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Parish Social Ministry (Outreach)


The Mission of the Church & the Nature of Charity

The Church's deepest nature is expressed in her three-fold responsibility of:

  • proclaiming the word of God
  • celebrating the sacraments
  • exercising the ministry of charity

These duties presuppose each other and are inseparable.  For the Church, charity is not a kind of welfare activity which could equally well be left to others, but is a part of her nature, an indispensable expression of her very being.

What is Parish Social Ministry (Outreach)?

The definition of Parish Social Ministry is the empowerment of the parish as the people of God to fulfill the Church's mission of love, justice, freedom and peace by communally responding in an organized way to societal and individual human needs.  
Parish Social Ministry:  A Vision and a Resource (The National Conference of Catholic Charities, 1985)
It is the action that the faith community takes to live out the Gospel we proclaim and to grow in love with our neighbor.

  • relationship
  • direct services to those in need
  • empowerment
  • advocacy and organizing
  • global awareness
  • service

The vision of Parish Social Ministry is to assist parishioners, through parish community, to understand and act on Catholic Social Teaching. 
Parish Social Ministry:  Strategies for Success (Tom Ulrich, 2001)

There are Seven Basic Principles of Catholic Social Teaching:

  1. Life and Dignity of the Human Person.  Every person is precious; people are more important than things; the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances this life.
  2. Call to Family, Community and Participation.  The person is not only sacred, but social;  marriage and family are central social institutions; people have a right and duty to participate in society, seeking the common good and well being of all.
  3. Rights and Responsibilities.  Every person has a fundamental right tolife and those things required for human decency; corresponding to these rights are duties and responsitbilities to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.
  4. Option for the Poor and Vulnerable.  A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are fairing, recalling the Last Judgment (mt. 25:31-46) to put their needs first.
  5. The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers.  Basic rights must be respected; to productive work, fair wages, organizing unions, private property and economic initiative.
  6. Solidarity.  We are one human family; we are our brothers' and our sisters' keepers; our love for all demands that we promote peace and justice in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.
  7. Care for All God's Creation.  We show respect for our Creator by stewardship of creation; the environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions. 

Holy Family Parish Social Ministry/Outreach

These are the ways in which over 125 parishioners volunteer through outreach to serve and touch the lives of others.  We provide direct services, support groups and advocacy through our various programs:

  • Food Pantry/Outreach Office
  • Thrift Shop
  • Eucharistic Minister to the Homebound
  • Transportation for Doctors, Medical Treatment/Therapy
  • Consolation Ministry
    •            Companion to the family
    •            Baking
    •            Ministering the day of the funeral Mass as Eucharistic Ministers, Lector, Sacristans, Greeters and Servers
  • Bereavement Support Groups
  • Caregivers Support Group
  • Emmaus Widows & Widowers
  • Mary's Hands (knitting/crocheting for preemies, cancer patients, Armed Service members, homeless, hospitals, foster children and others in need)
  • Michael's Angels
  • Telephone Ministry to shut-ins
  • Friendly Visitors
  • Hospitality - welcoming new parishioners, sending cards at various holidays to our shut-ins
  • Thanksgiving Share-A-Meal
  • Christmas Gift Giving Program

For more information please contact the Parish Social Ministry Office at 516-938-3846 ext. 331