Be Doers of the Word (James 22)

Solidarity & Empowerment will Transform the World

Charity is the act of meeting concrete needs of the poor, vulnerable or hurting in our community. Advocacy is the action of speaking up and for those who cannot speak for themselves. Franciscans are called to be agents of change in the larger community, who preserve the dignity of all people – a dignity that is inseparable from the gift of life.

We believe that solidarity will transform the world. Franciscans are called to be agents of change, promoting the common good. In solidarity, we grow in our relationships with our brothers and sisters — locally and globally — by acting not only on immediate needs but also transforming systems to embrace human dignity and empower full human potential.

Apache Fair Trade Crafts

AFTCO Apache fair trade displayCasa volunteers can share in the history of the Apache people and support their economic development through the Franciscan Renewal Center’s partnership with Apache Fair Trade Crafting Cooperative (AFTCO). This vital cop-op helps American Indians from the San Carlos and White Mountain Apache tribes advance their economy, improve local wages and engage in meaningful work that is at the core of their ancestral spirituality.

Volunteers act as “Sellers” to set up craft sales at the Casa and other locations across greater Phoenix. Craft sales typically occur in conjunction with other community activities, retreats, or outside groups visiting the Casa. Working with AFTCO gives Casa volunteers a deeper understanding and appreciation for our Apache sisters and brothers in Arizona.

Visit AFTCO’s online store.

Inquire with Patti Sills-Trausch at socialconcerns(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)thecasa.org

Volunteer with this ministry:

The Casa Habitat for Humanity

Habitat 1st build day 9.21.13Casa community members are invited to participate in Habitat for Humanity building projects as a team known as the “Casa Builders.” Be a part of this life changing work.

Volunteers must be at least 16 years old to participate in building, but there are a wide range of other roles that help, including organizing lunches for construction teams or babysitting for young families working on the site.

Our Flyer for 2017 with current winter/spring build dates: here.

Find out how you can Support the Casa Habitat through your Arizona Credit for Contributions to Qualifying Charitable Organizations (formerly known as The Working Poor Tax Credit).  Habitat for Humanity will also accept in-kind donations of building materials.  Check out the Habitat website for details on making this donation.  Such donations can also add to the credit of our FRC Habitat Ministry and increase the number of builds that we can help to sponsor.

Inquire with Noreen Gibney at thecasahabitat(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)thecasa.org

Volunteer with this ministry:

Casa Grounds for Solidarity

Cafe-Justo-Poster-webWhen Casa volunteers sell Café Justo brand coffee, rural Mexican farmers and roasters earn a fair wage that allows them to remain in their homeland with a better quality of life.  Last year the Casa community purchased 1,220 pounds of Café Justo organic, fair trade coffee. That volume supports a family of 10 for an entire year in Mexico.  Visit our Casa Grounds for Solidarity Mission Statement for more information.

Through the Casa Grounds for Solidarity Ministry, volunteers “set up shop” here at the Franciscan Renewal Center to sell high-quality coffee from the Café Justo cooperative. The coffee is grown and/or roasted in Salvador Urbina, Mexico and Agua Prieta, Mexico. Each purchase is labeled with the date and name of the roaster, so every coffee lover knows exactly who they’ve supported with each cup. To learn more about who grows this delicious coffee, please click here.

Volunteers sell this delicious coffee to the Casa community on the 2nd full weekend of the month. We also educate our customers about the coffee, the farmers, migration issues and solidarity with Mexico’s agricultural workers.  We welcome friendly, outgoing people who can sell, educate or organize.

To join this ministry, inquire with Eileen Waldron at casagrounds(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)thecasa.org

If you would like to learn more about Cafe Justo, please visit this link for an article and radio story from Arizona Public Radio.

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Death Penalty Ministry

THE DEATH PENALTY MINISTRY IS ON HIATUS.  If you have an interest in this ministry, please contact Patti Sills-Trausch.

The Death Penalty Ministry provides spiritual support to inmates who may be sentenced to death or those who have received the death penalty.

The Ministry meets on the 2nd Monday of each month from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at the Casa. We meet to further educate ourselves on Death Penalty related issues and to discuss issues as a team. Meetings begin and end with prayer.

New members are welcome at any time. Attend our next meeting to discover how you can volunteer in this ministry.

Join us for the next Death Penalty Educational Session: Voices on the Death Penalty  on November 16.  Information on this session pdf.

Inquire with Bob Basque at deathpenalty(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)thecasa.org


Franciscan Action Circle

FRANCISCAN ACTION CIRCLE IS ON HIATUS.  If you have an interest in this ministry, please contact Patti Sills-Trausch.

Through the national Franciscan Action Network, community members can join in the Casa’s “Franciscan Action Circle” to help promote Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation in Arizona. The Franciscan Action Circle strives to work cooperatively with likely and unlikely allies in ways that move Arizona public policy toward Franciscan values. It meets monthly as a coalition of concerned citizens to address public policy matters and reflect upon new or pending legislation.
Inquire by contacting Rosemarie LeClercq at fan(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)thecasa.org

Franciscan Action Circle members:

  • Are concerned about climate justice, immigration, human trafficking, money in politics and peacemaking
  • Participate in ongoing education about Franciscan values in relation to national policy
  • Develop skills to enlarge the group’s effectiveness when advocating policy change
  • Learn ways to communicate Franciscan messages to the media
  • Visit elected officials or their staff to develop relationships in order to educate lawmakers

FAN welcomes people who are involved in or would like to be trained in advocacy skills.
The group meets on the 4th Thursday of the month at 6:00 pm.

Volunteer with this ministry:

Franciscan Action Circle Member


Hunger Action Ministry

at Desert mission foodbank prodcution line Jan 30Our Hunger Action Ministry Mission:

Awareness:  Educate the Casa community around regional hunger issues through movies, speakers and discussion. In Arizona, 1 in 4 children, 1 in 5 adults, and 1 in 7 seniors are food insecure.

Advocacy:  Support the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act in Congress and other state and national legislation affecting food security.

Action:  Organize service projects at community food banks and soup kitchens.  Promote individual volunteering efforts.

Hunger Action Ministry, meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 6 p.m.  Here’s a calendar of our meetings and events.  Look for information about service and educational or advocacy events in the Casa Bulletin.

We  educate using educational movies, such as A Place at the Table, The Faces of America’s Hungry and Hunger Hits Home, as well as speakers from such local organizations that work to combat hunger (like St Mary’s Food Bank and the Association of Arizona Food Banks) as vehicles for awareness around hunger issues.  We participate in local or national advocacy.

For more information, contact: Laura Libertore – Laura(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)thecasa.org


Guaymas Hospitality Ministry

As a volunteer, you will provide overnight care and shelter for the children of Guaymas, Mexico and their families when they come to the Phoenix Shriner’s Clinic for medical care. We arrive at the Casa to pick up a parent and a child, and we help them by opening our home so the family has sleeping accommodations, bath/shower, and meals. These two very tired people show us such gratitude for a simple bed, a few meals and a great deal of love.

Responsibilities and activities include meeting the family at the Casa on a Friday afternoon and returning them to the Casa early Saturday morning. Volunteers are asked to prepare a dinner and small breakfast and a snack for their return to Guaymas. Planning an activity for the child is recommended during their one-night stay.

You do not need to speak Spanish, only the willingness to interact with the Spanish-speaking family and the desire to share your home with them for one night.

Inquire with Sara Rodriguez-Story at medicalhospitality(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)thecasa.org

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Our Lady’s Angels Collections

100_1449_webOur Lady’s Angels collect tangible goods for the needy – water for the homeless, food boxes, blanket collections or backpacks for children in foster care – from the Casa worship community. Individuals who are willing to coordinate collections at Sunday Masses, or who can help support a coordinator, are always needed.

Inquire with Bonnie Wasniewski at bonnie(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)thecasa.org

Volunteer with this ministry:

Casa Veterans Ministry – formerly Outreach to Veterans & Military Families

Francis home from warThe mission of the Casa Veterans Ministry (CVM) is to take concrete actions to assist service members, veterans and their families with healing and education programs, events and services designed to support their spiritual and emotional needs in a welcoming and compassionate environment.

We offer Healing of Memories workshops and the St. Francis: Journey of a Wounded Warrior retreat for veterans and service members.  We also offer healing workshops and retreats for spouses and significant others, and families.  Request future dates for these workshops through the email listed below.

Donations are accepted for the St. Joseph Baskets – a welcome basket that includes kitchen, bedroom and bathroom supplies for recently housed homeless veterans.  Click HERE for the informational brochure.

The CVM ministry is divided into various subcommittees.

  1. The Events Subcommittee plans, organizes and promotes events such as a fall Veterans Day event.
  2. The Spiritual Healing Subcommittee coordinates a monthly drum circle for veterans with HeartSound Music Therapy, conducts fund-raising/outreach for the “Franciscan Pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi for Former Military Personnel,” and a healing retreat for veterans.
  3. The Community Action Subcommittee supports Casa families of those military service members deployed, organizes efforts to help veterans within the community and liaisons with other social justice ministries at Casa.
  4. The Education Subcommittee plans activities to increase community awareness of the issues facing our military families, which includes presentations, seminars and monthly book reviews.

Inquire at casaveteransministry(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)thecasa.org to volunteer with this ministry.  Here are the volunteer positions with this ministry:

Teaching English as a Second Language

Do You Speak English In SpanishImagine trying to live in a foreign country where you don’t know the local language. The ESL Ministry teaches basic English language skills to help immigrants rebuild their lives.

Classes are taught from September to May and are held in four locations: St. Matthew’s and St. Andrew’s parishes in Phoenix; Hohokam Elementary School in Scottsdale, and St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Springerville, Ariz. Some classes meet twice a week and others once a week. Training is provided at the beginning of each year.

Generally, students are Spanish-speaking. The ability to speak Spanish is not a volunteer requirement, nor do you need a teaching background. We use a team-teaching approach (with a designated lead instructor) and total immersion – speaking only English in the classroom. Lesson plans, classroom handouts and teaching materials consist of a combination of purchased texts and donated material, funded by several cash grants and donated services from the Casa.

This is a very satisfying ministry. Students are dedicated and instructor-student relationships often turn into friendships. As students learn English, volunteer instructors learn about students’ lives, their families and their work.

Inquire with Annie Neroda at esl(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)thecasa.org

Volunteer with this ministry:

Valley Interfaith Project – Casa Core Team

Our Catholic faith calls us to work in the public arena on matters that affect the dignity of the human person, and to work in solidarity with the most vulnerable in our society.

Casa members are invited to participate in The Valley Interfaith Project (VIP) – a broad-based, non-partisan organization of institutions across greater Phoenix that trains and empowers people to affect change for families at the state and local level.

VIP is committed to developing the capacity of ordinary people so they can be active participants in all levels of our democracy including: understanding local concerns, researching and presenting issues and developing the ability to interact effectively with public officials. As a founding member of the VIP, the Casa is integral to this Valley-wide organization. Participation by Casa members furthers our social justice imperative to engage in creating a just society.

Meetings take place on 1st Thursday of the month from 6:30-8:30 pm.
Inquire with Patty Hunn at vip(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)thecasa.org

Volunteer with this ministry:


“It is necessary that all participate in promoting the common good” and “as far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life.”
(–Catechism, #1913-1915)

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