Social Justice and Action

Mission Statement

The mission of the Social Justice Ministry of Saint Dominic Parish is to provide leadership in social justice concerns and action within our parish, civic community, and beyond by . . .

- identifying social issues and human needs
- raising awareness of these issues within the parish
- matching the talents and skills of parishioners to help meet those needs through service, advocacy, and empowerment.

"Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it is in your power to help them, If you can help your neighbor now, don't say 'Come back tomorrow', and then I'll help you.' " Proverbs 3:27-28.

The Social Justice Committee meets several times a year to plan all events. Please call if you are interested in joining the core group or helping with an event!

All are invited to attend and to join other volunteers in the rewarding work of helping others.

The Social Justice Ministry is currently seeking new leadership.  The ideal would be a duo to run this active ministry and coordinate all the events!  Interested parties may contact the current chairperson below.

Information and contacts:

chairperson:
Leeanne Frisina
628-0349 at the rectory
e-mail: leeanne@saintdominicchurch.com

About the work of Social Justice at Saint Dominic Church

We have had many visible and successful events that have helped people as close as our own parish and as far as Afghanistan. It is truly exciting to see such worthy causes thrive. This year, we have taken a new focus for our ministry.  We hope to ensure that the legacy of Saint Dominic Parish's generosity to those in need continues well into the future for as long as the need exists.

Regular and Past Activities

Lenten Homebound Outreach: During Lent, committee members and confirmation students will work weekly to ensure that our homebound parishioners receive a gift of love for every Sunday of the season. Also, behind the scenes, the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion faithfully carry these and other gifts each week on their Sunday visitations.

Eye Glasses For the Needy: We accept ongoing donations of used eye glasses that are shipped to an organization that refurbishes them and distributes them nationally and internationally to those in need. Donations are accepted in the Social Justice Bin in the Parish Center.

Through the busy holidays, we coordinate and work hand in hand with the parish, religious education program, and Saint Dominic School to keep our holiday food drives flowing smoothly. Meetings are held, dates are set, boxes are gathered and plans are strategize! All in an effort to keep things appearing effortless!

Tree of Thanks: November fundraiser to help those in need. We have reduced the manpower required, the need for freezers, the health safety issues of handling raw meats, and increased the ability to purchase the required food product as needed with no waste, by collecting monetary donations that fund this program for the entire year. This has allowed us to better assist families in need within our parish and within our community!

Helping Hand Confidential Assistance Program: For parishioners in need. Many individuals and families within our parish were able to benefit from this program that will be offered annually during the holiday season and beyond. We even have a few "Secret Santa's" who sponsor parish families through the holidays or through difficult periods of their lives. This is an anonymous program and both party's identities are kept strictly confidential.

Our Giving Tree was expanded to assist parishioners, Southington Social Services and the Department of Children and Families in New Britain, Farrell Alcohol Treatment Center for Men, and the Prudence Crandall Women's Crisis Center. We had several Secret Santas come forward to sponsor families in need, and the social justice efforts of the school and Religious Education program overflowed, too. Red Cross Blood Drives are also held twice a year. Usually the last week in December and the last week in June. Saint Dominic Social Justice/Wheeler Clinic Partner Program: This program is up and running successfully. We sponsored over 21 children through Wheeler Clinic Group Homes for Christmas with approximately $3000 worth of gifts. We had many donations of bicycles and helmets, summer toys and special request items for the children. We will again have an easter basket collection to benefit these children through the Lenten season. Earth Day: Nike reuse athletic shoe collection program. Student, Tracy Adams started this program with us in 2005. Consider what happens when the athletic shoes on your feet are ready to be retired. What if we came up with a way to keep these shoes out of landfills and converted them to Basketball courts, Tennis courts, Athletic fields or Running tracks? We did. It's called the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program. Turning Old Shoes Into New Places to Get Kids GO-ing! Reuse-A-Shoe is a key component of Nike's long-term commitment to waste elimination by helping to close the loop on the life cycle of literally millions of pairs of old, worn-out or otherwise unusable athletic shoe material. Reuse-A-Shoe also plays an important role in Nike's long-term commitment to help increase the physical activity of young people to improve their lives by reusing this old athletic shoe material in new places for kids to play and be active.

Pro Life Issues

The BirthRight Rose sale on Mother's Day. Our collection of ongoing donations for BirthRight has increased dramatically to a regular delivery schedule for our BirthRight Liaison. The Mom's group has taken over as liaison for Birthright.

"Saint Dominic is Having a Baby Shower!" Fill the crib with items for donation to a local pro-life organization.

Our committee works with Crop Walk each year through the Southington Interfaith Clergy Association. Social Justice representatives for the parish are Jim and Joan Wallace.

Relay for Life: We participate each year through collecting donations and signing up walkers and volunteers for the Catholic Churches of Southington Booth at this event.

Bread for Life: We have regular donations to Bread for Life at holiday times through our food drives and we give them funds as needed on a request basis. Rey Pelletier is our Bread for Life representative who organizes our volunteer rotation at the kitchen.

Red Cross Blood Drives held annually.

These are only the examples of the end results that you see. There are the meetings to plan and organize, the emergency calls that come in for help throughout the year, the sorting, lugging and delivering of collected items to all of the benefiting organizations, the visits with individuals in need who only want someone to understand, and countless other tasks that will arise. There are also the many names of the individuals who do the work and the wonderful and generous parishioners who donate to these causes.

Saint Dominic Social Justice Ministry is all of us together making an effort to bring forth good to others during their time of need each and every day, whenever we are asked and whenever we can. It is the way we choose to live our lives by living and giving as Jesus has shown us. May God continue to bless us with faith, compassion, patience and understanding, so that we may continue to be the Shepherds of the Lord.