The parish is where we as Catholics go to practice our faith and celebrate the gospel. It is where we gather in fellowship, both in times of joy and difficulty.
The Claretian Missionaries minister, particularly in high-poverty, urban areas. We live in the communities where we work, and our parish work is to bring God’s Love and Word beyond church walls and into our neighborhoods. Because the needs of our communities are many, we develop a wide range of programs to serve various age and language groups. We are dedicated to helping people through our shared faith, and to improving their daily lives through our community development programs.
Claretians and the Laity work together to create safe neighborhoods where people can live with dignity and care for one another, even amid the many urban challenges. Community development starts by greeting others with a friendly “hello.” It is essential to enter into conversations of purpose about why people should care for their community. We engage local leaders and provide leadership development programs to mentor new leaders in the parish and in the neighborhood.
The results can be miraculous: Graffiti stops, violence drops, attendance at schools improves, grades improve, and more people live with hope. We have a long history of partnering with people from the public and private sectors to build healthy communities.
Through faith-based leadership development, our missionaries have worked with community organizing efforts in Texas, California, and Illinois to improve the lives and living conditions of people in our ministries. In Prescott, Arizona, our parish has a school for immigrants to complete their primary education and learn English. In 2019, the new Claret Community Center opened in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, attached to Our Lady of Fatima Parish, and offers pastoral, catechetical and adult education to its parishioners and local community.
In Québec (Canada), the Claretians own and operate Camp Claret one of the most beautiful summer camps for children and young adults. Every year, through the generosity of local benefactors, many children whose parents cannot afford the cost of the camp, are given financial assistance.
There is no end to the possibilities of community development and social service when the Church and local institutions work together. For more information about Claretian community development programs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (312) 544-8139.