Community and Common Good

Economic Development

“When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice.” Saint Gregory the Great

Background

“The development of economic activity and growth in production are meant to provide for the needs of human beings. Economic life is not meant solely to multiply goods produced and increase profit or power; it is ordered first of all to the service of persons, of the whole man, and of the entire human community. Economic activity is to be exercised within the limits of the moral order, in keeping with social justice so as to correspond to God’s plan for man.” (CCC, 2426)

Action
  • Promote and advocate for social/ societal structures which work on behalf of all persons without bias to social status, race, etc…
  • Support small businesses or programs which help empower low-income communities to contribute and participate in society
  • Buy Fair Trade Coffee, Tea, Chocolate, and Handcrafts that support a sustainable development in impoverished countries
  • Host a Fair Trade Café or Speaker at your parish or ministry
Resources

 

Marriage, Family Children & Elderly

“When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice.”
Saint Gregory the Great

Background

“Human beings were created in the image and likeness of God for love, and that complete human fulfillment only comes about when we make a sincere gift of ourselves to others. The family is the privileged setting where every person learns to give and receive love. That is why the Church constantly wishes to demonstrate her pastoral concern for this reality, so basic for the human person. This is what she teaches in her Magisterium: ‘God, who is love and who created man and woman for love, has called them to love.’  By creating man and woman he called them to an intimate communion of life and love in Marriage. ‘So they are no longer two but one flesh’ (Mt 19:6).” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Compendium, 337).

Action

Aging Issues

  • Fill out a Catholic Living Will and discuss your wishes with your family
  • Host a Living Will workshop at your parish
  • Volunteer at a local nursing home
  • Host an Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias Educational Seminar (presentations available in English and Spanish)
Resources

 

Education

“Education is integral to the mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News. First and foremost every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth.” Pope Benedict XVI, Meeting with Catholic Educators, April 2008

Background

“All men of every race, condition and age, since they enjoy the dignity of a human being, have an inalienable right to an education that is in keeping with their ultimate goal, their ability, their sex, and the culture and tradition of their country, and also in harmony with their fraternal association with other peoples in the fostering of true unity and peace on earth. For a true education aims at the formation of the human person in the pursuit of his ultimate end and of the good of the societies of which, as man, he is a member, and in whose obligations, as an adult, he will share.”  DECLARATION ON CHRISTIAN EDUCATION-Gravissimum Educationis, Pope Paul VI, 1965)

Action
  • Volunteer in a mentoring program
  • Work with/ for after school programs
  • Become a Religious Education or Faith Formation Teacher
  • Support programs which strives to give equal and just opportunities for all children
  • Pray for an increase in orthodox teaching in our schools
Resources

 

Healthcare

“The essential purpose of health care is to promote and safeguard the well-being of those who need it, that medical research and practice must always be tied to ethical imperatives, that the weak and those who seem unproductive to the eyes of a consumer society have an inviolable dignity that must always be respected, and that health care should be available as a right to all people without exception.” Pope John Paul II

Background

“In accord with its mission, Catholic health care should distinguish itself by service to and advocacy for those people whose social condition puts them at the margins of our society and makes them particularly vulnerable to discrimination: the poor, the uninsured and the underinsured; children and the unborn; single parents; the elderly; those with incurable diseases and chemical dependencies; racial minorities; immigrants and refugees. In particular, the person with mental or physical disabilities, regardless of the cause or severity must be treated as a unique person of incomparable worth, with the same right to life and to adequate health care as all other persons.” (Catholic Conference of Kentucky).

Action
  • Promote and support those healthcare companies which work to serve the community rather than working to make more money.
  • Support heath organizations which do not severely contradict Catholic teaching (i.e., do not perform abortions, give emergency contraception, etc.)
Resources

 

Pornography

“…either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy.” CCC, 2339

Background

“Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.” (CCC, 2354)

Action
  • Sex abuse alerts and reports
  • Pornography addict help
  • Write to network and cable companies to express your concern of the amount of sexual content shown on television
Resources

Pure Love Club

 

Communications and Media

While these drawbacks are real, they do not justify rejecting social media; rather, they remind us that communication is ultimately a human rather than technological achievement. What is it, then, that helps us, in the digital environment, to grow in humanity and mutual understanding? We need, for example, to recover a certain sense of deliberateness and calm. This calls for time and the ability to be silent and to listen. We need also to be patient if we want to understand those who are different from us. People only express themselves fully when they are not merely tolerated, but know that they are truly accepted. If we are genuinely attentive in listening to others, we will learn to look at the world with different eyes and come to appreciate the richness of human experience as manifested in different cultures and traditions. We will also learn to appreciate more fully the important values inspired by Christianity, such as the vision of the human person, the nature of marriage and the family, the proper distinction between the religious and political spheres, the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity, and many others. – Pope Francis, Message for the 48th World Communications Day

Background

“Within modern society the communications media play a major role in information, cultural promotion, and formation. This role is increasing, as a result of technological progress, the extent and diversity of the news transmitted, and the influence exercised on public opinion. The information provided by the media is at the service of the common good. Society has a right to information based on truth, freedom, justice, and solidarity: The proper exercise of this right demands that the content of the communication be true and—within the limits set by justice and charity—complete. Further, it should be communicated honestly and properly. This means that in the gathering and in the publication of news, the moral law and the legitimate rights and dignity of man should be upheld.” (CCC 2493-2494)

Action
  • Support positive media outlets which promote Truth and the good of humanity. You can do this either financially, through advertising by word of mouth, or by participating and gaining resources from various Catholic sources.
Resources

 

Repeated Social Teaching

Community and Participation – The mystery of the Trinity involves the relationship of complete love among three divine persons in one God. As people made in God’s image, we must model divine love and know that the person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society in economics and politics, in law and policy directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. “Marriage and the family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined. We believe people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.” – USCCB, Sharing Catholic Social Teaching:  Challenges and Directions