The Faith-Justice mission in the U.S. and Canada
social apostolate had three features. First, a few “labor priests,” often at universities,
focused on workers’ rights, poverty, and race. Second, some parishes served the
Hispanic and African-American poor and Native American missions. Third,
answering the call of Pope Paul VI, Provinces committed men to Latin America.
In 1965, Gaudium
et spesstressed the “joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties” of the poor.
Facing segregation, poverty, and the Vietnam War, our provinces became more
involved in inner-city parishes, civil rights and anti-war activism, and social
outreach. Provinces named provincial assistants and committees on social
ministry and investor activism. They urged all apostolates to promote justice.
GC32 taught that “action for justice is the acid
test of the preaching of the Gospel” (1975). Intentional small communities opened
to live among the poor. The first of many Nativity Schools began for middle-school
boys in Manhattan. Jesuits engaged in community organizing, founding the
Pacific Institute of Community Organizing network and similar local groups. The
Center of Concern opened in Washington, D.C., for social analysis, education,
and advocacy. In Montreal the Centre justice et foi was founded in
connection with the longstanding magazine Relations. In Toronto the
Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice opened, later to become the Jesuit
Forum, which continues to lead dialogues on faith-justice issues. Numerous
Jesuits staffed the social offices of the U.S. and Canadian bishops’