Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Social justice ministry at St. Joseph Parish, Colbert, supports communities near and far

by Jim Tate, for the Inland Register

(From the March 17, 2016 edition of the Inland Register)

Proceeds from used book sales at St. Joseph Parish, Colbert, have helped fund a variety of ministries in both Eastern Washington and Guatemala. (IR photo courtesy of Jim Tate)

Books are on the move at St. Joseph Parish in Colbert. Two book sales per year are putting fresh reading in parishioners’ hands while funding critical needs in the community. The parish’s Social Justice Ministry, born out of the popular JustFaith program, is supporting social justice activities both far and near.

The group holds book sales in January and June each year to support mission projects in our sister diocese in Guatemala. The January sale raised $1,118 to provide supplies for a growing religious education program administered by Father David Baronti in the village of Ixtahuacán. Past book sales, which also sell free-trade coffee and chocolate, provided computers, internet service, and a projector for village schools. The Social Justice Ministry also funded tuition for students, and bought medical supplies for diocese clinics. “The sales have been a great way to raise funds,” said parishioner Mary Ann Busch, “Parishioners are keeping their bookshelves cleaned out and finding some terrific new reading, while supporting an important cause.”

Locally, the ministry supports Catholic Charities’ Bridges program by collecting appropriate job interview clothes for job hunters who cannot afford them. In January, the St. Joseph ministry gathered 900 pounds of donated clothing.

Bridges is a new program, focused on getting homeless people off the streets and into jobs. Case managers also work to help clients transition to a new lifestyle of working and adjusting to permanent housing.

“The goal is to help the participants become independent and productive members of society. We do this by providing them with job opportunities, housing, necessary life skills, and continued support,” according to case manager Shelly Viers.

Coming up, the parish’s Social Justice Ministry will collect furniture for Bridges’ clients, and start collecting books for their next book sale, set for June 24-26. Look for donation hours on the Inland Register schedule or call (509) 998-8189.

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