Social Justice

Everything Is about Community

Five women sat on folding chairs in a circle at the Welcome Center, a building dedicated to our Refugee Assistance & Immigration Services (RAIS) program.  They chatted and laughed loudly, clearly good friends. Those gathered were Meg, Diane, Shirley, Ingrid, and Peggy – each volunteer teachers for newly resettled refugees.  Their classes focus on the…

Social Justice

Remembering the Tree of Life Synagogue

In the last few days, I have been mourning the loss of life at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Honestly, I cannot stop thinking about the loss of those individuals, practicing their faith, living their beliefs peacefully and then being killed for that belief. As people of faith, to see any sacred practice…

Social Justice

Medical Respite Gets People Back on Their Feet

Medical Respite is a wing in Brother Francis Shelter that has five rooms.  Each room stays full.  Between April 1 and July 31, 2018, occupancy in Medical Respite was 94%.  The small percent of vacancy reflects the time required to clean the room for the next guest and transition the guests there. Each room has…

Girl gardening at RAIS Fresh International Gardens Social Justice

Grow North Farm-raiser

Thank you for supporting our Grow North Farm-raiser. Your support makes it possible for refugee participants to grow the Fresh International Gardens project into a stepping off point for them to create their own small farm businesses. Grow North Farm All proceeds will go towards soil to create Grow North Farm this summer.  The Farm will…

Social Justice

The Feast of Saint Francis

On the Feast of Saint Francis, we are reminded of the poor and the vulnerable. St. Francis took a vow of poverty and lived with, and served, the poorest in his community. They were sick and undesirable in so many ways, but he put aside his fear and lived out his calling. In our day,…