Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Wednesday, May 4, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : News : Nation and World
How to fight poverty
Fighting poverty begins with grass-roots organizing, say panelists
Catholic News Service photo
A man stands outside his tent in 2013 on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles.
Catholic News Service photo
A man stands outside his tent in 2013 on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles.
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — What can Catholics do to combat poverty? Pope Francis' desire for a "church that is poor and for the poor" has them asking that question anew.

At a Feb. 3 workshop titled "Poverty as a Challenge to Family Stability," held during the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington, two panelists discussed the scope of poverty today and some ways to address it.

Amelia Kegan, senior policy analyst at Bread for the World, the Christian citizens anti-hunger lobby, shared staggering statistics on poverty, including that one in six Americans currently lives below the poverty line.

Kegan said that federal programs such as food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, have blunted the impact of poverty on families. "The solutions are there. More than anything, it is about getting our political leaders to listen," she said.

As Kegan intimated, getting leaders to listen is challenging when the groups affected by policies are disinclined to speak. Those living in poverty often feel isolated by their circumstances, and are unlikely to seek changes.

Molly Fleming-Pierre, policy director of Communities Creating Opportunities, spoke about the problem in the context of her own family's struggle with underemployment. She described how, when the gas company recently broke her parents' water heater, they felt powerless to seek reimbursement.

Fleming-Pierre quoted her mother as making a distinction between her daughter's can-do attitude and her own feeling of defeat: "We are not the people that make things happen, we are the people who have things happen to us."

The experience illustrated what Fleming-Pierre considers the "power inequality gap" of those living in poverty.

Though power, as Fleming-Pierre said, "is organized people and organized money," gains can be made by the underprivileged. The key is in coming together.

"If we are going to move beyond (poverty), we need to build powerful groups of people," she explained.

This can be done by grass-roots organizing, as Fleming-Pierre does through Communities Creating Opportunities and the PICO National Network, a faith-based community organizing group.

Even in the digital age, going door to door is still effective, she said. "There is so much power in being able to go to an elected leader, saying, 'I knocked on 10,000 doors, and 8,000 say you need to do this.'"

Advocacy does not need to begin on such a grand scale. Said Kegan, "Seven letters is what it takes to get a congressional office to start tracking an issue."

When Catholics advocate for the issues important to them, they "bring a richness of understanding and a strong grounding in faith," added Kegan. In interacting with their leaders on the issue of poverty, their perspective "can give them hope."

The Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, this year held Feb. 2-5, is sponsored by 15 Catholic organizations and six agencies of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved