From Mary Dovak, Louisville, KY
My life, my faith and my late husband’s faith were so impacted by JustFaith in the early 2000’s. The JustFaith program opened our eyes to the Lord’s justice and compassion. This winter after losing John four years ago, I searched for meaning and purpose to my life again. In doing so, I decided to facilitate a JustFaith program for our Rabbouni Faith Community. I know that JustFaith curriculum does not just inform, it transforms anyone who participates.
Immigrants have been in the news all this year and the separation of families at the border moved me to act on my faith and call all my congressmen. I wrote about the injustices in my churches bulletin, however that wasn’t enough. I had to do something very meaningful so I asked our JUSTICE SEEKERS committee if anyone would want to participate in the 2 month module on Migration. Three people answered the call after considering the sacrifice of time, 2.5 hours a week for two months. I needed more participants so at our Advent retreat I gave out the JustFaith handout with a quote from Pope Francis asking for more interested people. Lo and behold after the next Sunday’s mass I had 10 participants. Two others joined us from the JustFaith Ministries staff and I turned away two others weeks later as we hit the limit of our gathering site.
We as a group were called to act on our faith as a result of taking the Exploring Migration Module. A couple nurses are learning the Spanish language. Others are greeting incoming refugees to Louisville at the airport. One volunteers at a tutoring center that we visited on our immersion experience (Doors to Hope). One continues to volunteer at La Casita. All in our group feel empowered and competent to speak the truths and facts of our immigrant neighbors to others in our community. All have an appreciation of the tireless efforts of an immigration lawyer from Louisville that was our guest speaker at session 5. As for me I will continue to facilitate JustFaith programs at my church.
As we blew out the candle on our last and final session in the module, we were moved by how much our time together was spiritual, unforgettable and bonding. We are now aware of human trafficking and slavery, and we “walk” with those crossing the borders risking their lives to seek asylum. I personally will never eat a grape or other vegetable again with offering a prayer for the hands that picked them for my table.
I was told it has been awhile since JustFaith programs were offered in our city. It is my prayer that anyone who reads this may be moved by faith to facilitate these programs as a spiritual gift to their churches.