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Mentoring New Leaders for Social Ministry, Part I

May 23, 2022

From the Office for Social Ministry

Social ministry is a vital part of living our faith – as outlined in Matthew 25, where Jesus calls each of us to better our communities by caring for each other in meaningful ways. No doubt, our lay ministers and volunteers who lead these efforts are the lifeblood of our parishes and it is imperative we continue to foster the growth and mentorship of new leaders to keep that tradition of Witnessing to Jesus alive.

Our diocese pastoral plan Stewards of the Gospel encourages parishes to “develop leaders who have the vision of taking the Gospel out to the ‘highways and byways’ of the world in which we live…”  By ministering to those in our communities who are most vulnerable, parish social ministry leaders make it possible for volunteers to feed the hungry; provide necessities for the poor; visit those in prison; reach out and stand in solidarity with persons who are marginalized; and to give voice to the silent.   

All sacraments have a social dimension, as demonstrated during the early days of the pandemic. Even as emergency proclamations required certain businesses and church services to shut down, essential services such as food pantries, remained open. Our parish social ministry leaders worked tirelessly on the front lines to ensure hundreds of hungry families were fed properly during those challenging times. These outreach ministries, which are still primarily managed by retired kupuna, are ready to pass on the torch to a younger generation of volunteers who are willing to keep that fire burning.

It’s time for a new group of leaders to share their time and talent in new ways. How might kupuna in your parish share their mana’o and wisdom to our next generation of volunteers?  Mentoring new leaders whose hearts and hands are willing and strong is how we form capable ministry teams to continue taking ‘the gospel to the highways and byways.’  The Office for Social Ministry is committed to taking proactive steps to develop lay ministers through shared leadership and best practices outlined in GREAT CATHOLIC PARISHES by William E. Simon.  In his book, Simon outlines four tangible ways we can share our faith through Leadership, the Sunday Experience, Spiritual Growth and Evangelization. We will provide details on practical steps of how we can all work to create great catholic parishes in our diocese. Stay tuned for part 2 in our next e-news! In the meantime, you can see an introduction by viewing this Vimeo of The Making of Great Catholic Parishes.