Our Mission: Rooted in Catholic social teaching and impelled by love, the Social Justice Commission of St. Angela Merici seeks to promote justice as the way to peace, uphold the dignity of every person, and foster solidarity and respect for the poor in our community and the world. We hope to achieve this through prayer, reflection, education, advocacy and action on various social justice issues.
The Social Justice Commission of St. Angela Merici holds four general body meetings and works on various service projects throughout the year to both discuss and promote social justice issues. SJC meets in the Parish Center at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of September, November, February, and April. Our five subcommittees meet in alternate months based on the committees’ activities. The Commission also collaborates with the Social Concerns group of our parish cluster partner, St. Christopher Parish. Both churches are partnered with St. Colman Parish through the Church in the City initiative. Members of all three parishes meet during the year to discuss ways in which each of the parishes can assist each other.
In 2016, the Social Justice Commission reorganized into five subcommittees each to focus on specific ministries, namely: Local Outreach; Global Outreach; Advocacy; FIAT; and Education, Prayer, & Reflection. Each subcommittee is an avenue to introduce new issues to the Commission while continuing the established activities such as those listed below.
To get involved with any subcommittee or activity, contact Social Justice Committee secretary, Leah Struchen Deans, at email@example.com.
FIAT (Faith in Action Together) advent weekend of service
Latin for Mary's "yes" to God, FIAT at St. Angela Merici stands for “Faith in Action Together.” FIAT is our parish’s way of saying "yes" to God's call to serve those in need. This annual weekend of service brings together hundreds of SAM parishioners serving the community in numerous ways during the first weekend of December. Opportunities to reach out to those in need are offered throughout Cleveland, Fairview Park, and right at St. Angela. FIAT serves about 20 agencies including kids in foster care, nursing home residents, homeless families, low income men struggling with healthcare, survivors of domestic abuse, refugees, pediatric patients and their families, at-risk youth, and first responders. Sign-ups begin in November through the bulletin.
St. Colman Neighborhood Meals
Four times a year, St. Angela Merici hosts a free Saturday meal at our Church in the City partner, St. Colman, www.stcolmanparish.org, located at W. 65th Street and Lorain Avenue in Cleveland. On Saturday afternoon, SAM volunteers set up, serve, and clean up dinner at St. Colman. Other St. Angela parishioners contribute baked goods and raffle prizes. The meals, funded by SAM and prepared by parishioners who are food professionals, are often themed around holidays or seasons. Themed raffle prizes are also awarded to dinner attendees.
St. Angela also helps to keep St. Colman's "take-a-book" library well-stocked with donated books, and magazines, especially children's books.
Please contact Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (440) 779-5115 if you would like to get involved by serving on Saturday, providing baked goods, books, or raffle prizes.
Lenten Soup Supper
In the spirit of Lenten sacrifice, the Social Justice Commission hosts a soup supper during Lent. All are invited to share a simple meal of soup, salad, and bread, and to hear speaker. Attending this meal is a great opportunity to be reminded of our common journey throughout the Lenten Season.
Shortly before the start of the Advent Season, the SAM Ladies Group sets up giving trees in each of the church's three vestibules. The trees contain paper ornaments asking for donations for local agencies and persons in need. The Ladies Group partners with SJC to recruit volunteers to call local organizations, trace and cut out ornaments, decorate the trees, then sort and deliver the donated gifts.
Global Partnership in El Salvador
The Cleveland Diocese has supported the Catholic faith in El Salvador since 1964. The SAM Social Justice Commission is forming a relationship with Santo Domingo parish in the town of Chiltiupán. Our first mission trip took place in June, 2014. SJC is working on solidarity projects and financial support currently, and future parish trips in conjunction with other Cleveland parishes are in store.
catholic relief service (CRS) parish ambassador corps.
St Angela Merici was selected as a pilot parish for Catholic Relief Service’s Parish Ambassador Corps., which is administered in our parish through the Social Justice Committee. The Parish Ambassador aims to promote a sense of global solidarity among SAM parishioners by engaging them in three CRS ministries: Ethical (Fair) Trade, Rice Bowl collections during Lent, and Legislative Advocacy.
Ethical trade, formerly known as “Fair Trade,” is a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to and securing the rights of marginalized producers and workers. The Social Justice Commission offers opportunities to the parish community to engage in ethical trade through sales at various times during the year. Items offered through ethical trade at SAM can include coffee, chocolate, jewelry, and gifts, among many others. To learn more, visit the CRS website.
To get involved with CRS at SAM, please contact Parish Ambassador Carole Iseli.
To Get Involved
If you are interested in being a part of the Social Justice Committee, please contact SJC secretary Leah Struchen Deans by email or by phone at (814) 397-2401.