Social Justice Statements

Social Justice Statements


The last Sunday of September each year is set aside as Social Justice Sunday. Every year the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference issues a Social Justice Statement, each year focusing on a different Social Justice issue, to coincide with this day. Not only can this day and the accompanying Statement provide a focal point for Social Justice Activities in your area, but the topic and resources provided can be used throughout the following year to promote the cause of Social Justice.

Topics Available

The topics covered by the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council in their Social Justice Sunday Statements cover the full range of Social Justice Issues and provide a ready resource for any Social Justice Group. Statements are available for download from the ACSJC web site and include:

2012: The Gift of Family in Difficult Times: The social and economic challenges facing families today

2011: Building Bridges, Not Walls: Prisons and the justice system

2010: Violence in Australia: A message of peace

2009: And You Will Be My Witnesses: Young people and justice

2008: A Rich Young Nation: The challenge of affluence and poverty in Australia

2007: Who is my Neighbour? Australia’s role as a global citizen

2006: The Heart of Our Country: Dignity and justice for our Indigenous sisters and brothers

2005: Jesus, Light for the World: Living the Gospel Today

2004: Peace Be With You: Cultivating a culture of peace

2003: A Generous Heart in the Love of Christ: Challenging Racism in Australia Today

2002: A New Earth: The Environmental Challenge

2001: A Just and Peaceful Land: Rural and Regional Australia

2000: Woman and Man

Material Available

Each year the ACSJC Social Justice Statement and accompanying material include:

· A booklet discussing the issue in detail

· A ten point summary flyer

· A prayer card

· Social Justice Sunday Liturgy Notes

· A PowerPoint presentation

· Community & School Education Resources; and

· Upper Primary School Resources

Printed resources can be purchased through the ACSJC and downloadable versions are available through their web site.

A Social Justice Group could choose to use these materials in a variety of ways. Some ideas for action may be:

· Have a special Social Justice Sunday Mass and presentation

· Make the annual Statement available to parishioners for free or through the Parish Piety Stall

· Cover the topics individually on a monthly basis by way of parish forum

· Include material into homilies at Mass

· School social justice discussions and curriculum

· Create brochures highlighting possible action items or description of positive examples of desired behaviours/outcomes and positive role models

· Focus on positive role models

· Publish one of the ten-point summary each month in the Parish Newsletter and website

· Write letters to editors on the topic

· Write letters to government to help steer policy development

There are so many ways that these materials can be used! They are a ready to use resource for any Social Justice Group.

Prayer Suggestions

· Use the Social Justice Statement prayer card at each Social Justice meeting

· Provide prayer cards to existing Parish prayer groups

· Include one prayer on the Social Justice Statement topic in Prayers of the Faithful at each weekend Mass

Links and Resources


Reflection Questions

· What is the Social Justice Statement for this year and what can you do about it?

· How could you use the available resources right now?

· How does the Social Justice Statement manifest the love of Christ in our Society?