PARISH SOCIAL MINISTRY CHECK-UP
Every parish has some form of social ministry because the Catholic faith is profoundly social.
We live our faith in our families, in our parishes, in our workplace, in the community, and in the world. It is important to periodically check how we are doing in terms of social ministry'. The purpose of this tool is to assist parish teams and social concerns committees to assess how they are doing at any given time with parish social ministry efforts within their parish. The term social ministry is used as a broad term to encompass a variety of activities referred to with different terminology (Christian service, social concerns, social justice, pastoral care. respect life, etc.) in different parishes. The common denominator is that social ministry involves putting our faith into action based on the principles of Catholic social teaching.
This check-up is a tool to be used to assess your current state of social ministry. It is designed to assist in identifying how you are doing in various areas and to be used as not only an evaluation tool but also as a starting point for further planning and action. It is helpful to utilize the check-up periodically to ensure that your parish is maintaining a healthy approach to social ministry, just as you would have a personal health check-up every year or two. It can reinforce good practices and it can identify areas of concern that require action. This tool is not something that is done once, put on the shelf, and then forgotten.
Healthy Parish Social Ministry
In general, there are certain traits of a parish social ministry that is in good health. Examples of these traits are:
Open communication with the parish team and parish community
Encourages a variety of people to be a part of social ministry
Offers ongoing orientation and training for those involved
Provides a balanced approach to social ministry - charity, social justice, pastoral
care, respect life
Establishes goals and objectives that are realistic and measurable
Evaluates progress as part of the ongoing planning process
Affirms the efforts of those involved
Is grounded in Catholic social teaching
This check-up is designed to be completed easily as an overview of the parish social ministry.
Most answers require only a yes, no or unsure. It is best to gather input from a number of people in filling it out so that it is more than one person's opinion. This could be accomplished by gathering a group to discuss the responses or by having a number of people complete the check-up independently and then collating the responses. After the results are tabulated, the pastoral team, social concerns committee or parish council can then review the results and determine what should be affirmed and what additional actions need to be taken.
Results of the survey will be sent to the appropriate parishes