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Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

February 20, 2010 is an important day for all persons in our global village but especially for those of us committed to living the Good News of peace and justice. The World Day of Social Justice is being observed for the first time following its unanimous adoption by the 192 member States of the United Nations during their November 2007 General Assembly.

You are invited and asked to share with your members the enclosed prayer for this day. It was developed by members of the USG/UISG Secretariat Commission for Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation in Rome. The dream of the members is that all consecrated religious throughout the world will not only be aware of this day but join with our brothers and sisters everywhere in prayer on this day.

The prayer is developed using the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. It has been created to allow adaptation to various cultural realities such as songs and art from one’s culture and to the time constraints that exist in a particular local community, convent or monastery.

We encourage the extended use of this prayer in the parishes, schools, colleges, universities and other ministerial realities of your congregation. We invite you to send this prayer to your members or co-workers in these ministries.

This day also invites us to efforts in advocacy and holding our governments accountable. With regard to advocacy, in designating the World Day, the Assembly recognized “the need to consolidate further the efforts of the international community in poverty eradication and in promoting full employment and decent work, gender equality and access to social well-being and justice for all.”

With regard to holding our governments accountable, to achieve “a society for all” as stated in the Resolution creating The World Day of Social Justice, the governments made a commitment to the creation of a framework for action to promote social justice at national, regional and international levels. They also pledged to promote the equitable distribution of income and greater access to resources through equity and equality and opportunity for all. What has your government done to move this commitment forward? Is there any national observance of this day?

This year and particularly on this World Day of Social Justice, we respond with concrete actions, dreams and hopes. Edward Schillebeeckx once noted, “What you dream alone remains a dream, what you dream with others can become a reality.” Let’s make 2009 the year when our dreams for a more just world become a greater reality because we labor and pray together.

Greetings and peace to you,

Commission for Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation
USG/UISG Secretariat