October Update 

Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Newsletter 

Hello everyone,

Christ-centered! In preparing for this week’s JPIC “JustFaith” program on “Faith and Poverty: A Biblical Response,” our group began reading the Apostolic Exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel” (Evangelii Gaudium) by Pope Francis. Pope Francis shares the words of Pope Benedict XVI, reminding us that “being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction” (Deus Caritus Est). For Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, this lies at the very heart of the Gospel. Everything we do in our Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) ministries here at Immaculate Conception always begins with and remains nurtured by our deep faith commitment and service to God. Charity and justice are rooted in the joy of the Gospel, Christ’s joy, constantly born anew. In loving collaboration and solidarity, Catholic Social Teaching encourages all people of goodwill to help those in need to promote the common good. Unlike an NGO, social or political action group, or extended government agency, we cannot separate our Franciscan Catholic beliefs, worship, spirituality, and teachings from our actions in the world. We do what we do precisely because of who we are as a people of God! Christ and his Gospel, our call of discipleship, send us forth into the world to act with charity and justice.



Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI reminded us of the many ways Christ and the Gospel call us to work for justice. In this edition of our newsletter, we want to specifically highlight the ways our JPIC’s “Community Organizing” team can help you live out this mission. Immaculate Conception has a long history of working in the community to address systematic and institutional injustice. The “Community Organizing” team gives our parishioners the opportunity to embody their call to discipleship by actively being involved with numerous social justice organizations that help those most in need. Organizations like Durham CAN (congregations, associations, and neighborhoods), Durham Congregations in Action (DCIA), and North Carolina Congress of Latino Organizations (NCCLO), along with countless other Durham and international Catholic/Franciscan organizations, allow you to manifest your faith in public life.

You will notice in the announcement below that a few of these groups have come together to address several important issues. Immaculate Conception will be hosting this event! We were one of the founding church members of Durham CAN and we are relying on your support to make it meaningful. Please make sure to attend and bring a friend. Let all your other group ministries and fellow parishioners know about it. We need your support!


Durham CAN/NCCLO: US Senate-Assembly - Join us as Immaculate Conception hosts a non-partisan Candidates Assembly from 3 – 4:30 pm on Sunday, Oct 16. In preparation for the

upcoming US SENATE election in North Carolina, our partners at Durham CAN and NCCLO have invited the candidates of all parties to engage on the issues of Affordable Housing, Immigration, Healthcare, and Gun Safety.

We expect to hear where they stand on the expressed needs of our community and our broad-based, achievable requests for action.

The Latino Vote Your Choice

The members of our parish eligible to vote – be they from the English or Spanish-speaking community – are called to act as faithful citizens.   


Are you still not registered to vote, need to reactivate your voter registration, or update your address? If this is the case, please know that you will have an opportunity to take care of it on October 9th during the Food Sale.  


For more information contact

Mariza Mandujano 919-281-0710 or

Jose Villagran 919-908-3066


Prisoner “Pen Pal” Ministry

Whether you attended the info session or not, please join us on October 30 from 1:30-2:30. (Note: Rescheduled from Oct 2). Those who attended the information session in September will automatically receive the Zoom link. Contact Catherine for the Zoom link. Spanish speakers should contact Erin

More Information

Bread for the World

Pope Francis' Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si' (Be Praised), calls on us to care for our world. It is a wakeup call to understand the destruction that man has done to the environment and his fellow man. Bread for the World indicates climate change is damaging food and water security in significant ways. This is the greatest environmental challenge the world has ever faced. Write Congress to voice your concern. 

 Visit BFW Website

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

is simple: it requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers on the job. This pro-life, pro-family and pro-worker measure passed the House overwhelmingly with a bipartisan majority, and now awaits a vote in the Senate. But time is running out, and unless the Senate leadership schedules a floor vote soon, the bill will die. This critical legislation has brought together the Church, the labor movement, and a variety of women’s organizations. And it should: no woman should have to choose between her job and the health and safety of her unborn child. That’s one reason why Archbishop Paul Coakley, in the Bishops’ 2022 Labor Day Statement, told readers “With a short time left in this current legislative session of Congress, we urge immediate Senate passage of this proposal that would make the workplace safer for women and their preborn children.” The Senators will only act if they think this issue is a priority for constituents. Please take a moment RIGHT NOW to tell your Senators that you support the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act!

Take Action

You can find a listing of the PHD team’s other ongoing activities and contact information below

Promoting Human Dignity


Hispanic Heritage Month

The JPIC, along with all Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, would like to join all Americans in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month. From September 15 to October 15, we celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Click this link to explore more about the history of this month-long celebration. Duke Catholic Center compiled this list of 4 well-known Hispanic Saints to help you celebrate the season. 

Thank You: Parishioner from Congo in Need

A profound thanks to all parishioners who have previously donated to the love fund. Because of your generous support, in collaboration with Church World Service (CWS), we were able to help a new member of our community with housing. A fellow parishioner also has volunteered to assist with ESL so he can continue to develop his English skills. 

Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees

Immaculate Conception’s own Pastoral Associate, Katushka Olave, was recently featured in a Franciscan Network for Migrants hosted interactive workshop on practical ways for building the future with migrants and refugees. Franciscan Action Network co-sponsored this workshop which included presentations about Franciscan-inspired parish and community-based responses as well as a brainstorming session of other ideas. To view the recorded session, click here Building the Future with Migrants & Refugees - YouTube 

For a link to a summary of ideas shared by speakers and participants Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees.pdf - Google Drive 

For a link to the Pope’s message on World Day of Migrants & Refugees - Migrants & Refugees Section (migrants-refugees.va) 


Saint Vincent de Paul Society

After all the Masses this weekend parishioners can sign up to explore their involvement in this ministry. The first meeting will be on Thursday, 10/6 at 6 pm. Please visit our table this weekend or contact Barbara.

A SVdP Conference is a parish-based ministry that is designed to serve people in need, usually assisting with rent or utilities. It trains and enables lay people to have more direct contact in serving their neighbors in need.  

Information Sessions

Meals for the Hungry

As a parish, we serve dinner to ~150-200 people on the third Saturday of every month. Donations can be dropped off at the Immaculata kitchen (attached to the school) between 4 and 4:30 pm on Saturday, October 15. Individual meals will be packaged and transported to Urban Ministries on Liberty Street.

Sign Up


Most “Care for Creation” announcements were included in our recent “special edition” of our “Season of Creation”/“Saint Francis Week” newsletter which can be found below. Please refer to it for any details regarding major events for the season.

JPIC 9/20/22 

Below are a couple of new items. 

Rosa Maria Ruiz – Defending the Amazon

This past weekend, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church was fortunate to host a remarkable defender of the Amazon, Rosa Maria Ruiz. Rosa Maria is a prominent environmentalist, conservationist, and defender of her home – the Amazon region of Bolivia. She has worked for 50 years in collaboration

with the Franciscan friars and the indigenous tribes on several social justice and care-for creative projects. Rosa Maria has played a key role in the establishment of Madid National Park – one of the world’s most biodiverse areas. On Monday morning, September 26, parishioners Sue and Kevin Concannon graciously hosted an IC gathering for church members wishing to welcome Rosa Maria to our community and learn more about her work. In the future, you will have additional opportunities to support her work. A special thanks to Sue and Kevin. We appreciate all who attended.

Series on Confronting Environmental Racism (Part 2)

Thursday, October 13, 4-5 pm, Franciscan Action Network, will hold the second of a four-part series on Confronting Environmental Racism. The oil, gas, and petrochemical industry have long placed their facilities in sacrifice Zones inhabited by Black, Brown, Indigenous, or poor communities. As Franciscans, we are called to stand with our sisters and brothers who have been most directly affected. It’s time for us to stand with communities on the front lines of this environmental racism. Franciscan Action Network, the Franciscan Federation, and the Franciscan Friars (OFM) US-6 JPIC Working Group are pleased to present this 4-part webinar series which will run once a month from September 8th-December 8th.

Register Here

Franciscan Festival Cancelled

Due to the weather forecast, the Franciscan Festival for Saturday has been canceled (really postponed until April when we will have an Earth Day Celebration). We hope you will join us then! We just want to help keep everyone safe!

Blessing of the Animals at 9:30 in front of the Church. 

You can bring your animals for a blessing while not getting wet! You and your pet can stay in the car, drive by the Church entrance and receive a blessing from the Friar! Hope to see you and your pets on Saturday!

*Please Note: The JPIC email offers another opportunity to share and expand on various opportunities for parishioners who are deeply committed to living out their faith in our community and the world. Most JPIC information primarily will be communicated through the parish e-newsletter and website, JPIC group/team emails, mass announcements, and other social media. Although often not relisted, many of the events featured in our previous JPIC emails continue to be relevant.

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Kennith M. Chiha

Director of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation (JPIC)

Immaculate Conception

Catholic Church

901-A West Chapel Hill Street

Durham, NC 27701

(919) 682-3449 Ext. 293

Email JPIC Director