Access to Justice: enabling low-income persons and communities to have access to justice to legally protect their human and statutory rights;
Community and Economic Development: community organizing efforts, economic development, job development and employment training;
Human Development: programs that build up human dignity in individuals and social capital in disadvantaged communities, especially through education, thereby attacking root causes of poverty;
Life and Family Initiatives: projects and programs that defend human dignity, life and authentic human communities.
I was in attendance because of my involvement with Emmaus Ministries one of the grant recipients this year. It was enlightening and affirming to hear of the amount of work being done by so many grass roots organization engaged in initiatives including immigrant aid, violence prevention, worker rights, pregnancy assistance, defense of life, racial justice, family wellness and much more.
As representatives of the individual organizations responded to Fr. Rocky Hoffman's questions about their work, a common theme became evident. Each organization expressed a goal of bringing hope to the hopeless; a hope consists in a knowledge of and relationship with Jesus Christ. One could not help but feel energized by this sense of shared mission manifesting itself in so many different ways.
Perhaps that is why I was so saddened to learn that Planned Parenthood and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) hijacked a World Youth Conference to not only railroad their anti-life agenda, but to silence as "infiltrators" those who would promote abstinence education. (story here) Particularly disturbing is manner in which Planned Parenthood and UNFPA have evidently targeted the Girl Scouts to shape the minds of young girls into an acceptance of a "sexual rights" agenda that demeans women by placing sole emphasis on their sexual activity and ignoring their intellectual, moral, or spiritual development.
Will they ever come to realize that the human person consists of much more than just genitalia?