Why Faith, Peace and Justice?
A message from Brother Martin Kenneally, Congregation Leader
In 2000, all the members of the United Nations pledged to achieve eight goals by 2015. They said: “we will spare no effort to free our fellow men, women, and children from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty, to which more than a billion of them are now subjected”.
The goals set by the U.N. are known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Here are Goals 1 and 2:
Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger specifically, the aim is by 2015 to reduce by half the proportion of people whose income in 1990 amounted to less than one US dollar a day, and reduce by half the proportion of people who are hungry. Currently, 1.1 billion people live on less than one dollar a day, and 852 million are hungry.
Achieve universal primary education. The target is for all children – girls and boys alike – to be able to complete primary school.
Currently, 121 million school-aged children do not go to school.
These are shocking statistics. They constitute a scandal to humanity and a challenge to our Christian faith. The Presentation Brothers have, over many years, been attempting to meet this challenge, particularly in our missionary work in Ghana, the West Indies and Peru. A faith that does justice is at the core of our mission in education today. It is at the heart of what we are about as disciples of Jesus, in the path of Edmund Rice.
The purpose of Faith, Peace and Justice groups is to focus our attention on these issues and this reality.
There is still much each of us can do-
We can pray.
We can study the causes of global poverty.
We can give of our resources.
We can connect personally with our missionaries and offer encouragement.
We can raise awareness and take action in our local areas.
We can advocate with our government representatives and urge them to address global poverty.
I want you to know, as well, that we, Presentation Brothers are expanding our missionary efforts.
In 2007, three Brothers went to Slovakia, in Eastern Europe, to work among the Roma people. The Roma are the most discriminated against ethnic group within the European Union. Also in 2007, we began a new mission in Nigeria. We hope to build a secondary school in a poor area of Bauchi State where, at present, no secondary school is available.
Our founder, Edmund Rice, told his followers to “give to the poor in handfuls”. With your help, we continue this great work today.
May God reward your generosity. Wishing you and your loved ones every blessing and happiness.
Br. Martin Kenneally