THE SOCIAL JUSTICE
WE CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME
Poverty in Canada
Poverty is a serious issue not only in developing countries, but also in Canada. This short informational leaflet has been prepared with the help of Canadian individuals and organizations who are dedicated to combating poverty in our country. It provides a snapshot of the problem of poverty in Canada, with a particular focus on the issue of safe, secure, and affordable housing.
Poverty in Canada Today Depending on the index used, between 3.8 million1 and 4.8 million2 Canadians were living in poverty in 2017. This is in part caused by an economic environment of precarious or part-time employment leading to unstable work and income.
In an economy that perpetuates poverty, Canadians also face a social assistance system that can be difficult to access when in a position of poverty. These dangers are more prominent among women, as well as Indigenous people, of whom about one quarter currently live in poverty.
Although only financial, these figures provide a glimpse of what poverty in Canada is.
Poverty is not a purely economic deficiency. Persons in need may also require emotional and spiritual support, in addition to social and financial support. Some are already trapped in the cycle of poverty, while others need help to avoid falling into this cycle.
Assistance to people in need can easily be reduced to material help such as providing food, clothing, accessories, or furniture. However, assistance can also involve direct contact with persons in need – in various and complex ways and circumstances – that could include lending an ear, offering guidance, or keeping them company. Regardless of what type of assistance is provided, persons in need must be treated with respect and dignity.
Social Justice Group at Sacred Heart Parish in Walkerton
Since the second Vatican Council Catholic Social Teaching has taken a prominent place in the life of the Church. Pope Paul VI promoted the Encyclical to the entire Catholic Church, calling all people to Action and Development which responds to the "Preferential Option for the Poor", from scripture.
Our services of Charity and Education about Injustices in our World, local and beyond, give all of us opportunities to Work in Solidarity with the less fortunate.
Our Social Justice projects range from welcoming Refugee Families into our midst, to supporting victims of national disasters such as in Haiti. We have been involved regularly with the annual Share Lent and Development and Peace Solidarity programs of Awareness Education, liturgical celebrations and fundraising. Work with Habitat for Humanity locally and beyond has been a frequent activity as well as support for the purchase, construction and regular operation of the Walkerton Food Bank. Support for Missionary Work through our Youth and the Schools offers our group the opportunity to spread an Active and Hands On Faith based service.
The FOTOCAN mission trips to Nicaragua are a good example of this component. Other areas supported by our Social Justice group include helping to End Hunger through the Local Canadian Food Grains Bank Growing Project, supplying assistance for Canadian Food For Children around the World (Dr. Simone), volunteering with local organizations like the Knights of Columbus, Right to Life activities,
Christian Aid Ministries ( Reapers of Hope and Operation Christmas Child), the Catholic Women's League as well as many of our local Service Clubs and Organizations.
This Parish based group uses resources from our Canadian Conference of the Catholic Bishops, Development and Peace, experienced speakers with Solidarity Activity leading the Poor toward sustainability in food and water resources.
This group is also involved with letter writing and petitions to inform our politicians of much needed programming and support for those in need.
If you are interested in joining our Social Justice group please call the Parish Office at 519-881-0692.