In tough economic times it is important for Catholic communities to be examples of the systems that sustain families through such times. Just a few little changes within a parish could provide many positive effects. For example, I think it would be a great idea if parishes would plant their own vineyards. It wouldn’t take much to provide the wine for the parish from a small vineyard. One little vine would probably be sufficient. If the parish is unable to plant a vine or two, then they should at least try to buy their wine locally instead of ordering it from the Big Catholic Catalog.
Along the same lines, it would also be beneficial if parishes baked their own communion hosts. I’m not trying to put Communion Wafers Inc. out of business, but I think it’s a bit unsustainable to ship in something that can easily be provided by a few volunteers in the community.
Another great idea is for a parish to go beyond just a vineyard and plant a community garden. These gardens would be tended by the parishioners with produce going to those in the parish that need it the most or to food banks or whatever.
I know that some churches as well as some priest and nun factories already do these sorts of things, which is cool, and I highly recommend implementing them in your own parish if you aren’t involved with this already.