Community Services & Outreach

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The Community Services and Outreach Programs Office seeks to promote the basic principles of Catholic Social Teaching, especially the preferential option for the poor and the common good.

"Greatness in the eyes of God does not come from power or prestige. True greatness is gained in our willingness to serve the other."

About

Our Team

The Community Services and Outreach Programs Office was created in 1999 by Bishop Gerald Barnes to help the Church of San Bernardino live out the Gospel call by impacting family, neighborhood and society so that their lives are filled with hope. 

Sr. Hortensia DEL vILLAR
Director
Xochitl Rodriguez Solano
Administrative Secretary

The Method used by the Office is:

             Social analysis, theological reflection and action

  • Coordinates/administers the International Sacrificial Giving Grants and CCHD (Catholic Campaign for Human Development)

  • Coordinates/Chairs the Diocesan Global Solidarity committee

  • Liaises with other agencies that work to promote/provide community social services and outreach programs like Catholic Relief Services, ICUC, and Catholic Charities

 
 

Outlook

"The Love of Christ urges us on" - 2 Corinthians 5:14

"The consciousness that, in Christ, God has given himself for us, even unto death, must inspire us to live no longer for ourselves but for him, and, with him, for others." - Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est

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The statement above from the second letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians carries a two-fold meaning. (1) The love that Christ has for us, which was undeniably demonstrated on the cross, is what sustains us in the care we give to others. In His love for us, our mission is fulfilled because it is He who gives the motivation, the strength and means as a powerful demonstration of His love for us. (2) It is because of our reciprocal love for Christ that we care for others, fulfilling in this way His commandment of Love of Neighbor. Therefore, the love for Christ that drives us in our mission is the light that illuminates the lives of all people, especially those in the darkness of this world. 

"Love is the light—and in the end, the only light—that can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working...To experience love and in this way to cause the light of God to enter into the world—this is the invitation." (Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, 39)

"Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world, fully appear to us as a constitutive element of preaching the gospel, or, in other words, of the Church's mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation." - World Synod of Bishops, Justice in the World 1971, Introduction

 

Services

"Help one another, this is what Jesus teaches us, this is what I do. And I do it with my heart." - Pope Francis

Support and Guidance

   --For parish or cluster based social concerns ministries

Provides resources

  --On Catholic Social Teaching and opportunities for involvement in the social mission of the Church

Advocacy

  --Training and networking to advocate for just public policies and social structures

Catholic Campaign for Human Development

  --Domestic anti-poverty campaign, investing in human development and institutional change

Catholic Relief Services

  --Responding as one family of God. It carries out the commitment of Bishop Rojas and all Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas.

Global Solidarity

  --It seeks to promote collaborative efforts throughout the Diocese of San Bernardino that will build awareness of the importance of solidarity with people throughout the world.

Santo Spirito 1, Patrick Comerford, 2017
 

Challenges & Actions

Together, we are called to be "Salt of the earth, light of the world." - Mt. 5:13-15

  • In this Diocese of San Bernardino County, more than 20% of the children live in poverty and in the Riverside County, more than 12%

  • In the United States one of every five children live in poverty

  • More than 6 million people living in California lack health insurance

  • More than half of the children in the world suffer of extreme deprivation from poverty, war or HIV/AIDS - conditions that deny them a childhood and hinder the development of nations

  • The United States, with less than 5% of the world's population, incarcerates 25% of the world's prisoners

  • The cost of cutting world poverty in half would be $40-60 billion per year. The world spends $900 billion on arms and weapons of destruction each year

These sad statistics challenge Catholics to respond with action. For us, these statistics are more than numbers on a page, they are facts representing millions of human lives shattered or destroyed.

As individuals we are called to respond with kindness and charity.

As a community of faith we are called to challenge the status-quo.

We are called by the Gospel to create a world where the dignity of each person is respected and honored.

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Image by Marc-Olivier Jodoin