Written by Sunnie Lain, Director of Conferences and Community Outreach.
Call to Family, Community, and Participation
You have been told, O mortal, what is good,
and what the LORD requires of you:
Only to do justice and to love goodness,
and to walk humbly with your God.
As Christian Catholics, we believe that people are created be in community. The choices we make affect not only us but those around us. Our actions may well create a “ripple effect” that is felt far and wide. When we make decision, we must always think about the needs of others as well as our wants and needs.
As members of a community, we have an obligation to participate in that community. As the US Conference of Catholic Bishops states, “people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable (USCCB)” .
Lent is a good time to think about the choices we make and their impact on our community. Are we helping others in our community who may have needs that aren’t being met? What gifts do we have that we can share to help those in need?
We all have different gifts, abilities, and resources. In Romans 12: 4-12, it is written:
“Just as each of our bodies has several parts and each part has a separate function, so all of us, in union with Christ, form one body, and as parts of it we belong to each other. Our gifts differ according to the grace given us. If your gift is prophecy, then use it as your faith suggests; if administration, then use it for administration; if teaching, then use it for teaching. Let the preachers deliver sermons, the almsgivers give freely, the officials be diligent, and those who do works of mercy do them cheerfully.”
Perhaps you are retired and have some spare time. Get involved by joining a St. Vincent de Paul Conference or volunteering at one of our ministries. Maybe you’re busy raising your own family—check out our opportunities for volunteering without leaving home. You can also make a monetary donation or organize a collection drive. Praying for our ministry and for those we serve is a wonderful way to help as well. Whatever you are able to do, remember that you are helping to build up our brothers and sisters in need, and that makes our community stronger and better.