Social Concerns

B.R.E.A.D (Building Responsibility, Equality, and Dignity)

BREAD is a coalition of several dozen diverse faith communities in Columbus and Franklin County. It researches social justice issues and advocates before government leaders for justice on such issues as health care, jobs, housing and education. BREAD has had a number if “Issue Campaigns,” among them have been ones centered around:

· increasing access to safe, decent, affordable housing;

· increasing access to health care by increasing the capacity of the Columbus Neighborhood Health Centers;

· decreasing the number of Columbus Public School students at risk of reading failure;

· raising the number of people hired into jobs created with tax abatements

Some of BREAD’s campaigns have come to successful conclusions, others are still in process, and new ones arise annually. Key to BREAD’s success, is using the numbers of people who attend our rallies and action meetings to impress on government leaders that there are many people of faith who are called to work for justice, who are aware of the issues and who vote.

The IC BREAD Team participates in BREAD’s research, follows its progress, communicates the issues within the parish and seeks to organize as many parish members as possible to attend key meetings.

Recent Successes

1. Increased funding for the Affordable Housing Trust. Most recently , the Franklin County Commissioners voted to dedicate proceeds from a $1 increase in the title-transfer fee to the Affordable Housing Trust. The trust meets a critical and growing need in our community by increasing the supply of affordable housing, in both homeownership and rental-housing opportunities.

2. Expanded capacity of Neighborhood Health Centers. In November the County Commission voted to invest $1.3M to expand the capacity of the Neighborhood Health Centers to provide “new medical homes” to over 2,000 patients. This represents 2,000 people who would not have had medical care otherwise.

3. Improved transportation to jobs. In September a new COTA Transit Center began operation at E. Main and Champion focused on providing express bus routes to job sites and bringing new investment and life to E. Main St. BREAD worked for the last 4 years to make this happen.

For information Contact: Mary Ann Grossman at 614-451-5872 or  sargegrossman@wowway.com

St Vincent de Paul Society

The St. Vincent de Paul Society is a Catholic lay service organization that has directed its attention to works of charity for the past 170 years. Members, known as Vincentians, are drawn from every ethnic and cultural background, age group, and economic level. Inspired by Gospel values, and in the tradition of its founder Blessed Frédéric Ozanam and patron St. Vincent de Paul, the Vincentian mission is to foster spiritual growth by performing corporeal works of mercy.

IC’s St. Vincent de Paul Society serves almost 30,000 people each year through activities such as food calls to households, serving food at St. Lawrence Haven, making sandwiches for the Haven, visiting hospital patients, providing clothing for the needy, providing transportation to church and medical appointments, and ushering at funerals. Conference core meetings are held in Room C of the Rectory after 8:30am Mass on the first and third Mondays of each month. Full conference meetings are held at 7:00pm on the fourth Monday of February, May and October. New members are always welcome and may attend any one of the meetings, or contact:

  • Team Lead: Jim Emley emleyj@msn.com 608-239-5280
  • Parish office icoffice@iccols.org 614-267-9241

Additional information about St. Vincent de Paul Society: www.svdpusa.org and www.vincentianvoice.org/confrences/ic.html

Catholic Social Action Theme served: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable

Knights of Columbus Council #14962

At a personal level, the Knights of Columbus allows all Catholic men of the parish an opportunity to give of their time, talent and treasury as they can to better the parish in their own way.  As a parish based council, our focus is on the needs of Immaculate Conception Parish and the surrounding community. It is our Catholic faith that leads to good works informed by our four core principles: Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. Members of the Immaculate Conception Knights of Columbus Council number over 100 Catholic men who perform many of the activities suggested by the Supreme Council under the general categories of Church, Community, Council, Culture of Life, Youth and Family.If you are interested in becoming a Knight see the K of C page here.

Open Shelter Ministry

Everyday, 400+ people in Columbus are forced to sleep on the streets, on park benches, and under bushes. Shelters are full, so those left behind turn to The Open Shelter. The Shelter, opened in 1983, provides food, clothing, sleeping bags, etc. to help the homeless survive until they are able to access shelter or housing options. Additional Open Shelter services include use of a legal mailing address; telephone access; assistance with safety bank and payee services; referrals to detox/treatment and medical care; assistance with entitlement benefits; and assistance with securing housing. IC’s volunteers help with food preparation, donations, and dinner service for homeless individuals the first Monday of every month. If you are interested in this ministry, please contact: 

Cheryl Costello cherylcostello@yahoo.com (614)-774-8879 

Additional information about The Open Shelter: www.theopenshelter.org 

Catholic Social Action Themes served: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable Call to Family, Community, and Participation Rights and Responsibilities  

Committee for Life

“Every human life, from the moment of conception until death, is sacred because the human person has been willed for its own sake in the image and likeness of the living and holy God.” (CCC 2319). IC’s Committee for Life focuses on protecting life at its earliest stage. If you are interested in bearing witness to the Gospel of Life by being a part of IC’s Committee for Life, please contact: 

Team Co-Leads:                                     Peter McCann   peterjmccann@sbcglobal.net   (614)-746-2577

Denise Coyne   coynedk@sbcglobal.net   (614)-595-5125 

Additional information about Committee for Life: 

www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities                                  www.rachelsvineyard.org  

www.gospeloflife.cm                                                                   www.silentnomoreawareness.org 

Catholic Social Action Themes served: Life and Dignity of the Human Person Call to Family, Community, and Participation Rights and Responsibilities 

 

IHN/YWCA Homeless Ministry

The Columbus YWCA Family Center operates through the Interfaith Hospitality Network, with the goal of helping families find housing within 3 weeks of entering the program. The Center provides emergency shelter and critical services to stabilize homeless families in the form of healthy meals, warm beds, basic-need items, and transportation assistance. IC’s volunteers provide meals and host families at the Center during evening hours on the third Friday of each month. Parishioners are invited to donate food items using the sign-up board located in the Church gathering space. For more information about this ministry, please contact:  

Team Co-Leads:                                         Vicky Minzler   vicky.minzler@idq.com   (614)-668-2007

Deborah Gray   deborahbgray@gmail.com   (614)-946-5588 

Additional information about the YWCA Family Shelter: www.ywcacolumbus.org 

Catholic Social Action Themes served: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable Call to Family, Community, and Participation Rights and Responsibilities 

Habitat for Humanity

The mission of Habitat for Humanity is to work in partnership with God and people to build affordable homes, empower families, and develop communities. The Immaculate Conception parish has been involved with Habitat here in Columbus for over 30 years. IC not only provides financial support to purchase construction materials, but also provides volunteers who participate in actually building the homes. IC’s Habitat for Humanity volunteer work takes place on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, as well as our main construction day on Saturdays. Those with and without construction experience are needed. To become involved, please contact:

John Fields   fields.28@osu.edu   (614)-296-5596

Additional information about Habitat for Humanity: www.habitat.org 

Catholic Social Action Themes served: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable Call to Family, Community, and Participation 

Open your mouth in behalf of the mute, and for the rights of the destitute; Open your mouth, judge justly, defend the needy and the poor! Proverbs 31:8-9