The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25-37) has much to tell us about how to do God’s Will. First, we must love God whole heartedly. Love of God should propel us to act lovingly toward ourselves and our neighbors.
Catholic tradition refers to our loving actions as the Two Feet of Love, namely Social Justice and Charitable Works. Both are transformative. Social Justice requires praying and working for long term solutions to the root causes of problems — local and world-wide. It means changing laws and policies that help the poor to escape poverty. By doing this we work to make the human community better reflect the image of Christ.” (The Catechism (#1877)) We practice Charitable Works when we give direct help to people who have immediate needs, like food, clothing, shelter and cash. Read what Jesus says about the Corporal Works of Mercy in Matthew 25: 31-46.
Vital prayer and action are needed — together! In his Angelus message of 7/21/13 Pope Francis noted, “A prayer that does not lead you to practical action for your brother — the poor, the sick, those in need of help, a brother in difficulty — is a sterile and incomplete prayer.” And action without the motivation of love is “like a noisy gong.” (1 Corinthians 13: 1b)
Nonetheless, here is a prayer from the Communities of Salt and Light parish resource manual:
For Peace & Social Justice
God, source of all light, we are surrounded by the darkness of the injustices experienced by your people, the poor who are hungry and who search for shelter, the sick who seek relief, and the downtrodden who seek help in their hopelessness.
Surround us and fill us with your Spirit who is Light. Lead us in your way to be light to your people. Help us to be salt for our community as we share your love with those caught in the struggles of life.
We desire to be your presence to the least among us and to know your presence in them as we work through you to bring justice and peace to this world in desperate need.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.
The Catholic Family Center serves the needy of the greater Rochester area (of which we are a part).
Locally, the OLOL Social Ministry Committee encourages us to serve in these ways:
Local Pantry: Consider donating the second of your BOGO items! Foods, toiletries, paper supplies — even pet food (for the non-human friends who may be in need) — can be left in the collection boxes at all worship sites. Items are delivered monthly to the local food distributions. Help delivering to the food distributions and assisting at them is always welcome.
Respect Life: During October parishioners at all worship sites are encouraged to learn and pray about the gift that life is. Baby Bottles are made available for special offerings that are given to area Pregnancy Care Centers.
- Project Rachel
- March for Life: The mission of the March for Life is to provide all Americans with a place to testify to the beauty of life and the dignity of each human person. Both in January, on the anniversary of legalized abortion in the US, and throughout the year we bring together pro-life leaders and groups to organize, unite and strategize around a common message, and to communicate this message to the government, the media and the nation in a way that is powerful and life affirming.
Helping Hands Funds: Financial assistance is available to those in need by contacting one of the parish offices. These funds go directly to vendors to assist with rent, utility bills, medical bills and other emergency needs.
Angel/Giving Tree: During Advent parishioners are made aware of the needs of the elderly who may no longer have family to give them gifts. Parishioners purchase and wrap gifts based on needs found on gift tags. Help collecting the parcels and distributing them is always welcome.
Equal Exchange: Fair Trade is about small farmers in the Developing World receiving a fair price for their labors. But it is also about much more. Through Equal Exchange’s Interfaith Coffee Program, our congregation becomes part of a life-centered economic model which puts people and the environment before profits – a model rooted in the principles of justice, equity, cooperation and sustainability. With your help, we can build a better future for ourselves and our global neighbors. Equal Exchange products are available at worship sites throughout the cluster
Public Policy: During February parishioners are asked to back political efforts that aim to strengthen families and care for the Earth by signing petitions.
Operation Rice Bowl: During Lent we partner with Catholic Relief Services to pray and collect funds that help brothers and sisters in developing countries.
Pet Food Collection: Held during winter in order to help raise and collect food for pets in our parishes to help out struggling families.
Grandma’s Kitchen: Provide food after school for students staying for activities at Penn Yan Academy
Handicapped Bus Volunteers: 3 times year and dates determined by Penn Yan Area Council of Churches. The focus of this ministry is to bring shut ins and the elderly to Mass and other Sacred Liturgies
Coffee Hour: Coffee and conversation with residents of Clinton Crest.
Immigrant and Migrant Ministry: “And when did we see You a stranger and welcome you?”(Matthew 25:38) Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:45) These words from scripture remind us of our call to be open and welcoming to immigrants because we were all immigrants at one time too. Throughout the Our Lady of the Lakes Community we have immigrants, many wanting to become citizens, living in our midst. They are people of great faith and deep devotion. Many seek assistance to learn English and study for citizenship through Literacy Volunteers of Ontario-Yates. Another important way to help is to offer to get involved with the Alianza Agricola division of the Worker Justice Center of NY. Its other active programs include: human trafficking, domestic violence, legal education, worker advocacy, workplace safety and community engagement.
Diocesan Social Ministry Conference Annually held each spring. 2018 Diocesan SM Conference