Booklet explores area grassroots ministries

By | March 26, 2009

A survey of parishes was conducted, according to Norbertine Br. Steve Herro, social concerns director, and the “Parish Local Giving Projects” booklet is the result.

“We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel,” said Br. Steve. “Instead, we wanted to see if there are opportunities for collaboration.”

The impetus for the booklet came from a parishioner in Oneida. “He said it would really be helpful to have such a listing, since his parish was starting a group on social justice,” said Br. Steve. “He thought it would be nice to know what other parishes were doing in terms of charitable outreach.”

Thirteen parishes responded to the survey, listing a total of 41 projects. St. Thomas More Parish in Appleton had the longest listing.

“I always say in letters that St. Thomas More’s people are very active in the celebration of the Eucharist,” said Fr. Gerald Falk, pastor. “And from that Eucharist flows the love of Christ that we share with the Lord and with one another. The belief in our Lord flows out to all our brothers and sisters not only in Appleton area, but out into the world – into things like the Work of Human Hands, Bread for the World, letter writing, efforts to help hunger.”

Br. Steve said the response was especially high from rural parishes. And he expects the list to be longer for the booklet’s next edition.

“I hope people say, ‘Whoa, why aren’t we included?'” he said.

Fr. Falk, too, knows that many more projects are under way. He admits that, even in his own parish, “I don’t think I can keep track of all that they do.”

But that doesn’t bother him.

“You’ve got leadership in the people, you just have to trust them,” Fr. Falk said. “We don’t have all the priests we used to. We have to trust that the leadership among the people is out there.”

Copies of the Parish Local Giving Projects can be downloaded from the social concerns Web site at, or by calling Br. Steve, toll-free, at 1-877-500-3580, ext. 8299.

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