Change, One Heart at a Time
The Mission of the Outreach & Pastoral Care Ministry is to convert the heart of the parish towards understanding, support, and action on social concerns. We will accomplish this through:
- Encouragement of parish efforts by means of...
- Education on social justice that...
- Enlightens the parish to key social concerns and...
- Enlists parish members to advocate...
- Effective social justice change, one heart at a time.
Groups under the OPCC
Matthew 25 Community Outreach Center
Through solidarity we are called to extend our reach beyond parish boundaries. Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish as a strong track record of solidarity. As the parish grew, so did our outreach ministries, particularly those open to our brothers and sisters in Hamilton County. Our once a year projects such as the Thanksgiving Basket drive grew into a food pantry in the lower level of the church. The idea to offer a one time medical clinic to provide innoculations and physicals for children entering school was so overwhelmingly successful that eventually the Trinity Free Clinic was born. This clinic turned the school offices and a few classrooms into a medical clinic on Saturday mornings. The facilities available were less than ideal, however, with no water sources in classrooms and hallways being used for nursing stations.
In 2002 after a new convent had been purchased and renovated for our sisters, the old convent (across from the gym entrance) was renovated and opened as the Matthew 25 Outreach Center. This center serves as the primary staging area for many of our local outreach activities to include the Food Pantry and Trinity Free Clinic. In addition to a large room for the food pantry, there was room for the clinic to establish permanent medical and eye examination rooms, dental facilities, a small pharmacy, large waiting room and counseling rooms for those in Hamilton County who cannot afford health care.
The food pantry and other HELP committee outreach efforts, support of the Trinity Free Clinic, and our vibrant Hispanic ministry, and are just a few of the ways we have been serving those outside our traditional parish boundaries. We actively work to establish other volunteer partnerships with several area charities that will complement our existing outreach.
Why we do what we do...
Here are some points to ponder from the USCCB's, A Place at the Table.
As Catholics, we must come together with a common conviction that we can no longer tolerate the moral scandal of poverty in our land and so much hunger and deprivation in our world.
- "What did you do for the least of these?" Jesus identified himself with the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the imprisoned, and the stranger, insisting that when we serve them we serve him (Mt 25:40).
- In the United States, thirty-four million people live below the official poverty line... If all these people lived in one state, its population would be larger than the combined current populations of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho, Iowa and Arizona.
- Our Church's commitment to find a place at the table for all God's children is expressed in every part of our country and in the poorest places on earth... Our faith gives us the strength, identity, and principles we need to sustain this work.
- The table we seek for all rests on these four institutions, or legs: (1) what families and individuals can do, (2) what community and religious institutions can do, (3) what the private sector can do, and (4) what the government can do to work together to overcome poverty.
- This is a time not for "just words or mere talk" but for "active and genuine" commitment by Catholics in the United States to work with others to make a place at the table for all God's children.