Guidelines For Setting Up A Parish-Based Social Action Committee

Thomas Mcllwraith
Publisher:  Social Action Commission, Diocese of Saint John, 39 Cliff St., John, N.B.
Year Published:  1982  
Pages:  7pp  
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX2440

Guidelines is a four step program designed to enable parish-based groups, interested in social justice, to act on their commitment.

Abstract:  Guidelines is a four step program designed to enable parish-based groups, interested in social justice, to act on their commitment.

The author identifies the problem that Church leaders in Canada have often been far ahead of their constituencies in commiting themselves to radical critique of social issues. Two reasons are given: 1) a general disbelief that "political" involvement is an appropriate means to just end, and 2) the economic behaviour of people exhibits a lack of consistency between what they say they believe and how they live.

To address this problem at the parish level, the author suggests the following aims. These were identified by the social justice committee at St. Plus X Parish, St. John, N. B.

1) acquire a knowledge of Christian principles and social analysis by maintaining a personal commitment to the study of the authority and methods of Christian Social Action;
2) Parish education by sharing with members of parish community the results of research into matters relating to social justice at local, regional, national and international levels;
3) establish civic and ecumenical cooperation by engaging the parish in social justice work with other religious and community groups;
4) initiate programs of social action in the parish.

The conclusion suggests that, for this type of group, prayer and scripture reflection are indispensible in dealing with the slow progress and discouragement associated with involvement in social change efforts.