Tuesday, March 25, 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 Easter 2008 as a Word doc by clicking the graphic below.

Permission is given to download and reprint for your parishes and communities.

Sunday Reflections and Social Ministry
Easter – 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.

March 31, 2008
“Peace be with you.” John 20

Catholic Charities story: Grace was grieving the cancer death of her 40 year old daughter, and while depressed and overwhelmed by her loss, she was suddenly raising two teenage grandchildren. The girls, too, were grieving and could not manage their school work. The Kinship Resource Center case manager referred Grace to the Center for Living with Dying and the teens to a mental health agency. She then helped Grace obtain legal guardianship for the girls. After 5 months of intensive case management, both young women are doing well in school, and Grace reports that her stress levels have decreased significantly.

Catholic Charities opportunity: For information about “kinship families” (grandparents, aunts, uncles, or siblings raising family member children) and the available resources, contact Marina Hurtado, (408) 325-5164, mhurtado [at] ccsj [dot] org. In May visit the KRC new location at Paseo Senter, 1900 Senter Road in San Jose near Saint Maria Goretti church.