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     Parish Outreach


The Peace and Social Justice Ministry offers a number of programs and services to help you bring the message of Scripture and Catholic Teaching alive in your parish.

Forming Parish Social Justice Committees


Parish Social Justice Ministry

Peace and Justice Liturgies

Peace and Justice Institute

Social Justice Resources for Educators

Forming Parish Social Justice Committees

We are promoting a couple of parish faciliated programs which aim to form parish social justice committees: Becoming a Community of Salt and Light: Formation for Parish Social Ministry by Peggy Heins and Just Skills created by JustFaith Ministries. Staff from the Peace and Social Justice Office are available before, during, and/or after the committee formation process for consultation, bringing valuable insight into the work of a peace and justice committee, creating effective parish relationships, and current diocesan, national, and international issues and concerns.


Becoming a Community of Salt and Light

This manual by Peggy Heins is available through Based upon the document "Communities of Salt and Light: Reflections on the Social Mission of the Parish" by the U.S. Catholic Bishops, Becoming A Community Of Salt And Light: Formation For Parish Social Ministry is a very highly recommended program specifically intended to help Roman Catholic parishes in becoming Christian havens for charity, justice, and peace. Program outlines, meaningful and spiritual litanies, recommendations, evaluation charts, and more fill the pages of this practical and motivational collection of useful outlines.




Brought to you by the same people who created the acclaimed JustFaith process, JustSkills is a twenty week program that seeks to provide participants with some of the skills needed to make the work of social ministry more doable and effective within the local parish or church.  It is designed to enhance leadership and increase the effectiveness of those involved in the difficult and complex work of direct service, advocacy, community organizing and justice education.  


In the course of eight months, participants will engage in an extended and deliberate process of skill development that the work of social ministry can be done with effectiveness, insight and wisdom.  The program also provides opportunities for participants to be formed in prayer leadership, spiritual reflection and community building. In so doing, JustSkills broadens and enhances the parish and diocesan commitment to effective social ministry and helps make the experience and practice of our faith more life-giving.    


Participants in the JustSkills program are expected to commit to the following: dialogue and active listening, prayer formation and spiritual reflection; facilitation, weekly reading; attendance at sessions and retreats; and, researching and presenting a key social issue. Participants are also expected to make a commitment to support the group.


Click for more information on the Just Skills program.


JustFaith is a conversion-based process that seeks to integrate personal spirituality and social ministry. The aim of JustFaith is to empower participants to develop a passion and thirst for justice and to express this passion in concrete acts of parish social ministry. JustFaith is a tool that has proven over and over again to be an effective strategy for training and forming parishioners to be agents of social transformation.

JustFaith is a process. Over the course of seven to eight months, participants meet weekly for readings, videos, lecture, discussion, prayer, retreats, and hands-on experiences in justice education. The intent is to provide a tapestry of learning opportunities that emphasize and enliven the remarkable justice tradition of the Church. Participants are exposed not only to a substantive and demanding course of study but are also afforded the privilege of becoming community with other participants and sharing a journey of faith and compassion that is both life-giving and challenging.

JustFaith is adaptable to local parish interests and staffing. The syllabus allows for flexibility in the study topics and program schedule, and accommodates differences in parish staff availability and facilitation skills; JustFaith can be--and typically is--facilitated by parishioners, meaning it does not create added responsibilities for professional staff. The program can also be adapted for use in other settings including diocesan-sponsored programs, small faith communities, and college campuses.


Learn more about JustFaith


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Parish Social Justice Ministry
Through consultation, speaker services, workshops, conferences, convenings, networking, and other resources the office seeks to equip each parish for social justice ministry. At our annual Peace Day, the diocese presents the Community of Salt and Light Award to the Parish best fulfilling the bishops vision of service and justice as put forth in the Communities of Salt Light Pastoral.


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Peace and Justice Liturgies
* Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday 
* Prayer Service on the Eve of an Execution 
* A Call for Jubilee Prayer Service 
* Children's Liturgy: Assurance of God's Love in a Time of War 
* Spirit of God Prayer Service
* Prayer Service: Discerning God's Will
* In the Footsteps of St. Francis: Prayers and Activities for Children

* Resource for Prayer, Education, and Action  on “The Life & Dignity of the Human Person,” the foundational core value of Catholic Social Teaching


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Peace and Justice Institute

The Church teaches us that social justice is essential to Christian Ministry; it is what makes our ministry authentically Christian. Regardless of the nature of our work, for it to meet the measure of the Work of Christ, it must in some way be formed and informed by the Gospel Call to Social Justice.


What is the Peace and Justice Intitute? An educational experience to provide parish ministers with the knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively incorporate the Gospel call of social justice into their ministry.


Who is the Institute For? Priests, deacons, pastoral associates, DRE’s, youth ministers, liturgists, musicians, adult formation directors, peace and justice ministers, catechists, educators, and anyone interested in becoming more knowledgeable of Catholic Social Teaching and Practice. (more information)


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Copyright 2005 | Peace and Social Justice Ministry