Social Action

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For many years, the Church has engaged in efforts to promote social justice for all, regardless of economic means.  Below, please find information on assistance provided by the Church to help ends meet or to promote Church teachings.

Rhode Island Catholic Conference

“The Church’s social teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amidst the challenges of modern society. Modern Catholic social teaching has been articulated through a tradition of papal, conciliar, and episcopal documents. The depth and richness of this tradition can be understood best through a direct reading of these documents. In these brief reflections, we highlight several of the key themes that are at the heart of our Catholic social tradition.” -United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Rhode Island Catholic Conference serves as the advocate for the Church’s public policy positions before the Rhode Island General Assembly and other civic officials. It represents the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence and the hundreds of thousands of Catholics who call Rhode Island home.  The effort is staffed by the Diocesan Governmental Liaison, Rev. Bernard Healey under the direction of The Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of Providence.

The Human Life Guild

The Human Life Guild, an organization that Bishop Thomas J. Tobin founded in the Diocese of Providence in fall of 2005. The purpose of the organization is to encourage membership of those who are willing to accept the invitation to be “People of Life,” to have an unconditional commitment to human life and to be willing to promote and defend human life at every stage, in every condition, through thought, word, deed and prayer. There are four major areas of the Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities, under which the Human Life Guild is implemented, as instituted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Education, Pastoral Care, Public Policy, and Prayer.
Contact: Carol A. Owens, Life & Family Office Coordinator
Phone: 401-421-7833 x 118  E-Mail: rl.outreach@dioceseofprovidence.org

Keep the Heat On

At the home of a North Providence family on October 31, 2005, The Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, kicked-off the “Keep the Heat On” challenge as home heating costs reached record highs. In announcing this heating assistance campaign, The Bishop presented the family with a $2,700 check made payable to New England Gas to restore their utility service. The service was disconnected in May when the couple had fallen behind in their payments, both for the past heating season and in making payments for a prior balance.
While heating costs have subsided, many families in our state continue to struggle during these difficult economic times.  Past supporters of the program include the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation.

Keep the Heat On is a program of last resort to assist those Rhode Island families who have exhausted all other means of public and private heating assistance.  Since it was established in 2005, Keep the Heat On has raised more than $1 million in heating assistance for more than 3,600 Rhode Island households.

For more information, to apply or donate this this important program, please visit www.heatri.com or call 401.421-7833 x.117.