“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 not only do more, but BE more- more of a reflection of the gospel, more of a worshiping and evangelizing people, more of a faithful community. It is an essential part of the parish life.” Communities of Salt and Light, Introduction
In November of 1993, the Catholic bishops of the United States did a remarkable thing, issuing a social justice statement, Communities of Salt and Light: Pastoral Reflection on the Social Mission of the Parish, that was not focused on an important or major problem, but instead adopted a social justice statement that recognizes that parishes are the heart of Catholic life and the most important ecclesial setting for sharing and acting on our Catholic social teaching. The USCCB then published a Resource Manual designed to help pastors and parish leaders in assessing, strengthening and broadening this essential social ministry.
The Department for Social Concerns provides support to parish social ministers and volunteers through quarterly regional gatherings, an annual social ministry conference, our monthly electronic newsletter Ignite, formation programs, leadership development opportunities, consultation on parish social ministry committee development, and other assistance to parish based efforts and regional collaborative projects.
Executive Director: Mary McGinnity, 301-853-5339
Coordinator of Parish Social Ministry: Anthony Bosnick, 301-853-5340
The Leadership Institute
Would you or a fellow parishioner benefit from a more intentional formation process in Parish Social Ministry? Consider joining the coming class of The Leadership Institute, a collaborative project of the Archdiocesan Office of Justice and Service and the Washington Theological Union.
“Social Ministers must work for the 'right now' of God’s reign in their place and time, and for the full realization of God’s designs for the earth and all the people in the end time.”
(Maria Riley, O.P. Blessed Are They Who Hunger for Justice, The Social Mission of the Church)