Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Connecting Liturgy and Justice - Sunday Scripture reflections

Many of you in San José will know Elizabeth Lilly from liturgical, catechumenate, justice, and pastoral circles. She is now more actively working with parishes to help them foster and support their justice activities through her role with Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County. Because she is a liturgist at the core, she has been working on helping parishes make the connection between liturgy and justice clearer. Part of her motivation comes from the United States Bishops’ 1993 document, Communities of Salt and Light: Reflections on the Social Mission of the Parish.
The most important setting for the Church’s social teaching is not in a food pantry or in a legislative committee room, but in prayer and worship, especially gathered around the altar for the Eucharist. It is in the liturgy that we find the fundamental direction, motivation, and strength for social ministry. Social ministry not genuinely rooted in prayer can easily burn itself out. On the other hand, worship that does not reflect the Lord’s call to conversion, service, and justice can become pious ritual and empty of the Gospel.
Below she offers us some bulletin reflections that you can use each week that connects God’s story found in the Sunday readings with our story found in the real-life events of a person affected by the work of Catholic Charities and gives information on how you can become part of this story by proclaiming the Gospel in concrete ways in Santa Clara County.

Here is the same text as a Word document that you can download and reprint.

Thanks go to Elizabeth Lilly
Director, Community and Parish Partnerships
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
elilly [at] ccsj [dot] org

Sunday Reflections and Social Ministry
Fall 2006

For weekly bulletins, faith sharing groups, prayer at meetings, bible study, lectors, outreach actions, anywhere the word of God calls us to act with charity and justice.

October 1, 2006
“Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets.” Numbers 11

Catholic Charities story: A 17-year-old orphaned refugee girl from Iran found a loving foster family, is learning English, attends high school, and is a big sister to the family’s very excited 10-year-old daughter.

Catholic Charities opportunity: Become a foster parent for an Unaccompanied Refugee Minor. Click here for information, or contact Coleen Gulbraa, 408-325-5159.

October 8, 2006
“Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10

Catholic Charities story: Children in the after school intensive literacy program (CORAL) conducted by Catholic Charities in the Franklin McKinley School District have advanced two grade levels.

Catholic Charities opportunity: Assist after-school program staff with activities for elementary school students including academic assistance, recreation, sports, arts, music, exercise, theatre, dance, supervision, and being a great asset builder. Contact America Aguire, 408-283-6150.

October 15, 2006
“Go and sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come follow me.” Mark 10

Catholic Charities story: Samuel, one of the 55 young men from war-torn Sudan whom we helped to resettle in our community five years ago, graduated from Stanford University in June 2006.

Catholic Charities opportunity: Unrestricted gifts and donations help Catholic Charities meet needs in our community that lead to wellness and self-sufficiency. For information contact Magi Young, 408-325-5225.

October 22, 2006
“The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.” Mark 10

Catholic Charities story: Very low-income seniors attending our neighborhood centers told us that our nutritious hot lunches, health education classes, and nurse’s care had improved their health and sense of wellness.

Catholic Charities opportunity: Help with the Brown Bag Program every Wednesday from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the John XXIII Center in downtown San Jose. Unload large boxes of food delivered by Second Harvest Food Bank, organize it, put it into brown bags or boxes, and help clean up afterwards. Contact Mui Sam Le, 408-282-8606.

October 29, 2006
“Behold I will bring them back …they departed in tears, but I will console them and guide them …” Jeremiah 31

Catholic Charities story: The Board of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County has made a commitment to advocate for policies that will benefit our clients, bringing Gospel values to the issues of our time and place.

Catholic Charities opportunity: If you would like to learn more about advocacy to influence social policy in the areas of immigration reform, access to quality education, health care reform, affordable housing, or budget priorities to end poverty, contact Tim Hellmann, Social Policy Consultant for Catholic Charities, 408-325-5258.

November 5, 2006
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12

Catholic Charities story: Ruby, a teenager from one of San Jose’s poorest neighborhoods, learned how to set goals so she could succeed in school, and was recently offered a full scholarship to Harvard when she graduates from high school.

Catholic Charities opportunity: Assist in providing youth a safe and fun learning environment. Supervise tech lab and engage with youth in a positive way. Many of the activities require different levels of interaction and commitment. Be creative with technology and help us develop assets in youth. Contact Rodrigo Garcia, at the Washington United Youth Center, 408-938-6731.

November 12, 2006
“A poor widow also came and put in two small coins.” Mark 12

Catholic Charities story: Naomi, a recent high school graduate who was raised by her grandmother, learned the skills she needs to live as an independent adult, and now attends the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.

Catholic Charities opportunity: Are you raising a grandchild or another relative? Find understanding and support by contacting Marina Hurtado at the Kinship Resource Center, 408-325-5164.

November 19, 2006
“Those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.” Daniel 12

Catholic Charities story: Dana, who was homeless and survived a brutal beating near the creek where he was living, now has housing, disability income to which he was entitled, ongoing medical care, and mental health treatment to help stabilize his life.

Catholic Charities opportunity: In our Navigator Program social workers help our clients navigate the system to receive the treatments that they need to move off the street. New socks and toiletries are needed year-round. Contact Ruben Solorio, 408-325-5129.

November 26, 2006
“Jesus has made us into a kingdom.” Revelation 1

Catholic Charities story: A group of gang-impacted young men attending Del Mar High School in San Jose graduated from a special program that teaches them to respect themselves and others, and to look for ways to avoid the gang lifestyle.

Catholic Charities opportunity: Connect with youth in a safe and fun environment at the Washingtom United Youth Center on First Street in San Jose. Activities include basketball, handball, indoor soccer, futsal pool, ping pong, foosball, PS2, boxing, special events, intervention programs and food distribution. Contact Tony Rodriguez, 408-938-6731.