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 our neighbors.
Locally, our diocesan public policy committee annually identifies issues it hopes parishes will take up to educate and activate all people to a greater love of neighbor as self. The members of OLOL’s Social Ministry Committee take up this responsibility of helping us to encounter God as we offer service.
Since life is our greatest gift from God, we are to uphold life from the moment of conception to natural death. Here are some websites that help us with this: https://www.respectlife.org/ & https://www.liferoc.org/. Advocating for life is a year round, lifetime activity. Check out these websites to help with that: https://www.nyscatholic.org/ & its related Action Network. Check out this short video from our Catholic Bishops about respecting others and the roles we have as co-creators with God.
Each October all parishioners at all worship sites are encouraged to learn and pray about the gift that life is. The committee sets out Baby Bottles for special offerings that are given to area Pregnancy Care Centers. The Yates chapter of the American Federation for Suicide Prevention invites everyone to walk to end suicide. In February we are asked to be politically active by participating in Public Policy weekend. Education on the issue of focus begins in January. Also in January, the diocese makes a bus available to anyone who wants to March for Life in our nation’s capital. It is a pilgrimage that you will never forget. Watch for sign up info right after Christmas.
Read to inform yourself with these titles: Laudato Si by Pope Francis, Open Wide our Hearts, a pastoral letter against racism, “Civilize It” to help us have civil conversations with others who share differing opinions and Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, which helps us to be the best voters we can be.
The OLOL Social Ministry Committee also 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.
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
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 Held annually each spring.
The Catholic Family Center serves the needy of the greater Rochester area (of which we are a part).