Many people confuse charity and social justice, but the two are quite different.  Charity is how we respond to the immediate needs presented before us; whereas social justice seeks to understand why those needs exist in the first place.  As a collegiate parish, St. Basil’s strives to do the important work of both.

Justice is not simply obtained through a better understanding of structures that lead to inequality or create disadvantages, but it is based in relationship with those who are in need.  Each of the four social justice ministries strive to bring a relational aspect to the services provided.

Over the past year, we have updated our volunteer screening process so that it is easier to get involved; expanded our volunteer base; included more hot and nutritional meals; and improved the structure of our ministries allowing for more people to be served.

However, the need is ever-increasing and we need new volunteers to serve new people coming to us and provide a bit of relief to our very hard-working volunteers.  We also hope to help the community become more aware of the stories we encounter so that we can better understand how to we can reduce the needs that exist.  To do this, we look forward to more collaboration with other entities that do similar work.

If you want to get involved, contact Michael at michael.pirri@utoronto.ca

Emily VanBerkum

“Community outreach is a vital component of a parish’s identity. Through a spirit of charity and love, St. Basil’s is committed to serving those of our community who are most in need. My experience of volunteering with social justice ministries at St. Basil’s has been personally enriching. With an open mind and a generous heart, I invite you to come into our kitchen, prepare meals, and engage in conversation with patrons, and you too will be forever changed.”

Emily VanBerkumParishioner