When Sister Monica McGloin, OP started nursing school, she learned that treatment of an illness is three-pronged. The first step is prevention. The second is treatment. And the third step is restoration and rehabilitation. The approach is solid, and Sister Monica believes that it should be used in relation to justice issues, as well.
“When we deal with the poor, we seem to always be treating the effects of poverty as opposed to really seeking to eliminate poverty,” she says. “I like to support groups that are dealing with the causes of justice issues, rather than treating the issues reactively.”
“We’re individuals, but we have to live as part of a community,” Sister Monica says. “We have to recognize that everything we do has impacts on other people, including our monopolies on land.”
For Equity Trust, of which Sister Monica is a board member, this concept applies to land. Young farmers can’t afford to farm because they can’t afford the land. In urban spaces, land is being developed at increasingly higher rates. Communities are being forced out of their longtime homes. Many families who are low-income can’t afford to hire a consultant for advice. With these issues in mind, Equity Trust provides pro-bono assistance to under-resourced communities and to offer below market rate loans to low income borrowers.
“I don’t have all the technical skills to do housing work on a daily basis,” Sister Monica admits. “But I do know that when we make money available to people who couldn’t ordinarily get money, there will be more land preserved. And, more people who want to farm who can farm.”
She notes that the basic call of the Gospel is to become the “beloved community.”
This post is part of our Hope Is series to commemorate Hope’s 23rd birthday. Follow along and see all of the posts here.