by Dr. Robbie Lloyd
Coming out of COVID seems a long slow journey, with each new variant causing further delays in people’s readiness to fully rejoin all their favourite activities. Also, ongoing exhaustion is emerging as “long COVID’s gift,” so we’re sometimes struggling to find the energy for life the way it used to be.
At the same time, it is by rejoining our friends and neighbours that we can most enliven our lives. So the Justice & Peace Office is campaigning to encourage all Catholics and their non-Catholic neighbours to join together in helping to revive community life in our inner city and outer urban suburbs and towns.
Whether you join the local community garden, or start one in the grounds of your church. Visit your local hospital’s mental health ward and meet people getting ready to return to their lives back home as they start the recovery journey. Or you may see opportunities to become part of Australia’s long-overdue re-welcoming of refugees and asylum seekers, who have been cruelly demonized and stigmatised by government policies that need changing.
All these approaches rebuild the Common Good that has been whittled away over the past 40 years by neoliberalism’s fierce focus on the individual, and making each individual a customer of services targeted at just them. All of that emphasis has been magnified by on-line life, both COVID-enforced and social media marketing reinforced.
So when community is being decreased, people start to lose contact each other in ways that can be hard to reverse. The JPO wants to encourage more parishes and schools to become part of the rebuilding of our community, and to strengthen the Common Good by working together for the good of all in local places, not the individual.
If you need help imagining how best to become part of such moves, we would like to offer our help. The core team at JPO has many years of community building experience, and we are also creating a new team of interns and mentors, to go out and get directly involved in all aspects of Catholic Social Teaching promotion in action.
Please contact Joelle Sassine with any initial inquiries about common good initiatives or internships at Joelle.email@example.com.
Remember that our 2022 Election Kit, Voting for the Common Good is available for download from our website here: https://justiceandpeace.org.au/election-2022/