St. Barnabas Peace and Justice Committee

Experience -> Understanding -> Imagination -> Action

The St. Barnabas Peace and Justice Committee seeks to put the principles of Catholic Social Teaching into practice. Some of the issues that the committee has worked on are described below. We invite our fellow parishioners at St. Barnabas to bring issues and social action to the Committee. We hope that you will be inspired to act as Jesus would have and be his presence in today’s world.


On March 19, 2009, St. Barnabas Adult Faith Formation Committee, together with the Peace and Justice Committee, sponsored a talk by Thomas Cahill about his newest book, "A SAINT ON DEATH ROW: The Story of Dominique Green," a true story of the spiritual transformation of Dominique Green, a black kid from the Houston, Texas, ghettos. Cahill is a noted historian and author of five volumes in the Hinges of History series, including "How the Irish Saved Civilization." 

Green got caught up in a robbery/murder that landed him on Death Row, in spite of his protestations of innocence and a trial of unconscionable legal strategies.

Cahill became involved in the story of Green through a chance meeting in Italy with Beverly resident and Barnabas parishioner, retired Judge Sheila Murphy.  Murphy also spoke at the lecture and added her personal perspective in representing and befriending Dominique Green.   

Judge Murphy encouraged Cahill to visit Dominique Green in prison, an event that transformed Cahill so profoundly that he put aside his work on his best selling Hinges of History series to get involved and write Dominique's story.

Kathleen Tobin in the Beverly Review stated: "The book is a straight-forward telling of a spiritual transformation and a scathing reflection on the politics of the Death Penalty, especially as carried out in the state of Texas."  The evening served as an opportunity for reflection for those who attended about the quality of life, and death, in our society and the spiritual strength that can carry one through life's most bitter trials.  

View video of Thomas Cahill and Dominique Green here.


People would do better if they knew better

On Earth Day, 2008, the Peace and Justice Committee sponsored a presentation by St. Germaine Pastoral Associate Carol Conway titled “A Greener Parish: Catholic Social Teaching and the Environment.” In her presentation, Conway outlined many of the simple steps, such as using recyclable grocery bags, that we can take to live in a “greener” and more environmentally friendly way. By following these steps, we can be better and more responsible stewards of the world God has created.

The Peace and Justice Committee is also working to develop plans to make St. Barnabas a "Greener Parish."

For some simple steps that you can take to make your own life "greener," click here.

To visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops initiative, “Faithful Stewards of God's Creation: A Catholic Resource for Environmental Justice and Climate Change,” click here.



The Vicariate V Ministry Commission (to which St. Barnabas belongs) coordinated with Catholic Relief Services and GreenAmerica to bring two Peruvian artisans to the Midwest to tell their stories of how Fair Trade has affected their lives.  As part of their trip, the artisans spoke at Incarnation Parish on Friday, May, 2009.  They put human faces to the reality that as consumers, our choices matter!  

Members of the St. Barnabas Peace and Justice Committee met Ayde Riveros and Evangelina Pizzaro, fair trade artisans from Peru.  Riveros knits goods and Pizzaro makes jewelry.  Each is a member of a community cooperative that produces fair trade products.  Both of the women described their lives before becoming associated with fair trade and how fair trade cooperatives helped them and their families escape desperate poverty and build sustainable and productive communities.  Riveros and Pizzaro visited a dozen U.S. cities on a tour with representatives from GreenAmerica and Partners for Just Trade to educate Americans about the tangible impact of the Fair Trade movement on the lives and communities of workers in the poorer regions of our globe.  

The St. Barnabas Peace and Justice Committee periodically sells “fair trade” products such as coffee, tea and chocolate. Certified fair trade products are grown or produced by persons who receive a fair share of the profit from the sale of their products. Fair trade farmers engage in environmentally sustainable agricultural practices, allowing for more production without destroying scarce natural lands.

The purpose of the fair trade sales at St. Barnabas is not to raise money, but to raise awareness about many of the fundamental principles of Catholic Social Teaching -- the dignity of each person and their labor, the importance of sustainable communities, the requirement that we seek the common good and our obligation to help the poor.

To learn more about fair trade principles and practices, and what you can do to make fair trade a reality, click here.



On April 29, 2007, the St. Barnabas Peace and Justice Committee sponsored a candlelight vigil to raise awareness about the genocidal violence occurring in the Darfur region in Sudan. The vigil marked our solidarity with the vulnerable people of Darfur, who have been the target of brutal oppression. The purpose of the vigil was to create public support for a United Nations peacekeeping force to end the violence in the region. Due to the efforts of thousands of activists across our nation and throughout the world, the United Nations enacted Security Council Resolution 1767 in July 2007 to establish such a peacekeeping force.

To learn more about the current situation in Darfur and what you can do to help, click here.


To read Pope Benedict XVI’s June 3, 2008 statements about world hunger to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, click here.

Saint Barnabas Parish


Saint Barnabas School

10134 S. Longwood Drive
Chicago, 60643
P. 773.779.1166 | F. 773.445.9671


10121 S. Longwood Drive
Chicago, 60643
P. 773.445.7711 | F. 773.445.9815