The purpose of the Social Concerns ministries is to follow the Catholic Social Teachings and serve Jesus Christ and our community through educating ourselves and others to unjust conditions in our world and by the use of advocacy, petition and the ballot box to effect change.


Goal: To promote the reign of God by ministering to those in need and advancing the cause of justice and peace through advocacy.


First Year Objective 1: To educate parishioners of Catholic Social Teaching.

First Year Objective 2: To Promote the success of parish ministries.



Catholic Mission Outreach Ministry

Description

Support Native Americans in South Dakota. Demonstrate with works, actions, and prayer (Through White Elephant Sale, Giving Tree, and Parking Lot Sale).


Needs
Help with the set up of different events, the pick up and occasionally delivery of items.
Time Commitment: Flexible

Contact
Walter Andrews at 951.201.7465.

Divorced and Separated Healing Ministry (DASH) 

Description: Prayer, information and support to separated and divorced members of the parish through weekly meetings,


​Contact
951.781.9855 ext. 34

Feed the Hungry   

Description:  Parish volunteers each month prepare two hot meals for homeless people in Riverside. You can support their efforts with a donation. Put your donation in an envelope with the words “Feed the Hungry” and place it into the collection basket, drop it off at the Ministry Center or External link opens in new tab or windowdonate online.


Contact
Steffi Chen 310.266.9796


Isaac Society

Description
The Isaac Society reaches out to the residents of Chapman Convalescent Hospital by hosting Bingo, socials, and other celebrations.


Needs
Team members willing to spend time and bring joy to seniors.
Time Commitment: Two hours per month.

Contact
Diana Nelson at 951.781.9855 x18 or at dnelson@stcofa.org
Walter Andrews 951.201.74.65

Juvenile Hall and Jail Ministry

Description
Provides support to those incarcerated in county facilities, such as Riverside Juvenile Hall and the Robert Presley Detention Center.


Needs
Team members willing to bring God's presence and hope to men, women and young people in need, by helping facilitate Liturgies of the Word and/or faith sharing groups.
Time commitments: One hour per month, weekly if possible

Contact
For men who can volunteer at the jail: Bob Ferrett at 951.697.7733 or robert_ferrett@yahoo.com
For women who can volunteer at the jail: Virginia Coriddi at 714.813.2802
For men and women interested in volunteering at Juvenile Hall: Pam Lucero at 951.784.7642


Parish Blood Bank

Description
Makes the parish aware of the need for blood donations to the parish blood bank, organizes parish blood drives through LifeStream.
Our parishioners can help fill an ongoing and at times urgent need for blood and platelet donations.
​Call LifeStream Blood Bank for an appointment at 800-879-4484.


Needs
Time commitment varies depending on type and frequency of your donation.
​​
Contact
Jerry Wiseman 951.536.2033
Parish Office 951.781.9855

Respect Life

Description

  • To provide a Catholic voice promoting the sanctity of life from birth to natural death, both in our parish and in the community at large.
  • Projects include praying in front of Planned Parenthood, prayer and sidewalk counseling of women entering the abortion site, raising funds for Riverside
  • Life Services and other pro-life organizations, conducting campaigns for postcard and petition signing for propositions involving life issues
  • We serve women and families in crisis pregnancies, as well as the entire parish community


Contact
Maggie Meyer 951.836.0901


MINISTRY OF SOCIAL CONCERNS


We are parishioners of St. Catherine of Alexandria who seek to follow the Catholic Social Teachings and serve Jesus Christ and our community through educating ourselves and others to unjust conditions in our world.


Then, by the use of advocacy, petition and/or the ballot box, to effect change in those existing structures so that people’s lives are filled with hope.

In agreeing with the Old Testament prophets that the strength of any society is best gauged by how well it treats the ‘voiceless’ – the poor, the widow and the orphan and the stranger amongst us, the Ministry of Social Concerns seeks to be a channel through which we, as a parish, may lend our ‘voice’ to theirs and through our combined efforts we may become ‘communities of salt and light.’


A Brief History

St. Catherine of Alexandria’ Ministry of Social Concerns began to take shape in the summer of 1999, following an unprecedented response in the diocese by fourteen parishioners who responded to an invitation from their pastor to attend the ‘Jubilee Justice’ conference at UCLA.

Seven of those attendees (plus one additional parishioner) attended a Follow-up gathering at the Diocesan Pastoral Center in San Bernardino where they shared their experiences at the conference and agreed to establish the Ministry of Social Concerns at St. Catherine of Alexandria in Riverside.

The first meeting of the Ministry was held on January 22, 2000, and several members have served on the Diocesan Presbyteral Council’s subcommittee dealing with social justice issues.

Over the years, the Ministry of Social Concerns has been active in the cause of Justice in many ways.

  • Anti-Human Trafficking – We sponsored an information night on the issue of human trafficking and how to recognize the signs of someone trafficked.
  • Catholic Lobby Day – Each year the Diocese of San Bernardino sponsors Catholic Lobby Day at Sacramento. We have participated in lobbying efforts with elected representatives.
  • Community Organizing – In conjunction with Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC), we are participating in ecumenical caucuses on topics of concern for our community.
  • Death Penalty – We lead Vigils against the Death Penalty whenever an execution is scheduled. We support the organization, ‘People of Faith Against the Death Penalty’ and have participated in rallies and lobbied our elected officials to get a moratorium on executions in California and the United States. Tolling of the Bells: It has long been a tradition to ring the church bells to alert the local community when momentous events are taking place.  St. Catherine’s Ministry of Social Concerns sponsors vigils against the death penalty and frequently participate in the national tolling of the bells movement to alert people to the sacredness of all human life, from conception to natural death.  Please join us in protecting and celebrating life.
  • Faithful Citizenship - We sponsor voter registration drives at church several times a year and provide the parish bulletin with the U.S. Bishop’s recommendations on issues being voted upon in state and national election campaigns.
  • Global Poverty – This year our Diocesan Office of Social Concerns is encouraging parishes to focus on Global Solidarity. In November we attended the Point One conference in San Francisco and are planning a conference on issues of Global poverty and concerns.
  • Homeless – In conjunction with Riverside Community Outreach, we led a successful postcard writing campaign to get funding for an emergency men and women’s shelter in downtown Riverside.
  • Immigration – We hosted and distributed material for the Diocese of San Bernardino regarding issues of Immigration, citizenship and the program ‘Welcome the Stranger Amongst Us’. We have participated in two ecumenical gatherings in the City of Riverside on issues regarding immigration. Read about External link opens in new tab or windowThe Catholic Church and SB54.
In addition to these specific areas of concern, the Ministry of Social Concerns has sponsored an Alternative Christmas Fair, an International Potluck Dinner, promotes CRS’ annual Lenten Operation Rice Bowl program and the blessing of the animals for the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. We regularly participate in the annual Ministry Fair.


Working Collaboratively
The Ministry of Social Concerns seeks to work in conjunction with the other ministries in the parish, serving as a conduit for information in order to guide the parish community and promote the Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching.

They include:

  • Life and the Dignity of the Human Person
  • Call to Family, Community and Participation
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
  • The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
  • Solidarity
  • Care for God’s Creation


By the very nature and breadth of this Ministry, the opportunities and projects for involvement are endless. And the needs are truly great. We rely upon our members to bring to our attention whatever needs exist in the community so that we might, together, seek to address the wrongs and foster understanding and build more just systems to care for those who are the most vulnerable.

We believe:
“When we come before Jesus at the end of our days, He is not going to be as concerned over the number of our successes, but rather the number of our attempts.”

Contact: Anyone interested in this Ministry can contact:

Deacon John and Cheryl De Gano at (951) 781-9855, ext. 11.