Life & Justice / Parish Social Ministry
One of the most encouraging signs of the gospel at work in our midst is the vitality of social justice ministries in our parishes. -Communities of Salt and Light, USCCB, 1993.
What is Parish Social Ministry?
The parish is where the church lives. Parishes are communities of faith, of action, of hope. They are where the gospel is proclaimed and celebrated, where believers are formed and sent to renew the earth. In addition, our parish communities are measured by how they serve “the least of these” in our parish and beyond its boundaries– the hungry, the homeless, the sick, those in prison, the stranger (Matthew 25:31). Our local families of faith are called to “hunger and thirst for justice” and to be “peacemakers” in our own communities (Matthew 5:6, 9). A church cannot really proclaim the gospel if its message is not reflected in its own community life. The biblical call to charity, justice, and peace claims not only each believer, but also each community where believers gather for worship, formation, and pastoral care.
Parish Social Ministry is how our local parishes are organized to serve those in our midst and around the world in the areas of charity, justice, and peace. We cannot be truly “Catholic” unless we hear and heed the Church’s call to serve those in need and work for justice and peace. We cannot call ourselves followers of Jesus unless we take up his mission of bringing “good news to he poor, liberty to captives, and new sight to the blind” (Luke 4:18).
The framework provided by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops asks us to examine each of the following areas in our local parishes with social ministry in mind:
1. Prayer and Worship
2. Preaching and Education
3. Family, Work, Citizenship
4. Outreach and Charity
5. Legislative Action
6. Organizing for Justice
7. Global Solidarity
(Much of above article content from Communities of Salt & Light: Reflections on the Social Mission of the Parish, United States Council of Catholic Bishops.
Parish Social Ministry Resources
Links to other Diocesan Web Sites with Parish Social Ministry Resources