“Getting to know you….”
The TAO (Together As One) Social Justice committee has representatives from each of our four parishes: St. Joseph, St. Michael, St. Peter and St. Paul. The group has been meeting together since June of 2019, both in person and later via virtual meetings. Initially, the group shared information about the various ministries at each parish, and compiled a “calendar of events” to identify activities at all of the parishes. They also shared information and updates about other social service resources in the community.
In addition to relationship building and collaboration efforts, the group learned about fundraising activities at each parish for social ministry efforts. Some ministries were self-sustaining, others received parish support or external fundraising.
Kateri Mancini, director of Social Concerns for Catholic Charities of St. Cloud, was a guest presenter at the group meeting in Jan., 2020, to discuss social issues throughout the diocese, as well as information regarding a certification process for social ministry. This was the last face-to-face “live” meeting for the group, as pandemic responses took effect.
Combined efforts so far . . .
Among the organizations and volunteer activities the Social Justice committee members have been involved in over the last 1 ½ years include Habitat for Humanity, Homeless Helping Homeless, Catholic Charities food shelf, Catholic Charities ”Share the Spirit”, Asamblea (Asamblea de Derechos Civiles), Church of the Week, the YES Network, Sister Parish program, Saturday meal program, and others. Our most recent effort was the Dec. 20 distribution of gift bags contributed by parishioners to members of our community experiencing food insecurity or homelessness. The generosity from our parishes was amazing, and we collaborated with Neighbors to Friends, the new Lincoln Center warming shelter, and the newly opened Dallas Place shelter to express our solidarity with their guests.
The TAO bulletin column has offered some basic education and advocacy re: immigration myths and reality; refugee resettlement; and racism; as well as resources for persons experiencing food insecurity or homelessness; and some of the principles and pillars of Catholic Social Teaching.
An invitation to join us . . .
If you have an interest in any of these issues and activities, or would like to be involved in outreach ministry through your parish, please consider joining the TAO Social Justice committee. We currently meet virtually, so some computer access is needed to participate in meetings. If you’d like to join us, or “check us out” by attending a meeting, please contact Kathy Peterson of St. Joseph parish at 320/761-1017 for more information.