Discipleship for the Social Mission
Discipleship--following the Lord--means to love God and love neighbor, and what we have come to call the social mission of the Church is an essential element of Missionary Discipleship. We are called to reach out to the poor and vulnerable in a special way, to love, to help, and to honor their dignity as human beings. Sometimes that means financial support in a tough patch. Sometimes that means speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Sometimes it means advocating for God-given human rights, together.
The diocese and its parishes host a wide variety of apostolates that support our brothers and sisters nearby and abroad. From warming centers, shelters, and meals for the homeless, pro-life initiatives such as 40 Days for Life and Birthright, the person to person help of St. Vincent de Paul societies, the medical and social support for new immigrants, extending friendship and community support to the elderly, and efforts to support a clean and healthy environment for all—there are many ways to actively practice love and respect for our neighbors.
Two excellent learning and action resources: First, the Minnesota Catholic Conference ( https://www.mncatholic.org/ ) works for all the dioceses within Minnesota to educate and advocate for justice and human dignity. There are action initiatives, podcasts, the annual Catholics at the Capitol event, and a recent social mission document titled “Minnesota: Our Common Home,” which may be used as a short book study with discussion questions. Second, within our own diocese Parish Social Ministry director Tom Parlin has created a Bible Study that works through the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching. Contact him (below) for more information.
The parish social mission is supported by Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota. Tom Parlin is the Director of Parish Social Ministry, and supported by parish social ministry regional coordinators and warming center staffs. They may be contacted here: https://www.ccsomn.org/social-service-specialists/staff/parish-social-ministry/ .