Welcome to the
Department of Social Concerns for
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud
"To be followers of Jesus Christ-to be Christians-means above all that we love one another, precisely because God has loved us. To love as Jesus loves calls us to serve anyone in need - without judging, and without expecting a reward. Do to one another as I have done to you. Do to one another as I have done to you.Our Catholic Church always has taught that we have a special obligation to those in our community and around the world who are most in need. Pope Benedict XVI reminds us: 'To love someone is to desire that person’s good and to take effective steps to secure it.' This calls for both charity and justice. It means that while we respond to peoples’ immediate needs, we also ask why they are poor."
Bishop John Kinney, "...So You Also Should Do"
Social Concerns promotes Catholic social teaching which Catholic Charities is founded upon – teachings like the inherent dignity of all people, care for God's creation, and the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable. Kathy Langer, Catholic Charities Director of Social Concerns, encourages the Catholic community at large to consider what it means to live the gospel message of love and challenges parishes to answer the question, "How do we live our faith according to Catholic social teaching?”
Works with parishes to strengthen service, outreach, and community action by:
• serving as a listener/facilitator/catalyst for parish ideas and actions;
• offering resources, training opportunities, and gatherings to assist parish leaders in identifying and acting on local issues;
• empowering parishes and their leadership to establish and/or enhance, develop, and maintain effective outreach and social ministry efforts
Works to promote strong rural communities by:
• providing opportunities and resources for education on the church's teachings on rural concerns;
• gathering the diocese together for prayer at the annual Rural Life celebration;
• promoting the Rural Life Fund which provides small emergency funds for rural individuals and families in financial hardship.
Addresses the root causes of poverty through:
• support of community-based, self-help organizations that encourage people to join together to build strong communities and break the cycle of poverty;
• empowerment of people with limited income and resources through local initiatives;
• promotion of solidarity between the poor and non-poor through justice education.
Acts on social justice issues, especially those of particular concern within our diocese, by:
• providing education, information, and resources on social issues to individuals, groups, and church institutions;
• promoting reflection and action on current social issues in light of Scripture and church teaching;
• supporting legislative advocacy and political responsibility;
• helping to integrate the social teachings of the church into other diocesan ministries.
Encourages local response to community needs by:
• working with local communities to assess unmet needs;
• collaborating with community leaders to create innovative responses to local needs;
• working with an empowerment model to ensure that the dignity of people of limited income and resources is respected.