• Diocesan Peace and Justice Commission

Diocesan Peace and Justice Commission

Rooted in Christ, the Peace and Justice Commission advises and collaborates with the Bishop of Arlington in promoting evangelization, formation and advocacy in the diocese for true justice and peace by fostering resolute dedication to the sanctity of life and the dignity of every human person, as expounded by the principles of Catholic social teaching.

  • A few goals of the Peace and Justice Commission are as follows:
  • Advocate for Justice and Peace concerns
  • Catechize the faithful on the social teachings of the Church
  • Deepen awareness of social justice as an indispensable component of authentic Christian living
  • Integrate the Church's teachings on social justice with particular concern for the poor and vulnerable within all the ministries of the diocese.

The Peace and Justice Commission holds several seminars, conferences and symposiums on an annual basis. In addition to conferences and education events, we also provide educational resources, including annual Lenten and Advent reflections.

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The current members of the Peace and Justice Commission, appointed by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington, are as follows:

Reverend Thomas Ferguson


Reverend Robert Cilinski, Chairman
Reverend Michael J. Bazan
Reverend John T. O’Hara
Mr. Erik Giblin
Mrs. Amy McInerny
Dr. Matthew Shadle
Mrs. Carla Walsh

Recording Secretary
Adrienne Swidal

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      Full event PnJ

      The Dignity of Life in a Throwaway Culture

      Thank you to all who have responded to attend the Catholic Diocese of Arlington’s Peace and Justice commission’s event on Sat. March 23rd at the Church of the Nativity. Due to an amazing response - Our event is now at capacity! We look forward to sharing links of the talks, with those who are unable to attend, post event. We look forward to our next Catholic Diocese of Arlington’s Peace and Justice event, so please stay connected with us for future details. Sincerely, Arlington Diocese Peace and Justice Commission

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      The Seven Principles of Catholic Social Teaching

      The Church's social teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amidst the challenges of modern society. Modern Catholic social teaching has been articulated through a tradition of papal, conciliar, and episcopal documents. The depth and richness of this tradition can be understood best through a direct reading of these documents. In these brief reflections, we highlight several of the key themes that are at the heart of our Catholic social tradition. (From the USCCB)

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      Pope Francis and Bishop Burbidge invite you to "Share the Journey"

      On Wednesday, September 27th, Pope Francis launched Caritas Internationalis’ ‘Share the Journey’, a worldwide campaign calling on Catholics and the faithful to ‘encounter’ migrants and refugees in an effort to break down barriers of fear and suspicion and build bridges of understanding and hospitality. This two-year campaign will promote the strengthening of relationships between migrants, refugees and communities through action and awareness by shining light on the challenges and effects of migration at all points on the journey. To learn more about migration and how you can join Caritas Internationalis in showing your support for immigrants, please visit the Share the Journey campaign website using the button below.

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      From Shared to Enriched Parishes

      The challenge of welcoming people of different cultures dates from the Church’s earliest years (Acts 15:7-21). In nineteenth century America, Catholic bishops addressed the challenge by establishing “national” parishes where immigrants received pastoral care from priests of their countries of origin. Today, “shared” parishes are becoming the norm in the U.S., as the Church becomes more culturally diverse. Parishes vary in their success in creating a place of welcome and sense of community, depending on how open parish leaders and parishioners are to change. Last year, a major study was published on cultural diversity in the Church. Take a look at the recorded answers from the study, provided in both English and Spanish.

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      Share the Journey Migration Campaign

      On September 27, 2017, the Holy Father will launch a Caritas-led campaign, "Share the Journey," which is aimed at increasing support and solidarity for immigrants and refugees. It will focus on a variety of important topics, including the Church's engagement with immigrants and refugees, catholic social teaching on migration, and the need to address the root causes that drive migration. The Share the Journey campaign is expected to run for a two year period. Join the campaign now!

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      Pope Francis Gives Us 4 Verbs on Migration: Welcome, Protect, Promote, Integrate

      On February 21, Pope Francis released an official address to participants in the international forum on "Migration and Peace." In his address, he said, "The beginning of this third millennium is very much characterized by migratory movement which, in terms of origin, transit and destination, involves nearly every part of the world. Unfortunately, in the majority of cases this movement is forced, caused by conflict, natural disasters, persecution, climate change, violence, extreme poverty and inhumane living conditions... Our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate."

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      Cardinal Cupich of Chicago Takes Stand on Immigration Enforcement

      Cardinal Blase Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago sent a directive to principals in more than 200 schools not to let federal immigration agents into their buildings without a warrant. If immigration agents are to show up without a warrant, Cardinal Cupich encouraged school officials to "tell them politely they cannot come on the premises, ask them for their contact information and tell them to contact the (archdiocese) Office of Legal Services." New immigration policies are of particular interest in Chicago, where Hispanic students make up nearly half of the 381,000 students in the city's pbulic school district and a quarter of the 76,000 students in the archdiocese's schools.

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      Food Security & Economic Justice: A Faith Based Study Guide on Poverty & Hunger

      The National Catholic Rural Life Conference, a faith-based membership organization focused on agriculture, food and the land, created this study guide as a reflection on hunger and poverty, and a call to action and justice. The content of this study guide delves into a critical reflection on how we relate the current world situation to the Story and Vision of our Catholic faith. The study guide also includes possibilities for action by individuals and groups.

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      Bishop Burbidge Affirms Need for Immigration Reform

      The following statement was released by Bishop Michael Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington, on January 26, 2017: Yesterday Bishop Joe Vasquez, Chair of the Committee of Migration and Bishop of the Diocese of Austin, issued a statement available below. In solidarity with Bishop Vasquez and my brother bishops, it is my hope and prayer that our elected officials will respond to the needs of our immigrants and their families in a way that respects their dignity as human persons, and that all entrusted with the protection and safety of our nation will carry out these sacred duties and responsibilities in a fair, just and responsible manner.

      Read Bishop Vasquez's Statement
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      Did you miss the September 2016 Symposium entitled, Catholics & Politics: Faithful and Engaged Citizens?

      Watch the YouTube Recap
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      Pope Francis Releases Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees

      "Migration today is not a phenomenon limited to some areas of the planet. It affects all continents and is growing into a tragic situation of global proportions."

      Read Pope Francis's Full Message
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      Learn How to Protect Immigrants and Refugees

      An Executive Order has been issued that has devastating impacts on refugee resettlement in the United States. Unfortunately, the U.S. refugee resettlement program is a life-saving program for the world's most vulnerable refugees. As Catholics, we seek to protect the vulnerable and recognize the human dignity of all. Today, with millions of people forcibly displaced from their homes, the need for the U.S. to show leadership in welcoming refugees and provide freedom from persecution is more urgent than ever.

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