Each of us is part of the human family and we are all interconnected and interdependent. Loving our neighbour has global dimensions. We must see ourselves in others and collaborate toward solutions. Solidarity is a recognition that we are ‘all in this together,’ and is a commitment to strengthen community and promote a just society.
Solidarity is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all.
- Saint John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis 38
It is a word that means much more than some acts of sporadic generosity. It is to think and to act in terms of community, of the priority of the life of all over the appropriation of goods by a few. It is also to fight against the structural causes of poverty, inequality, lack of work, land and housing, the denial of social and labor rights. It is to confront the destructive effects of the empire of money: forced displacements, painful emigrations, the traffic of persons, drugs, war, violence and all those realities that many of you suffer and that we are all called to transform. Solidarity, understood in its deepest sense, is a way of making history, and this is what the Popular Movements do.
- Pope Francis, World Meeting of Popular Movements 2014
Examples in action:
Living out solidarity is at the heart of the mission of Development and Peace: to stand against injustice with our partners as equals, and to support their efforts by fundraising and by participating in education, mobilization and advocacy efforts here at home. Our international programs are based on partnerships of solidarity, where we work with local organizations who understand best the realities of their communities and how issues need to be addressed. Here in Canada, our members make personal commitments to advocate for change. Whether it be travelling an extra 100km to meet an MP, or getting up in front of their parish or community to educate, we feel there is no better gesture of solidarity.
One way that youth show their solidarity is by participating in THINKfast, a retreat that has been organized in school across Canada since 1987. This activity raises nearly a quarter of a million dollars annually for our partners in the Global South and for education initiatives here in Canada to promote a more just world. Participants spend 25 hours fasting in solidarity with those who go without food, while learning about and reflecting on the root causes of poverty and injustice.