Is anyone familiar with this program? I am a new Catholic in a relatively liberal parish. This program is highly recommended for RCIA graduates and I’m considering it. I admit I’m a little concerned it will be an indoctrination into some liberal theology/politics.
I appreciate any information you might be able to provide.
I do not have any experience with it, but I too would be concerned; I see several warning signs without having to dig very deep.
JustFaith’s founder, Jack Jezreel, is/has been a speaker for Call to Action. Call to Action has the ordination of women its agenda. The Bishop of Lincon excommunicated those in his care who are members of that group. That sends up big red flags to me.
Social action is good… but they do not seem to have a focus on gaining eternal salvation.
I really do not get it. $300 for the first year (per group) for the videos, $300 per person per year. (They take donations in addition to that too.)
Their mission statement:
JustFaith Ministries aspires to enable people of faith to develop a passion for justice, to express this passion in concrete acts of social ministry, and to expand the work of social ministry in their faith communities. JustFaith Ministries creates and supports faith formation processes and resources that emphasize the Gospel message of peace and justice, Church social teaching and the intersection of spirituality and action.
What do they do? Teach you how to volunteer? They do not seem to do catechises (they are there to support you in that). You do not need to be spending that kind of money to learn the Gospel message of peace.
I am probably not being very coherent, but I really do not see that group as being particularly Catholic. (They themselves claim Protestant groups have been satisfied using their programme.)
I would suggest the Catechism of the Catholic Church, particularly from part three, ‘Life in Christ’ (chapter two especially). And wha’da know? You can get it online for free.
Generally they focus on community activism and involvement of one form or another. Prison outreach teen counseling advicacy groups etc. The course can run from a couple of months to about a year i guess, depending on the Parish,
In my parish they did several things, helped at several orphanages and worked with street kids, both in Tijuana, Mexico. They had a prison outreach ministry at one of the local prisons and were active in the fight to stop enforcement of the immigration laws in San Diego.
Basically they want you to be involved as a Catholic with the worlds problems. The training is a little expensive with books ranging around $200.00 if I remember right. They have workshops and retreats and all that good stuff. If you ever plan on being a catechist in some of the more progressive places you can forget it unless you have this one under your belt.
I can neither recommend or disapprove. They did some good but mostly it seemed to be more of a look at what a good person I am kind of thing.
JustFaith is in fact very Catholic. It is endorsed by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Many Catholics do not like JustFaith for a number of reasons, usually because they mistakenly think JustFaith is politically motivated. Just because someone does not like JustFaith, does not mean it is not solidly Catholic. In fact the main objective of JustFaith is helping people learn how to make communities that are clean, and safe so they can bring up happy families. JustFaith is all about bringing Catholic family values to the community.
The program is solidly within the boundaries of the Catholic Church and it offers a valuable and authentically Catholic perspective on Catholic social teaching.
Nobody has ever been excommunicated, including the founder of JustFaith Jack Jezreel for participating in the program.
Just go to www.usccb.org (the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops official website) and do a search for JustFaith and you will see that the bishops are very much in support of JustFaith. As a matter of fact, the USCCB’s Secretariat of Life Issues and JustFaith are jointly working on a new life issues program to be run by JustFaith.
The only costs to people who participate in JustFaith is for books, about $125 and perhaps a bit of money to cover the cost of food that the group eats at its retreats and things like that. It cost me about $200 for the whole year including gas.
There is a $300 registration fee that the parish pays. This $300 goes to cover the cost of all the materials and technical support that the JustFaith office gives to the groups and the parish through the year. This helps the JustFaith offices in Louisville Kentucky pay the wages of its employees. There are about 6 or 7 employees that work for JustFaith who have families to support.
Jack Jezreel speaks to just about anyone who wants to hear him. Neither the program nor Jack are interested in changing anyone’s political party affiliation. The intention of Jack (the founder of JustFaith) and the program is to help people find a truly Catholic response to poverty which includes prayer, theological reflection and philanthropic action.
Heck, the program is named after a heresy! Why would one even give it a second though? Volunteer with your SSVDP and your pro life group. That is the best one two punch for true Catholic social teaching around!
Sola fides. . .the idea that “just(in the sense of ‘only’) faith” is necessary for salvation. It’s a sticky point as obviously Christians believe that faith does indeed save, and certainly works alone do not. The difficulty comes with those who believe that it is faith and that the works that will ‘naturally’ come from the faith aren’t really credited to the person but to the faith so that indeed it all goes back to ‘just faith.’
That being said, I think the Just Faith is a play on the word ‘just’ for social justice. A just person, a faithful person, thus the idea of a ‘just’ faith. “Justice faith” just ain’t got that swing, ya know?
Yes, in Spanish one would say “justa fe” not “solo fe”. JustFaith does not mean “only faith”.
The reason that the Catholic Campaign for Human development stopped funding ACORN is because one of the national administrators of ACORN was misusing funds and “cooking the books”.
Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) is in fact in very good alignment with the Catholic Church. As a matter of fact, I personally know many of the lead organizers of IAF in a number of cities and they are Christian. Many of them are Catholic and I know one lead organizer who is Greek Orthodox.
All funds that are given to IAF and any group funded by CCHD have to be given the OK by the bishop of the diocese. As part of the application process that IAF has to go through to receive funds from CCHD they have to prove that they do nothing against and Catholic teaching and in fact they have to prove that the work they do supports Catholic teaching. They have to give concrete examples of their actions since they last applied for CCHD funds. The bishop almost always personally knows the administrators of the groups that are funded by CCHD. So the bishop is fully aware of who is receiving CCHD funds. These are often relationships that are built and maintained over a number of years.
Being politically involved is not a reason to be suspicious of a person or an organization. In fact, if you read almost any of the encyclicals of the popes since 1893, Rerum Novarum and on, you will see that, political involvement is a precondition of being a faithful and observant Catholic.
I know that it seems that IAF has a political bent to the left. That is because IAF is trying to bring Catholic Social Teaching to our country in a very practical way. Many people think that being politically involved by definition is an action of the political left. This is a simplistic view of Catholic Social Teaching and being a good faithful Catholic American citizen. Being Catholic means that we work to lovingly transform culture in order to make culture reflect that which God created and saw that was good.
Pope Benedict the 16th is very explicit in all of his encyclicals that being politically active is a good and holy thing. It is in fact the vocation of lay people according to Gaudium et Spes and Lumen Gentium and other document of the Church.
JustFaith is beyond suspicion. It is a perfectly “orthodox” catechetical tool that is always seeking ways to improve itself by being in constant communication with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Please join or start a JustFaith group in your parish and learn more about what it means to be a faithful Catholic.
For the record, I do not work for JustFaith. I am a seminarian who is just about to become a priest. I have seen firsthand in my work with Catholic Charities the wonderful outcomes of JustFaith in many parishes around the country.
Many people, myself included, really enjoy studying. It gives us a chance to learn why we do what we do. It only deepens my faith. That isn’t to say that I need to take an academic approach to be a faithful Catholic. I was a very active Catholic long before I ever picked up a theological textbook.
There is nothing wrong with a person or a parish that wants to study Catholic social teaching. It is rather interesting. A JustFaith group is a great way to meet people in your parish and build lasting and meaningful relationships. JustFaith only augments the knowledge base of the parish. After running JustFaith in a parish for a few years, the parish benefits from having 40 or 50 people who have a better understanding of why our Church does what it does and teaches what it teaches. The average Catholic does not know or understand what “The Preferential Option for the Poor” means or the meaning of “Susidiarity”.
JustFaith is fun, engaging and informative.
If you ask the folks at JustFaith www.justfaith.org they will tell you that JustFaith does not mean “Only Faith”, rather it means Justice and Faith. In Spanish it would be Justa Fe, not Solo Fe.
kage_ar Re: Just Faith Program
If a Catholic needs a “program” to get them to do good works, the Parish has trouble.
It still sounds wayyyyy too much like “all we need is faith” - sola fide - to me.