"Effective social ministry helps the parish not only do more, but be more - more of a reflection of the gospel, more of a worshiping and evangelizing people, more of a faithful community. It is an essential part of the parish life."
- in "Communities of Salt and Light: Reflections on the Social Mission of the Parish"
Based on a core belief in the dignity of the human person, the Life, Commission aims to integrate Catholic social teaching into the life of the parish . The commission seeks to offer parishioners a way to live out their call to love God and neighbor by providing opportunities for service, advocacy, and education.
History and Projects
The commission was formed in the fall of 2013 and meets on a monthly basis. In March, they served a meal at Nickelsville and talked to the residents to learn more about homelessness in the community. In May 2014, they hosted their first event, a Homelessness Discussion Night. Out of this event, the Housing Committee was formed. In October 2014, the group hosted two events for Respect Life Month in October...A Mass of Remembrance and a Death Penalty Discussion Night. In February 2015, the commission worked with other Dialogue for Justice Partners to host a Legislative Forum in advance of Catholic Advocacy Day.
In 2016, the commission is focusing on mental health and it's connection to Catholic social teaching. In January, the parish was surveyed about mental health issues in our community. We hope to use the results of this survery to explore together the role our faith community can play in overcoming the stigma too often attached to mental illness in today's society. Through educational events, provision of resource materials, and prayer and worship opportunities we would like to work and grow together as a Christian community both promoting mental wellness, as well as welcoming, including and supporting those struggling with mental illness, their families and friends. To that end, in April, we hosted Fr. Pat Howell for a discussion on "Removing the Stigma of Mental Illness as a Welcoming Community of Faith". In May, we learn about St. Dymphna, patron saint of those with mental illness. We also encourage people to take the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) "Stigma Free" pledge.
In addition to hosting events, the group prays together and spends time in common study. Commission members have reflected on our mission in light of the Scriptures, have studied the Archdiocese of 's Many Gifts, One Spirit: Church Governance through Consultative Leadership, the document Communities of Salt and Light: Reflections on the Social Mission of the Parish, and Craig Rennebohm's book "Souls in the Hands of a Tender God".
For more information or to get involved, contact Jennifer Ibach at 206-935-0358 x.120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.