The creation of the Office of Justice and Peace for the the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is an acknowledgment that "Our faith calls us to work for justice: to serve those in need; to pursue peace; to defend life, dignity and rights of all our sisters and brothers. This is the call of Jesus, the challenge of the prophets, and the living tradition of the Church" (A Century of Social Teaching, NCCB, 1991).
The mission of the Office of Justice and Peace for our Archdiocese, in pursuing the common good, is to plan, organize and implement efforts to promote social justice and peace and to foster a consistent ethic of life. The Office serves to realize the particular social justice agenda of the Bishop. The Office also serves as a resource to the Archbishop, Auxiliary Bishops and the Catholic faithful regarding public policy developments, community concerns and justice and peace efforts locally, nationally and globally.
Also in Sharing Catholic Social Teaching,the bishops admit the body of teaching is virtually unknown to many Catholics, thus undermining "our capacity to be a Church that is true to the demands of the Gospel. Thus, part of the task of the Office is to promote a heightened awareness of Catholic social teaching among the people of our Archdiocese.
Paul VI exhorts in Octogesima Adveniens, No. 37I,"…the expectation of a new earth must not weaken but rather stimulate our concern for cultivating this one." The Office of Justice and Peace is also charged with encouraging a deepening understanding that action in response to these teachings is a necessary and constitutive dimension of our Catholic faith.
Finally, in their letter on parish social ministry, Communities of Salt and Light,the U.S. Bishops affirm the need for organized action, "Many parishes are joining with other churches and groups to rebuild a sense of community in their own neighborhoods and towns. These church-based and community organizations are making a difference on housing, crime, education and the economic issues in local communities. Parish leaders are taking the time to listen to the concerns of their members and are organizing to act on those concerns. To fulfill this objective, the Office of Justice and Peace will encourage, facilitate and when appropriate organize opportunities for the Catholic faithful of our Archdiocese to act on and live out the imperatives of our tradition's social teachings.