This ministry was formed to further explore ways to actively encounter and lift up all those on the margins and to address social injustices that are the root cause.

Mission Statement:

Our ministry works towards the goals of Catholic Social Teaching which call us, as a faith community, to advocate for justice and to compassionately lift up the life and dignity of God’s creation.

Upcoming Opportunities to Stand Up for Justice

Gun Violence | We Are Not Helpless

 
10 Years Ago… and No Change

Ten years ago on July 20, 2012 a gunman opened fire in a theater in Aurora killing 12 and injuring 70, fifty-eight with gunfire.  On this 10th anniversary of the shooting we remember the victims of this horrific incident, which included members of our parish.  We also remember anyone impacted by gun violence both then and now.

Based on the number of people killed each year by gun violence thoughts and prayers alone have become insufficient.  However, prayer must precede and be the basis of any action taken to end this violence.  Action without prayer can easily lose sight of the real issue, namely that gun violence ends human lives.  And human life is precious and important in both the eyes of God and ourselves.

So our prayers need to accompany action.  Congress has just reached a historic deal on federal legislation, the first in many years.  It is a beginning.  All of us need to discern in prayer what our next steps should be to effectively end this tragic loss of life.

The Mass intention on July 20th at 8:30 a.m. and on Sunday July 24th at 10:45 a.m. will be for victims of gun violence.  If you know of anyone who has lost a loved to gun violence, please feel free to invite them to one of these Masses.  At these Masses, everyone is invited to place the name of a person whose life was harmed or ended by gun violence in the prayer basket.  We also have information in the literature rack on action steps that can be taken against gun violence.  Currently MPB has a small ad hoc group to address gun violence.  We would welcome new members.  If you are interested contact George Redding at reddingga45@gmail.com.

 

Action Items
More ways to act: wear orange
Georgetown University facilitates wonderful webinars on various social justice issues. On June 8 they hosted: After Buffalo, After Uvalde, After Tulsa Broken Hearts, Broken Nation, Faithful Action . Well worth your time to view this webinar.

Colorado Faith Communities United: to End Gun Violence  (CFCU)

Learn more about this organization

Colorado Faith Communities United to End Gun Violence (CFCU) remains committed to ending senseless and preventable gun deaths in Colorado. Following the tragedies of the racially-motivated, gun-related deaths in Buffalo, NY and the horrific elementary school shooting in Uvalde, TX, CFCU understands how frustrated and hopeless most people feel right now.

CFCU wants you to know we are not helpless, we must continue to work toward our goals of ending gun violence.  Here are just a few actionable steps you can take right now:

Demand Congress pass commonsense, bipartisan legislation to restrict the ownership of firearms, require background checks for all gun purchases, eliminate background check loopholes, tighten laws against gun trafficking, require gun safety training, fund gun violence prevention programs, and address gun violence as a public health crisis.

By making your voice and outrage heard, you can help push your elected officials toward enacting change now. The U.S. Capitol Switchboard can connect you with your representatives’ offices: (202) 224-3121

Sign Up for CFCU’s Rapid Response Network to receive action alerts on public policy issues including gun violence prevention. Contact Susan Oakes at soakes1219@gmail.com

Talk to your congregations about the Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) and safe gun storage.  Provide opportunities within your own community to discuss suicide prevention.  See detailed list of contacts and organizations on OUR RESOURCES page.

Donate to a victims fund – VictimsFirst.org, a non-profit that connects surviving victims of mass casualty crime with resources, has set up a victims’ fund for people affected by the Robb Elementary School shooting in Texas.

VictimsFirst is a network of survivors and relatives affected by previous mass shootings to provide victims’ family members with no-strings-attached cash payments. The group said it started the fund “to make sure that 100% of what is collected goes DIRECTLY to the victim base so the victims’ families and those wounded/injured are protected from fraud and exploitation.”

Firearms became the leading cause of death among children and teens aged 1 to 19 in 2020 – a 29% increase from the year before!  That shocking data was released last week by the CDC.

As congregations of diverse faith traditions, we are called to take action in protecting and preserving life. On Thursday, May 19, this groups met and heard from experts addressing the reality of firearm deaths and then committed with others of faith to the work necessary to drastically reduce this horrific statistic.

Here is the link to the recording of this very informative session. Access Passcode: Mnc47Z$% (please note: I find that Chrome works better than Firefox)

Contact Ann if you’d like to be part of a team to look at ways that MPB can take an active role in stopping gun violence.

For more information check out their website: cfcu-co.org

For more information of ways to become involved contact: Susan Oakes soakes1219@gmail.com

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Our Afghan Family is in Need of Hygiene Products

Our family of 9 is slowly acclimating to their new apartment. They are so happy as they are making this transition, learning English and learning how to navigate in this new culture.  Our Tri-Church mentoring team has been amazing. Looking for a way to help? They are in need of hygiene products.

Great news! Presently, all needs have been met. Thank you thank you. We will post more needs as they arise. https://tinyurl.com/HeartandHands

Cultural Food Supply Drive for Refugees

Ruby’s Market is an evolving community marketplace that uncovers local and global artisans, chefs and creators. They are also a social enterprise with a mission to honor the journey of refugees and immigrants through food, art an entrepreneurship. They are located nearby at 1569 S Pearl St. They have volunteer opportunities as well. Stop by and check it out!

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MPB Celebrates 1 Year with Safe Outdoor Space

We are happy to announce that because of your dedicated support, we are celebrating 1 year of lifting up our neighbors at the Safe Outdoor Space! Yahoo!!!!! It was 1 year ago, June 2021, that we took our first meal to our friends. We’ve estimated that between the SOS and our meals to the ”parkers” at 1st Universalist, we have served over 650 very yummy meals. Thank you thank you! A special shout out to our “M” team, Michele, MaryAnn and Molly who keep the train rolling.

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Upcoming Virtual Migrant Trail 2022 : Border Encuentro
Saturday, June 4th, 2022   8:00 – 5:30
Registration begins May 1st, 2022
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Aurora Global Fest – 9th year
Saturday, August 20th 11 – 6
Aurora Municipal Center

Important to Know

Prism is an MPB ministry for LGBTQ+ Catholics and their families who seek to balance both faith and experiences through understanding, support, spiritual growth, and community building. Contact Tricia Williams at 720-588-3609 (call or text) or email prismcatholics@gmain.com.

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Outreach

“Outreach” website hopes to inspire online community for LGBQT Catholics.

James Martin, S.J., has been serving the marginalized ever since he joined the Society of Jesus. He has worked with street gangs, the sick and dying, refugees in East Africa and prison inmates and people experiencing homelessness.

“So the L.G.B.T. work just sort of made sense,” Father Martin, editor at large for America, said in a recent interview. “One of the universal apostolic preferences of the Jesuits now is walking with the excluded…. Jesus went to the margins. That’s where this community is right now in the church. They’re the most marginalized group in the church bar none.”

Here’s the website: https://outreach.faith/

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What Can We Do About Climate Change?

How do we make an impact around climate change? Start with a conversation. Eco Justice shares this TED talk with Katherine Hayhoe to get started.

Or try taking this Climate Change Quiz to test your knowledge: https://thisiswhatwedid.org/climate-change-literacy-quiz/

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VOTE 2022

Yes, we are called to participate. Be in the know. Primaries are June 29 and the General Election will be Nov. 8. Not sure if you’re registered, need to change your registration? Contact the Office of the Secretary of State: https://www.sos.state.co.us/ ->Elections -> Register to Vote

Reaching Out to Support

Our Brothers and Sisters from Ukraine


Thankfully, there are numerous ways to support our neighbors in Ukraine.  We realize there are many incredible organizations helping; these are just a few pathways.

How to Help Ukraine From Abroad- From Regis University

Organizations:

Water with Blessings

Water with Blessings provides filters for those in need of CLEAN water.  Our neighbors in Ukraine are in deep need of clean water as many have been cut off from water and are dying of dehydration.Water With Blessings is partnering with Razom for Ukraine. “Razom” means “together”, and that concept is exactly how we must work if we are to get our filters deep into Ukraine, where they are most needed. The word “razom” means “together”, which sums up our sense of how to best help those suffering in Ukraine; by working together.

Project C.U.R.E.

Project C.U.R.E. will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine and will be on standby to assist with any requests they receive for assistance. With the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine, they will strive to continue their work in shipping C.U.R.E. Cargo containers, and they ask for your support.

Razom for Ukraine:

Razom, meaning “together” in Ukrainian, is a volunteer charity organization that was originally founded in 2014 to support Ukrainians after Russia annexed Crimea.  Learn More

United Help Ukraine

A nonprofit volunteer organization that receives and distributes donations, medical supplies, and food to Ukrainian refugees, people on the ground in Ukraine, and supports Ukrainian families who have lost soldiers to war. You can access their current fundraiser here, and your donations will go toward providing emergency medical aid and humanitarian relief to those on the front lines. Learn More

Sunflower of Peace

Sunflower of Peace’s fundraiser also aims to provide first-aid backpacks to paramedics and doctors on the front lines. Each backpack contains enough tactical first-aid supplies for five to ten people. Learn More

Revived Soldiers Ukraine

This nonprofit provides medical aid to Ukrainian soldiers and provides support to their families. Learn More

To help provide mental health services in Ukraine

Open Doors Center Ukraine

Open Doors, the counseling center where Professor Josh Kreimeyer works as a mental health educator, is providing scholarshipped payments to trained trauma-therapists seeing people in the midst of the war. They are taking donations through Paypal. If you would like to contribute financially to Open Doors’ efforts to provide quality mental health services in Ukraine, please send them to the following Paypal account: imhcinc@gmail.com. International Mental Health Consulting, Inc (IMHC) is a partnering U.S. non-profit that is able to process tax-deductible receipts for American taxpayers donating to Open Doors Center. Please, write the following in the memo: Open Doors Center.

To help children and families affected by the war

Voices of Children

This organization helps provide psychological and psychosocial support to Ukrainian children affected by armed conflict.  Learn More

Jesuit Refugee Services 

JRS upholds the Jesuit Catholic mission as they accompany, serve, and advocate on behalf of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. Learn More

Catholic Relief Services

This organization has partnered with Caritas to provide safe shelter, meals, hygiene supplies, transportation, and other necessary support to families who have been displaced by violence. Learn more

To support journalists in Ukraine

The Kyiv Independent

You can support Ukraine’s English-language media outlet through GoFundMe or via Patreon.  Learn More

Additional Ways to Help

 


Become a Member of Justice Matters Ministry

Justice Matters ministry meets the third Tuesday  of the month @6:30pm in the St Stephen Parish Center. All are invited to attend.

Our meetings provide opportunities to:

  • Gain knowledge of current social justice issues
  • Increase awareness of, and organize, opportunities to advocate for social justice
  • Provide events for the MPB community to heighten awareness of social justice issues

All are welcome to get updates through our Justice Matters email list, contact team point people if you’d like to be included.

2022-23 Dates

August 16- Kick Off

Sept. 20 Quarterly Presentation

Oct. 18 Work Sessions

Nov. 29 Work Sessions

Jan. 17  Quarterly Presentation

Feb. 21  Work Sessions

March 21 Work Sessions

April 18 Quarterly Presentation

May 16 Work Sessions

Presently, Justice Matters has three focus areas for our work. The areas of focus and team point leaders are:

Eco Justice: Liz Dixon: denverdixons@gmail.com and Jeanine Garcia : Jeaninemgarcia@outlook.com

Immigration : Theresa Cramer : twcramer5@gmail.com

Gun Violence: George Redding : reddingga45@gmail.com

Our work is based on Catholic Social Teaching. Learn more about the rich call to social justice through our Catholic Social Teaching.

Minutes from May 16 Meeting: here

Overview of 2021-22 Justice Matters Ministry: here

We’ll reconvene on Tuesday, August 16. In the meantime, check this webpage for updates.

Various On-going Opportunities:

  • Safe Outdoor Shelter for those experiencing homelessness .Check the bulletin for upcoming events
  • Vigils at GEO Detention Center: Next Vigil- August 1 at  6:00 PM
  • Advocate for various pieces of legislation to support the marginalized
  • Connecting with various social justice advocate organizations, i.e. Together Colorado, American Friends Service Committee

Living Room Conversations

Living Room Conversations are a conversational bridge across issues that may divide and separate us. They provide an easy structure for engaging in congenial yet meaningful conversation. These conversations increase understanding, reveal common ground, and can help us build community during these times of isolation. This is an opportunity to become acquainted with others both within our Most Precious Blood community and beyond. In doing so, it allows us to build on one of the pillars of MPB — a strong sense of caring for, and being attentive to the needs of one another.

Breaking Open to Make Whole

A series of speakers and discussion groups to break open various social justice issues. In breaking open ourselves through these discussions we examine the work we each need to do in order to build a just society and all are viewed as equal.

Check the bulletin for additional opportunities to be involved and to support initiatives!