Faith in Action
St. Thomas More is now a parish member of Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN). ISN offers programs and resources for equity and justice. Their mission statement: Network, educate, and form advocates for social justice animated by the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the witness of the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador and their companions.
The STM Social Justice Education and Advocacy Subcommittee invites you to begin participating in the many opportunities to learn more about equity and justice by taking the 21 Day Ignatian Racial Equity Challenge. Register to participate via email.
The STM Grants committee would like to encourage parishioners to send us suggestions of organizations working to address poverty, income inequality, and/or racism. Please send 1) a brief description of the organization, 2) the best contact information for the organization, and 3) any involvement you or other parishioners may have with the organization to John Oshinski at email@example.com. We will invite organizations to submit grants for the 2021-2022 year. As in past years, priority will be given to grant requests that address capital needs, rather than short-term operating funds.
A truly Catholic parish Is fundamentally oriented outward in service to the wider community. STM parishioners are engaged in a variety of outreach efforts in the Atlanta area and beyond. Our outreach is sometimes in the form of direct “hands on” service by parishioner volunteers, sometimes in the form of advocacy with public officials on behalf of the disadvantaged and threatened, sometimes in the form of educating ourselves in the nature and causes of injustice, and sometimes in the form of a substantial financial support of organizations that care for the poor and other needy. STM funds these ministries through a “social justice tithe.” That is, each year, STM allocates at least 10% of ordinary parish revenue to fund our outreach programs.
All of our social justice ministries are “pro-life,” that is, they recognize and promote the dignity of every human person at every stage of life. We are guided in what we do and how we do it by the Gospel of Jesus and by the Church’s traditional social justice teaching.
Our first choice in our outreach is to partner with and otherwise assist organizations that are already serving the poor and other needy. This “partnership” typically takes the form of providing volunteer workers and recurring modest financial support. STM has an on-going “partnership” with a number of local and non-local outreach organizations, including:
- St. Vincent de Paul Society – emergency assistance to the poor
- Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School – education of the disadvantaged
- Decatur Emergency Assistance Ministry (DEAM) – emergency food, prescription, utilities, and lodging assistance to the poor
- Birthright – pregnancy aid
- Habitat for Humanity – low cost housing
- Hagar’s House – transitional housing for homeless families
- ServeHaiti – medical clinic in Haiti
- Good Shepherd Home – housing and food assistance to the homeless in Jamaica
In addition to these recurring commitments, STM also makes large, one-time financial grants to fund projects that promise a major impact and that likely could not have been undertaken without our assistance. In the fall of each year, a committee of STM parishioners chooses a social justice “priority” area and invites local, national, and international organizations that minister in that focus area to apply for these grants. The social justice priority during FY2021 is twofold: (1) poverty and income inequality and (2) racial justice. The committee reviews the applications and recommends to the pastor which applications to approve. Grants are typically awarded in the spring of the following year.
More information about STM’s grant program can be found here.
A listing of the projects that STM has funded from the social justice tithe can be found here.
For guidelines on the 2021 grant cycle click here.
For more information about STM’s social justice programs, or to volunteer in one of the programs, call the parish office at 404-378-4588.