Parish Social Ministry Toolkit and Assessments

“We may think of the poor simply as the beneficiaries of our occasional volunteer work or of impromptu acts of generosity that appease our conscience. However good and useful such acts may be for making us sensitive to people’s needs and the injustices that are often their cause, they ought to lead to a true encounter with the poor and a sharing that becomes a way of life”
(Pope Francis -Message for the First World Day of the Poor, n. 3).

Parish Social Ministry (PSM) Toolkit and Assessment

The Catholic Church has a rich tradition of Social Doctrine that is lived out in the principals of Catholic Social Teaching.   In Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love), Pope Benedict XVI writes that “love for widows and orphans, prisoners, and the sick and needy of every kind, is as essential to [the Church] as the ministry of the sacraments and preaching of the Gospel” (no. 22). Proclaiming the Word of God, celebrating the sacraments, and exercising the ministry of charity, he says, are “inseparable” (no. 25). In other words, there is an essential connection between our faith and the way we put love into action in the world. (Sacraments and Social Mission: Living the Gospel, Being Disciples)

At Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, we want to be a source of support for parishes, families and individuals as they seek to live their faith through the three essentials of proclaiming the Gospel, celebrating the Sacraments, AND loving and serving their Neighbor.  
(Learn more about Catholic Social Teaching Here)

Purpose of the PSM Assessment Tool

This tool is an opportunity for parishioners to gain a new awareness about what is already being done in the parish to live out Catholic Social Teaching and ministry. In addition, it should help parishioners identify areas for growth.

If your parish does not have a social action committee or is struggling in some areas of implementation, this assessment can be used as a teaching tool to help you in analyzing strengths and weaknesses and in charting next steps. In addition, it is highly unlikely that any parish will rate highly in all of the questions; and a lower rating is not necessarily an indication of a deficiency. This resource is not intended to “grade” your parish but rather to help you have a clearer picture of your parish dynamics.

If you would like to receive a copy of the Parish Social Ministry Assessment, please contact,

Theresa Chamblee
Catholic Charities – Social Concerns

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