Dr. Honora Norton
Catholic Parishes and Social Justice/Social Action Ministries
Key to being a practicing Catholic is being a parishioner. Parishioners through parish social justice/social action ministries assist fellow parishioners in need and those within/outside the parish community. Within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, Ariz., the following nonprofit agencies support parishes:
Catholic Charities Community Services’ (CCCS) mission is to help our community’s most vulnerable with solutions that permanently improve lives. CCCS’s vision is to affirm the worth and dignity of all through quality services, innovation, parish engagement, and community partnerships. CCCS reaches out to thousands of people each year, regardless of their race, ethnicity, economic status, or religious affiliation.
Since 1933, CCCS has been making miracles happen every day by serving the poor and the vulnerable within Maricopa, Yavapai, Coconino, and Mohave Counties. CCCS programs/services address: Housing for Hope—affordable housing, counseling, domestic violence, foster care, adoption, veteran services (including MANA House and Veterans Outreach Centers), homeless services, sex-trafficking, youth education (Westside Head Start), youth development, immigration legal service, refugee resettlement, medical loan closet, unexpected pregnancies, re-entry programs, parish and community engagement, and in-home family support.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) is dedicated to feeding, clothing, housing, and healing individuals and families who have nowhere else to turn for help. SVdP provides opportunities for volunteers to serve their neighbors. SVdP has services for people experiencing homelessness, medical and dental care for uninsured patients, charity dining rooms that serve thousands each day, food pantries/boxes (often through parish food drives and parish pantries) for hungry families, thrift stores throughout the Valley, housing and shelter for vulnerable and unhoused individuals, and general assistance for those living in poverty.
SVdP, within its five campuses, has been serving our community throughout Central and Northern Arizona since 1946.
Foundation For Senior Living’s (FSL) mission is to improve lives through health care, affordable housing, nutrition, and programs that provide services that promote health, independence, and dignity. FSL can: assist procuring food, rent assistance, legal help, living options, caregiver assistance, and hospice care; establish counseling and education service groups; help with transportation, depression, grief and loss, anxiety, caregiver support, anger management, marital conflict, health and wellness, or other problems in living; assist on-staff parish nurses with care management services and home needs assessments; establish day care services—providing day care, meals, health-watch, hygiene assistance, arts/crafts activities, and socialization. These services allow a parish to be a place of love and kindness and a respite for caregivers.
FSL, SVdP, and CCCS often collaborate with parishes to purchase and/or rehabilitate neighborhood buildings for low-income families, veterans, seniors, and disabled.
Andre House (AH), located in the heart of the Capitol Mall District, was founded in 1984 by two Holy Cross priests. AH makes its services available to hundreds of people in need every day through dinner service (over 171,000 meals served annually), laundry services, showers, and clothing closet.
To support, volunteer, or learn more, see www.FSL.org, www.catholiccharitiesaz.org, www.stvincentdepaul.net, or www.andrehouse.org. Thanks to the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit, donations may come right back on one’s Arizona tax return.
In 2011 the Arizona Interfaith Movement presented SVdP with its Non-Profit Golden Rule Award and plans to present CCCS with its prestigious 2023 Darl Andersen Golden Rule Award at its Nov. 9, 2023, Banquet—see www.azifm.org.
Dr. Honora Norton is a Gilbert resident, lifelong Roman Catholic, and Sun Lakes St. Steven’s Catholic Church parishioner. Since 2008, Dr. Norton has served as an Arizona Interfaith Movement Council Member Partner and currently serves on the Emeritus Board of Catholic Charities Community Services after serving a two-year term as Executive Board of Directors Chair.