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Parishes: Centers of Charity and Mercy
As Catholics, we recognize charity and mercy as works of the Holy Spirit. We know that everything we do must proceed from discernment and thus be Spirit led, and that our work is not about what we do for God, but what God wishes to do in and through us. As disciples on a journey, we are commissioned to go out and practice the works of mercy. Parishes are not simply buildings, but the mission territory in which we find the marginalized and every human need. Mercy, then, is a disciple's most important expression of the Church's mission to evangelize.
As people of joy whose lives testify to the power and grace, we have the uncanny ability to attract others to Christ and the Church. In our parishes, we encounter others with open hearts, and cultivate real, genuine relationships with the people of our faith community. As true disciples, we connect with others through Charity, not policy. We welcome others and walk with one another toward eternity, together in truth and joy.
The Great Commission encourages us as disciples not simply to wait for others to come, but that we go forth to engage the world and invite others to share in the fullness of Christian life. Our evangelization, then, should be a comfortable sharing of our "God stories," including our personal experiences, conversions and relationship we have with our Lord. Proclaiming Christ, we profess Jesus is the risen Lord. This is the tone of our parish life, and why each parish in our diocese is called to be a "Center of Charity and Mercy."