Use some of the questions below to do an “inventory” of what is happening in your diocese with regard to global peace and justice initiatives before starting a CRS Committee or outreach program. These questions are not exhaustive—they are intended to give you a starting point. You will have your own creative ideas and questions to add to this as you begin your planning.
To discuss some of these questions, feel free to call Kim Mazyck at 410-951-7424 or to send her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To your knowledge, what diocesan offices/groups have taken on aspects of global justice/solidarity activities—for example, peace and justice groups, advocacy groups, missions offices, missionaries, etc?
CRS General Questions
- How would you characterize the knowledge of CRS in your diocese currently? Are people aware of CRS? How are they aware of CRS?
- Which CRS programs and/or advocacy initiatives are well-known in the diocese currently?
- Which CRS programs and/or advocacy initiatives have more potential in the diocese?
- Which diocesan offices share global solidarity as a mission? How do we collaborate? How can we collaborate better?
- Are there specific ideas/activities on-going in the diocese that can connect with CRS and the Church’s broader mission of global solidarity?
- Where is there natural interest for global issues in the diocese (e.g., Ethnic Ministries, Migration/Refugee Services locally, Missions Office, etc.)? How do we collaborate? How can we collaborate better?
- Are there other groups outside the diocesan structure that would be interested in collaborating on global peace and justice initiatives? (college groups, inter-faith groups, other Catholic organizations)
- Are there key people (returned missionaries, CRS Trip Alumni (Frontiers of Justice, Called to Witness, Global Fellows), former Peace Corps/Jesuit Volunteer Corps, etc.) that would be interested in volunteering time to provide outreach to communities in the diocese regarding global peace and justice?
- Are there parish peace and justice committees interested in the work of CRS and global solidarity?
Starting a CRS Committee
A CRS Committee can be a means of sharing the message and mission of CRS and inspire interested people in the diocese to further action for global solidarity. It also shares responsibility and encourages ownership of CRS activities and mission with a larger group of people. Here are a few things to thing about as you plan to begin a CRS Committee.
- What other committees/boards does the diocese have already? Can their mandate be expanded to include CRS or should another committee/outreach group be developed to support CRS activities in the diocese?
- What are some of the goals we would like to accomplish in the next 3–5 years as a diocese regarding global solidarity? Whose gifts and talents could help accomplish these goals (i.e. individuals, groups, etc.)?
- What is a manageable size for a committee? (Suggestion: start small with a group of committed individuals, and build from there.)
- How will we get started? (You can have a CRS representative give an “orientation to CRS” or you, as our Diocesan Director, can give this yourself—we have a prepared presentation. You can also have a CRS representative help the group through a visioning process so you can develop your ideas and goals together.)
- What will we agree to in the first year? Second? Third? Beyond? (Suggestion: again, start with a small initiative, gauge the impact, and then grow your ideas from there. e.g. The Diocese of Metuchen first wanted to increase participation in CRS Rice Bowl across the board, but they realized this was impossible, so they decided to do it one vicariate at a time… and it worked!)
- How will we structure our committee? Do we want sub-committees? Do we want working groups?
- How often will you meet? Who will convene the meetings? Where?
- How long should a team member commit to the CRS Committee?
- How will you evaluate your activities/ideas?
- How will you recruit new team members?