Welcome to our second edition of Salt and Light, the Quarterly Review of St. John Vianney’s Social Service Ministries. Unlike our weekly e-newsletters which include updates and information about upcoming SJV events, our Quarterly Review is meant to be more educational in nature. We invite you to join us in our Quarterly Reviews as we explore contemporary issues that are relevant to the Catholic Church’s social doctrine and the Corporal Works of Mercy, and to review our Church’s rich history in both words and actions in the arena of social justice. In addition to articles on these topics, we will share with you links to additional resources, prayers, action steps, and upcoming events. In this issue, we will also share articles written by our own and extremely talented SJV parishioners with you. Finally, we will share with you our Quarterly Reports, which address the facts and figures of our own social justice efforts and how we are reaching out to and serving the poor and the vulnerable here at SJV.
Secondly, the Jubilee Year of Mercy has officially begun! In the Papal bull “Misericordiae Vultus” or “The Face of Mercy,” Pope Francis declares that “Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy.” Pope Francis adds that this Jubilee Year is “dedicated to living out in our daily lives the mercy” which God “constantly extends to all of us.” The motto of this Holy Year is to be “Merciful like the Father.” Pope Francis writes “Wherever the Church is present, the mercy of the Father must be evident.”
What does this Jubilee Year of Mercy mean for you and me? How can we incorporate acts of mercy into our daily lives? In “Misericordiae Vultus,” Pope Francis offers us some practical ways to be “merciful like the Father.” Read more of the Papal bull.
One way that we can practice mercy like the Father is by reflecting and practicing the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. Pope Francis writes, “It is my burning desire that, during this Jubilee, the Christian people may reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. It will be a way to reawaken our conscience, too often grown dull in the face of poverty. And let us enter more deeply into the heart of the Gospel where the poor have a special experience of God’s mercy. Jesus introduces us to these works of mercy in his preaching so that we can know whether or not we are living as his disciples. Let us rediscover these corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead. And let us not forget the spiritual works of mercy: to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offences, bear patiently those who do us ill, and pray for the living and the dead” (15: 2).
Read on in this issue of Salt & Light to learn more about the Corporal Works of Mercy and the foundation of Catholic Social Teaching, the life and dignity of the human person. We hope that you enjoy this second edition, and stay tuned for much more to come!
Peace & Blessings,
“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5: 13-16)
Life and Dignity of the Human Person
*** MAKING A DIFFERENCE: ONE PERSON AT A TIME
Quarterly Report from SJV Social Service Ministries
SJV’s Social Service Ministries Department, through its Emergency Assistance Ministry, provides food, clothes, financial, and other types of assistance to those in need. Working in conjunction with the Food Pantry, Joseph’s Coat Resale Shop, our Employment Ministry, other ministries within Social Services, and partnering with ministries such as Memorial Assistance Ministries and Catholic Charities, our volunteer interviewers meet with those in our neighborhood who are facing financial crises. These difficulties are often due to unemployment, low income, rising medical costs, higher food prices, or unforeseen family crises. Acting on their commitment to the Corporal Works of Mercy and through the donations of our very generous parishioners, the volunteers are able to compassionately respond to the needs of our clients and help them overcome the ‘bumps on the road.’ READ MORE…