We are one human family. And we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, no matter where they are in the world. Many in our ministries and parishes show global solidarity through the promotion and support of Fair Trade products and Alternative Gift Fairs. Learn more about these efforts in the list below.
To add to the list, contact Fran Eskin-Royer in Holy Name Province’s Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.
St. Camillus Parish
Silver Spring, Md.
Hospitality, after and between Masses during the weekend at St. Camillus, features fair trade products and serves fair trade coffee, tea and cocoa. St. Camillus offers Fair trade products for sale at cost to parishioners in an effort to promote the Catholic social justice teaching of global solidarity. Products with the “Fair Trade” logo mean that the marginal farmers and trades people, who grow or make fair trade products, will receive a living wage regardless of the change of prices for traded commodities and products. The Fair Trade products sold at St. Camillus support the Catholic Relief Services Fair Trade Program which provides economic development resources to growers and producers of fair trade products. For more information about the St. Camillus effort, click here.
FAIR TRADE GLOBAL BAZAAR
St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Working with Catholic Relief Services, SERRV, Equal Exchange, and Larry’s Beans, the annual St. Francis of Assisi Parish Fair Trade Global Bazaar takes place after all of the Masses the first weekend of December. Parishioners can purchase Fair Trade olive oil, coffee and chocolate, decorations and handicrafts from around the world, clothing, and much more! The event focuses on worldwide educational and awareness campaigns as it relates to Fair Trade and labor issues: fair wage; opportunities for advancement; equal employment opportunities; environmentally sustainable practices; public accountability; long-term trade relationships; healthy and safe working conditions; and financial and technical assistance.
Contact: Fr. John O’Connor, OFM
FAIR TRADE PROMOTION
During retreats, parish missions, days of renewal, workshops and presentations in various parishes, congregations and retreat centers, Fr. Peter Chepaitis works to promote and support the purchase of fair trade products.
SIENA COLLEGE – FAIR TRADE CERTIFIED
Siena College is the third college in the country and the first Catholic one to apply for and be granted “Fair Trade” status. To learn more, view the declaration in the press release. Post-declaration, Siena College received a grant from Fair Trade USA to host a regional fair trade conference for colleges and universities, which was held on April 8, 2011. “Fair trade status” means that the school has made an institutional commitment to continue to add fair trade products on campus whenever possible. Siena currently offers fair trade coffee and tea in the dining halls, and these products, along with fair trade sugar, also are served at college-catered events. Fair trade chocolate is featured in campus vending machines, and the Sr. Thea Bowman Center for Women sells fair trade handcrafts, jewelry, chocolate and bagged coffee. The Bowman Center also partners with “Siena Students for Fair Trade” to host fair trade chocolate tastings, as well as fair trade “Bead for Life” bracelet-making programs in the college’s residence halls. In fall 2011, the school will host a visit by a Bolivian knitter who produces fairs trade certified products. “We teach our students that every act they make as a consumer is value-laden and for us, given our Franciscan and Catholic mission, it just made sense to leverage our power as an institutional consumer to value solidarity with the poor and marginalized producers by purchasing fair trade certified products whenever possible,” Dr. Shannon O’Neill, director of the school’s Sr. Thea Bowman Center for Women, told the National Catholic Reporter. In May 2011, the school began selling Alta Gracia
clothing in its campus bookstore.
ADVENT ALTERNATIVE GIFT FAIR
This gift fair focuses on education with regard to global labor and economic conditions, and provides an opportunity for parishioners to support fair trade. Consumers of products that bear the Fair Trade logo can be assured that the farmers or tradespeople who grow or make the products receive a living wage regardless of the change of prices for traded commodities and products. The annual fair is held after each Sunday Mass in early December.
Contact: Maryann Crea
Silver Spring, Md.
Rather than getting caught up in the frantic search for gifts for friends and family, members of St. Camillus are invited to celebrate the coming of the Messiah – the Prince of Peace – by doing justice and helping the poor and the needy. During the first two weeks of December, after all the Sunday Masses, parishioners are able to make donations in the name of family members and friends. Benefitting charities vary from year to year and have included: Catholic Relief Services, “Water for Life,” Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, Heifer International, Salvadoran Enterprises for Women, Catholic Relief Services Emergency Food Program, and an orphanage and medical clinic in Haiti. For more information about the effort, click here
FAIR TRADE MARKET
St. Francis of Assisi Parish
The parish holds an annual fair trade/alternative gift market to educate about fair trade and provide an opportunity to buy the handmade crafts.
Contact: Trevor Thompson