In Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict XVI describes the “unbreakable bond between love of God and love of neighbor” (no. 16). The experience of God’s love, he says, should move us to love our neighbors, in whom God is present. But what should this loving action look like? The Catholic tradition recognizes two distinct, but complementary, ways we can respond to the Gospel call to put love in action: social justice (addressing systemic, root causes of problems that affect many people) and charitable works (short-term, emergency assistance for individuals).
St. Mary's offers many different programs and organizations to enable all parishioners to act for more social justice and do services.
Sunday for the Poor Drives On Sunday May 7
For most people, the word “hunger” conjures images of suffering and need. For 22% of Brazos Valley households not being able to afford food is a reality and a terrible human tragedy. One in four children lives in these households. Hungry children cannot learn, the elderly must choose between food and medicine, and parents must bear the constant stress of not being able to provide. You can help feeding the hungry in Bryan/College Station by bringing non-perishable items to the food drive at St. Mary’s next Sunday (May 7) for the St. Vincent de Paul Society food pantry. Items suggested are canned proteins (tuna, chicken, spam, ham, meatballs, stew, chili or pasta with meat) and canned fruit (peaches, pears, pineapple or mixed fruit). Donations can be put in the carts at the back of the church. Thank you for helping feeding the hungry of our community!
Social Ministries Outreach Collections The Social Ministries Outreach Collections are taken up monthly, usually on the 4th Sunday of the month, with the main collection. If you wish to donate for the collection, envelops are available at the poster and can be put in the main collection baskets. The Social Ministries Outreach Collections help support the local outreach efforts of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Catholic Charities, Habitat for Humanity, St. Elizabeth Maternity Home, 40 Days for Life and Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery, as well as special needs brought to the attention of the parish.
Monetary donations to the Poor Box located along the right side wall of the entrance of the church contribute to support the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Spring Break Mission Trips and day-long Service Trips St. Mary's organizes a few day-long out-of-town service experiences during the fall and spring semester, as well as a couple week-long mission experiences during Spring Break.
Stampede for Need A fun way to join in the spirit of giving and to show the poor in our community that we really do care about them. The 5K Run/Walk is organized by St. Mary’s Advocates for Christ Today (ACT) group and all proceeds go directly to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. The event is scheduled for Saturday February 27, 2016
Work of Human Hands Fair Trade Christmas Sale
First weekend of December (Sat. Dec. 3rd & Sun Dec. 4th, 2016) from 9 AM to 9 PM in St. Mary’s Activity Center
The Work of Human Hands provides an opportunity to put our consumer dollars to work for a better world by buying extraordinary, one-of-a-kind Fair Traded handcrafts through the Work of Human Hands project of Catholic Relief Services in partnership with SERRV. The beautiful products sold through Work of Human Hands are created by more than 90 producer groups in 30 countries around the world. All the items are produced by democratically run groups of disadvantaged artisans and farmers, mostly women, who struggle to compete in the conventional trading system. When someone purchases their products, they not only generate needed income for the artisans, but also contribute to the sustainable development of the communities where producers live by stimulating local economies around the world.
Service Fair St. Mary's Service Fair is taking place in the fall 2016 on Monday September 12, 2016, from 4:30 to 7:30 PM in the student lounge. This is an opportunity for students to visit with representatives from different organizations offering long-term volunteer opportunities (from a few weeks to a couple of years) and gather information materials on display.
Social Concerns learning resources
Catholic Social Teaching Catholic social teaching is a central and essential element of our faith. Its roots are in the Hebrew prophets who announced God's special love for the poor and called God's people to a covenant of love and justice. It is a teaching founded on the life and words of Jesus Christ, who came " to bring glad tidings to the poor . . . liberty to captives . . . recovery of sight to the blind"(Lk 4:18-19), and who identified himself with " the least of these," the hungry and the stranger (cf. Mt 25:45). Catholic social teaching is built on a commitment to the poor. This commitment arises from our experiences of Christ in the eucharist.
Matthew 25 St. Mary’s social justice newsletter is published as a full page insert in the Sunday parish bulletin usually on the 3 rd Sunday of the month. Each month Matthew 25 brings a social justice issue viewed from the perspective of the Catholic Social Teaching, helping us to get informed, reflect and act.
Conversations about Contemporary Concerns During the summer the Conversations about Contemporary Concerns offer the opportunity to all interested to learn together about a different topic each week through a short presentation followed by a discussion.
Fortnight for Freedom A couple of weeks from June 21 to July 4 with different activities to defend Religious Freedom.
National Migration Week The Catholic Church in the United States celebrates National Migration Week in January as an opportunity to raise awareness and reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children, and victims and survivors of human trafficking.
For more information on any of the activities, programs and organizations under Social Concerns, contact Clotilde, St. Mary's Director of Social Ministries.