"We are a Eucharist-centered, spirit-filled people who choose to form parish community and to experience spiritual growth through life-giving liturgies in a worship space of beauty and reverence. Out of a long history of spiritual leadership from the Society of Jesus, we are challenged with the Gospel values of love, compassion, and social justice.
As a worshipping community, we extend hospitality and fellowship. We enrich our faith through prayer, diversity of membership, attention to family life and social ministry. We empower the laity in bringing forth the Kingdom of God and foster interfaith partnerships. We seek to deepen and grow in our commitment to being a Jesuit Parish at St. Louis University in the center of the City of St. Louis."
Social Ministry Mission
"Guided by the teachings of the Church on social justice, we serve others by promoting justice for the disenfranchised through advocacy, direct service, and formation, thereby creating partnerships with those who promote human dignity."
Goals and Objectives
The goal of the Social Ministry Program is to bring to living reality the Ignatian call to build a community where God's presence radiates in our work, our relationships, and personal presence. It is a response to the call to minister 'in the spirit, from the heart, practically" (Michael Holman, S.J., The Tablet, Dec 2006).
Social Ministry accomplishes this through Direct Service, Formation, and Advocacy.
In doing so, we continue to form a community rooted in Ignatian Spirituality, Catholic Social Teaching, and Catholic Christianity while developing 'men and women for others.'
The Social Ministry Program grew from parishioners asking "what could they do?" to meet the needs of those living in and around our community. From this question, parishioners began to formulate responses on how they individually and as a parish meet the needs of those living in and around our community. Over the years, the responses varied such as proving casseroles to St. Patrick's Center, sandwiches for Karen House, Peace Vigils on Sunday evenings, and participating in JustFaith.
In 1993, the Social Ministry Program started providing assistance to homeless, ex-offenders, low-income and those in transition with securing Missouri State Identification cards and Birth Certificates. Almost 10 years later, the College Church Social Ministry Program is still one of the few to provide this assistance. In 2006, Social Ministry again asked itself, "what can we do to meet the needs of our community." In response to this, Social Ministry broaden its outreach to build community partnerships and continue to fulfill its mission. Social Ministry formed a collaboration with Midtown Catholic Charities to offer P.E.O.P.L.E. 1st, Winter Outreach Group to open an emergency winter shelter, Xavier Winter Inn, and a Sister Parish with La Natividad in Santa Maria Chiquimula, Guatemala.
The Living Justice Speaker Series, Fair Trade, Advocacy Committee, and Hot Stuff/Cool Stuff developed as parishioners participated in JustFaith and identified ways for our parish to live out our call to service and justice.
The history of Social Ministry at the College Church continues to grow each year through the commitment of our parishioners, volunteers, and community partners. It is this commitment that allows us to continue asking the questions and searching for the answers on how, we, as an individual, church, and community, respond to "the Ignatian call to build a community where God's presence radiates in our, work, our relationships, and personal presence."
Direct Service ~Formation ~ Advocacy ~ International Outreach
We engage in direct service as a practical answer to the Ignatian call to meeting the needs of the community. Our direct service programs include our weekly outreach program, Xavier Winter Inn, sandwich programs, casserole programs, P.E.O.P.L.E. 1st, and Cool Stuff/Hot Stuff. To learn more about our commitment to Direct Service, click here.
We engage in formation as a way to promote justice. We commit ourselves to this pillar of social ministry by offering programs that encourage individuals to deepen their spirituality and faith in response to the call to social justice and programs that offer educational opportunities for the community to engage in open learning and discussion about current social justice topics. To learn more about our Formation opportunities, click here.
We engage in advocacy as an avenue to identify issues of concern to the parish community, educate the parish community about issues of social justice, and provide constructive responses to issues of concern. To learn more about our advocacy opportunities, click here.
We engage in international outreach to concretely live as a church of brothers and sisters without borders and as one human family. To learn more about our International Outreach programs, click here.