Latest news from the Office for Social Justice  
Office for Social Justice banner

Dear Friend,

In this April edition we continue to celebrate the great season of Easter, the Feast of St Joseph the Worker and an event for the conclusion of the special Laudato Si' Anniversary Year.


St Joseph working with tools
St Joseph the Migrant Worker

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv, Chair of the Bishops Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service, begins his Pastoral Message for the Feast of St Joseph the Worker by asking: “Have you ever imagined St Joseph as a migrant worker? Would he have taken with him as many tools of trade as he could carry when he fled with Mary and the child Jesus into Egypt? What would it have been like for him trying to find work in a foreign land to support his family? Would anyone help them, or would these ‘outsiders’ be exploited or left to fend for themselves?”



Women distressed with child
To See and Care for Climate Displaced People

The climate emergency is forcing thousands of people around the world to leave their homes and livelihoods due to arid lands, disappearing food and water supplies, and natural disasters. The Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has released a document directly responding to this challenge. It provides practical actions for Catholic organisations and people of goodwill. This document can be used in information campaigns, the development of programs supporting climate displaced people and when speaking with decision-makers.



Sr Alessandra Smerilli and friend
Female Under-Secretary for Dicastery

Pope Francis has appointed Sr Alessandra Smerilli as Under-Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. Her appointment has been welcomed as a sign of Pope Francis’ commitment to bringing about a ‘more incisive presence’ of women in the Church. Sr Smerilli was already an advisor to the Vatican City State, consultor of the Synod of Bishops and Coordinator of the Economy Taskforce of the Vatican COVID-19 Commission. She now heads the Faith and Development sector of the Dicastery. 



Bishop Vincent smiling
A Discipleship of Equals

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv has released an Easter message which calls on the Church and its leaders to follow the example of women throughout salvation history and create a future of hope despite the darkness which surrounds us. By embracing a relational model of radical love, mourning with those who have previously experienced exclusion in our Church and celebrating the gifts of both women and male followers of Christ, Bishop Vincent believes we can build a Church which embodies the Good News of the Gospel and where all experience and encounter the Risen Lord.



Sowers of Hope banner
Laudato Si' - Sowers of Hope - 21 May

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s Office of Social Justice and Caritas Australia’s Catholic Earthcare program are co-hosting this prayer and reflection event entitled Laudato Si’ – Sowers of Hope. We will gather together as a group, receive nourishment through prayer and Scripture and grow together through dialogue and reflection. All are invited to this special online event and are most welcome to invite any others who would like to participate. 



Poppy field at dawn
ANZAC Day - 25 April

ANZAC Day has come to be considered one of the most sacred days in the year for many Australians, honouring the sacrifice of those who gave their lives so that others could live in peace and freedom. We remember grieving families, cities in rubble, and fields turned to mud and ashes. We remember broken bodies, spirits, minds, and lives: the terrible cost of war. We remember all Australians who served, and who serve today. We continue to work wholeheartedly for justice and peace in our world so that war will be no more.



World with Build Back Better Slogan
World Fair Trade Day - 8 May

World Fair Trade Day is celebrated on May 8 and the World Fair Trade Organisation is calling on us to ‘Build Back Fairer’. This is a day when we can reflect on our purchasing and procurement policies and see what are the practical ways we can support ethical and fair trade practices. Catholic organisations such as Ethica and ACRATH provide practical means for us to make trade fair. 



Holy Spirit Dove at St Peters Basilica
Pentecost - 23 May

The Feast of Pentecost is the culmination of the great 50 days of the joyful Season of Easter. The Holy Spirit is revealed at Pentecost to empower, encourage and accompany disciples on their earthly mission. Jesus’ first words to those gathered are ‘Peace be with you’. Instead of a fearful group of scattered people hiding away, the hope and peace of Christ unites the community of believers and kindles the fire of love inside them. Their mission is now to offer this peace, forgiveness and new life to others all over the world.



Events approaching include: 
- Laudato Si'  Week: May 16 - May 24
- Reconciliation Week: May 27 - June 3
- Refugee Week: June 20 - June 26


If you have any feedback for the Office for Social Justice, please contact our Editor Sandie Cornish at


Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv (Chair), Bishop Paul Bird CSsR, Bishop Terence Brady, Bishop Max Davis, Bishop Karol Kulczycki SDS, Bishop Bosco Puthur, Bishop Christopher Saunders, Bishop Donald Sproxton.
If you know someone who would like to view this newsletter, please click here.
If your friend would like to subscribe to this list, please click here.
The Office for Social Justice facilitates this newsletter in good faith. Its aim is to promote adult faith formation, awareness and action in relation to social, economic and ecological justice issues. Factual information is presumed free of error. If this is found to be incorrect please contact the OSJ for purposes of rectification. The reference to news items and the provision of links to other websites is solely for the user's convenience. The OSJ assumes no responsibility for, nor does it necessarily endorse, these items or websites, their content, or their sponsoring organisations.
Andrea DeanSocial Justice Trends is a publication of the Office for Social Justice and is distributed monthly. Our aim is to provide news of interest to you. If you have suggestions or feedback about Social Justice Trends please don't hesitate to get back to me.

Dr Sandie Cornish
Social Justice Officer
Office for Social Justice
ACBC LogoYou are receiving this because you subscribed from the Office for Social Justice (OSJ) website. The OSJ is an agency of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
Copyright © {{Current_Year}}, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
PO Box 368