“At this moment of our history as a people, our collaboration with God’s work of salvation must take the form of work for justice, freedom and peace – not in the abstract, but in the daily realities of living, for they are the conditions of salvation; wherever there is injustice, bondage and unrest there sin prevails.” (Filipino Bishops’ Conference, Document on Mary, 1975)
As a Scholastican community, we heed the challenge of our local Church and make them concete through our four advocacies:
Throughout the ages women have been disempowered by all forms of discrimination, subordination, exploitation and oppression. Women and girls have suffered unequal opportunities and have been stereotyped into helpless roles. Worse still they have been subjected to varied forms of violence: sexual harassments, sexual abuse, commodification, battering, trafficking.
Women and decent men have to exert efforts not only in ending all forms of discrimination and violence against women but also in positively promoting the comprehensive empowerment of women: economic (having their own income), political (participating in decision making institutions), socio-cultural ( freedom to access services and enjoy freedom of movement) and spiritual (energy to transcend victimhood becoming survivors and advocates.)
We live in a culture of violence and death. Everyday in the news we hear of physical, sexual, cultural, economic and political violence perpetrated on people of all ages, classes, genders, races. Conflicts arise in families, communities and between countries and most often these are resolved not by negotiations but by force.
Christ puts a great premium on peace. That is why after the Resurrection, his usual greetings was: Peace be with you. As advocates for peace, we do not aspire for unprincipled peace or peace at all costs or just the absence of war. We work for peace based justice characterized by a “tranquility of order” as St. Augustine says. But as advocates of peace, we should strive to be ourselves women and men of peace—at peace with ourselves, with our God, with our fellow human beings, and with our planet.
In the School of the Lord’s Service, St. Benedict admon ishes his followers to “seek peace and pursue it”. This is our mission here in SSC—to be peace builders.
Jesus, the evangelizer par excellence and the Gospel in person, identifies especially with the little ones. As Christians we are called to care for the vulnerable of the earth and be instrument s of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor. This will involve working to eliminate the structural causes of poverty and to promote the integral development of the poor, as well as small daily acts of solidarity in meeting the real needs which we encounter.
As a Scholastican community, we seek the good of the poor through interventions to poverty alleviation. We involve ourselves in the empowerment of Filipino families to meet basic needs of health, food and nutrition, water and environmental sanitation, housing and shelter, peace and order, educational and functional literacy, participation in governance and family care.
SOCIAL JUSTICE AND CARE FOR MOTHER EARTH
Justice encompasses the acts, structures and systems that affirm, support, and defend human dignity and worth. Justice demands a stance of intense interior listening and awareness of the vulnerable who are in need of intense interior listening and awareness of the vulnerable who are in need of protection. Social justice is expressed in our awareness of our connection and interdependence with all others and creation. “…God intended this land for us, his special creatures, but not so that we might destroy it and turn it into a wasteland.” (CBCP, Pastoral Letter What is Happening to our Beloved Land?) We are called to watch over and protect the fragile world in which we live, and all its peoples.
Let us all join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human tights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. It is imperative that we, the people of the earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of llfe , and to future generations.
We join forces with all those whole lives we touch in promoting awareness of our interconnectedness with one another, among peoples and with the whole of creation.