Building enthusiasm for social justice

Bro. Lucio CruzOriginally published on

Following a recent sermon on social justice by Bro. Lucio CRUZ, over 120 parishioners of Santa Rosa parish in San Fernando, California, signed up to join a parish social justice committee. Bro. Lucio has been working with parishioners at Santa Rosa, Mary Immaculate and St. Ferdinand parishes in San Fernando to promote social justice ministry in line with the Oblate charism of working with the poor.

Knowing that social justice work can take many forms, Bro. Lucio and a team of enthusiastic lay people have been organizing different gatherings to address felt needs in the community. In early March, they held a successful healthcare enrollment workshop where people from county clinics and a local hospital were available to enroll people in the healthcare system. In May, they are planning citizenship classes to help people apply for citizenship, providing help to people in filling out the forms and in learning what is needed to obtain citizenship.

Social Justice Ministry is an umbrella term that Bro. Lucio’s team sees as including many issues from immigration to Integrity of Creation, domestic violence and human dignity. The team works with existing organizations in the area that can offer resources to help address the problems surfaced by the team. Bro. Lucio is hard at work building a core team in each parish to address social justice issues, and dreams of someday having an office for this work.