“Almsgiving, according to the Gospel, is not mere philanthropy; rather it is a concrete expression of charity, a theological virtue that demands interior conversion to love of God and neighbor, in imitation of Jesus Christ, who, dying on the cross, gave his entire self for us.”
-Pope Benedict XVI
Parish Social Ministry is the empowerment of the parish to alleviate poverty and work to build the reign of God. We assist Parishes by helping them to discern the strengths, talents, resources and the needs of their communities and aid them in mobilizing the Parish to meet those needs through direct service, community organizing, legislative advocacy, and global solidarity.
Through a variety of programs and in coordination with other Diocesan Offices, we assist parish communities, groups, and individuals to engage with the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church. We encourage parish communities to prayerfully discern their community needs, act to address current issues, and to reflect on their experiences in light of the Gospel and the teaching of the Church. These efforts work to transform structures that threaten the life and dignity of the human person.
We seek to organize parish communities to acknowledge the dignity of those incarcerated in jails, prisons, and juvenile facilities through pastoral care and effective pre and post release rehabilitation, and to provide support to the victims and families of inmates, enabling all to participate in a life of community.
This ministry is now under the purview of the Office of Ethnic Ministries.
We work with Parishes to raise awareness about Catholic Relief Services and mobilize the Parish to support CRS priorities through advocacy and education around international poverty, fair trade goods, and Rice Bowl, a Lenten program of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Our parish-to-parish twinning program with the Diocese of Hinche, Haiti invites parish communities to encounter Christ with the people of Haiti and stand in solidarity with those impoverished around the globe.
We work towards assisting the region’s poor through parish based support. This includes parish twinning(partnerships), parish grants to assist with ongoing parish-based direct services, support for the Health Wagon and immersion/service trips.
Approximately 11% of Virginia residents live below the poverty level. The Fuel and Hunger Fund supports parishes, Catholic organizations and community partners that provide emergency assistance with food, utilities and shelter within their locality.
The Fuel and Hunger Fund has been redirected to the Office of the Propagation of the Faith.
If you have any questions, please contact Rev. Mr. Bob Young: [email protected]
Grant guidelines and to apply visit: Office of the Propagation of the Faith