Witness of the Church

Catholic Social Ministry Gathering 2019

As a new Congress took office at the start of the year, the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering brought hundreds of Catholics to D.C. to lift their voices about social justice.

The Catholic Social Ministry Gathering is organized by the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development in collaboration with 7 other departments at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and 15 national Catholic organizations. This central gathering of Catholic social ministry leaders in the U.S. annually brings together hundreds of participants whose faith inspires them to respond to pressing current domestic and global challenges relating to poverty, war, injustice and the promotion of human life and dignity.

Earlier this month, 550 leaders from across the country came together to reflect on letting justice flow—unpacking issues like racism, immigration, foreign assistance and domestic poverty. The conference culminated in Congressional visits on Capitol Hill from more than 40 states.

Leaders from the diocese of Joliet, after participating in the V National Encuentro (a convening in Fall 2018 to reflect on the gifts and challenges of U.S. Hispanic Catholics), were energized to respond to the call to missionary discipleship in new ways, including strategic planning and new committees–including one focused on social justice.  Eleven leaders joined a larger delegation from Illinois at the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, where they engaged in dialogue with the larger Catholic community around the issues of racism, restorative justice, immigration, and more.  One leader shares, “in short, we used our diocesan voice to advocate for legislation that reflects the dignity of all people. We understand that advocacy requires a long-term commitment. That is why the Illinois delegation (including the Diocese of Joliet, Archdiocese of Chicago, and others) will be gathering once again in two weeks to debrief and brainstorm about future efforts of our two offices around social justice. We’re incredibly thankful for the opportunity that CSMG gave us, to learn from experts and continue to build an active community dedicated to the pursuit of justice for all.”


Did you know Congressional meetings are one of the top advocacy actions you can take? Interested in getting involved in visiting with your members of Congress as a new year begins?

Visit our Advocacy Toolkit to learn more about how to schedule and prepare for meetings. Your voice really does make a difference, and Congressional visits are key to establishing relationships with your member of Congress which take your advocacy to the next level.