February 20, 2015

Weekend retreat in Beech Grove geared to help answer Pope Francis’ call to address challenges of poverty

In response to Pope Francis’ social justice challenge to help the poor, the Indianapolis chapter of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is hosting a “Hope in Action” (HIA) training retreat the weekend of Feb. 28 and March 1 at the Benedict Inn Retreat and Conference Center in Beech Grove.

Titled “Ending Poverty Through Systemic Change,” the educational retreat experience is for area Vincentians, Catholic Charities Indianapolis staff members and parish social justice commission members, as well as anyone interested in eliminating poverty in area communities.

Attendees will participate in a powerful poverty simulation where they role-play a family in poverty attempting to access the most basic needed services. Participants will experience firsthand the very real daily challenges of the poor.

The program is based on the “Bridges Out of Poverty” series, authored by nationally renowned poverty experts Phil DeVol and Ruby Payne. Participants will also learn more about recent and ongoing local efforts to help families living in poverty help themselves out of poverty—the key to real systemic change—and offering new hope to those in need.

The program begins at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 28, and concludes no later than 5 p.m. on March 1. Due to the amount of material presented and provided, an overnight stay is required. Organizers are requesting a $100 per person contribution toward the program cost, which includes materials, overnight accommodations (single or double rooms) and five meals. Register on-line at svdpindy.org, and then scroll to “HIA Training Retreat.”

At the conclusion of the program, participants will walk away with a new awareness and thorough understanding of poverty, its causes, and proven strategies for alleviating poverty in our communities and parish neighborhoods. The first step in eliminating poverty, those who participate will learn, is to educate ourselves on the subject.

For more information, contact Domoni Rouse at 317-985-2149, or Pat Jerrell at 317-783-7296. †

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