Maintaining the Roots of Our Mission
The Social Justice Consortium promotes the social justice mission of the Catholic Church through a coordinated effort to work toward a comprehensive and consistent ethic of life for the pursuit of the common good.
Overview of initiatives:
The Respect Life initiative guides parishes in understanding and implementing the concept of the Consistent Life Ethic, whereby the respect and dignity of all persons is embraced from the moment of conception to natural death. A consistent life ethic means being pro-life across the board: opposing abortion, capital punishment, assisted suicide and euthanasia.
Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)
CCHD funds projects that bring poor and low-income people together to work for change in their communities. This effort to end poverty and economic injustice is made possible through an annual parish collection on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The funds are awarded through grants to eligible local organizations.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
Catholic Relief Services was founded to assist the poor and disadvantaged outside the country and works under the auspices of the U.S.C.C.B. Catholic Charities coordinates the Parish Rice Bowl Collection and staffs an ad hoc committee which advises the diocese on the distribution of local funds. A team of Catholic advocates called the Global Advocacy Team in the Des Moines Diocese, emerged in 2010 to “serve as a grassroots collective Catholic voice for the poor and vulnerable overseas, promoting smart and effective policies that address the root causes of conflict, hunger and disease”.
This initiative monitors the issues that impact the most vulnerable in our community and nation. Efforts include advocacy for the poor with local, state, and national government, to improve public policies that strengthen and support families, education for policymakers and the public about the struggles of those living in poverty, and highlighting the good work of those who serve them in local communities.
For more information contact Celeste Egger at 515-782-3054 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Domestic Violence/Sexual Abuse Advocacy
The Catholic Bishops of the United States continued to speak out against domestic violence in their 2002 statement, “When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women”. Catholic Charities staff in the Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Program work to advocate on governmental funding issues to provide long term consistent funding for Domestic Violence programs in addition to legislative issues that impact victims.
Contact: Diane McKee, Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Program Manager – 712-256-2059×101
Justice for Newcomers
In collaboration with other organizations, Catholic Charities advocates for social justice issues relevant to new Iowans (and long-time immigrants and refugees who may still face discrimination) in order to reduce structural barriers to their full participation in their communities. We partner with community members to involve greater numbers of people at the grassroots level in civic life and decision-making processes. Catholic Charities works in partnership with AMOS, ISNET, Human Trafficking Committee, Interfaith Alliance among others.
Contact: Elsie Rotich, Refugee Resettlement Program Manager – 515-237-5095
The Diocese of Des Moines through the Catholic Charities Social Justice Consortium offers resources and information related to rural life, including coordinating the annual Rural Life Mass.
Emergency/Disaster Preparedness and Response Program
In the event of a local, regional, or national disaster, the Emergency/Disaster Response Program mobilizes the agency’s services and resources and works in partnership with parishes to respond at the local level. The agency’s efforts are also coordinated with those of other service providers in the government, not-for-profit, and health care sectors.
Contact: Beth Gibbins, Communications & Event Director – 515-237-5078
Iowa Catholic Conference
Coordinate efforts and legislation concerns with the conference.
For more information go to www.iowacatholicconference.org.
Contact: Tom Chapman, Executive Director of the Iowa Catholic Conference – 515-243-6256