreciated as the school year ends and summer activities begin! Thank you so much to our incredible volunteers, donors, and everyone who contributed to this effort. Special thanks to Fr. Jack who gave us his parking space in the garage so we could store bikes as they were waiting to be repaired and distributed.
SAVE THE DATES:
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
Stay tuned for further information:
Candidate Forum -Tuesday, June 6, 2023
Downtown Library @ 6pm
PUSH and Partner Organizations are hosting Buffalo Common Council candidates to answer questions around housing, climate and how they plan to show up for us if they are elected or re-elected.
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
St Joseph’s University Food Collection
Our Food Collection is distributed to three different Food Pantries.
Little Portion Friary/Main St.
University Presbyterian Church/Main St
Tiger’s Den/St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on Main St.
The year before the pandemic (2019) donations from our parishioners averaged forty bags a month. Unfortunately, we were unable to support them after March 2020 through 2021. In 2022, we averaged 17 per month. We are hoping with many parishioners return to Mass, our donations will once again be back to forty a month or greater.
So far this year for January, February and March, we have averaged 20 a month.
Dear Faith Leaders connected with VOICE Buffalo,
Wishing all of you blessings as we enter this time of remembrance and support for all those impacted by the tragedy of May 14.
Here is the link for sign-ups to help support spirit walks and counseling spaces
around Jefferson Avenue next weekend, 5/11 – 5/14.
After 5/14 we have a number of upcoming events too:
Workshop for Racial Healing Circle Alumni
Wednesday, May 24, 7:00 PM
For everyone who has already experienced a racial healing circle, pleas return, reconnect, and make a difference together. Location TBD.
From the St. Joseph University Parish Gun Violence Awareness Committee
One of our members, out of curiosity, attended a gun show on March 4 that was held at the Knights of Columbus Fr. Justin Council Hall on Union Road in Cheektowaga. This show was advertised in several local papers. There were 100 tables full of various guns, including the AR 15 assault rifle. Also on display was the newly released “kiddie AR 15”,called the JR 15, a gun specifically made for children. Our committee member was shocked to see the number of children at the show, and the display of assault rifles, especially the type of gun that was used in the Tops murders in May, and the recent child murders in Nashville. Our Gun Violence Awareness Committee strongly believes that these weapons, or any weapons, should not be promoted and sold in any facility connected with a Catholic organization, in this case, the Knights of Columbus. We have been in contact with leadership of the Fr. Justin Council, and the New York State Deputy of the Knights,to schedule a meeting to discuss and address our concerns. We have also contacted other Catholic parish social justice committees and several religious communities to join us in this effort. Stay tuned for further information.
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.
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: email@example.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!