Social Justice

Committee Meetings

We regularly meet on the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm, and we welcome visitors.

Mission

The St. Thomas Aquinas Social Justice Committee seeks to make the Gospel message of peace and justice real for our parish, our community, and our world by offering opportunities for education, service and advocacy.

Social Justice Committee Guidelines, provided by Archdiocese of Dubuque and amended by the STA Pastoral Council 

Section A. Purpose

  1. To continue the ministry of Jesus by service to marginalized persons and persons with special needs.
  2. To promote and coordinate programs which will promote justice and charity in full measure to all of God’s children.
  3. To provide opportunities for parishioners to respond to the social needs of today.
  4. To strive for peace in our community, in our country and in the world.

Section B. Membership

  1. Appointed, discerned and/or volunteer according to the bylaws of the local pastoral council constitution. There will be both student and resident parishioners represented.
  2. Demonstrated interest in justice, in serving the needy, and in promoting respect for all persons.

Section C. Functions

  1. To study Catholic social teachings and then advocate for just public policies.
  2. To educate parishioners about the baptismal call of each person to care for the needs of the universal Church and the world.
  3. To educate and motivate parishioners about issues relating to justice, peace, hunger, the marginalized.
  4. To provide avenues for parishioners to respond directly to local needs.
  5. To coordinate and advocate for parish service programs and mission projects.
  6. To be apprised of social justice programs and resources available through all levels of the Catholic Church.
  7. To promote systemic change by informing and empowering parishioners to use principles of community organizing that promote awareness of poverty, social analysis, and grassroots organizing.
  8. To practice social justice through direct service, through policy formation, advocacy, and any other means that promote justice and peace.
  9. To communicate the work of the committee to the pastoral council via written report or liaison.

Charity at St. Thomas

St. Thomas Aquinas Church is well known in Ames for its generosity. As Catholic Christians, we are called to a preferential option for the poor and vulnerable. A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.

 

Justice at St. Thomas

Pope Paul VI famously said,

"If you want peace, work for justice."

At St. Thomas Aquinas we work for justice in any number of ways. In addition to our many charitable works, and direct works of mercy in the Ames community, we support a twin parish relationship in Dulce Nombre, Copán, Honduras.

We also work in advocacy in Ames and Story County through the community organizing efforts of A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy (AMOS).

We provide support to those advocating for Respect of all Life.

Through the group "Belonging" we welcome all our brothers and sisters into our midst, whatever their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Contact info for Lawmakers

Senator Charles Grassley (R)  www.grassley.senate.gov

Senator Joni Ernst (R)  www.ernst.senate.gov

Representative Steve King (R) www.steveking.house.gov

 

Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network 

www.iowacatholicconference.org

 

 

Committee Members

Tom Budnik (staff)

Chris Rehmann (chairperson)

Dave Dirks

Heidi Dittmer

Felicity Douglas

Paula Friederich

Chuck Glatz

Liz Haut

Fr. John Herzog

Francis Todey

Kathy Trahanovsky

Mary Ellen Wishart