The Marianist Social Justice Collaborative began in 1998. Since that time, we have continued the founding vision of the Collaborative: to educate the Marianist Family about social justice, to help Marianist Family members network around common social justice concerns and to provide community reflection and support for Marianists to do the work of justice. MSJC tries to operate in the spirit of our Marianist Founders in forming a community that draws from the contributions of the many diverse elements of the Marianist Family. Just as the method of our founders was to help form individuals and communities who would cooperate with the Holy Spirit under the inspiration of the Mary in building up the Body of Christ, the MSJC seeks to do the same in the area of social justice.
Following the gospel of Jesus Christ, every member of the Marianist Family will empower individuals, families and groups to build the common good. In solidarity with the poor and marginalized, we dedicate ourselves to promoting human dignity, protecting human rights, and stewarding earth’s resources.
Through the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative, the three branches of the Marianist Family in North America (the Society of Mary, the Marianist Sisters, and the Marianist Lay Community) unite and multiply the efforts of Marianists to act for social justice. We offer hope, inspiration and opportunity for action through education, outreach and advocacy at the local, national and international levels.
helps give us a lens for what social justice means and what social justice looks likes. Using our charism, MSJC sought to identify some of the qualities or emphases that might characterize a Marianist-specific approach to social justice. The qualities on the right are not necessarily a final or complete list, but we do believe they accurately articulate MSJC’s social justice approach.
This Marianist charism...
Mary said yes to what must have seemed an impossible and scary ask by God. We are also called to say yes to work for social justice in our lives. Yes to confronting systems and structures that cause injustice in our world. Yes to being as well as doing. Yes to opening ourselves up to being changed. And there are many more ways we can say yes!
Marianists take on social justice issues as more than individuals. We build communities around all the issues we try to bring to justice. We are called to be communities that exist to advance the common good.
We are called by Marianist spirituality, and by Mary’s example, to simplify our lives. We should not be possessed by our possessions, we should avoid the temptation to stay so busy that we cannot respond to others’ needs, and we should be content with the things we have.
Marianists are commonly known for their spirit of hospitality. We need to learn to push ourselves into a deeper, uncomfortable hospitality, where we can enter into relationships, projects and possibilities with people of many different backgrounds and values. We are especially called to be hospitable to the poor and marginalized.
Marianists must seek to find opportunities to listen to those in our society who are voiceless. We honor the marginalized in our lives by showing up for them with our presence and concern. We amplify their voices and their concerns after we have listened intently.
Our Marianist faith encourages us to acknowledge our interdependence with one another, instead of promoting individualism. We must see that everyone has unique gifts to contribute and adds richness to our communities through their diversity.
Mary is the woman who fearlessly said yes to God’s call and stood at the foot of the cross, in solidarity with her son. She is a woman of courage, faith, and passion. We need to use Mary as a model to work for social justice today. Our work must always be of both the work of our head and of our heart. We are called to be in mission against the injustices of the world and to have a true passion for standing up for the values we believe in.