Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sunday Reflections and Social Ministry - Catholic Charities

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 is a sample bulletin reflection she offers 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.

Get the entire collection of reflections for Advent and Christmas as a Word doc here. Permission is given to download and reprint for your parishes and communities.


Sunday Reflections and Social Ministry
December – 2007 – Advent

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. Community and Parish Partnerships Elizabeth Lilly, 408-325-5262, elilly [at] ccsj [dot] org.

December 2, 2007
“Let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day.” Romans 13

Catholic Charities story: Diego, a senior in high school, comes to the youth center in his neighborhood to do his homework. One day the director introduced him to a visiting business man. As they spoke they realized that, so far, they had gone to the same schools. The gentleman is now asking his alma mater for a scholarship for Diego.

Catholic Charities opportunity: To visit or to learn more about the services at the Washington United Youth Center on First Street in San Jose, call Tony Rodriguez, 408-938-6731, trodriguez [at] ccsj [dot] org.

Catholic Social Teaching: Call to Family, Community, and Participation

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