The St. Thomas More Social Justice Commission strives to put Faith into Action. We are committed to serve all God’s people and His creation In All Seasons by participating in charitable works of Social Action and by fostering a keen awareness of Social Justice. We share concern for all people and their rights and responsibilities, as individuals and as family, with special regard for the poor and vulnerable.
Chairperson of Social Justice: Dimy Doresca click here for email
from the St. Thomas More "Green Team"
March 8th, the Catholic Worker House and St. Thomas More Social Justice Commission cosponsored “A Symposium: Dorothy Day and the End of the Forever War.” Keith Soko, PhD, Professor, Theology Department, and Keri Manning, PhD, Professor, History Department from St. Ambrose University were dynamic speakers. Their talks demonstrated what an activist Dorothy Day was for nonviolence from her teens in 1917 to her death in 1980. She not only gave to the poor – providing hundreds of thousands of meals, she also provided lodging in hospitality homes and farms on which they could live and work, empowering them to learn skills to provide for themselves. She fought all aspects of war, including burning draft cards, paying taxes (which paid for the war effort), saving tallow during WW II to assist in the bomb-making effort, and protesting nuclear disaster drills, to name a few. She lived what she preached and she had clashes with the Catholic Church who supported the “just war,” J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI who investigated her for un-American activities, and politicians, who denounced her anti-war sentiments. Dorothy Day stood by her principles and lived her convictions. She was and is an inspiration.
About 70 people from our Parish, Catholic Worker House, and the community attended the symposium that took place at the lower level of our church. The participants were very engaging. After the symposium, many of us agreed that there is a lot that we can do to follow the path of Dorothy Day. St Thomas More Social Justice Commission is strategizing to identify additional ways we can empower the poor.
A huge THANK YOU from Your Social Justice Commission for the parish’s recent generosity of donations and financial contributions collected during the (fourth annual) Shelter House toiletry drive. We transported two and half car loads of requested items to be used at the main site and the emergency overflow facility!! A special thank you to all those who also took the time to hand-knit warm quilts and scarfs. The emergency facility will provide shelter to an additional 30 people per night during the cold winter months. Our donations will be used by those most in need. Once again, St. Thomas More answered the call to assist those less fortunate in a very tangible way!!
Check out the Shelter House website for great information and additional ways you can help.
Social Action Saturdays
The Green Team is a sub group of the St. Thomas More Social Justice Commission which includes parishioners whose primary focus is respect for the environment.
"FAIR TRADE SALE"
Your purchase of Fair Trade products at St. Thomas More has many benefits!
- Promotes fair wages and trade, safe working conditions and sustainable farming practices
- Provides fair trade coffees and paper cups (compostable) for St. Thomas More parish events
- Contributes to the funding of tithing grants for entities such as Shelter House, the Crisis Center, Catholic Worker House and others.
Fair trade sales are held the first weekend of the month after each mass. Cash and checks accepted.
Habitat for Humanity
HELP BUILD A DREAM!
On June 23rd, St. Thomas More held a work day to help a low-income family build their dream of home ownership by working with Habitat for Humanity.
We were working on their new home which located at 928 n. Governor Street, Iowa City.
We are anticipating having an additional work day for this project later in the summer.
On the weekend of April 14-15, 2018, the Social Justice Commission hosted a letter-writing event calling upon our government to support and retain programs that serve the poor. Click here for a link to the article.
A huge THANK YOU from the Social Justice Commission to the parish for strong engagement during the recent Offering of Letters the weekend of April 14/15. Partnering with Bread for the World, a Christian advocacy group, we were able to write 170 letters to advocate for the continuation of programs in the fiscal year 2019 federal budget to address hunger and poverty at home and abroad. These letters will be hand delivered to our Senators and Representatives in Washington DC on Bread for the World's lobby day on June 12. To continue to stay informed and to take action on issues important to our faith, please click on one of the following links: Iowa Catholic Conference United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Iowa City Catholic Worker House will hold their second annual fundraiser dinner and anniversary party Sun, April 29, from 4-6:30pm, at St Patrick Parish Hall. $10 a plate or $25 for families. Live music by Home Brewed rockabilly band. University of St. Thomas professor Anne Klejment will give a keynote speech "From Union Square to Heaven: The Catholic Worker Movement and Why Dorothy Day Still Matters". Please join us as we celebrate and raise money for another year of prayer, housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, and serving the poor. Click here for more info
The St. Thomas More Knights of Columbus and the Social Justice Commission would like to thank the parish community for its recent support of its (third annual) Spaghetti Supper fundraising event. Delicious food and good company was shared by all in attendance. All proceeds from the event will be directed to the Iowa City Free Lunch Program (icflp.org/) which our parish continues to actively support through gifts of time and treasure. A special thank you to all the volunteers and those who donated food to the event to make it a success.
Thank you to all who recently came to hear Kathy Kelly speak at St. Thomas More. Kathy is a coordinator for Chicago-based Voices for Creative Nonviolence and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize several times. Her remarks helped to paint a vivid picture of war torn regions of the world including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen and the plight of innocent women and children. As Father Adam described, Kathy is a "prophet among us" and shared stories from refugees based on numerous trips to the region that we need to hear.
Kathy asked that we act and reach out to our elected official to ask where they stand on House Resolution 81. This is a resolution to help remove the US Armed Forces from unauthorized hostilities in Yemen. See attached link for more details.
Volunteer Opportunities With The Social Justice Commission
- HABITAT FOR HUMANITY WORK DAY
Check back here for additional work days with Habitat for Humanity.
What you need to know:
- Days are divided into 4 hour morning and afternoon shifts. You can choose to work either a half or whole day.
- Volunteers must be at least 16 years old to be on the construction site.
- Everyone ages 17 and under must provide a waiver signed by their parent or guardian.
- Everyone must fill out an annual safety waiver. You must be there at the start of your shift to review safety instructions and daily tasks.
- Everything you need will be at your volunteer location, but you are welcome to bring your own tools &/or materials.
- Wear comfortable clothing and closed toed shoes.
- No prior knowledge or skills in construction is necessary.
For more information, contact Peggy Lyon at firstname.lastname@example.org or (319)230-3059 or Mark Ray at (804)243-0562 or email@example.com
- FAIR TRADE SALE - The STM Social Justice Committee and Green Team will begin selling Fair Trade coffees, teas and other seasonal products the first Sunday of each month beginning in October. Cash and checks will be accepted. Purchasing Fair Trade products helps producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions while also promoting sustainable farming practices. More information can be found at www.equalexchange.coop/fair-trade"
- "The Last Shall Be First" Food Drive
"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripplies."
~Saint Teresa of Calcutta
- The St. Thomas More Social Justice Commission would like to thank the parish community for its recent support of its Action for Africa Love Beyond Borders fundraiser lunch event. Everyone enjoyed delicious traditional African fare and helped to contribute $1,200 toward supporting this not-for-profit founded by parishioner Veve N'Duhirahe. Proceeds will be used to purchase and send medical supplies to the Diocese of Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where they will be sent to rural areas of need as well as local clinics and hospitals. Thank you so much for your strong support in helping those in need.
Pictures from the Action for Africa fundraiser lunch:
Photos from other Social Justice Commission activities
Other Resources/Faith Support
Consultation of Religious Communities
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Diocese of Davenport
Newman Center (Iowa City)
St. Mary’s (Iowa City)
St. Patrick’s (Iowa City)
St. Wenceslaus (Iowa City)