“I call us to be servant leaders who engage in SERVICE to our neighbors near and far and who work for justice and stewardship to hasten the Reign of God.”
Service to the poor and those in need abounds and the mission of the Church is not only acknowledged in words but thrives due to faithful and generous hearts committed to living out the Gospel of Jesus. The more people realize that service is a constitutive dimension of the gospel, the more they will see their outreach as being the living presence of the risen Christ today.
As God’s people, we participate in the social mission of the Church primarily in the marketplace. It is within the context of everyday life in the home and workplace that men and women of faith live out their call to ministry and work for a just society. We are all challenged to envision a world described in the Sermon on the Mount presented in Matthew’s gospel. The mission is called forth, enlivened, and focused primarily in the parish.
Ministries of Service:
In Wounded and Loved, Regathering the Scattered, Bishop Bambera highlights these “practical considerations” for SERVICE ministry in parishes:
• Involve all parishioners in social ministry and include awareness of human needs into all aspects of parish life and worship;
• Promote initiatives rooted in the Gospel of Life that both acknowledge and treasure all forms of human life as created in the image and likeness of God;
• Identify and act on local social concerns and educate parishioners in the common call to justice;
• Form regional or partnership “assessment teams” that determine strategies of service in the area;
• Include in our teaching and preaching an understanding of the Church’s social teaching and the responsibility of all Christians of every age to be involved in the work of justice, especially bringing the principles of justice and peace into their everyday life and work;
• Encourage all of the faithful to embrace fully their vocational calling as baptized Christians and to promote a deeper awareness of and appreciation for vocational calls to the priesthood, diaconate, consecrated life and lay apostolates;
• Take seriously the need to care for the Earth to create a sustainable future for the world;
• Address from a local and global perspective those in need by supporting opportunities provided by the diocesan office of the Pontifical Mission Society, Catholic Relief Services, and other efforts;
• Form parishioners in an understanding of stewardship as a responsible personal and communal use of time, talent and treasure within the Church and all of life.
Both charity and justice are at the heart of our Catholic faith. As Christians, we are called to be servant-leaders within our larger society while offering a preferential option for those who are poor and marginalized.
In the Diocese of Scranton, we believe that service puts our faith into action. Please use the sidebar to navigate through several resources regarding Catholic Social Teaching, Parish Social Ministry, and some important contemporary issues. We hope that you will reach out with any questions or to promote opportunities within your parish community.