What is the goal of this initiative?
The overarching goal of this initiative is to do God’s work and carry his message beyond these parish walls. We want to encourage parishioners to not just look at their parish as a place to attend Mass each week, rather we want to encourage a sense of community and purpose that continues on throughout the week. It is a means to promote a sense of discipleship.
Why do we call it “Not so Random.” If I see a random opportunity to show kindness shouldn’t I take it?
Not so random simply refers to the fact that as Catholics we are called by Jesus to show kindness and mercy to others. These acts can be both premeditated and impromptu, but we don’t perform them randomly per se; rather we continue to seek out opportunities to support others.
Why write them down. Isn’t the point of charity to do so without recognition?
Yes, the purpose is not to seek recognition, which is why we ask that all acts remain anonymous. Writing them down provides a means for us to reflect upon those acts and to consciously seek out opportunities that we can then present to God. Displaying these acts is done as a means to encourage and drive one another and demonstrate our strength and commitment as a parish community.
I volunteer at the same place every week. Can I write the same thing each week?
Not So Random Acts of Kindness is not only focused on bringing the parish together but also on building your own relationship with God. We are not defining what you should and should not consider acts of kindness. What we are encouraging is for people to seek out new opportunities to support others as a way of strengthening our faith and discipleship.
I helped someone as part of my Not So Random Acts of Kindness, but I don’t want them to feel like a charity case. How can I still present this to God without them knowing?
Your acts of kindness are between you and God. You can be as cryptic as you want when you write them down. The actual details behind your act of kindness are between you and God.
How long will this initiative go on?
At this point we are planning to continue throughout the Year of Mercy. At its conclusion we will re-evaluate.
How many acts can I submit each week?
As many as you want. You can take as many slips of paper from the church as you want and can also print copies from this website.
I’m going to be away but still want to participate while I am gone. How can I do this?
If you would still like to submit acts of kindness while away you can fill out a sheet and send to firstname.lastname@example.org and the slip will be printed and placed in the basket.
Has this been done before?
Similar initiatives are done elsewhere. Milford Hospital has a white board where volunteers mark down each time they helped someone. The book “ONE SIMPLE ACT”, Discovering the Power of Generosity, by Debbie Macomber, includes lots of ideas and suggestions for performing acts of kindness. She writes, “When we find something we love, we want to share it with others and spread the joy. Right? That is how I feel about simple acts of generosity. I have had some encounters with generosity-as the recipient, the giver, the witness-that have had a profoundly life-changing impact on me. I’ve just got to share the stories!”