You Helped To Do This (Recap of Amendment 4)

You Helped To Do This (Recap of Amendment 4)

by the Parish Justice Commission

 

Prior to the general election last year, your parish Justice Commission asked you to sign petitions to place an amendment on the ballot that would restore voting rights for felons who had satisfied their debt. More than 600 of you did so.

The amendment had enough signatures and was placed on the ballot and was approved by more than 60% of the voters.

The legislature has implemented the amendment, albeit with unnecessary restrictions, and ex offenders are now registering to vote.

In restoring the right to vote, you have committed an act of mercy, but also dignity and justice, in accord with the teachings of our Church.

According to the United States Bishops Conference: “Crime and corrections are at the intersection of rights and responsibilities. Those who commit crimes violate the rights of others and disregard their responsibilities. But the test for the rest of us is whether we will exercise our responsibility to hold the offender accountable without violating his or her basic rights. Even offenders should be treated with respect for their rights.”

Courageously Living the Gospel…Your Parish Justice Commission

Human Trafficking in My Own Neighborhood?

Human Trafficking in My Own Neighborhood?

by the Parish Justice Commission

Yes, a restaurant within our parish boundaries, only one mile from our church, was raided by federal authorities on suspicion of human trafficking involving 27 victims.

According to Homeland Security, Human Trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act; in other words human slavery.

St. John Paul II called Human Trafficking, “a shocking offense against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights.”

Human Trafficking treats the human person as a commodity. It exploits the poor and the structures that cause poverty. And it is an assault on the family, since many victims are children, adolescents and young adults. (Human Life Intentional).

Florida ranks third in the United States for cases reported by states, according to Florida’s Attorney General, it was a tip from someone who noticed suspicious activity at the Largo restaurant that resulted in the raid. If you see something, say something. Report suspected Human Trafficking activity to Federal law enforcement by calling (866) 347-2423. Additional information may be obtained on the Homeland Security website at, www.DHS.gov/What-Human-Trafficking, or by searching the internet for, “Homeland Security Human Trafficking.”

Courageously Living the Gospel…Your Parish Justice Commission

Are You Aware That…

Are You Aware That…

by the Parish Justice Commission

Earth’s five warmest years on record have been the past five years? Hurricanes, floods, extreme storms, heat emergencies, bitter cold, are occurring at a rate we have never experienced before. Climate scientists tell us that at least some of them are the result of Global Warming caused by human activity. They also tell us that if we don’t act now, weather catastrophes will worsen.  Both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, and our bishops have been reminding us that as Catholics, we have a responsibility to care for our environment. Are we receptive to these messages?

Solving the problems will require actions of a size that only governments can take but there are small things we can do to help. Over the coming weeks your parish Justice Commission is going to ask you to involve yourself through prayer, study and action to improve our environment. While these steps may seem insignificant, they can impact the life of our globe for future generations.

Courageously Living the Gospel…Your Parish Justice Commission

 

There is a nobility in the duty to care for creation through little daily actions

– Pope Francis, Laudato Si (211).

 

A TAKE-AWAY TIP: Be aware of letting water run. Not only can it lead to wasting water, it can lead to higher costs. Cities charge for sewer based on water consumption. 

What Problems Keep You Awake At Night?

What Problems Keep You Awake At Night?

By the Parish Justice Commission

We all have problems that keep us awake at night. They can be overwhelming because they are often just too big for one person or family to deal with. Your parish Justice Commission works with FAST, Faith and Action for Strength Together, to find solutions to big problems and convince our local governments to implement them. Past results of FAST initiatives include almost 2,000 new affordable housing units, almost $100 million more units of affordable housing in coming years, elimination of 76 hot spots of drugs and crime, reducing youth arrests, and countless other accomplishments.

We will be hosting house meetings during September to listen to those problems that keep you awake at night. Your feedback will guide the Justice Commission in deciding what problems to tackle in the coming year. Please consider attending a house meeting to help find solutions to Pinellas County’s biggest problems that keep you awake at night.

To learn more visit the FAST website at Fast-Pinellas.org or Facebook page at Facebook.com/FASTPinellas.

The first house meeting is Thursday September 12th at the High Point Neighborhood Center, the second meeting is Monday September 16th at a private residence, and the last is Saturday September 28th at Siena House. RSVP for a house meeting and learn more information by calling the parish office at 727-531-7721.

Courageously Living the Gospel…Your Parish Justice Commission