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.
St. Vincent de Paul Thanksgiving Food Drive & call for Volunteers
- Sunday for the Poor Drives
Join the St. Vincent de Paul Society for their annual Thanksgiving Food Distribution providing 200 low or no-income families with bags of groceries to help them during this holiday:
• Bring non-perishable food items to the carts in the church;
• Consider a monetary donation;
• Sign up to Volunteer: Lots of help is needed to a) sort food on Fri. Nov. 18(pm), set up and bag groceries on Sat. Nov 19 (am), load, deliver the groceries, and clean up on Sat. Nov. 19(pm).
Find all info on the food to bring for the contest and to sign up as volunteers here.
- 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.
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.
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
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.
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
- ACT: Advocates for Christ Today
- SMAPL: St. Mary's Aggies Promoting Life
- Jail Ministry: offering Catholic services on Sunday morning to the Sandy Point minimum security jail in Bryan.
- St. Vincent de Paul Society: providing people of the community in need with emergency financial assistance, food and clothing.
- Ministry to the Sick: bringing spiritual and healing comfort to parishioners who are sick or home-bound
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.
St. Mary’s social justice newsletter is published as a full page insert in the Sunday parish bulletin usually on the 3
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.
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.
A couple of weeks from June 21 to July 4 with different activities to defend Religious Freedom.
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
, St. Mary's Director of Social Ministries.