Montague Catholic Social Ministries
Montague Catholic Social Ministries (MCSM) has served the families of Montague and Franklin County, Massachusetts since 1994 with free playgroups for children (one Spanish Language Playgroup); a Women’s Resource Center with drop-in hours, wellness and job-readiness programs; Family Support Home Visiting to strengthen family literacy and provide basic needs support; a weekly peer-driven Parent to Parent (P2P) support group; Open Hours for families to access emergency Basic Needs resources such as clothing, food, utility assistance, housing and referrals; and Parent Education offerings which include a bilingual series in partnership with the MA Family Center of Community Action, and this year for the first time, in partnership with the MA Dept. of Children & Families, the Gill Montague Regional School District, G-M Community School Partnership, Community Action’s MA Family Center and others, a bilingual 15-week, evidence-based Family Nurturing Program.
Founded 17 years ago by local clergy in response to a crisis of violence in the community, MCSM’s mission, to listen and respond to the requests of our neighbors builds on the strengths they have to meet their own needs.
Walking with people whose economic, educational or cultural status presents a challenge to their stability and security, together we discern their best strategy to work towards healthy, interdependent, contributing lives. Staff, volunteers and peers develop responses to prevent conflict, build skills for work and education, nurture relationships for better parenting, healing from trauma, empowerment, advocacy and civic engagement. Strong partnership and trust in the community enables us to provide over 3,000 services yearly. Meeting the community regularly is our commitment.
Many open doors to walk through – for families seeking respite from the degradation of poverty, a crisis of family violence or the loss of a job – lead to a nexus of services woven together in friendship. The intimate scale of wrap-around support cultivates an environment in which each person matters.
As the ever-shifting demands of society play themselves out in Franklin County, helping the newly arrived, the most vulnerable, those in unforeseen crisis to stay the course to recovery and productive lives, focuses us all on the unavoidable, ecological truth – it is in the act of caring for each other that we all survive.
The poignantly articulated (and translated) desire of four young mothers from Guatemala to learn English in order to help their children succeed in school, is the seed from which our unique 2012 ESOL partnership with the Center for New Americans, grew.
(For additional information please contact: Susan Mareneck, Director, Montague Catholic Social Ministries, 41-43 Third Street, PO Box 792, Turners Falls, MA 01376, 413-863-4804, firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit MCSM on the web at www.montaguecatholicsocialministries.org.)
This agency and others are supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal. (ACA)