JPIC Committee goes Virtual
BY BRIDGET DOHERTY, JPIC DIRECTOR
“The Gospel, our Church’s social justice teachings, the spirit of Vatican II, the congregational constitutions, charism and Mission Statements repeatedly urge us to respond to the needs of the times.”
This is how the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Office’s Committee mandate begins.
We are called to respond to the needs of the times.
JPIC office staff, are now working from home utilizing current technology more than we ever have before. With physical distancing in place we, like many others, have turned to Zoom to hold our meetings. It is a great way to connect.
When using newer technologies for the first time there are often bumps in the road. Initially Jeremy Milloy, our newest JPIC staff member, had a camera issue, but he eventually got it resolved.
Jeremy started in the JPIC office the first week of January, and over three months later he finds himself working from home with an incredible work load. Advocacy groups had to jump into high gear to ensure the most vulnerable in our community could survive the pandemic that is sweeping across the globe. Everyone needs the ability to self-isolate, but how does one do that if homeless or living in a crowded shelter? Outreach was required on all levels of government to ensure everyone has access to food, shelter and counseling services.
We spent our first evening at home on a video conference call with Mutual Aid Katarowki. They are a dedicated volunteer group supporting people in our community, such as the homeless, the elderly, and people with substance use disorder, who are at a higher risk of negative effects if they contract COVID-19.
One of our tasks was preparing a letter campaign encouraging MP Gerretsen to support universal basic income so that everyone can afford to keep physical distancing. The basic income would support tenants, workers, small businesses, and small landlords and would boost our economy while helping to save our climate.
Utilizing the technology of the day, we will continue to respond to the “needs of the times”. Stay safe, stay healthy!