The Social Mission of theCatholic Parish and what it could be! An Introduction
The Word of God and Justice 2
St. Theresa of the Little Flower "I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul." The Little Flower said: "I should not be happy in heaven if I was not able to provide little pleasures on earth for those I love….I shall spend my heaven doing good upon earth."
Dorothy Day “Love in action is harsh and dreadful when compared to love in dreams.” “I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.”
Why are we here as a Church and as individuals?“What are you doing to bring people closer to Christ in the Archdiocese of San Antonio?” Sharing = experiencing Christ What are we going to do to bring Christ to the “entire world”?
Constitutive Elements of Church Scripture -- the Good News Sacraments -- worship, prayer life, etc. Social Mission -- action for social justice
The Parable of the River Children “Without the doing of Justice, God remains unknown.” Fr. Fred Kammer
The Two Feet of Christian Service
Justice: Charity: (Creating Hope…) (Providing Help…) Working to address the root causes of Helping people address their present social issues: situation and attend to immediate needs: Voting: (Faithful Citizenship, Feeding the Hungry (Food Voter’s Registration); pantries/ banks; soup kitchens, Meals-on- Public Policy Advocacy (Public Wheels); Policy Forum Day, building relationships Sheltering the homeless; with elected officials); Protecting & Nurturing Children & Supporting organizations that work for Youth (Foster Care, Adoption, After- justice (Catholic Relief Services, Catholic school Programs & Sports, Day Camps);Charities USA, Texas Catholic Conference, Strengthening Families & Resolving Pax Christi); Crisis (Financial assistance, social Educating others about issues leading services, counseling, job placement, them towards action; crisis pregnancy care); Working with Catholic Supporting the Physically & Campaign for Human Development and Emotionally Challenged (therapy, Catholic Relief Services projects (Work substance abuse counseling, adaptive of Human Hands sales, Fair Trade coffee/ training for the handicapped, supportive chocolate); services/ housing for disabled) Asking "why" and "how" Questions Welcoming & Integrating Immigrants &(investigating causes of poverty & injustice Refugees (work authorization, legal to address the "root "causes of problems) representation, asylum, information referral)
Catholic SocialTeaching A Key to Catholic Identity
The ProblemCatholics are unfamiliar with the basic contentof Catholic social teaching. More fundamentally,many Catholics do not adequately understandthat the social mission of the Church is anessential part of Catholic faith.This poses a serious challenge for all Catholics,since it weakens our capacity to be a Churchthat is true to the demands of the Gospel.Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions U.S. Bishops, 1998
A Key to Catholic IdentityThe central message is simple: our faith isprofoundly social. We cannot be called truly“Catholic” unless we hear and heed theChurchs call to serve those in need and workfor justice and peace.An example: application of the Archbishopsquestion to the social order. (Questions) Communities of Salt and Light, U.S. Bishops, 1993
Vatican II’s Ecclesiology The Church is a sign and a safeguard of the dignity of the human person. A religious organization whose purpose it is to help bring about the reign of God in history. The social mission is “constitutive” not extra-curricular or optional.
Vatican IIThis split between the faith which many professand their daily lives deserves to be countedamong the more serious errors of our age.Long since, the Prophets of the Old Testamentfought vehemently against this scandal and evenmore so did Jesus Christ Himself in the NewTestament threaten it with grave punishments.
JUST FAITH MINISTRIES – Jack JezreelOver 30,000 people have participated in various JustFaith programs inover 1,500 churches across the country.JustFaith Ministries provides programs that transform people andexpand their commitment to social ministry.
The Opportunity1. Get organized and make the Church’ social mission an essential part of your parish community and give it the attention and financial support it deserves.2. Begin to build a local community of faith where our social teaching is central, not fringe; where our social ministry is not optional; where it is the work of every parishioner and not just the mission of a few committed people and committee members. Communities of Salt and Light: Reflections on the Social Mission of the Parish, U.S. Catholic Bishops
CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING IS A MESSAGE OF HOPEAnd Jesus said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.(Mark 16:15) Alleluia! May the peace of the risen Christ fill our hearts and world. 17