As Catholics we’re called to ongoing participation in public life, to vote and to help shape public policies that reflect our values. The Social Justice Ministry participates in public life by advocating for justice on key issues facing our communities - issues such as Homelessness in Collin County, Healthcare, Workforce Development, Predatory Lending, Human Trafficking. Our ministry members meet with public and private officials to promote peace and justice, host guest speakers to promote awareness of key issues, provide educational opportunities on the Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching, and provide Voter Registration opportunities.
Anyone interested in participating in advocacy activities, are invited to join us at our monthly meetings held at the Faith Formation Center.
During the 2009 legislative session members of the Social Justice Ministry were part of the institutionally based community organizing efforts of Dallas Area Interfaith, along with sister organizations, in lobbying for the creation of the $25 million JET fund. This allowed for the expansion of successful workforce training initiatives such as Project QUEST into satellite programs like QUEST: Dallas/Collin (now Skill QUEST). Skill QUEST was created with a $400,000 grant awarded from the JET fund.
Skill QUEST is a premier life and career advancement program that offers aid and resources to working North Texans pursuing associate’s degrees or certifications in health care, construction, technology and logistics. Training is conducted through the community college system for targeted jobs that pay at least $16.00/hour, have benefits and lead to a career path. These programs return $12.00 for every $1.00 invested. Skill QUEST graduated its first ten participants in May of 2012.
Involvement with and promotion of this program by the Social Justice Ministry enabled this organization to receive a grant of $10,000 from the Monsignor Henry V. Petter Endowment Fund. Members continue to meet with local political officials and business leaders to assist in securing program funding and in building relationships with potential employers. For more information please visit the Skill QUEST website at skillquestntx.org.
In 2012, the Social Justice Ministry worked to improve healthcare in Collin County. Through the bulletin, parishioners were made aware of the need for volunteer physicians for Project Access-Collin County (PACC) which is a healthcare referral system for the uninsured and indigent. The Social Justice Ministry worked with and promoted Project Access making parishioners aware of the need for volunteer doctors in Collin County. There was a need of 40-50 general practitioners and specialists to volunteer to provide medical homes to their patients.
Several ministry members took calls from interested physicians, nurses, healthcare workers, etc. They were screened and then referred to the County PACC office in Frisco, www.pacollin.org (214-872-1011). Ministry members also notified other Catholic churches in Collin County, which in turn placed information in their bulletins, regarding this need.
In early 2013, the Social Justice Ministry worked with Dallas Catholic Charities and the Texas Catholic Conference (TCC) which advocates on behalf of the Roman Catholic Bishops of Texas for policies and programs that support the life and dignity of every human person from conception through natural death.
The Texas Bishops supported State Legislation for Texas to Opt In for Medicaid Eligibility Expansion, which:
The Face of Homeless in Collin County
Families with Children, Single Adults, and Teenagers
The faces of the homeless in Collin County are families and children. There are no public emergency shelters in Plano or in all of Collin County.
The Social Justice Ministry is dedicated to the following: