Catholic Charities of Arkansas
Parish Social Ministry Office
Helping parishes reach out to their neighbors in need
"Every time your parish meets an individual's basic needs, advocates for social change to reduce poverty and creates a partnership to improve the community, you are doing parish social ministry and being a living witness to the Gospel that responds to the needs of our brothers and sisters." — Catholic Charities USA
Parish-based ministries provide a means to live out the Church's social teaching. The Parish Social Ministry Office helps parishes develop ministries that allow them to work to address local needs and issues, as well as those of their own parish community.
The Parish Social Ministry Office works closely with the Social Action Office. Prison outreach, participation in Catholic Relief Services' programs, disaster recovery, operating or volunteering at food pantries are all examples of parish social ministries. For more information, or to set up a visit with a member of our staff, Contact Us. To learn more from Catholic Charities USA, go to their website.
This office also coordinates Emergency Assistance, which provides limited financial assistance, information and referral services to parishes, diocesan offices and service organizations that help people in crisis. These organizations are encouraged to call us if they need additional funds to address a request or if the request involves complex issues that require referral sources.
Catholic Charities USA will present a Parish Social Ministry Regional Training Oct. 18-19 in Memphis, Tenn. This event is being offered for parish staff and/or volunteers serving those in need in their parishes and in their communities. This includes members of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul, Ladies of Charity of Arkansas, Knights of Columbus and other Catholic organizations doing social service. Though the training is being hosted by the Diocese of Memphis, it is a collaborative effort of the Archdiocese of Louisville and the dioceses of Little Rock, Owensboro, Nashville and Memphis. A wide variety of workshops will be offered, including:
- "Developing Leaders Who Make a Difference"
- "Making an Impact with Advocacy Leaders"
- "Encouraging Parishes and School Ministries to Provide Effective Direct Service"
- "Lifelong Formation — Catechesis that Forms our World in the Heart of Jesus"
- "Who is my Brother? Where is my Sister? Best Practices in Global Solidarity"
- "Best Practices in Disaster Response"
Bishop J. Terry Steib, SVD, of Memphis; Father Larry J. Snyder, president of CCUSA; and Sheila Gilbert, president of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul National Council of the United States will also speak during the training. Credit will be given to those who attend seeking catechist and/or social ministry certification. Professional credit will be available through Catholic University of America. For more information, contact Rebecca Cargile, director of the parish social ministry and development for Catholic Charities of Arkansas, at (501) 664-0340, ext. 355. Register online at CCUSA. The cost is $25 per person. This fee includes some meals but lodging is extra. To learn more, visit CCUSA.