People Helping People

Charity & Social Justice

The Charity & Social Justice commission is a group organized within the Parish Pastoral Council that assists the Council by developing pastoral plans and policies in the areas of Christian service and social action. The goals of the commission include providing education to the parish community regarding the social mission of the Church so those members understand both charity and justice are essential in living out the Gospel.

Charity & Social Justice is an umbrella organization encompassing a wide variety of social justice related committees and programs that serve local, national, and international needs. The commission encourages all parishioners to get involved with one or more of the many worthy service ministries!

Committees include:

  • Cleveland Latin American Ministry (CLAM)
  • Family Promise
  • Respect Life
  • Thea Bowman

Parishioners are welcome to attend meetings or join the membership at any time! The Charity & Social Justice meets the first Wednesday of the month at 4:00pm in the Saint Mark Conference Center.

Lastet News and Updates:

On the 25th of May, at Pope Francis’ General Audience at St. Peter’s Square, he included this appeal to the world: “My heart is broken over the massacre at the primary school in Texas. I pray for the children and adults killed, and for their families. It is time to say, “no more” to the indiscriminate trafficking of weapons. Let us all strive to ensure that such tragedies can never happen again.”

Our hearts regularly break from the indiscriminate killings that we see on the news due to gun violence in the United States. We have had almost 250 mass shootings (where four or more persons were shot) in our country just in 2022. We’ve had 27 shootings in our schools. They don’t all receive the same press coverage, but each one denotes the loss of precious human life. Sometimes the talking heads in the media would have us believe that this is just something that we have no control over, that these are “unavoidable” deaths. As Catholics, we believe that all human life is sacred, so this is not a reasonable assumption. As we have done on other life issues, we know that when we work together, we can make real change happen in our society.

For many years, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has supported a number of reasonable measures that address the issue of gun violence. After so many mass shootings in recent weeks, four bishop chairmen from the USCCB joined in a letter to Congress expressing their grief over these incomprehensible tragedies. Their letter calls on members of Congress to, “unite in our humanity to stop the massacres of innocent lives” by working together on bipartisan legislation to enact reasonable gun control measures.

We invite you to join the Bishope's plea by lifting your own voice to contact your Legislators in support of these reasonable bipartisan measures to safeguard human life.

God, our hearts are broken with the pain at the senseless deaths caused by gun violence. Families mourn, children live in fear, and some in our nation respond by arming themselves with more guns with greater capacity to end life. Our disconnection and alienation has caused some to turn to guns for protection and safety. We ask that you touch our hearts with your love, heal our brokenness, and turn us away from violence toward peace. Help us to transform our own hearts and to seek peaceful ways of resolving our differences. Let our hands reach out and connect with those who feel alone, those who live in fear, and those suffering from mental illness. Let our voices be raised asking our legislators to enact gun laws to protect all in our society, especially those most vulnerable. Let our pens write messages demanding change while also scripting words of hope and transformation. We ask this in the name of the God who desires that we live together in peace. Amen.

In response to the grave evil of the shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde, and Tulsa we wanted to offer some resources:

The USCCB's Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism has parish and educational resources. statements from the Bishops, videos, and articles on the sin of racism, including materials on their most recent statement, Open Wide our Hearts.

A guide on the Practical Steps for Eradicating Racism was prepared by the USCC to assist Catholics and people of goodwill in reflecting on the evil and harm of racism.

The Ignatian Solidarity Network has put together a page of resources, including statements, articles, prayers, and reflections on racism, gun violence, and Catholic teaching on these issues.

A few months ago many of our parishioners donated requested household goods for Afghan refugees arriving in Cleveland. We filled nearly two dozen boxes with items that the families needed, from bedding and towels to pots and pans. These items helped families to begin their new lives in Cleveland. The Saint Rita Church Charity & Social Justice Commission sends out its grateful thanks for your continuous generous support of our neighbors in need!

Below is an update from the Diocesan Social Action Office weekly newsletter on April 25 regarding the Afghan refugees’ arrival:

Thank you! So far, Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) has resettled about 260 Afghan SIVS, with 60 more arriving between now and June. We are very grateful to all of the parishes that have reached out to help support our new neighbors as they have been arriving! Because of your assistance, our new Afghan neighbors have been able to save thousands of dollars from the precious little assistance money that they get, and have been able to use that money on other necessities like housing and food. MRS is currently seeking those who would be interested in accompanying and mentoring families who have come to our community from Afghanistan. For additional information, please call Andrew Mathay at 216-939-3759.

We invite you to visit one or more of the links below.  Each one can provide additional information, insights, opportunities and food for thought on many of the social challenges of our times. 

Catholic Relief Services
Family Promise
Thea Bowman Center
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Parish contact: Katherine Lamancusa and Daphne Held