“… the essential vocation and mission of the lay faithful is to strive that earthly realities and all human activity may be transformed by the Gospel, none of us can think we are exempt from concern for the poor and for social justice…” The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis I, n. 201

This Commission serves to educate and encourage parishioners to carry our Catholic Social Teaching individually and as a community. The commission meets the third Thursday of each month in the Rectory to evaluate and to plan service opportunities and to share information about local, national & global social justice issues.

Dr. King Revisited – An Anti-Racism Series for Lent

Our Justice and Charity Commission is organizing “Dr. King Revisited” based on a biblical study guide designed in collaboration with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Christian Churches Together (CCT). Christian Churches Together (CCT), is one of the largest ecumenical organizations in the United States. Formed in 2007, CCT is a fellowship of thirty-six national communions including African American, Catholic, Evangelical, Historic Protestant, Pentecostal and Orthodox. In 2013, CCT released a response, both an affirmation and a commitment, on the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. This series will draw on Dr. King’s letter, CCT’s response and study guide, and biblical teaching to guide small group discussions aimed at offering opportunities for reflection and dialogue. All materials will be provided in advance.

When: February 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 2021
Where: Google Meet
Who: All are welcome. Please invite your friends!
Time: 7:00-8:30 pm

Open Wide Our Hearts – An Anti-Racism Series for Advent

The Bishops’ document, Open Wide  Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love, was developed by the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). It was approved by the full body of bishops as a formal statement in November 2018. 

This series, offered by the Justice and Charity Commission of St. Matthias Church, seeks to raise awareness of Church teaching about racism and educate parishioners about this aspect of Catholic Social Teaching. This four-week virtual series for the season of Advent will include prayer, video presentations, and discussion of the document. All materials will be provided.

Dates: Nov 30, Dec 7, 14, and 21, 2020
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Where: Google Meet

Open Wide Our Hearts – Slides Week 1 What is Racism & Hope

Open Wide Our Hearts – Slides Week 2 Do Justice & Peace

Open Wide Our Hearts – Slides Week 3 Love Goodness & Joy

Open Wide Our Hearts – Slides Week 4 Hope

Maple Street Shelter Dinner

Each year, the Justice and Charity Commission organizes a dinner which is provided by the parish community for the residents at the Maple Street Shelter in Redwood City. Our Middle School and High School youth groups serve the food, enjoy the meal with the residents, and lead a Bingo game with prizes provided by parishioners.

Each year, parishioners make home-cooked dishes to bring, and our high school and middle school youth set up, serve and eat with the residents. Parents are asked to provide support and chaperone the event. There are many ways for you to help with this event: 1) Make and donate food, 2) donate $5 gift cards (to Safeway, Jamba Juice or Target) to be used as Bingo prizes for the residents, 3) as a youth volunteers, 4) as a chaperone, 5) to help deliver food from St. Matthias to Maple Street Shelter. Food donations should be dropped off in Fr. Lacey Hall on Feb 23rd between 2-3:30 pm. Delivery volunteers are needed from approximately 3:00 pm—4:00 pm.  Youth volunteers and chaperones are needed from 3:30-8:00 pm.

Contact sabrina@stmatthiasparish.org for questions and/or more information. Please check the table in the Hall for signups or signup online (preferred) by clicking on the Google Sheet icon to the left.

Here are some photos from the March 2018 event:



Pilgrimages to Ecuador

Here is the link to the blog so that you can read more about the work the groups do: http://www.sabrinaspence.blogspot.com

Every other year, youth from St. Matthias and St. Pius parishes go on a pilgrimage to Ecuador. They visit Damien House (Fundacion de Padre Damien) in Guayaquil which is a clinic and residence for patients with Hansen’s disease. While there, they assist Sr. Annie with clean up projects, cheering residents and learning to actively listen to those who are forgotten.

They also visit and work at The Working Boys Center: A Family of Families (El Centro del Muchacho del Trabajador) in Quito, Ecuador where they learn the miraculous ways that people are lifted out of poverty through basic investments in education, vocational training, healthcare and spirituality. Living the community, this Family of Families helps our youth recognize the value of humility and doing without in order to appreciate the many blessings we have in the United States.

St. Vincent de Paul Society

Lord Jesus, you who willed to become poor, give us eyes and a heart directed toward the poor. Help us to recognize you in them – in their thirst, their hunger, their loneliness, and their misfortune. Enkindle within our Vincentian family unity, simplicity, humility and the fire of love that burned in St. Vincent de Paul. Strengthen us, so that, faithful to the practices of these virtues, we may contemplate you and serve you. In the person of the poor and may one day be united with you and them in your kingdom.  Amen.

This group lives out Jesus’ command to care for the poor by responding to emergencies for food, shelter, clothing, and furniture. They also visit the sick and those in jail. Food items are brought to Sunday liturgies. Collections from the parish community on the fifth Sunday of the month are used for special needs.

History of the Justice and Charity Commission

The parish was surveyed in April 2016 to assess the perceived needs and interests in the community. The priorities identified were: Homelessness, Hunger, Poverty and Affordable Housing. For this reason, the Justice and Charity Commission has organized a series of events to both educate about the issues, and promote opportunities for involvement in these areas.

During the 2016-2017 year, the Justice and Charity Commission (JCC) hosted presentations and informational events to the parish community about service organizations in the local area. During 2017-2018, a “menu of opportunities” was planned so that people can get involved in these various local organizations.

During the weekend of April 28-29, 2018, the JCC surveyed parishioners again to assess the perceived needs and interests in the community. Parishioners affirmed that the previously identified issues; homelessness, hunger, affordable housing and poverty continue to be of concern to the majority. An effort will be made by the JCC to take a responsive approach to issues and events during this year.