Dear Cardinal Sean,
I am so pleased to read that the Planning Office for Urban Affairs is “beginning work to help people facing foreclosures who may be at risk of losing their homes.”
Beyond those facing foreclosure, an estimated one in four households are “upside down” or “under water” on their mortgages; ie. the outstanding balance on their mortgage exceeds the current market value of their property. Their pain and fear can be traumatizing, too, and tragically sometimes is part of a downward spiral of loss: loss of health, loss of a job, loss of a marriage.
As the government mobilizes a financial safety net for those facing foreclosure, does it make sense for the interfaith community and helping professions to create psychological and spiritual safety nets with local communities and parishes? Has anyone in Greater Boston or Massachusetts already taken the lead on this? If not, how can one learn more about the range of responses that POUA is exploring and how real estate professionals, like me, and parishioners can get involved?
I am particularly interested in (1) developing a network of centering prayer groups so those experiencing financial (and potentially marital) instability can find spiritual support weekly, (2) using new media, like this blog, to extend spiritual safety net onlines, and (3) hosting an interfaith summit on the Feast of St. Joseph or use the same occasion to seed regional spiritual safety nets / centering prayer groups.
Please let us know how we can get involved in this important ministry.