The purpose of this committee is to determine and respond to the needs of the people in our parish family, the local community, and the world. The immediate and long term goals are to work to change oppressive and unjust systems, laws, or policies. Examples of issues of concern are anti-life actions, immorality, and racism.
We sponsor a benefit breakfast to support the local homeless shelter and distribute Christmas baskets to needy families from St. Mary's or others known to our parish family.
We oversee the distribution of funds given by parish members to directly assist the poor who are in hardship or emergency situations and by supporting people and agencies that help people in need.
We raise awareness of environmental, refugee, disaster, and hunger relief issues as well.
The Committee meets the 1st Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the rectory. Contact Hero Barth for more information, 255-3387.
Current members of this committee are:
Don and Julie Wald
St. Mary's regularly provides financial assistance to parishioners who are in need of short-term assistance. We also collaborate with other helping agencies in the area to help people take advantage of services provided elsewhere in the community.
The location of St. Mary's Church building in downtown Bismarck with its beautiful 114-foot steeple advertises St. Mary's presence in this part of town to a wide variety of residents and guests to Bismarck who are in need of financial assistance of many kinds.
Each year our Charity and Justice Committee publishes a long list of local helping agencies: Helping Hands. This list is distributed to parishioners with the new year's calendar so families have a ready index of Helping Hands whenever needed. Click here to see this list of Helping Hands.
The agencies we regularly work with and support include AID, Inc., Interfaith, Ruth Meiers Hospitality House, and BECEP (Bismarck Early Childhood Education Program). The Charity and Justice Committee of the Pastoral Council recommends allocation of financial assistance.
St. Mary's takes special collections and holds special events to support our financial assistance programs. The Thanksgiving Day and Holy Thursday collections along with ¼ of the Rice Bowl program in Lent provide funds. In addition, St. Mary's conducts an annual Homeless Awareness Breakfast in February to raise funds for the Ruth Meiers Hospitality House.
The people who come to our door for financial assistance are treated with dignity and helped on a case-by-case basis by the pastor or parish administrator. We certainly cannot respond to every need, but we make every effort to place people in contact with agencies who can.