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Themes of Catholic Social Teaching

An introduction to the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching along with a guided reflection to promote a better understanding of each theme.

Mary Beth Smith

on 25 April 2016

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Transcript of Themes of Catholic Social Teaching

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
Themes of Catholic Social Teaching
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
Focus Questions for Reflection/Discussion

1. Do I give special attention to the needs of the poor and vulnerable in my community and in the world?

2. Am I disproportionately concerned for my own good at the expense of others?

3. Do I engage in service and advocacy work that protects the dignity of poor and vulnerable persons?
Dignity of Work and
the Rights of Workers
Focus Questions for Reflection/Discussion
(Project yourself 15 years into the future)

1. As a worker, do I give my employer a fair day's work for my wages? As an owner, do I treat workers fairly?

2. Do I treat all workers with whom I interact with respect, no matter their position or class?

3. Do I support the rights of all workers to adequate wages, health insurance, vacation and sick leave? Do I affirm their right to form or join unions or worker associations?

4. Do my purchasing choices take into account the hands involved in the production of what I buy? When possible , do I buy products produced by workers whose rights and dignity were respected?
Call to Family, Community,
and Participation
Focus Questions for Reflection/Discussion

1. Do I try to make positive contributions in my family and in my community?

2. Are my beliefs, attitudes, and choices such that they strengthen or undermine the institution of the family?

3. Am I aware of problems facing my local community and involved in efforts to find solutions? Do I stay informed and make my voice heard when needed?

4. Do I support the efforts of poor persons to work for change in their neighborhoods and communities? Do my attitudes and interactions empower or disempower others?
Rights and Responsibilities
Focus Questions for Reflection/Discussion

1. Do I recognize and respect the economic, social, political, and cultural rights of others?

2. Do I live in material comfort and excess while remaining insensitive to the needs of others whose rights are unfulfilled?

3. Do I take seriously my responsibility to ensure that the rights of persons in need are realized?

4. Do I urge those in power to implement programs and policies that give priority to the human dignity and rights of all, especially the vulnerable?
Focus Questions for Reflection/Discussion

1. Does the way I spend my time reflect a genuine concern for others?

2. Is solidarity incorporated into my prayer and spirituality? Do I lift up vulnerable people throughout the world in my prayer, or is it reserved for only my personal concerns?

3. Am I attentive only to my local neighbors or also those across the globe?

4. Do I see all members of the human family as my brothers and sisters?
Care for God's Creation
Focus Questions for Reflection/Discussion

1. Do I live out my responsibility to care for God's creation?

2. Do I see my care for creation as connected to my concern for poor persons, who are most at risk from environmental problems?

3. Do I litter? Live wastefully? Use energy too freely? Are there ways I could reduce consumption in my life?

4. Are there ways I could change my daily practices and those of my family, school, workplace, or community to better conserve the earth's resources for future generations?
Life and Dignity of the Human Person
Life and Dignity
of the Human Person
(the axis)
Focus Questions for Reflection/Discussion

1. Do I respect the life and dignity of every human person from conception through natural death?

2. Do I recognize the face of Christ reflected in all others around me whatever their race, class, age or abilities?

3. Do I work to protect the dignity of others when it is being threatened?

4. Am I committed to both protecting human life and to ensuring that every human being is able to live in dignity?
Works Cited
"99 Balloons." Vimeo. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 June 2013.

"A Prayer for Community." A Catholic Call to Justice. Rep. Washington DC: United States Catholic Conference, 1998. Raising Awareness of Social Justice Issues - An Activity Book for Raising Awareness of Social Justice Issues. Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Catholic Relief Services. Web. 10 July 2013. <http://www.loyola.edu/ccsj/manual/resources/Catholic Call to Justice.pdf>.

"A Prayer for Peace and Peacemaking." Education for Justice - A Project of Center of Concern. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Aug. 2013. <https://educationforjustice.org/resources/prayer-peace-and-peacemaking>.

"CCGP: This Is What Solidarity Looks Like." YouTube. YouTube, 09 Feb. 2010. Web. 10 July 2013.

"Ecological Footprint Quiz." Earth Day Network Main. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Aug. 2013. <http://www.earthday.org/footprint-calculator>.

Focus Questions for Reflection /Discussion from
Supplementary Questions to Examine Conscience in Light of Catholic Social Teaching Copyright 2010, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington D.C. All rights reserved.

"The Grail Prayer." Catholic Social Teaching. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2013. <http://www.catholicsocialteaching.org.uk/themes/solidarity/reflection/grail-prayer/>.

"Honoring the Environment - a Dumagat Celebration." YouTube. YouTube, 08 Apr. 2009. Web. 13 June 2013.

"Introduction and Principles." Catholic Social Teaching. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Aug. 2013. <http://www.catholicsocialteaching.org.uk/principles/>.

"Jerzy Popieluszko: Messenger of the Truth" Promo Reel." Vimeo. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June 2013.

Martin, James, S.J. "Dorothy Day from "Who Cares About The Saints?" with Fr. James Martin, S.J." YouTube. YouTube, 07 Sept. 2012. Web. 01 July 2013.

Mich, Marvin L. Krier. "Human Dignity: Respect for Every Life." The Challenge and Spirituality of Catholic Social Teaching. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2011. 89. Print.

Poulsom, Martin, SDB. "CST: Community and Participation Further Explanation." Catholic Social Teaching. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 July 2013.

"Pope Francis Presides Over the Recital of the Holy Rosary for the Conclusion of the Marian Month of May, 31 May 2013." Address of Holy Father Francis. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 31 May 2013. Web. 03 July 2013.

Eternal God,
creator and sustainer of life
bless us with the courage to defend all life
from conception to natural death.
Bless us with the strength to respect
all peoples from east to west, from north to south,
so that we may truly follow
the call of Jesus
to be neighbor.
We ask this in the name of Jesus,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit.

Prayer for Life
by Bill Appleby Purcell
What is Catholic Social Teaching?
Founded on Jesus' life and teachings, the CST call all persons to support issues of human dignity and rights and promote justice and peace for the common good of all people.
Contains brief images of war and death that some may find disturbing.
Jerzy Popieluszko: Messenger of the Truth
Honoring the Environment
Some Virtues for Living
the Catholic Social Teaching
99 Balloons
3 related principles
Common Good
Dorothy Day from
"Who Cares About the Saints?"
Fr. James Martin, S.J.

Dorothy Day
Prayer to Mary
Mary, woman of listening,
open our ears;
grant us to know how to listen to the word of your Son Jesus among the thousands of words of this world;
grant that we may listen to the reality in which we live,
to every person we encounter,
especially those who are poor, in need, in hardship.

Mary, woman of decision,
illuminate our mind and our heart,
so that we may obey, unhesitating, the word of your Son Jesus;
give us the courage to decide, not to let ourselves be dragged along,
letting others direct our life.

Mary, woman of action,
obtain that our hands and feet move “with haste” toward others,
to bring them the charity and love of your Son Jesus,
to bring the light of the Gospel to the world, as you did. Amen.

Some Teasers . . .
Entertaining Angels (a movie)
The Grail Prayer
Lord Jesus
I give you my hands to do your work
I give you my feet to go your way
I give you my eyes to see as you do
I give you my tongue to speak your words
I give you my mind that you may think in me
I give you my spirit that you may pray in me
Above all, I give you my heart
That you may love in me
Your Father and all mankind
I give you my whole self that you may grow in me
so that it is you Lord Jesus
who live and work and pray in me.

This is what solidarity looks like
Some Images of Solidarity
Solidarity Discussion
1. What stands out to you in the picture you chose to represent solidarity?

2. Explain why you think the picture you chose shows the meaning of solidarity.

3. Draw your own picture of what solidarity means to you.

Prayer for Community
Embracing Father,
you grace each of us in equal measure with your love.
Let us learn to love our neighbors more deeply,
so that we can create
peaceful and just communities.
Inspire us to use our creative energies
to build the structures we need
to overcome the obstacles
of intolerance and indifference.
May Jesus provide us the example needed
and send the Spirit to warm our hearts for the journey.
Warm-Up Activity
Care of God's Creation
Take the Ecological Footprint Quiz

What lessons can we learn from the Dumagat people about caring for our environment?
Small group discussion question
God of Justice, God of Peace,
May we be peacemakers by
feeding the hungry,
tending to the sick,
planting good will, and
sowing justice,
always and everywhere.

May we be justice-makers by
planting with the hungry,
tending to good will, and
sowing peace,
always and everywhere.

May your words be rich soil,
May we be rich soil, too,
that gives nourishment to the roots of our faith
so we may feed your people with our labor.
A Prayer for Peace and Peacemakers
Putting into Practice
Full transcript