Monthly Social Justice Prayer Intentions

CALLED TO PRAYER AND ACTION

THEME:  Respect For The Dignity Of Each Person, Especially Women And Children, 

Who Are Created In The Image And Likeness Of God.

January Intention:

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To pray for and to bring to our awareness the sufferings of those who are being abused through the practice of human trafficking.

› For the Church, its leaders and all of God’s people that they may be strengthened to continue in the struggle to alleviate the trafficking of women and children.

› For all nations to work together to end human rights’ abuses, especially the trafficking of women and children.

› For those who suffer the atrocities of human trafficking, that they may find healing and new life through the grace of God and the care of others.

› For those responsible for the trafficking of human beings, that they may be touched by God’s grace to seek the path of justice and to respect the dignity of human life.

› For those who give tirelessly of their time, talents and resources to provide information to the world about human abuses, assistance to those abused and inspiration to those seeking justice.

∴ Write at least one letter in response to Amnesty International’s appeal for letters on a current issue i.e.: trafficking.

∴ Investigate one product, for example, chocolate, coffee, clothes, etc. that we consume and educate ourselves and our sisters on how the production and availability of the product may involve human trafficking.

Prepared by Johnna Ciezobka, North America

February Intention:

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To pray for and to bring to our awareness the sufferings of those who are addicted to alcohol and drugs, and the consequences of these behaviors.

› For those who are addicted to substances or behaviors that are harmful and destructive to themselves and to those who are part of their lives.

› For the families of people who are addicted that they may have the strength and faith to intervene and break the cycle of addiction that is destroying their loved ones.

› For support groups, health professionals, caregivers and treatment center staffs who are there to help heal those who are addicted.

› For those working to end the trafficking of illegal substances that destroy individuals, break up families and are the cause of violence and crime.

› For mothers who are addicted to alcohol and drugs and for their infants who are addicted at birth.

› For those in recovery from substance abuse that they have the courage and faith to remain steadfast in their resolve.

∴ Encourage sponsored ministries to have personnel policies which offer availability of addiction treatment/counseling.

∴ Provide support for programs which assist those in treatment/recovery.

∴ Offer available meeting space for self help groups (AA/NA).

Prepared by Sister Nancy Marie Jamroz, North America

March Intention:

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To pray for and to bring to our awareness the sufferings of the elderly and the lack of adequate healthcare.

› For church leaders that they may be aware of the struggles and needs of the elderly and work to encourage all members to honor and respect the wisdom of the elders, as they work or a just, peaceful and caring existence for all.

› For government leaders and all those who have the political and financial power to provide for the healthcare needs of all, especially the elderly.› For those who suffer the atrocities of human trafficking, that they may find healing and new life through the grace of God and the care of others.

› For the elderly and all those who yearn for health that they may receive proper healthcare and that their needs may be met with dignity and respect after the example of the Good Samaritan.

› For all those who will meet their Lord today, that they may die with dignity, knowing that they are loved, cherished and respected.

∴ Visit elderly in nursing homes.

∴ Support legislation which provides adequate health care coverage.

∴  Support programs which provided assistance to elderly.∴ Support legislation that addresses fair wages and humane/safe working conditions.

Prepared by Sister Mary Rosalma Fish, North America

April Intention:

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To pray for and to bring to our awareness the gift of creation.

› For our Church and Governments that they recognize the sacredness of all creation and give leadership for the way to sustainable development and affordable clean water.

› For all God’s people that we become more aware of the sacred in our world so that we respect, restore and renew the gifts of creation.

› For wisdom to protect human health and the quality of life especially the living and working environments of the poor from pollution and environmental degradation.

› For strengthening those values that place the needs of people and the environment above profit making.

› For all of us that we ask for guidance in restoring the face of the earth, show us the way to care for the earth not just for today but also for ages to come.

∴ Investigate one item that you eat or use as a community and follow the steps it takes, and the energy it takes, to reach your table, etc. Include in lesson plans if teaching, etc.

∴ Celebrate Earth Day by planting a tree, flowers, etc.

∴ Write one letter to a government official asking them to please support the Millennium Development Goal 7 to Ensure Environmental Sustainability.

∴ Support legislation that addresses fair wages and humane/safe working conditions.

∴ Purchase clothing and products which are manufactured, harvested, produced or sold utilizing fair labor practices.

Prepared by Congregational Central Office of Justice and Peace

May Intention:

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To pray for and to bring to our awareness the sufferings of those who are unemployed.

› For unemployed people that they will not lose their hope of finding work, which will assure them and their families a suitable existence.

› That governments deal fairly with unemployed people by providing access to housing, food, medical aide, education and other social services.

› For youth who look for jobs and for all who are in difficult situations, that the lack of food, shelter, medical care and other needs will not lead them to violate their conscience.

› For the families of the unemployed, who face humiliation, deprivation and disappointment because of the lack of necessities, will receive assistance from legitimate organizations.

› That the United Nations, other world organizations and local governments find effective and immediate solutions to unemployment, especially in those countries most in need.

∴ Buy at least one item (food or another item used by your local community) from a local farmer, farm stand, and local vendor.

∴ Support programs which assist unemployed with education/job training.

∴ Encourage companies to invest profits back into local communities.

Prepared by Siostra Maria Amadeus Pacławska and Siostra Maria Izajasza Rojek, Europe

June Intention:

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To pray for and to bring to our awareness the prevalence and consequence of domestic violence.

› For all families who suffer from any form of domestic violence and lack the comfort of a safe home.

› For individuals who have witnessed physical violence to another family and harbor this within themselves out of fear of telling anyone.

› For all who work with those suffering from domestic violence, that they minister with compassion, love and understanding.

› For those who cause domestic violence that the Holy Spirit may effect their conversion to end the terrorizing of their family members.

› For family members who are experiencing depression, fear, anxiety and anger because of domestic violence.

› For healing of all who suffer from any form of physical, psychological and mental violence that they be open to the love God has for them.

∴ Compile a list of shelters in your area. Volunteer at a shelter. Collect items for a shelter such as blankets, baby blankets and clothes, etc.

∴ Support legislation which protects victims of domestic violence.

∴ Educate ourselves and those in our ministries about domestic violence

Prepared by Sister Mary Kathleen LaPlume, North America

July Intention:

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To pray for and to bring to our awareness the conditions and consequence of unfair labor practices.

› That a human person not be degraded through the denial of the rights of citizenship and just human working conditions.

› That local church communities recognize that organizations, which benefit workers, are living forms of witness to faith and concrete solutions for the realization of the Reign of God.

› That Christians seek to denounce and to struggle against discrimination, prejudice and exploitation to which women are subjected – lower salaries in the same job as men and demands of certification of non-pregnancy and sterility as job requirements.

› That pastoral work among youth and underage workers courageously include the denouncing of exploitation to which these young people are subjected, so that they could have access to education and leisure – the essential rights of those at this age.

› That charity and fraternal love be much more than concrete emergency gestures of solidarity towards those who are unemployed, but active involvement in the struggle for structural changes in order to arrive at the root causes of unemployment and exclusion from society’s benefits.

› That we be agents of awareness to help laborers know and demand their constitutional rights: the right to employment, to go on strike, to receive a just salary, to participate in the profits of the firms where employed, to a decent retirement and to have access to land in order to live and produce.

∴ Write at least one letter in response to Bread for the World appeal for letters on a current issue.

∴ Volunteer at a local soup kitchen; arrange for students to volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food pantry, collect food for a local pantry.

∴ Students (sisters) collect clothes and sort for homeless shelter.

∴ Write one letter to a government official asking them to please support the millennium Development Goal to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

Prepared by Irma Maria Jose da Cunha, South America

August Intention:

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To pray for and to bring to our awareness the condition of neglected children.

› For children abandoned by parents at birth, that they receive protection and loving care from others.

› For children who live in orphanages or in foster care that people of good heart would love them and provide them with a loving family atmosphere.

› For children who don’t have an opportunity to learn because of a lack of material means, that they would receive financial help from wealthy people and governments.

› For parents who ignore their children in favor of professional work, career and money, that they realize the treasures they have in their children and dedicate attention, time and care to them to prevent their loneliness and association with bad company.

› For sick and physically challenged children that the protection, care and dedication of relatives and volunteers would relieve their pain and make their lives more cheerful and spiritually richer.

∴ Collect school items for needy children in your area.

∴ Volunteer at after school/latchkey programs.

∴ Support programs that provide assistance to families with special needs children.

∴ Support legislation which helps to protect the rights of children.

Prepared by Siostra Maria Mariola Ferduła, Europe

September Intention:

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To pray for and to bring to our awareness the problems associated with immigration.

› That public policies be advocated for welcoming immigrants and refugees.

› For the development of materials to help refugees and newcomers understand fundamental aspects of life in the new country.

› For a deeper appreciation of the language, culture and values among all peoples, so as to erase prejudice, hatred, terrorism and war.

› For an end to human rights’ abuses and victimizations at border crossings.

› For an acceptance of refugees fleeing repressive governments and violent political situations.

› That corporations and countries which benefit from cheap foreign labor and inhuman working conditions, recognize the injustice of such practices and eradicate them.

∴ Include a lesson plan on why people immigrate to your country.

∴ Educate yourself and local community re: one person on the news or that you know who immigrated to your country; conditions in the country they emigrated from.

∴ Volunteer to teach the official language in your country to a recent immigrant/refugee for one year.

∴ Volunteer at a soup kitchen.

∴ Donate clothing to a charitable thrift store/shelter.

Prepared by Sister Rosemarie Goins, North America

October Intention:

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To pray for and to bring to our awareness the sufferings of those working in sweatshops and under other inhuman working conditions.

› For the men, women and children enslaved in sweatshops by ruthless employers that they not lose hope in the possibility of freedom.

› For those whose pioneering efforts are building awareness and prompting action to combat modern slavery.

› For the conversion of those who perpetuate inhumane treatment of workers.

› That compassionate Christians organize a counterforce against sweatshop abuse so that workers can be liberated.

› For God’s mercy on those who suffer the degradation of their bodies and spirits while working in sweatshops.

∴ Sell Fair Trade chocolate as part of a fund raiser, etc. in schools.

∴ Include Fair Trade in lesson plans (several lesson plans on web).

∴ Buy Fair Trade coffee for use in your community, school, workplace for the month.

∴ Register for and join the Stand Up against Poverty Campaign.

Prepared by Sister Mary Ellen Brulinski, North America

November Intention:

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To pray for and to bring to our awareness the sufferings of all those who lack adequate nutrition, housing and daily assistance, especially the elderly.

› That families may find housing that is safe and affordable.

› That those in leadership take responsibility for making housing available to the needy.

› For those who live in shelters and missions because they lack economic security, employment, proper education and accessibility to government programs.

› For those displaced from country, family and friends due to war and famine and are forced to live in refugee camps.

› Lord, make our hearts aware of the needs of the elderly, the sick, the homeless and all those experiencing difficulties in their daily living.

∴ Support legislation which addresses fair housing practices/programs that offer assistance for low cost housing.

∴ Become involved in programs like Habitat for Humanity.

Prepared by Siostra Maria Franciszka Stêpniewska, Europe and Sister Michelle Marie Stachowiak, North America

December Intention:

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To pray for and to bring to our awareness the consequences of trade agreements.

› That all international trade agreements protect human rights of all nations by putting public well-being before profit.

› That those responsible for decisions regarding trade and industry be mindful of the duty of all people to protect the environment.

› That in negotiating international trade agreements, leaders respect the democratic right and responsibility of governments to protect the well-being of their citizens, including provisions for education, healthcare and access to water.

› That those responsible for trade and business across borders and within countries ensure that workers are provided with just remuneration and that no one, especially children, is exploited.

› That international trade agreements provide just and fair compensation to developing nations for export commodities, and allow governments to protect local food producers and small enterprises through subsidies and assistance.

∴ Educate ourselves and others in our ministries regarding unfair trade agreements (NAFTA).

∴ Support trade agreements which take into consideration effects on local small businesses, environment and the poor.

Prepared by Sister Shelley Marie Jeffrey, North America