St. Marcelline - Schaumburg, IL



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Peace and Justice Committee

We see the parish dimensions of social ministry not as an added burden, but as a part of what keeps a parish alive and makes it truly Catholic.Effective social ministry helps the parish to not only do more, but be more---more of a reflection of the gospel, more or a worshipping and evangelizing people, more of a faithful community.It is an essential part of parish life. (p.1)

With baptism as the starting point, the mission of parish social ministry answers two connected questions:“What is the parish social ministry attempting to accomplish?” and “How is it trying to accomplish it?” Simply stated, parish social ministry strives to assist parishioners, through the parish community, to understand and act on Catholic social teaching.This is achieved by identifying, supporting, and training leaders who will organize people and activities around five (5) specific, complementary ministries:

  • DIRECT SERVICE—such as emergency financial assistance, food baskets, home nursing & job banks.This service provides a compassionate, yet empowering, response to the immediate pain of those of individuals and families in trouble.This is best done with organizations like the ST. VINCENTDe PAUL SOCIETY.

  • LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY NETWORKS—where parishioners engage in efforts to create or change state and federal legislation to reflect just and compassionate social policy impacting people in poverty.This is best done in partnership with State and National Catholic Conferences, such as Catholic Charities and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

  • GLOBAL SOLIDARITY—including social justice and peace efforts, such as twinning with a sister parish in a different country, environmental stewardship projects, and world hunger or development programs.This may be coordinated with Catholic Relief Services.

  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZING & COMMUITY BASED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS—projects that put into practice our passionately –held Christian belief in the rights and responsibilities of persons---especially powerless individuals, families and communities---to fully participate in decisions that affect the quality of everyday life.This is best done with the Catholic Campaign for Human development.

  • THE CORE IS FAITH FORMATION-- The common thread that weaves all this together is regular formation and reflection on Catholic social teaching.Such formation allows those involved to be confident that action arises from Catholic faith and values.And finally, the desire to build the City of God stays at the center of motivation for the enterprise, whatever the enterprise may be.

(Source: “Parish Social Ministry: Stategies for Success” by Tom Ulrich)