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Director of Social Concerns Ministry - St. Alphonsus Parish, Grand Rapids

Purpose of this Ministry

The director of social concerns ministry is responsible for the education and promotion of Catholic Social Teaching principles within the parish community. This involves designing, promoting and overseeing the community outreach programs such as the food and clothing pantry, Thanksgiving meal, North(east) Pole Community Christmas Store, VITA Tax Program, mobile food pantries (food trucks), and mission trips. Social Concerns Ministry also attempts to educate the parish about relevant social justice issues, the Creston neighborhood, and other nonprofit organizations in an attempt to broaden the world view of the parish and increase awareness of the work being done outside the parish campus itself.

Essential Responsibilities and Tasks

1. Provide opportunities for our parishioners to serve and work with underserved populations.
2. Manage an Access of West Michigan Support Pantry which serves an average of 800 neighbors each month and is open four days a week. This includes working with the volunteer pantry coordinator who manages the day to day operations of the pantry.
3. Lead a collaboration of organizations to run the North(east) Pole Christmas Store serving 453 families in 2016. The North(east) Pole is a Christmas program which sells brand new toys and gifts to low-income individuals for 20% of their retail value.
4. Act as the site coordinator for St. Alphonsus VITA Tax Program in conjunction with New Development Corporation and Creston CRC  which assists over five hundred clients annually. This includes performing taxes for low-income individuals and supervising tax volunteers.
5. Work as the staff liaison between the St. Alphonsus Senior Program and the parish. This includes providing marketing, fundraising, and administrative support to the program director and steering committee.
6. Coordinate the Thanksgiving Meals Program which delivers meals to the elderly and homebound.
7. Create and implement long- and short-term programs dealing with social justice issues as needed to enhance the lives of parishioners and low-income neighbors.
8. Administer the financial assistance given to parishioners and others in need. 
9. Generate partnerships between St. Alphonsus and multiple community organizations.
10. Market and provide communication for programs through written and electronic mediums.
11. Supervise and train over one hundred volunteers in various programs.
12. Draft and maintain budgets, data, policies, and grants for community outreach initiatives.

Skills and Abilities

1. Must possess great leadership skills  with the ability to engage and work collaboratively with persons of diverse racial, ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, religious backgrounds
2. Excellent written and oral communications skills
3. Strong organizational abilities including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation
4. Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
5. Respects personal boundaries and maintains confidentiality.


1. Manifest a deep faith in Jesus Christ and moral character adhered to the values of the Gospel and be able to uphold the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Faith.
2. Appropriate certification and clear criminal background checks required.
3. Openness and availability to work some evenings and weekends.
4. Bachelor’s degree in non profit management, theology, or related field preferred. Applicable experience will be taken into consideration.
5. Experience in volunteer management preferred.

Application Instructions

Please email a cover letter and resume to Mr. Bob Thiel at
You may also mail a hard copy of your cover letter and resume:
St. Alphonsus Church
Attn: Social Concerns Search Committee
224 Carrier St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Reports to: Pastor
Collaborates with: parish staff, social concerns advisory committee, volunteers, and the community at large. 
Status: Full Time