Thursday, January 03, 2008

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 Winter Ordinary Time as a Word doc here. Permission is given to download and reprint for your parishes and communities.

Sunday Reflections and Social Ministry
Winter Ordinary Time – 2008

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.

January 20, 2008
“I will make you a light to the nations.” Isaiah 49

Catholic Charities story: Carolyn brings her father to the Day Break III Center in Sunnyvale several days a week. While her father, who suffers from Alsheimer’s disease, has a good lunch and some social interaction, Carolyn can rest and tend to her other responsibilities. Day Break III provides a much needed and appreciated respite for the caregiver.

Catholic Charities opportunity: Day Break III, licensed adult day care celebrated the official opening this last week at 535 Old San Francisco Road in Sunnyvale. To learn more about their services contact Ginger McClure, 408-530-8734 or gmcclure [at] ccsj [dot] org. To volunteer check the volunteer opportunities at Other Day Break programs are in downtown San Jose and at St. Francis of Assisi church in the Evergreen area of San Jose.

Catholic Social Teaching: Dignity of the Human Person