Social Justice Council

We bring the Catholic Church's teachings for a just society and the Church's calls to action to build a just society to our fellow parishioners, acting in partnership with our Pastor and Parish Council. The Social Justice Council sponsors speaker series, hears updates on MADP (Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty), and has participated in JustMatters Immigration and JustFaith. We have an advocacy email mailing list, and we have had several immersion events.

Meetings - 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in Parish Meeting Room #4 at the church site.  (At this time meetings are conducted online via zoom - to receive the link to join contact Ross Caravelli 314-223-4866.

Did You Know?  Church Teaching on the Death Penalty

Catechism Paragraph 2267. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.

Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”,[1] and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.

[1] Francis, Address to Participants in the Meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, 11 October 2017: L’Osservatore Romano,13 October 2017, 5.


Social Justice Council partners with Jews United for Justice - Proposes Changes to Florissant's Ordinance on Payday Lending

November 25, 2019, at a public hearing at the Florissant City Council meeting, the St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Social Justice Council and Jews United for Justice presented our proposed changes to Florissant's Payday Loan Ordinance.  The council voted and approved our proposed changes to the current ordinance regarding payday lending in Florissant, Missouri. There will be a second and third reading at the December 9, 2019, Florissant City Council meeting. After that it will be law. This is thanks to the hard work of our Social Justice member Veronica Anderson-Johnston and David Lander of Jews United for Justice. And a special thanks to Marie Kenyon, Head of the St. Louis Archdiocesan Peace and Justice Commission, for bringing us together on this issue!

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Celebrating Success!

Pictured above is St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Social Justice Council, Father Steve Robeson, Jews United for Justice, Marie Kenyon of the St. Louis Archdiocesan Peace and Justice Commission, Florissant Mayor and City Council, Dr. Rance Thomas of North County Churches Uniting for Racial Harmony and Justice (NCCU), St. Elizabeth Mother of John the Baptist Parish, and Holy Spirit Parish celebrated the passing of the Payday Loan Limitation Ordinance at Pasta House Clock Tower, January 12, 2020.  Click here to see more photos from the gathering.

Some of the things that the St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Social Justice Council has done:

We have sponsored five Speaker Series on the following topics:


  • Diversity (Sr. Ebo was one of our speakers)

  • The issues in the 2008 Presidential Election

  • Affordable Health Care for all of our citizens

  • The Catholic Perspective on Labor Unions

  • Just Talk Beginning Christian Conversations on Economic Justice in our Community


We have shown an informational DVD against the use of Torture under any circumstances. (Torture is condemned by all of the major religions.)


We collected signatures for the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT). The signatures we collected were for the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) - a treaty that requires a nation to set up mechanisms that assure that torture will never take place any place in that nation.


We have presented information on the Catholic Church's stance against the Death Penalty with information from MADP, Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.


We have an Advocacy Network set up to email Congressional representatives to abolish the Death penalty, end Torture, and treat Immigrants to this country with dignity and respect, as well as various other issues. These are all part of the Catholic Church's teachings on Social Justice. We invite interested parishioners who would like to participate in these Advocacy emails to write to Ross Caravelli ( with their email
address if they would like to be added to the email Advocacy program.


We have had several immersion events, such as preparing baskets to be distributed to the poor at Christmas at St. Augustine Parish.


We have arranged Christmas gifts for the poor to pick out for their families at the Fr. Tolton Center at Our Lady of the Holy Cross in Baden.


We have participated in the Solomon Project (rehabbing homes in the North Grand Neighborhood).


Several of our members have completed the Catholic Charities JustMatters 8-week course on Immigration and the 30-week JustFaith course on Social Justice issues and ideas for future Social Justice issues, ideas and projects.


We have had several informal luncheons at McMurphy's Grill downtown - a restaurant affiliated with St. Patrick's Center to train homeless persons in job skills. We had a good time at lunch and contributed to this worthwhile
cause at the same time. We would like to extend an open invitation to our parishioners to join us for our next luncheon. ( For more information check the bulletin in the spring.)


We have started a Room at the Inn project for homeless women and children at Holy Name of Jesus Parish on the fourth Wednesday of each month. St. Rose Philippine Duchesne parishioners have participated in this project since
January 2011. If you would like more information on this project, please contact Jim Lappe:


We have put out information for how to dispose of unneeded prescription medications.


We collected signatures to get a petition on the November Election ballot to cap the amount of interest that can be charged for Payday Loans, and to increase the minimum wage to allow for a more fair living wage for Missouri workers.


We have been doing Social Justice Stations of the Cross in Lent.  The Deacon reads the Stations of the Cross and our Social Justice members read a Social Justice statement that corresponds to each station afterwards.


We have been participating in Bread for the World usually around Lent to ask our parishioners to send letters to their elected representatives asking them to vote to budget money to abolish hunger in our own country and around the world.


We recently had a Speaker Series in conjunction with our sister parish, St. Elizabeth Mother of John the Baptist parish entitled Just Talk, with Felicia Pulliam, our speaker, who was appointed to the Ferguson Commission by Governor Jay Nixon and co-chaired the Economic Inequity and Opportunity working group charged with creating a strategy to advance economic mobility.  This was part of our efforts on behalf of the beONE initiative in the wake of the events in Ferguson.

Our next event is to encourage our parish to attend St. Elizabeth Mother of John the Baptist Parish’s Black History Month.  We plan to have a discussion at our parish site two weeks later.


 June 4, 2017: We partnered with St. Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist Parish (our partner in the beONE project), on our Speaker Dialogue entitled “Criminal Justice Reform”

The following were the speakers on the June 4th panel that Marie Kenyon moderated :

1.    Felicia Jones: Felicia is a Federal Public Defender specializing in gang members. Previously she had been a Missouri State Public Defender. She is a member of the Peace & Justice Commission and St. Augustine Parish.

2.    Nancy Mitchell McCarthy: Nancy retired last month as the Regional Administrator of the Missouri Department of Corrections Board of Probation and Parole. She is a Class A Trustee non-alcoholic of the national General Services Board of Alcoholics Anonymous and a member of the Peace & Justice Commission and St. Raphael the Archangel Parish.

3. A member of the St. Louis City Police Department


We attended St. Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist Parish’s annual Black History month event in February of 2017 and 2018.

Holy Spirit Parish has been attending and participating in our monthly Social Justice Council meetings at St. Rose Philippine Duchesne.


We are in the process of providing backpacks for prisoners who are being released from jail.


June 24, 2018: We teamed up with St. Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist Parish, Holy Spirit Parish, Jews United For Justice, and Marie Kenyon for our latest Speaker Dialogue entitled:  "When You Know Better, You Do Better." 

Social Justice Council Solomon Project