CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING IN FAITH FORMATION
The heart of effective integration of Catholic Social Teaching into the active parish membership lies within the pro-
active efforts of those teachers and catechists who have the desire and capacity for transforming students into compassionate
advocates for the poor and vulnerable. Knowledge of CST alone is not sufficient for this transformation. The best programs,
long or short term, should offer an opportunity for participants to meet, listen to, and to dialog with the poor and vulnerable
face to face so as to change their frame of reference from “those poor people” into “our brothers and sisters in need”. This is
not a trivial change but one absolutely essential to integrating CST into parish life. Some fundamental principles for learning
Catholic social teaching include:
The process should include systematic catechesis on Catholic Social Teaching, which mirror the core values of CST
while providing a structure for evangelization in engaging participants in an experiential activity. Activities that are
not part of an overall Catholic Social Teaching catechesis are nothing more than community service and are
ineffectual for promoting the spiritual growth necessary for moral decision-making.
The focus of Catholic Social Teaching activities must ALWAYS be the faith formation of the participants, not
individual social action or justice issues! Focusing on social issues merely polarizes people along political and
economic lines. By focusing on faith formation, we foster the development of the virtues that promote lifelong
involvement with social issues. Those helped by these activities become the indirect beneficiaries of our faith
Incentives such as awards or rewards must NEVER be offered to elicit participation in social justice activities. Such
incentives are inconsistent with scriptural and doctrinal teachings regarding social justice, and prevent participants
from experiencing the spiritual reward of helping others. Sometimes gatherings in which food and drink is offered
can be considered part of the catechesis and may be perfectly acceptable to include.
CST activities can be inter-generational. Create opportunities that provide for the involvement of the whole family as
much as possible. In fact the most successful programs include people of all ages and relationships.
Don’t set unreasonable expectations for participant learning. They will not develop all of the spiritual virtues or the
core values of Catholic Social Teaching on the first try. Be happy if, upon reflection, they express even one of the
learning outcomes. Remember, only Peter recognized that Jesus was the Messiah. The other Apostles didn’t have a
clue, and they were with Jesus for three years!
The following categories of Religious Education programs may provide a convenient way for searching for a useful program
appropriate for your parish. Browsing through the actual programs may give some very useful ideas you can use also.
DIRECT PROGRAMS FOR FAITH FORMATION
These are general programs involving catechesis as well as experience with the poor or vulnerable. They may take several
sessions to complete since the process of Faith Formation takes time.
Custom parish plan for Faith Formation of Catholic Social Teaching (specific lesson plan sample located at end of
Salt & Light
Peace and Justice (Athenaeum Course)
Sharing Catholic Social Teaching
Exploring Vatican II Video program (CST emphasized)
Journey to Justice (associated with Catholic Campaign for Human Development)
Operation Rice Bowl
CST book studies
Respect Life education
Natural Family Planning, Training, and Outreach
Respect Life online series example
Book study example
A CST program for small children (ages 3 to 10) (who then teach the adults)
These are specific programs where people learn by doing and are immersed with people who are most likely poor or
Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN)
Twinning basics and samples ( example immersion process for youth/adults)
CST in teen / adult immersion trips
Immersion experiences for youth related to Respect Life issues
Public events and demonstrations for Life and Social Justice
TACKLE (Teens Advocating Change through Knowledge Leadership Experience)
Rural Plunge (An immersion experience that can help you discover and participate in a local, rural community).
EDUCATION CONCERNING SPECIFIC SOCIAL ACTION ISSUES
This is a list of websites to go to find background information on specific issues relating to Catholic Social Teaching themes.
They are categorized according to Catholic Social Teaching themes:
Life and Dignity of the Human Person
Call to Family, Community and Participation
Rights and Responsibilities
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
Care for God’s Creation
DIRECT PROGRAMS FOR FAITH FORMATION
Custom Parish Plan for Faith Formation in Catholic Social Teaching
The following is a detailed plan for integrating Catholic Social Teaching within a parish using dialog sessions that result in
expanding and transformation of ideas of Faith stemming from Catholic Social teaching and that apply to solving social
problems. This plan is used primarily for Faith Formation and may be customized for different age groups
This plan is based on a model developed by Marilyn Margeson (513-484-7800) of St. Bartholomew parish.
Contents of the plan are on the next pages:
1. Brief content of Catholic Social teaching (CST)
2. Process of teaching CST
3. Theme layout- suggested way to teach
Pages 36-40 in this section: Lesson Plan example on Life and Human Dignity
Brief content of Catholic Social Teaching (CST)
The following seven themes highlight some of the key principles that are addressed in Catholic Social Teaching documents.
These seven themes are summarized in the document Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions, reflections
of the U.S. Bishops published in 1998. Below are summary ideas based upon this document, which hopefully will lead the
reader into a successful catechetical process for “growing” these teachings into a community.
1. Life and Dignity of the Human Person
Made in the image and likeness of God, all persons are sacred. Belief in the sanctity of human life and inherent dignity of each
person is the foundation of all of our social teachings. Today this value is threatened by many events such as abortion, embryo
stem cell research, assisted suicide, euthanasia, the death penalty, and the many ways in which people are treated with general
disregard for their human dignity as given them by God.
Based on this teaching, we believe that every person is precious in the eyes of God and that people are more important than
things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.
Any threat to this teaching is the overriding and greatest concern we have for our society today and demands our agreement
with the other more specific Catholic Social teachings as a way to overcome this threat through social action and justice.
2. Call to Family, Community, and Participation
The human person is a social as well as a sacred being. Our Catholic tradition teaches that human beings grow and achieve
fulfillment not in isolation but in community. The family is the central social model of community. Family life needs to be
supported by other institutions and governments. Excessive individualism, competition, and greed work against the common
good so that participation by the community to offset these threats is imperative.
We believe people have a right and a responsibility as called by Christ to participate in society, seeking together the common
good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.
3. Rights and Responsibilities
People have a God given fundamental right to life and to those things necessary to sustain human dignity. Among the items
identified as necessary to sustain dignity are food, shelter, health care, education and employment. The common good depends
upon fulfillment of these rights. People also have a right to participate in decisions that affect their lives. Corresponding to
these rights are duties and responsibilities to respect the rights of others and to work for the common good.
In a world where some speak mostly of “rights” and others mostly of “responsibilities,” the Catholic tradition teaches that
human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights of all are protected and the
entire community meets these responsibilities.
4. Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
Catholic teaching proclaims that the moral test of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable members. This calls us to look at
public policy decisions in terms of how they affect the poor. In our present society a minority of 20% of the people control
more than 80% of the world’s resources, leaving few resources to be shared by the majority of the people.
In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt.
25:31-46) and instructs us as a way to salvation to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.
Brief content of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) (continued)
5. The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
People have a right to humane working conditions, productive work and fair wages. The economy exists to serve the people,
not the other way around. Many corporations have lost sight of the rights of workers and look only at the profit margin. From
1988 to 1998, the salaries of corporate executives grew by 15% while those of the bottom level workers grew by only 1%, not
enough to even meet the rise in cost of living.
Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to
be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected – the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to
organize and join unions (if that be necessary, rights to private property, and to take economic initiative.
We are all one human family, and as family we are responsible for the interests of each other. This responsibility reaches
across our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. Indifference to the pain and suffering of others has no
place in our society. We are all responsible for each other.
Learning to practice the virtue of solidarity means that compassion and ‘loving our neighbor’ has global dimensions in our
“mutually dependent” world.
7. Care for God’s Creation
All of creation is a gift from God and should be respected as such. We show our respect by the way we care for the earth as
stewards of all that has been entrusted to us. We need to examine how our excessive consumerism and poor environmental
practices are exploiting the earth and take measures to correct our destructive patterns.
Care for the earth is not just an Earth Day slogan, it is a requirement of our faith. We are called to protect people and the
planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation.
Effective integration of Catholic Social Teaching requires a conversion of heart, and a change in mind set that replaces
excessive individualism and competition with a sense of solidarity and compassion for those leading a lesser good life than we
Please review the following reflections aimed at changing a “mind set” into one that is open to receiving Catholic Social
teaching as it is intended into the mind of Catholic believer.
Catholic Social Teaching Education is about faith formation not about social issues!
Service to those in need is only one component of a comprehensive conversion experience. The best approach to teaching Catholic
Social Teaching is to help participants develop the spiritual virtues and values that promote lifelong involvement with social
teaching issues, and which can be used with any age group. The doctrinal and scriptural references provided here are not intended
to be an exhaustive list, however. There are many other doctrinal and scriptural references, which could be used. Below is an
overview of the important details of the process movements and should be done in this order for best results in faith formation.
Some movements may take longer than others to complete depending upon the student.
Catechetical Process Catholic Social Teaching Learning Outcomes Scriptural and Doctrinal References for each
Movements Education Core Values for Participants movement of the Catechetical Process
(NAB = New American Bible)
Experience – Finding Relationship – raising the 1-That engaging in Pope Paul, VI, “Pastoral Constitution on the
out what participants participants’ interest in and service to and with Church in the Modern World: Gaudium et Spes”
already know, what awareness of a community others should be (Rome, Italy Dec. 1965) article #12 (need for
questions they have, in need is in itself a service practiced every day community)
and/or what they would to that community. 2-That they can make http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_v
like to know about the a difference in the atican_council/documents/vat-
community in need. world. ii_cons_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_en.html
MT 14:13 - 21, NAB – Feeding of the five
MT 25:34 - 40, NAB – The Judgment of the
LK 10:25 - 28, NAB - The Greatest
Message – learning Understanding – 1-That serving others Pope Paul, VI, “Pastoral Constitution on the
new information about Researching and learning is essential to our Church in the Modern World: Gaudium et Spes”
the community through more about the community Catholic identity. (Rome, Italy Dec. 1965) article #4 (on-going
guest speakers, helps participants 2-That though we are reflection for understanding)
research, film, news, or recognize the value of the different, we share http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_v
printed media, etc., in community not just their many things in atican_council/documents/vat-
order to identify their needs. common. ii_cons_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_en.html
strengths as well as Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy
their needs. MK 6:7-10, NAB – The Mission of the Twelve
Discovery – Creating a Organization – Identifying 1-That serving others Pope Paul, VI, “Pastoral Constitution on the
plan of action that will what resources we have to is everyone’s Church in the Modern World: Gaudium et Spes”
meet community- help the community, and responsibility (Rome, Italy Dec. 1965) article #s 19 & 27
defined needs. creating an appropriate 2-That serving others (recognizing how we can help others)
plan of action to meet their is a collaborative http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_v
needs. process. atican_council/documents/vat-
JMS 2:26, NAB – Relationship between Faith
Integration – Develop Respect – Participants will 1-That they can work Pope Paul, VI, “Pastoral Constitution on the
an activity that recognize the intrinsic together to Church in the Modern World: Gaudium et Spes”
demonstrates a new value of all people as successfully complete (Rome, Italy Dec. 1965) article #26
appreciation for the children of God. a project. (appreciating all people as God’s children)
community they served. 2-That all people have http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_v
LK 9:57-62, NAB – Would-be Followers of
JN 13:1-9, 13-17, NAB – Washing of the
***There is no Reflection – Participants 1-That they have been Pope Paul, VI, “Pastoral Constitution on the
separate movement in will reflect on how they blessed by God. Church in the Modern World: Gaudium et Spes”
Catechetical Process helped the community, and 2-That engaging with (Rome, Italy Dec. 1965) article #s 40 & 15
for this core value of what they have learned others is mutually (being aware of God’s blessings)
Social Teaching from the experience. beneficial. http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_v
Education, but atican_council/documents/vat-
reflection is an ii_cons_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_en.html
inherent element of MT 16:13-17, NAB – Peter’s conviction of
the Integration Jesus the Messiah
Process of teaching CST
Theme Layout - a suggested way to teach
Each session of faith formation should have a central CST theme and an issue that can be discussed, analyzed and investigated
with regards to that theme. It may be difficult to isolate an issue within one central CST theme but if the issue is complex, and
most of them are, it is advised to keep the session focused on what the theme is expressing about the issue. In this way an
attitude toward the issue is formed as learners begin to see and understand it through the lens of the simple CST theme. This
approach prevents the issue from becoming overwhelming to the learners be they children or adults. Because of this the plan
developed in the Discovery session where the learner begins to formulate what he or she can do about the issue becomes
realistic and aimed at making a practical difference in the community. Notice the important fact that these outlines form the
ideal process of integration which includes experiential components along the way, an essential component for faith formation.
Faith formation is what is important as an outcome of this process, and this will grow in the learner as other themes and issues
are encountered in other sessions.
Experience - In this session you will lead participants in discovering what they already know, and what they would like to
know about the Catholic Social Teaching theme. Try to address any misinformation or biases they may have. Finally, you will
lead participants in identifying social issues related to the theme, and in selecting an appropriate issue to address.
Message – In this session you will address the questions raised by the participants in the previous session by inviting them
to share the information they gathered in their research. Address any unanswered questions by citing examples from the
scriptures and church doctrines, or by relaying the information you acquired in your research. Supplement this information by
inviting a guest speaker (someone who has first hand knowledge of the issue) to interact with the group. If a speaker is not
available, then a filmstrip, Power Point presentation, magazine or news articles, etc, will suffice. (Everyone should be on the
same page after this session)
Discovery – In this session you will lead participants in the process of developing an appropriate plan of action. You will have
participants identify the available resources they uncovered. Then you will lead them in discerning what time, treasure, and
talents they can contribute and what project responsibilities they will assume. Finally, you will work with the group to map out
how the project will be organized and implemented.
Integration – In this session you will lead participants and representatives of the community that you served in an assessment
of the plan of action, and provide an opportunity for both groups to share their experiences of the plan of action.
Reflection – In this session you will lead participants in reflecting upon what they have experienced.
See pages “Faith Formation 36-39” for a specific lesson plan.
Editors Note: This specific lesson plan includes the example of “Immigration” as an issue for dialog with a Catholic
Social Teaching theme. Other issues that fall under Respect Life (abortion for example) and Social Justice (Worker
Justice for example) can be used in this process as well.
Name of Program: Salt and Light
Participants in this course can receive credit for the “Peace and Justice” course required for catechist certification by
the Archdiocesan Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.
Purpose of program : “Salt and Light” aims to provide a group of parishioners a basic groundwork to the Roman Catholic
Church’s rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching. It will encourage participants to read the Gospels through the unique eyes
of the poor and to consider acting in new, creative ways to stand in solidarity with “the least among us”. Although the program
is brief, it is designed to lead participants towards a desire to engage concretely in God’s divine plan to empower the poor to
overcome social injustices. The program aims to jumpstart new social ministry efforts in parishes that currently have none or
to assist already active social justice committees in recruiting new members in their parishes to hear this gospel message.
Teacher Requirements: Because of the special training required for teachers / facilitators for this program the Archdiocese
currently establishes parish locations upon request. Cost for program is $15 per person and is limited to 10 minimum/25
maximum, committed to all sessions.
Teaching Aids: The program is based upon The U.S. bishops 1993 document, Communities of Salt and Light. :
Overview: Program consists of five, 2.5-hour sessions (12.5 hours)
Session 1: Laying the Ground Work for Social Justice Ministry
This session will begin the exploration of Catholic Social Teaching, delve into the biblical roots of
social justice, and differentiate between charity and social justice.
Session 2: Encountering the Other
This session will involve interaction with individuals struggling to break the cycle of poverty or
other social injustice. Participants will reflect on this experience and use it as an example of a real,
local issue that calls for a Christian response.
Session 3: Analyzing the World around Us
This session will explore how much of Catholic Social Teaching and the Gospel message challenge
us to enhance human dignity and build God’s kingdom through a redistribution of power. The
“power analysis” will be applied to the experience of Session 2, and it will introduce us to the
concepts of “subsidiarity” and “Fair Trade”.
Session 4: Becoming a Social Justice Parish
This session will further integrate Catholic Social Teaching and “a spirituality of social justice” into
the identity of the parish, particularly as articulated in the U.S. bishops’ Communities of Salt and
Session 5: Action and Next Steps
Using what we have learned, how can we concretely engage in social ministry in our parish? What
is a concrete action step that participants can take together? How do we begin developing a social
justice committee in our parish?
Expectations of program ( Learning Objectives)
1 Pastoral circle experience “Salt and Light” models its approach for education on the “Pastoral Circle”, a systematic
process of learning about a social injustice from someone confronting it, analyzing the problem, reflecting on our faith
tradition’s response, and devising an action to address the issue.
The Pastoral Circle
This experience will help the participant to understand the power of approaching social problems using the pastoral circle
2 Learn an effective way to weave Catholic Social Teaching onto parish life. As expressed by the Catholic Bishops in
Salt and Light At a time of rampant individualism, we stand for family and community. At a time of intense consumerism, we
insist it is not what we have, but how we treat one another that counts. In an age that does not value permanence or hard work
in relationships, we believe marriage is forever and children are a blessing, not a burden. At a time of growing isolation, we
remind our nation of its responsibility to the broader world, to pursue peace, to welcome immigrants, to protect the lives of
hurting children and refugees. At a time when the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, we insist the moral
test of our society is how we treat and care for the weakest among us. In these challenging days, we believe that the Catholic
community needs to be more than ever a source of clear moral vision and effective action…The pursuit of justice and peace is
an essential part of what makes a parish Catholic.
For more information: contact the Catholic Social Action Office.
In Cincinnati: (513) 421-3131, ext. 239 or email@example.com
In Dayton: (937) 224-3026 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit our website at www.catholicsocialaction.org !
Name of Program: JustFaith
Purpose of the Program: JustFaith is an educational experience, a formation process, and a spiritual journey.
Teacher Requirements: Parishioners usually facilitate JustFaith so it does not create added responsibilities for parish staff.
Teaching Aids: All materials used by participants and books at reduced prices are provided by the JustFaith Ministries office.
Introductory works shops may be scheduled by clusters of parishes or by the Archdiocese Social Action office to cover the
theological background of the program.
Overview: JustFaith is a thirty-week adult formation program, which offers participants an opportunity to experience a
spiritual journey into compassion. Participants meet weekly for seven or eight months to read, hear lectures, watch videos,
discuss, pray, enjoy retreats and have immersion experiences. As a participant you are exposed not only to a demanding course
of study but enjoy becoming a small faith community with other participants. This journey is both challenging and life-giving.
Getting Started: The cost for a parish to register (for 2007 –2008) is $250. This Fee applies to other programs (described
next). Registration for these other programs is also required. Support for all programs is available on line at www.justfaith.org.
, the JustFaith Ministries Office (502-420-0865) e-mail address: email@example.com. The Catholic Social Action Office also
provides support and resources for groups for this program: 513-421-3131, ext. 239; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name of Program: JustFaith II
Purpose of Program: To help JustFaith graduates develop skills necessary for doing the work of effective social ministry
within their parishes.
Teacher Requirements: Completion of JustFaith or have had a comparable experience that has led them to a solid and
functional understanding of Catholic Social Teaching.
Teaching Aids: All materials used by participants and books at reduced prices are provided by the JustFaith Ministries office.
Overview: JustFaith II is a twenty-four weekly session supported by two retreats that engage participants in skill building that
calls them to action and contemplation in the work of justice. Participants focus on skills building, spiritual formation, and
education on key social issues. Topics are based upon US Catholic Bishops vision for parishes as outlined in the 1994
Document of “Communities of Salt and Light” . Participants are expected to commit to prayer and spiritual formation, weekly
reading, consistent attendance, research, investigation of a key social issue, and a commitment to support the group.
Getting Started: The cost for a parish to register (for 2007 –2008) is $250. This Fee applies to other programs related to
JustFaith. Registration for these other programs is also required. Support for all programs is available on line at
www.justfaith.org . ,the JustFaith Ministries Office (502-420-0865) e-mail address: email@example.com
Name of Program: Justice Walking
Purpose of Program: To introduce small groups of high school juniors and seniors (in parish or high school contexts) to the
spirituality of Gospel living and connect them with people at the margins.
Teacher / Facilitator Requirement: Experience working with teenagers and a solid understanding of Catholic Social
Teaching Aids: All materials used by participants and books at reduced prices are provided by the JustFaith Ministries office.
Overview: Justice Walking (J-Walking) involves twelve 2-hour session (weekly or bi-weekly) as well as an opening retreat
and closing retreat and a justice pilgrimage. Sessions are prayerful and every other session takes place at a local social service
agency. J-Walkers help facilitate sessions, read and discuss two books together, and create a public presentation about their
experience. Sessions are framed around key themes of Catholic social teaching and life application. J-Walkers commit to
keeping a journal, and six “spiritual practices” for living the Gospels today.
Getting Started: The cost for a parish to register (for 2007 –2008) is $250. This Fee applies to other programs related to
JustFaith. Registration for these other programs is also required. Support for all programs is available on line at
www.justfaith.org the JustFaith Ministries Office (502-429-0865)
e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org Ref: Joe Grant JustFaith Ministries, P.O. Box 221348, Louisville, KY 40252
Name of Program: Peace and Justice
Purpose of Program: To examine the ways in which justice is denied to some people through laws, economic and social
practices and even well intentioned sanctions
Learner Requirements: Adults should be interested in learning about Catholic Social teaching as it is grounded in Hebrew
and Christian revelation and Church Documents. This course is available at the Athenaeum for those who want to apply
Catholic Social teaching to their own lives or to church ministry.
Overview: A learning model will be employed that consists of four steps;
Step 1 Awareness – discovering points of tension between personal values and justice issue;
Step 2 Analysis – searching for political, economic, social , cultural, and personal / spiritual
context in which to think about the issue;
Step 3 Reflection – addresses the question “ So What?” The goal is to identify what is right or
wrong in light of one’s personal value, imagining what ought to be;
Step 4 Action – taking appropriate action as a result of the previous 3 steps.
Expectations of the program (learning objectives)
1 Through class discussion a difference between charity and justice will be discovered
2 Through study to reflect biblical and church teaching about charity and justice.
3 Through study of bishops letter “ Economic Justice for All” to clarify aspects of Catholic Social Teaching as
it relates to current issues.
4 Learn the meaning of preferential option for the poor - a response to structural injustice.
5 Explanation of new views on several issues of peace and justice- from discussion of encyclicals and other
6 Either a reflection paper comparing Catholic Social teaching with MLK’s vision of economic justice and
freedom for all, or a reflection paper on biblical perspectives of The bishop’s pastoral letter of the 10 th
Anniversary Edition of “Economic Justice For All” is required for credit.
Comments: Gloria Leigh (937-268-0521) Email: email@example.com will be glad to supply more information.
Name of Program: Sharing Catholic Social Teaching
Purpose of program: A basic educational formation component for adults engaged in ministry of explaining Catholic Social
Teaching. Program may also be used with young adults and youth groups.
Teacher requirements: Leaders of educational and Catechetical ministries, including DRE’s, CRE’s RCIA leaders, youth
ministers, sacramental preparation ministers and those teachers having a basic familiarity with recent documents on Catholic
Teaching aids: Leadership Guide (complete guide including session outlines, handouts and catechetical background -
Publication No. 5-366 United States Conference- ISBN 1-57455-366)
Overview: Program Contains 3 sessions having study aid handouts (Course –6 hours)
Session 1 Exploring Catholic Social Teaching –2 hours
1 Video – “Bring Down the walls” (other CST videos may be substituted
3 Handouts – 1-Major Themes of Catholic Social Teaching,
2-Quotes from official Church Documents,
3- Some Scriptural Foundations of CST
Session 2 The art of Sharing Catholic Social Teaching – 2 hours
3 Handouts - 4- Charity and Justice,
5- The ART of Catholic Social Teaching Model (Act, Reflect, Transform)
6- Examples of the ART of Catholic Social Teaching
Session 3 Sharing Catholic Social Teaching – 2 hours
4 handouts – 7- Using the ART of CST to be used with
8- Age adaptations
9- Liturgical Catechesis and CST (connection to mass themes)
10- Resources for the ART of CST (home work reference)
Expectations of program (Learning Objectives):
1 Explain the 7 themes of CST
2 Describe the sources of the Churches’ CST
3 Identify several biblical passages related to CST and peace
4 Distinguish between Charity and Justice as responses to Church’s social mission
5 Use of ART of CST model to enrich formational activities
6 Identify ways to adapt CST activities for various ages
7 Find opportunities to link CST to liturgical Catechesis.
Comments: Ed Alten (575-1515) firstname.lastname@example.org
This program has very useful handouts for this and other CST programs
These lesson plans are well laid out and easy to follow
The Guide has in-depth reference materials that help catechist to broaden knowledge of CST
Three effective suggestions that have worked in educating parish members
about Catholic Social Teaching at Nativity Parish.
Submitted by Mary Lennard (531-7572) email@example.com Please call if you need more information.
Exploring an historical source:
There is a generation of the Catholic Faithful that might appreciate knowing where the emphasis on Catholic Social teaching
came from and why. A series of videos on the Vatican II council have been created that fill this need. These videos are
available from Thomas More, a division of Resources for Christian Living.
See http://rclbooksandmore.stores.yahoo.net/faitrevvid1.html A parish may rent the series from the media center of the
Archdiocese office of religious Education also. This is an excellent 5 part series that has gotten rave reviews wherever it’s
played and spurs good conversation on how we are doing 40 plus years since the Second Vatican Council. A summary of the
5-part collection is
"Vatican II: The Faithful Revolution”
1) “Genius of the Heart”
2) “Inspired Awakening”
3) “Human Dignity”
4) “A World Transformed” - This one in particular focuses on how
Vatican II revitalized social action in the Church.
5) “The Dynamics of Hope”
There is a 15-minute free preview (overview) of the contents of this video series on “Google” at
Two important outgrowth projects of Catholic Social Teaching from Vatican II provide both learning and help.
Journey to Justice associated with Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD):
An important “outgrowth” area of CST worth exploring is from Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).
Exploring CCH will help create a working knowledge and compassion for the poor through helping the poor help themselves.
Often contact with one of the groups helped by CCHD reveals a whole new world of disadvantaged people that can be
considered part of “our own” family and who, with a little help from us, can bring themselves out of poverty.
A website that explains more about this is http://www.usccb.org/cchd/ A brief history, purpose and experience of CCHD
found on this website may help us understand the significance of CCHD in getting people out of poverty and for creating a
sense of friendship and solidarity with those who help.
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) established the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the
Catholic Church's domestic anti-poverty program, in 1969 with two purposes. The first purpose was to raise funds to support
"organized groups of white and minority poor to develop economic strength and political power." The second purpose was to
"educate the People of God to a new knowledge of today's problems . . . that can lead to some new approaches that promote a
greater sense of solidarity." During its 36-year history, CCHD has provided more than 7,800 grants to self-help projects
developed by grassroots groups of poor persons. Each year CCHD distributes national grants to more than 300 projects based
in local communities. In addition, hundreds of smaller projects are funded through the 25 percent share of the CCHD collection
retained by dioceses. The projects' successes and the relationships developed have significantly changed the lives of the poor in
our country. A special program called “Journey to Justice” allows those unfamiliar with the plight of the poor to dialog with
those trying to help themselves through CCHD. More information may be found at the Social Action office of the Archdiocese
or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Operation Rice Bowl:
A second outgrowth area worth exploring is the global mission of Operation Rice Bowl. A website exists that provides
information about the mission of this group http://orb.crs.org/ A history found on this website may serve as explanation of this
Operation Rice Bowl, the official Lenten Program of Catholic Relief Services, began in 1975 in the Diocese of Allentown, PA
as a response to the drought in the African Sahel. For 32 years, Operation Rice Bowl has called participants to pray with their
families and faith communities; fast in solidarity with those who hunger; learn about our global community and the challenges
of poverty overseas, and give sacrificial contributions to those in need. Since its beginning Operation Rice Bowl has raised
more than $150 million to fund development projects that impact a community's ability to access food around the world and in
local diocesan communities in the United States. Today, more than 15,400 faith communities across the U.S. participate in
Operation Rice Bowl as a way to promote human dignity and foster solidarity with the poor around the world. The free
education materials and support from Operation Rice bowls have proven to be excellent ways to help parishes become aware of
the practical implementation of Catholic Social Teaching.
Respect Life Education
Submitted by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Family Life Office
Respect for all life is best followed through the Bishops Pastoral Plan FOR PRO-LIFE ACTIVITIES, A campaign in support of
A Consistent Ethic Of Life:
A wide spectrum of issues touches on the protection of human life and the promotion of human dignity. As Pope John Paul II
stated, “Where life is involved, the service of charity must be profoundly consistent. It cannot tolerate bias and discrimination,
for human life is sacred and inviolable at every stage and in every situation; it is an indivisible good.” (The gospel of Life,
It is the intent of the Respect life Program of the Archdiocese to have a Respect Life Coordinator in all Parishes, as a liaison
between the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Conference of Ohio, and the Archdiocese of
Cincinnati. We are all called to:
Public Information And Education – to deepen respect for human life and heighten public opposition to abortion
and euthanasia, a two fold educational effort - directed to the Catholic community, and to the general public
o Through our schools
o Catholic periodicals
o Catholic health care and social service agencies
o Through Parents
o Catholic Schools
Pastoral Care - …A Broad Range Of Services Provided With Competence, Compassion, And Dignity. It
includes spiritual assistance and essential material help it may include supplementary services beyond those in the
community…a primary way that the Church expresses its love for all God’s children.
o Pregnancy Services
o Adoption and Foster Care
o NFP programs
o Health Care for pregnant women and their children, appropriate counseling
o Opportunities for continuing education to teen and college age parents
o Care for prisoners, those on Death row, and victims of violent crime
Public Policy Program – As Americans and as religious leaders we are committed to governance by a system of law
that protects human rights and maintains the common good.
o Passage of a constitutional amendment that will protect unborn children’s right to life
o Legislative efforts to restrict the practice of abortion, and prohibit government support of abortion, human
cloning, and destruction of human embryos
o Support legislation that promotes palliative are for those chronically ill or dying
o Support for efforts to end the death penalty
In order to best serve our 19 Counties we have a Pro-life Commission which is made up of representatives of other Pro-life
Organizations with in the Community, etc. right to Life, health apostolate, post abortion ministry, parish Respect Life
Coordinators, Pregnancy Help Center Directors, CSA representative etc. The Committee meets four times per year to better
communicate the pro-life message, work with all community organizations, plan and execute educational programs for clergy,
Parish respect Life coordinators, encourage and support a diocese wide post-abortion ministry PROJECT RACHEL
MINISTRY the ministry of the USCCB, to communicate on legislative and voting issue when appropriate.
Our program coordinates and facilitates the Greater Cincinnati and Miami Valley Pregnancy Help Centers Coalition, (see
resource), consisting of 48 pregnancy Help Centers in our Archdiocese.
Respect Life Grants:
Annually the Family Life Office distributes Grant Monies to Organizations within the Archdiocese whose mission is to
promote and care for all life. The funding for the Grants comes from the Parish Respect Life Collections on Respect Life
Sunday the first Sunday in October.
Parish - use Respect Life CD after Masses to educate and remind people of the respect and dignity of all life
Respect Life Collection on Respect Life Sunday
Make available timely articles from the annual Respect Life Program materials
Weekly bulletin blurbs, and petitions through WORD OF LIFE (monthly USCCB)
Parish Health Fair
Baby shower for Pregnancy Help Center
Bulletin announcement for those looking for healing and reconciliation after an abortion
Respect life Booth at Parish fair
Blessing for all new and or expectant parents
Healing service for those who have lost an unborn child
Welcome all newly Baptized to parish community with rose and special note
Series on Death and Dying
Information sessions on Living will Medical Durable Power of Attorney
Speaker on Respect Life Issues – meet and plan with surrounding Parishes
Legislative Action Committee – activate with NCHLA Action alerts, or Catholic Conference of Ohio Alerts
Use Liturgy Guide from Annual Respect Life materials for petitions, bulletin notices, homily suggestions, novena
Post information for Retreats, Support Groups, for PROJECT RACHEL for Women, and SANCTUARY for Men – 2xper
Name of Program: Natural Family Planning
Purpose of the Program: The Natural Family Planning (NEP) Ministry”seeks to promote the Church’s teaching about life,
marriage, and sexuality, while supporting couples who currently use NFP and providing training opportunities for couples who
want to learn NFP.”
Expectations of Program:
The wonderful thing about NFP is that it is “modern, accurate, reliable and morally acceptable” as a means for couples to plan
their family, while having no side effects. It is “completely natural,” and not to be mistaken for what used to be called the
Rhythm Method. Couples using this method “consistently express increases in communication, understanding, satisfaction,
freedom, strength, respect, and joy in their marriages.”
Comments: Please Contact: Mary Mariska, 513-231-5987
Further information is readily available at IHM’s web site: http://www.ihom.org/naturalfamilyplanning.htm
Respect Life Teaching Series Example
Parishioner Jane Hoffman also created a Pro-Life teaching series for parishes on the web site of St. Antoninus Parish
www.saintantoninus.org and suggests implementing a similar monthly “Dear Fellow Parishioners” letter in your own parish
bulletin, adding the Life logo. For help with a teaching series lay leaders can phone 513-922-7231 and leave their contact
information. An example of this series is as follows:
From St. Antoninus Pro-Life, Pro-Family Commission
May 28, 2006
Dear Fellow Parishioners,
Look at your own beautiful children and family! Continuing to reflect on the “foundation”, we recall that each person, lovingly
created by God Himself, is gifted at the moment of conception with an immortal soul. From our beginning, each person is a
beloved member of our human family. “‘When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. Male and female He
created them and He blessed them.’ (Genesis 5)…the life of every individual, from its very beginning, is part of God’s
plan...Expressions of awe and wonder at God’s intervention in the life of a child in its mother’s womb occur again and again in
the Psalms. How can anyone think that even a single moment of this marvelous process of the unfolding of life could be
separated from the wise and loving work of the Creator and left prey to human caprice?” (The Gospel of Life, John Paul II’s
The Gospel of Life is “therefore meant to be a precise and vigorous reaffirmation of the value of human life and its
inviolability, and at the same time a pressing appeal to each and every person, in the name of God: respect, protect, love and
serve life, every human life! Only in this direction will you find justice, development, true freedom, peace and
happiness!”(ibid) Our families need us and the times demand us to become more informed and involved now. Come to our
next St. A’s meeting: this Tues. 5/30, 7:30 pm
To help develop our Catholic intellectual life: read the encyclical, The Gospel of Life
http://www.pauline.org/store/searchresults.php Psalms 22:10-11 71:6 139 13-14
For all our referenced websites www.saintantoninus.org
God is good!
November 26, 2006
Dear Fellow Parishioners,
Our parish school children recently completed a week “Everybody Counts”. What an upbeat way to answer God’s call to
respect and support each group represented on the logo of Right to Life! “Everybody Counts” always cherishes the most
vulnerable innocent in our human family, no matter how small or how old or how ill: the very young person still in her/his
mother’s womb, from conception on, who needs protection from dying in abortion or embryonic stem cell research or
infanticide; those with disabilities (like Downs syndrome), the elderly, and the ill who each need protection from euthanasia;
and each of us to be protecting human life from cloning.
As Advent approaches, let’s consider that Jesus was a human person: from His moment of conception in Our Lady’s womb; as
He was in Mary’s womb when she visited her cousin and John the Baptist leapt to greet Jesus from his place in St. Elizabeth’s
womb; Jesus was in Mary’s womb as she and St. Joseph found their way to Bethlehem; as He waited outside the inn when St.
Joseph was told there was no room so they went to a stable awaiting His birth. Everybody Counts…Jesus showed us the way,
even from His home in Our Lady’s womb. Check out www.saintantoninus.org (click on pro life).
God is good!
St. Antoninus Pro-Life, Pro-Family Commission
July 15, 2007
The entry for July 15, 2007 is a compilation of the columns that Fr. Armstrong wrote after his attendance at the lecture
on Life Issues presented by Fr. Tadeusz Pasholczyk at Mt. St. Mary Seminary on June 22, 2007.
The following is a summary of my notes on the third session, "End of Life Issues," present by Fr. Tad Pacholczyk at Mt. St.
Mary Seminary on June 22. He referred us to the US Bishops' document, "Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health
Care Service." He reminded us that we are the stewards, not the owners of our own lives. Our lives are on loan from God and
we are obliged to take care of them. Therefore, the Catholic Church rejects both euthanasia and suicide. Likewise she resists a
false notion of autonomy.
We have a moral obligation to use ordinary and proportional means to preserve our lives. That means that there is both a
hope of benefit and not an excessive burden. (See the Declaration on Euthanasia, Cong. for the Doctrine of the Faith, 5/5/80).
"Proportionate" relates to the health care of this patient: does it offer a reasonable hope of success?
The following are some other questions that need to be asked as well. How inconvenient is it and what are the associated
risks? What are the circumstances of persons, places, times, cultures? What, in terms of physical and moral resources, is the
state the sick person? What burdens may be placed on others (e.g. family and friends)? (And yet that does not mean, as Father
only half-joked "I need to put granny out of my misery!”) Does it involve excessive expense? Thus, a complete blend of such
factors needs to be considered for the judgment of end-of-life issues.
The patient faces a dynamic journey as he/she encounters his/her own mortality. There is a difference between illness (e.g.
cancer; congestive heart failure) and actively dying.
The following are important distinctions to make. One dies from sickness/pathology, not from direct action. The treatment
does not cause life to be excessively burdensome. "I don't want a bunch of tubes attached to me”. Such care, however could be
a bridge to healing and thus morally oblige. "Do not resuscitate" means death is imminent and there are no reasonable
treatment options. Father cautioned us on Living Wills and Advance Directives because of the difficulty of prognosis. Living
Wills places end-of-life issues in the hands of a physician. Better is a Health Care Proxy because, after proper consultation, he
or she can make decisions more in accord with the principal’s wishes.
Unfortunately, I had to leave the session early. Fr. Mike Seger, however will present our Lenten Series (February, 2008 for
those who like to plan ahead!) and plans to cover the above issues.
In writing this series of columns, I wanted, (to paraphrase Archbishop Pilarczyk in his book, “Twelve Tough Issues”) not to
accuse anyone, but simply to witness to our faith. I found Fr. Tad to be an excellent presenter and was struck once again by
our church's profound and consistent teaching on the dignity and destiny of human life.
Rev. Christopher R. Armstrong
The complete set of lessons are included in the parish web site at www.saintantoninus.org .
Book Studies are excellent methods of Faith Formation. An example from
St. Susanna Parish in Mason.
Consider the following :
One thing that we at St Susanna have been doing over the past few years with minimal cost and effort is to offer book studies
to interested parishioners on CST related topics. There are numerous pamphlets and documents offered by the National
Conference of Bishops, which can be used for short-term discussions. Below is a list of some of these important books we
recommend as studies for Social Justice Formation.
Submitted by Chris Kreger (398 3821 ext 3106) email@example.com and
Rosie Leugers (398 3821 ext 3107) firstname.lastname@example.org
Doing Faithjustice: An Introduction to Catholic Social Thought By Fred Kammer, SJ
Available on Amazon: Review by: A. Ort "aorto"
One of the strengths of the Catholic Church is its teachings and praxis of social justice. Father Kammer, formerly the head of
Catholic Charities USA nicely summarizes in depth (without the highbrow theological talk) Catholic social teaching. If you
work with people day in and day out, especially those considered by the cold eyes of society as 'downtrodden' (those with
spiritual insight realize that there is no 'we' and 'they'), this book will help provide you with some resolve and help put into
perspective the application of faith and why it is we are here.
Just Peacemakers By Sr. Mary Evelyn Jegen, SND de Namur
Available through St. Francis Bookstore Review by: None
A Framework for Understanding Poverty By Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D.
Available on Amazon: Review by: Art Kleiner
Poverty is not just a condition of not having enough money. It is a realm of particular rules, emotions, and knowledge that
override all other ways of building relationships and making a life. This book was written as a guide and exercise book for
middle-class teachers, who often don't connect with their impoverished students--largely because they don't understand the
hidden rules of poverty. In the same way, poor children misconnect with school because they don't understand the hidden rules
of middle-class life. Ruby Payne, a former teacher and principal who has been a member of all three of the economic cultures
of our time (poor, middle-class, and wealthy) compassionately and dispassionately describes the hidden rules and knowledge of
each. I think it's useful not just for educators, but also for anyone who has to deal with people of different backgrounds. Having
read it, I feel a lot more confident about dealing with people as people, not as representatives of their social class.
Especially noteworthy is the "Could you survive?" quiz on page 53. For example, can you keep your clothes from being stolen
at the laundromat, or entertain friends with stories? (That's essential knowledge for the world of the poor.) Can you get a
library card or use a credit card? (Essential for middle-class life.) Can you ensure loyalty from a household staff, or build a wall
of privacy and inaccessibility around you? (Essential knowledge for wealth.) Every class assumes that their knowledge is
known by everyone, which is one reason they assume that people in other classes don't "get it." I also appreciate the telling
point about upward mobility in America: It's possible for anyone to shift classes, but only at the price of leaving behind your
existing personal relationships. One sign of A Framework's value is the way that educators who grew up in poverty from a
variety of ethnic backgrounds, embrace this book.
Food and Faith: Justice, Joy and Daily Bread By Michael Schut
Available on Amazon: Review by Paul Stankewitz
This is an excellent overview to the many aspects of food as a spiritual connection with God, who created food in the first
place. Touching family stories, riveting descriptions of some bad aspects of modern food production, and a faith angle that
pulls it all together. This collection of articles and essays really makes you reflect upon our connection to God thru what we
eat, how we eat, and where our food comes from. A great book!
Simpler Living Compassionate Life : A Christian Perspective By Michael Schut
Available on Amazon: Review by: Muhala Akamau “Baysuite”
Enlightening and Essential, This book has become very close to my heart, as it has opened up for me a whole new world of
understanding. Living in a very "me-based" society, we are not accustomed to thinking of how our choices affect others. This
book shows us the impact of over-consumption, and directs us toward a path of living that is more simple, balanced and
compassionate. It's the perfect book for those who want to embrace a simpler life, but aren't sure where to begin. It's also great
for those who have heard about voluntary simplicity, but desire more understanding of its concepts. I highly recommend it.
Book Studies (Continued)
Program and books on Sr. Dorothy Stang, SND de Namur:
Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN, “moved to Brazil 40 years ago to help poor farmers build independent futures for their
families. She was shot to death Saturday, February 12, 2005, in Anapu, Para, a section of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest.” Her
work for the rights of rural workers and peasants, and for land reform in Brazil led her to meet with human rights officials
“about threats to local farmers from illegal loggers and ranchers.” She was a martyr for the cause to which she gave her life, as
a Sister of Notre Dame—the cause of justice and peace for all.”
Availability: Please contact Sr. Elizabeth Marie Bowyer, SND de Namur, 513-761-7636
www.sndohio.org (from Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN/Martyr 1931-2005 holy card)
World Religions in America By Jacob Neusner
Available on Amazon: Review by: E. Johnson
Anyone who wants to better understand world religions as they are practiced in America needs this book. So often religions are
practiced differently from country to country, and I think this is especially true when it comes to America. We have a way of
liberalizing the religions, so that when we travel abroad, we can be often amazed at the difference in styles and beliefs. Neusner
takes writers from different points of view and allows them to give a quick history/background and sociological analysis of
how the religions look here. (Don't expect these chapters--which usually are approx. 20 pages--to be the best overview of any
of the religions. Choose another book for this purpose.) Sometimes their opinion is outright ridiculous. I'm still amazed at John
Esposito's comment on page 173 that "Muslims worship the same God who is revered by Christians and Jews" as I know of no
Christian, Jew, or Muslim for that matter who would agree--Trinity, anyone? But except for some comments like this--and
there's more than one--the book does a good job with both world religions as well as the 19th century American religious
movements like JWs, Mormons, and Christian Science. Overall, a very worthwhile book that ought to be studied by anyone
interested in how religions are practiced.
A Compact Guide to World Religions By Dean C. Halverson, General Editor
Available on Amazon: Review by: E. Johnson
The Compact Guide to World Religions has a very simple format yet it says a lot in a few pages. It goes through the major
world religions, gathering the expertise from a number of qualified Christians. I have spoken to adherents from all of the faiths
that are talked about in this book, and I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with the information the writers were able to
give with an average of only 20 pages for each religion. I especially liked the "answering the objections" sections, with
practical advice on how to effectively communicate with these groups. If you are a Christian who would like to better
understand the religions of the world, I highly recommend this book!
A Catholic Social Teaching program for small children (ages 3 to 10)
(who then teach the adults): Submitted by Rosanne Thomas e-Mail: email@example.com
Before I went into the DRE ministry, I had my own little business, Sand in the Oyster Creative Communications. Among other
things, I developed several “Vacation Bible School,” type programs, which I called Children’s Bible Discovery because the
terms “vacation” and “school” simply did not apply to the process. My Montessori background has taught me that the process
is more important than the product, and Children’s Bible Discovery focuses on process and discovery, not just producing
something – on formation, not just information.
In 2004 I wrote “The Journey of Justice,” another installment of Children’s Bible Discovery, this particular one focusing on
themes of Catholic social justice – at a level that young children can understand. Below is an outline I used.
Session 1, “In the Beginning,” began, as you might guess, with the story of creation. There were opportunities for
children to discover care of the earth. They made a miniature “landfill,” seeing on a small scale how a little “junk” can
quickly fill the earth. They learned about recycling by making things out of junk that might otherwise have been thrown away.
We had asked parishioners to donate some junk for several weeks ahead of time through bulletin blurbs. It was interesting to
see what people brought us and what the kids were able to do with it. We began an awareness campaign by teaching the kids
how to sort what is recyclable from what is not, and the children made posters encouraging others to recycle.
On the second day, (session 2) “Praise the Lord!,” we discovered how to discern one’s gifts and to recognize and
appreciate the gifts of others. We learned that many of the things we take for granted (seeing, hearing, walking, etc.) are
actually gifts from God, and not everyone has these gifts. Those who are not gifted with these things, however, are gifted in
other ways, and it is the appreciation of and gratitude for the gifts of all that enables us to work together to praise the Lord.
Through a variety of games and activities, the children discovered that even the tiniest creatures are part of God’s plan as are
all human beings. The dignity of human life and of each person was celebrated. Cycling back into what we had done the day
before, we also discovered ways to protect our environment, and found out that many of these ideas also involved respecting
On day three, (Session 3) “The Good Samaritan,” we explored the concept of neighbor in the context of the whole of
creation and in the light of the dignity of all persons. The children played cooperation games, trust games, etc. They
discovered the importance of each person’s participation in making the world a better place, the need to work together, and the
part that each person plays in the family and in the community. They made gifts for parish shut-ins, made a child’s pledge of
nonviolence, and brainstormed ways to right wrongs, show appreciation to others, help ease the stress that comes into our
homes and schools as part of our fast-paced culture, etc. We began looking at the stress and unrest that comes from being
On day four,(Session 4)“Jesus Meets Zacchaeus,” we delved more deeply into people’s right to be treated fairly. We
suggested different ways to share a bowl of candy (letting the boys have it all and the girls could then clean the bowl, passing
out more candy to the kids whose names began with letters near the beginning of the alphabet than those with names beginning
with letters near the end of the alphabet, etc.), and the children’s sense of justice kicked in real fast. We explored ways that the
world’s goods are distributed like the candy. We discussed the difference between needs and wants. From here, we looked
into the concept of fair trade with the older kids, while the younger children made stone soup.
Each evening (St. Pete’s in New Richmond does VBS in the evenings), as part of family catechesis, we sent home
information for adults that went more deeply into the concepts the children were discovering. The last evening ,(Session5) we
invited parents to see what the children had made from the “junk” that had been donated by parishioners – bird feeders, toys,
and table decorations, to name a few. We used the table decorations to make a festive atmosphere for a potluck picnic, and
each family brought a dish to share (a great way to celebrate community, sharing, responsibility, etc.) By this time, adults
and kids alike had learned something about recycling, care of the earth, the dignity of each person, and justice in the
marketplace. The children circulated a petition asking Pastoral Council to pass a resolution requiring that only Fair Trade
coffee, tea, and chocolate be used on parish grounds and to provide recycle cans for parish events. Pastoral Council responded
positively, and Regina, another parishioner, got the Fair Trade products and recycle cans for us.
The program was written for children from age 3 to age 10, so I used a wide variety of approaches, and not all
concepts were digested by all the children, but each child learned what he/she could given their levels of maturity. Having
raised a son with multiple learning disabilities, I’m very conscious of different learning styles, and I use as many senses in the
process as I can. If anyone is interested in hearing more about Children’s Bible Discovery or the Journey of Justice, I would be
happy to meet with them.
Name of Program: Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN)
Purpose of program: IHN is a unique response to homelessness, combining volunteers from the religious community with
full-time professionals to reintegrate families into the community.
Teaching requirements & resources: The following information comes from the IHN Cincinnati website
http://www.ihncincinnati.org/. You are urged to view this site for yourself. It provides a wonderful introduction and an on-
going ministry opportunity to serve the homeless. Various teachers or ministries already established can bring it into a parish.
It is also ecumenical. You may call Bob Moore, Executive Director at 513-471-1100 for more information.
Overview of the Network:
Host Congregations are area churches and synagogues that provide three meals a day, private sleeping space, and
volunteers to create a “home away from home” for the families.
Support Congregations assist the Host Congregations by providing donated meals and volunteers.
Case Managers at IHN help families find and maintain permanent housing.
Day Vans transport families to appointments, interviews, and day care. Bus transports families back and forth between
the congregations and the Day Center
Day Center in Lower Price Hill serves as a home base providing adult education classes, a kitchen, laundry facilities,
showers, free telephones, a mailing address, computer facilities, and a children's playroom.
School-age children attend school and receive after-school tutoring through Project Connect.
Benefits of the Program:
The reality of homelessness and its effect on homeless families is really brought home in a direct way with immersion.
Parishioners grow in their awareness that homeless families are not necessarily shiftless, lazy, or irresponsible but that one
crisis after another can result in the loss of economic stability, especially when a family struggles from one paycheck to
another. Serving as a “Host Congregation” or as a “Support Congregation” for the Inter-Faith Hospitality Network helps the
faith community to grow in understanding and compassion as well as to develop a sense of gratitude for God’s gifts and God’s
provident care in their own lives. Since many Parish Ministries could include a ministry to the homeless more detail including
a concrete example involving the parishes of St. Monica/ St. George and Holy Name may be found in the PARISH MINISTRY
SECTION of this tool kit.
THE BASICS OF PARISH
Mission Office, Archdiocese of Cincinnati
(513) 421-3131 firstname.lastname@example.org
VISIT OUR TWINNING WEBSITE
scroll down to “Twinning information”
What is a twinning relationship in a parish? It is an experiential learning process for the
entire community to develop a Christ centered mission and globally oriented parish. It is a
coming together of a parish in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati with people in a domestic or foreign
mission area of the world, in an active, mutual and on-going faith commitment.
What does such a relationship accomplish for a parish? It binds people together spiritually,
culturally, and in a mutual sharing of resources.
What does such a relationship involve for a parish? It involves crossing over into other
cultural, economic, political, and religious environments.
BASIC FOUNDATIONS FOR DEVELOPING A TWINNING RELATIONSHIP
Prayer: A strong faith in the concept of the Mystical Body of Christ and the
universal church, which recognizes all persons as sisters and brothers.
All have gifts to share!
Communication: Listening and sharing information which reveals the joys, sorrows,
faith life, cultural habits, social concerns and daily experiences of the
bridging communities. Building personal friendships is key!
Cultural sensitivity: An attitude of solidarity and desire to learn from one another’s faith,
culture and daily experiences. How can we appreciate each others’
Assumption of roles: Strong leadership on the part of both parties to plan, activate and
promote creative ways to develop and sustain the relationship.
Empower lay leadership!
Social Justice: As lives are shared and injustices surface, promotion of human
dignity and equality or rights becomes an essential element of the
NOTE: Be sure to work in harmony with your twinning partner’s bishop and their diocesan plans.
Also, twinning may not replace our two mandated mission collections for the October Papal
Mission Sunday and the Missionary Co-op Plan.
RECOMMENDED ELEMENTS AND STEPS
TO DEVELOP THE TWINNING RELATIONSHIP
1. Visit our twinning website at: www.catholiccincinnati.org/mission
and scroll down to “Twinning Information” to learn more about the basics.
Post this website in your bulletin to educate parish members.
2. Contact the Mission Office for further information and to set up an informational meeting
with some parish leadership members and interested parishioners to discuss key issues and
questions. (The Mission Office can offer advice with the selection process of twinning partners.)
3. Organize a meeting with the pastor, parish council and leadership
groups within the parish to discuss the feasibility and details of the
4. Develop an interested and committed group who are willing to take
on the leadership role as liaison between the pastor, parish organizations,
parishioners, and partners in mission.
5. Study the social justice documents of the church and other pertinent documents relating
to issues of the country and area chosen for twinning, i.e. Salt & Light, JustFaith (through Social
Action Office). Link up and build solidarity with local Catholics from the nation or area with
which you twin.
6. EXPECTATIONS need to be clarified between potential twinning partners. What do both
parties want or not want in their covenant? With prayer, study and dialogue, eventually leaders
of both parties need to plan goals, timelines, roles and responsibility factors for this
relationship. Involve the widest variety of parish participation. Build in evaluation and allow for
changes in the relationship. Publicize the plan widely in both parishes.
(See our twinning website for suggestions.)
7. VISIT! Carefully select and prepare a diverse group of parishioners to visit your twinning
partners. To orient them about the country, culture, religion, and other necessary factors, invite
guest speakers such as returned missioners, Peace Corps workers, local Catholics from your
twinning area. Contact Mission Office for resources. Plan a parish departure ceremony.
8. While visiting your twinning partners, develop a daily debriefing process and spiritual
reflection for the visiting.
9. Upon return home, have a reorientation process for the visiting team and process to
disseminate the mission experience within the parish. See our twinning website for suggestions
and contact Mission Office for resources
10. Join our Twinning Network! Link up with and support your own and other parishes in our
archdiocese to nourish and enliven your partnership.
There are many twinning programs in the Archdiocese. These programs come as a result the Church’s mission and solidarity
with other Catholic parishes in the world . This is an immersion process also because it teaches compassion first hand through
interaction with people of different circumstances, culture or both. Also for more information on twinning please visit
http://www.catholiccincinnati.org/mission/New Twinning Page.htm , or contact Dr. Mike Gable, Mission Office director at
513-421-3131, ext. 201. Here are two examples to show the lasting effects on a parish:
Example Program: Whole Family Immersion Experience at St. Michael
Parish in Sharonville
St. Michael’s Church has created a ministry, guided by Anna Goeppinger, that enables the entire family to work together to
send help to victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. This program includes several elements that insure its success for
those being helped and for those who go on the mission trip.
Preparation Aids: There are training sessions provided free by Lowe’s to show those going on the trip how to do home
Anna describes her program as follows:
Approach: We twin with St. Gabriel Parish in New Orleans and know through their parish coordinator about what we will be
doing when we get there for the week.
1. As I get the names of volunteers who will be going on the mission trip, I have them fill out a sheet/questionnaire about their
skills and what they can do and what they are willing to do. (i.e. painting, laying tile, hanging drywall, etc.) Based on this
information, I form teams of skilled workers - usually 4 to 5 in a group. This group will be assigned a task when we get to the
work site. Obviously, we sometimes have to adapt based on the needs of the parish and family. But this usually helps in know
what the skill levels are before we get there.
2. In some cases we have taken groups of individuals to Lowes (in one case they came to us) for training (laying tile and
hanging drywall) for those who wanted to know that skill before going on mission.
3. One important area for us is that we have made a 3 year commitment to our twinning parish. An important aspect of our
trip is making sure that the group is there for at least one Mass with the community. We are fortunate in that the pastor there,
Fr. Doug Doussan, takes time before the official Mass begins to introduce the group or individuals who are there to work for
the week. In several of the homes where we have done work, the home owners have been present working alongside the team.
They have made a long lasting connection, writing and phoning each other.
Contact: Anna Geoppinger email@example.com Anna Geoppinger, Adult Faith Formation Minister,
St. Michael Church, 11144 Spinner Avenue, Cincinnati OH 45241 - (513) 563-6377, ext. 302
Another example of a successful twinning program which includes an ongoing immersion faith formation process for
youth, which has lasting global effects.
Example Program: Annual Youth Mission Trips to Centro Cultural Batahola
Norte, Managua, Nicaragua.
An example of intergenerational family immersion into poverty as a life long education experience. Immaculate Heart of Mary
Purpose of Trip: To open the eyes, ears, and hearts of our youth and our adult chaperones as they experience the third world
country of Nicaragua and our brothers and sisters in our twinning community of Batahola.
Background Requirements: A parish youth ministry should be in place that has been exposed to an outreach component
involving Catholic Social Teaching. Adults (parents and others) may have been exposed to faith formation of Catholic Social
Teaching but if not this experience will provide it. A relationship with a twinning community in a poor country provides a
Meetings: Prior to our 8-day trip to Managua, we meet one evening with all the parents. We also do a weekend retreat,
Journey to Justice sponsored by Catholic Campaign for human development) CCHD. We meet again 3 hours on a Saturday
morning with reports on Nicaraguan subjects done by those who are traveling there and retreat. There is a blessing at one of
our masses before we leave.
Required Readings: All participants have required readings on poverty, Nicaragua, essential Spanish, history of our twinning
community, etc. These readings as well as information about our trip can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All
participants are expected to lead a prayer service each evening or at meal time with a Bible reading that spoke to them. We
follow the archdiocese guide to youth mission trips.
Overview: The teens and adults listen to stories of the people of Batahola, worship together in Bible study and at Mass, do
work projects with the scholarship recipients, interview students for newspaper stories, play games, do artwork, share pizza and
fried chicken, and generally begin relationships. We stay in a hotel that caters to missionaries with family style meals, large
rooms that sleep 6, and areas where the youth can gather.
For 4 days we visit our twinning community. We meet with Jesuit Volunteers for supper one evening. We then travel to a rural
town so that the group can experience rural poverty. We hire our old school bus and chauffeur for our entire trip. We end the
trip by canopying in the rainforest outside of Grenada.
Cost: All adults pay for their own trips. The teenagers receive assistance from our parish’s Empowerment Fund, the youth
mission fund, and from other benefactors. Other sources of fund raising may be available in your parish.
Expectations: A lifelong appreciation of other cultures, especially those in poverty and a gratitude to God for my life in the
United States. My personal goal is that all experience the global solidarity of our faith and the justice in the preferential option
for the poor. I expect all participants to use their Spanish and speak as much as possible while there. Each evening we discuss
where we saw the face of Christ during that day. I can’t remember someone not passing on where they found Christ.
Comments: We have teens that have gone on to study in Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ghana, Japan, and China after traveling
on our mission trip. They have studied a fourth year of Spanish, minored in Spanish, and majored in international business.
They have explored Jesuit Volunteer International or Doctors without Borders. Our adults have begun a sponsorship program
for the Center, organized a calendar of faces from Nicaragua, and become more active in social justice issues at our parish. As
the Jesuits say, they are ruined for life or I hope so.
Catholic Social Teaching In Teen And Young Adult Immersion Programs
And Mission Trips
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati offers an outstanding comprehensive resource for encouraging youth in
Catholic Social Ministry. The following PDF shows how to create such a program and how to implement it.
As the Introduction states, “This resource is a collaborative effort by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Offices of Mission,
Evangelization and Catechesis, and Youth and Young Adult Ministry.” The web link provides a document that offers guiding
principles for planning programs; information about legal and liability considerations; written resources for training leaders;
and practical advice for planning and leading the experiences.
Some Local Immersion Experiences For Youth related to Respect Life
The March for Life takes place every January on or near the 22nd. This is the anniversary of the tragic Roe Versus Wade and
Doe Versus Dolton Supreme Court decisions that legalized abortion in this country. The march is widely attended by young
people from all over the U.S. The trips provide a way to witness for life and advocate for the end to abortion.
This ministry is now available to parishes, and is an outstanding immersion experience for them. The youth require chaperones
from their churches, to insure safety, child protection, and supervision. Youth ministers can continue this meaningful advocacy,
which includes the amazing March for Life and youth rallies that can only be described as inspiring. The Archdiocese of
Cincinnati is helping coordinate bus trips for youth.
Pregnancy Center Speakers Bureau
Some Crisis Pregnancy Centers offer help and support to women with crisis pregnancies. They provide free pregnancy tests,
counseling, and help after the child is born. Some have the option of providing free sonograms, an invaluable tool for teaching
expectant moms the reality that they are carrying a baby. For educating parishioners, centers offers training in Pro-Life issues.
Speakers bureaus will to come schools and churches and present multimedia programs on chastity, infant development,
abortion and related Pro-Life themes. They will work with your parish group and tailor a program just for you. For high school
students, they focus on the development of the baby in the womb, showing actual pictures. For grade school groups, they
emphasize the beauty of life. For a complete list of Pregnancy Centers in the Cincinnati area, please see pages 29-35 in the
“Social Ministry” section of the toolkit.
Way of Love
During Lent, there is a Way of Love witness ministry available through Cincinnati Right to Life. It is a prayer walk beginning
at Burnett Woods and progressing to the abortion facility on Jefferson Avenue, near the University of Cincinnati campus.
Parish youth groups may participate. Every high school in Cincinnati has been represented at this witness event over the 30
years that it has been chaired by Jane Hoffman. Further details are provided in the Liturgy section on Lenten Prayer in the
Liturgy section or at www.saintantoninus.org. Contact: Jane Hoffman: email@example.com for The Way of Love.
Another ministry available to parishes is through the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants. Mass is celebrated at 8am on
Saturdays at Holy Name parish. They start at Holy Name Church in Mt. Auburn, then proceed to the Planned Parenthood
abortion facilities, where they quietly pray the rosary. This sidewalk witness takes place every Saturday, with the first Saturday
especially for youth.
Public Events and Demonstrations for Life and Social Justice
Advocacy is often a way to enhance faith formation for a just cause. There are many opportunities for people to show their
faith through physical actions. By their presence they are witnessing to Jesus that they care about a cause and that they love the
people for whom they are advocating. In addition, participation in these efforts are formative to our faith, as they reflect Jesus
and his disciples’ public ministry. Below are just some of the regularly scheduled events and vigils that offer this opportunity
Bus Trip to Annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on or around January 22, witnessing to the loss of almost 50
million babies to abortion, on the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion on
The annual vigil at the School of the Americas, Fort Benning, GA (now called, the Western Hemisphere Institute for
Security Cooperation), held in November on the anniversary of the 1989 murders of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador.
Catholic Conference of Ohio Legislative Advocacy Day, which takes place every two years in Columbus around
April, when the state legislature is deciding on Ohio’s biennial budget. It is organized by the CCO and coordinated
locally by the Archdiocesan Catholic Social Action Office.
Witnessing for Life by praying once a month with Cincinnati Right-to-Life outside Planned Parenthood.
Death Penalty vigils are often organized by organizations like the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center whenever
an execution takes place in our state.
Each Good Friday, in downtown Cincinnati, there is a “Way of the Cross, Way of Justice” event.
Annual vigil for the victims of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are organized by IJPC in August.
Archdiocese of Cincinnati World Day of Peace Mass on January 1 is an annual opportunity for everyone to pray for
peace in our own lives, communities and world.
Martin Luther King Day is celebrated in Cincinnati each year with marches, vigils and prayer services.
T.A.C.K.L.E. stands for “Teens Advocating Change through Knowledge Leadership Experience”. It is a week-long immersion
experience that takes place annually in late June for high school teens from all over the Archdiocese. Among other things,
· community building
· daily prayer and journaling
· learning directly from the people of the inner city
· a day trip to rural communities
· a service project
· a group initiatives course
· meeting with people working for peace and justice
· sponsoring a neighborhood picnic
This program will call participants to:
· Explore the root causes of poverty and injustice and how YOU can make a difference.
· Develop the courage to act with justice, charity and solidarity with the greater community.
· Challenge yourself and others to live simply, break down stereotypes, and be peacemakers.
· Build community and friendship with a group of teens from across the Archdiocese.
T.A.C.K.L.E. is co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Offices of Youth and Young Adult Ministry and Catholic
Social Action. Questions: Contact T.A.C.K.L.E. Director Joanie Schaffer at (513) 574-7147; send email to
The Catholic Rural Life Conference is sponsoring day-long or overnight “Rural Plunge” experiences for archdiocesan staff,
parishioners and students. A Rural Plunge is an immersion experience that can help you discover and participate in the local,
rural community. The plunge will offer you a unique opportunity to enrich your faith while becoming better informed about
the rural parts of the archdiocese. The plunge is meant to expose participants to the issues faced by rural parishes and
communities, encourage social analyses, apply Catholic social teaching, foster new relationships, and celebrate rural identity.
More information may be found at the Social Action office of the Archdiocese or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDUCATION CONCERNING SPECIFIC SOCIAL ACTION ISSUES
The following are some reliable websites to visit for social analysis on issues important to Catholic Social Teaching. These
sites were chosen because they provide actual background information and data related to specific issues. This is not meant to
be a comprehensive list. Most of these organizations have a direct or indirect affiliation with the Catholic Church, either
globally, nationally or locally. Organizations are listed based on their connection to one of the 7 Catholic Social Teaching
themes. While many of these organization’s activities overlap on social teaching themes, we’ve organized them here according
to one prominent theme.
Sites containing resources on a wide array of Catholic Social Teaching issues include:
Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace’s Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
Other major documents and efforts from the Vatican: www.vatican.va
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: www.usccb.org
Catholic Conference of Ohio: www.ohiocathconf.org
Archdiocese of Cincinnati offices: www.catholiccincinnati.org
Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis Office of Social Justice: www.osjspm.org
Center for Concern’s Education for Justice: www.educationforjustice.org
LIFE AND DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities
The Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, under the guidance and direction of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities, works to
teach respect for all human life from conception to natural death, and organize for its protection.
Archdiocese of Cincinnati Family Life Office’s Respect Life Activities
The RESPECT LIFE activities in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati are guided by the pastoral from the United States Conference
of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Respect Life Committee entitled, Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities - a Campaign in
Support of Life. RESPECT LIFE activities work from the concept known as the CONSISTENT ETHIC OF LIFE: "The focus
and the Church’s Commitment to a consistent ethic of life complement one another…and recognizes the distinctive character
of each issue while giving each its proper place within a coherent moral vision."
Pope John Paul II’s landmark encyclical, Evangelium Vitae and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Instruction,
Donum Vitae can be accessed at:
Information about abortion’s aftermath and Project Rachel.
National Committee for a Human Life Amendment
Organizational and contact information regarding this national effort to establish a constitutional Right to Life.
Second Look Project
Additional basic facts and figures about abortion.
Factual information about the drug RU-486
Priests for Life
We are an officially approved association of Catholic Clergy who give special emphasis to the pro-life teachings of the
Church. We offer ongoing assistance to the clergy in addressing the topics of abortion and euthanasia, and training and
resources to the entire pro-life movement.
Rock for Life
Rock for Life is committed to offering the truth about abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia to America's youth through music
Stem Cell Research
Coalition for Americans for Research Ethics
This site, entitled, “Do No Harm”, offers background and current reports on ethics issues surrounding stem cell research.
Ohioans to Stop Executions
OTSE was founded in 1987. Its purpose is to end the use of capital punishment in the state of Ohio through education. The
views of the members that underlie that purpose are many but can be summarized in two broad categories of opposition, 1) a
moral commitment to life that precludes the purposeful killing of any human being and\or, 2) recognition that the death
penalty, as it is being implemented in Ohio, is not fair, fails to serve its legal purposes, and is overwhelmingly imposed on
indigent, minority, underprivileged and disadvantaged members of society. The Catholic Conference of Ohio is a founding
member of this organization.
U.S. Bishops’ Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty
Within this website, you will find everything you need to know about the Catholic Church’s involvement in ending the use of
the death penalty. While the U.S. Catholic bishops have been calling for an end to the use of the death penalty for 25 years, this
new Campaign was launched in March of 2005. This campaign, the bishops renew their call in order to seize a new moment
and a new momentum. This is a time to teach clearly, encourage reflection, and call for common action in the Catholic
Catholic Relief Services’ Sudan: Remembering, Responding and Rebuilding
The humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of western Sudan continues to deteriorate in the face of waning international
attention to the crisis. People are enduring targeted attacks, vast insecurity, as well as widespread hunger and disease.
Around the country and across the globe, the Save Darfur Coalition is inspiring action, raising awareness and speaking truth to
power on behalf of the people of Darfur. Working with world leaders, we are demanding an end to the genocide, and our
efforts are getting results. The key to our success is the millions of everyday citizens who have joined our movement. With you
and other committed activists by our side, we will end the genocide. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops serves on the
Executive Committee of Save Darfur.
Archdiocese of Cincinnati Catholic Social Action Resources
Through the work of the Greater Cincinnati Social Action Collaborative, the Catholic Social Action Office has created a page
dedicated specifically to education and action for Darfur for individuals and parishes.
Vatican Annual World Day of Peace Messages
CALL TO FAMILY, COMMUNITY AND PARTICIPATION
U.S. Bishops Faithful Citizenship
We bishops seek to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with the truth, so they can make sound moral choices
in addressing these challenges. We do not tell Catholics how to vote. The responsibility to make political choices rests with
each person and his or her properly formed conscience. This site provides a wealth of Church teaching and election-related
National Catholic Rural Life Conference
The National Catholic Rural Life Conference applies the teachings of Jesus Christ for the betterment of rural America and care
of God's creation. We provide spiritual, educational and advocacy assistance to help rural people shape their own destinies and
lead lives of dignity.
Ohio Catholic Rural Life Conference
The Ohio Catholic Rural Life Conference exists to preserve, protect and articulate the unique values and contributions of rural
Catholics, their parishes, communities, families, farms, businesses, institutions and organizations. We wish to support rural
people and their rural culture, namely:
• their sense of stability to a specific geographical place and people;
• their continuity of life-style and relationships;
• the historical memory that connects and nurtures these relationships.
Archdiocese of Cincinnati Catholic Rural Life Conference
Dedicated parishioners, priests, religious, and bishops join together in a common purpose to the rural church, rural people, and
their communities. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is served by two Rural Life Conferences: The Archdiocesan Rural Life
Conference and the St. Martin Rural Life Conference. These conferences educate and assist parishes and parishioners about
rural life concerns by identifying needs, providing resources and advocating a moral perspective.
Natural Family Planning (NFP)
U.S. Bishops Natural Family Planning
NFP is an umbrella term for certain methods used to achieve and avoid pregnancies. These methods are based on observation
of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman's menstrual cycle. Couples using
NFP to avoid pregnancy abstain from intercourse and genital contact during the fertile phase of the woman's cycle. No drugs,
devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy. NFP reflects the dignity of the human person within the context of
marriage and family life, promotes openness to life, and recognizes the value of the child. By respecting the love-giving and
life-giving natures of marriage, NFP can enrich the bond between husband and wife.
Archdiocese of Cincinnati Family Life Office resources on Natural Family Planning
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Justice For Immigrants
This website is designed to help achieve the goals of the Justice for Immigrants Campaign. It provides tools and information
for diocesan and community-based organizing, education, and advocacy efforts. You will find information about Catholic
teachings that underpin this Campaign, as well as proposals from the Catholic Bishops to achieve reforms in our nation’s
immigration laws and policies that better reflect our values as a nation of immigrants.
USCCB Migration and Refugee Services
Migration and Refugee Services carries out the commitment of the Roman Catholic bishops of the United States to serve and
advocate for immigrants, refugees, migrants, and people on the move. This commitment is rooted in the Gospel mandate that
every person is to be welcomed by the disciple as if he or she were Christ himself and in the right of every human being to
pursue, without restraint, the call of holiness.
Vatican Annual World Day of Migrants and Refugee Messages
Refugee Council USA
Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) is a coalition of U.S. non-governmental organizations focused on refugee protection.
RCUSA provides advocacy on issues affecting the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, displaced persons, victims of trafficking,
and victims of torture in the United States and across the world. The coalition also serves as the principal consultative forum
for the national refugee resettlement and processing agencies as they formulate common positions, conduct their relations with
the U.S. government and other partners, and support and enhance refugee service standards. The USCCB is a member
Land and Environmental Rights
Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN
Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Dorothy "Dot" Stang, moved to Brazil 40 years ago to help the poor build independent futures
for their families. She was shot to death Saturday, February 12, in Anapu, Para, a section of Brazil's Amazon rain forest. This
website provides a powerful history and many great resources for education about this modern day martyr from the Cincinnati
General Human Rights and Other Issues
Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center
We are a coalition of faith-based organizations and individuals who work together to educate around justice issues, take
collaborative action and do public witness.
We address local, national and international concerns focusing on economic justice, women's issues, human rights, racial
equality, peace and the environment.
OPTION FOR THE POOR AND VULNERABLE
Catholic Campaign for Human Development
Since its start thirty-seven years ago, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has worked to transform lives
and communities, focusing steadily on breaking the cycle of poverty in thousands of communities across the United States.
CCHD was established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops with a two-fold mandate to fund low-income
controlled empowerment projects and to educate Catholics about the root causes of poverty within the context of the Catholic
social tradition. CCHD programs are funded through an annual collection in parishes each year.
Learn about CCHD in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati at: http://www.catholiccincinnati.org/socialaction/cchd.html .
CCHD’s Poverty USA
This powerful resource provides a wealth of statistics about poverty in America, educational resources, and a “poverty tour”.
Catholic Charities USA: Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America
The goals of the Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America are:
To reduce poverty in the United States by 50 percent by the year 2020.
To call upon the government to do more to serve those who are poor, and to improve public policies that strengthen
and support families.
To educate policymakers and the public about the struggles of those living in poverty and the good work of those who
serve them in local communities.
To engage those who are most impacted by government policies to be active participants in developing solutions to
To work with individuals and organizations across the country to address poverty in our country.
Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless
Our member organizations serve the homeless through emergency shelter, transitional living facilities, permanent housing,
medical services, social services, soup kitchens, and mental health/addictions services. Membership primarily consists of
organizations serving the homeless in the Greater Cincinnati/Tri-State area, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Our membership
base also includes individuals and volunteers dedicated to improving services for homeless individuals, educating the public
about homelessness and empowering homeless individuals to advocate for their civil rights and housing needs. The Coalition
performs three areas of work: coordinating services, educating the public, and grassroots organizing and advocacy. Homeless
and formerly homeless individuals are incorporated into all programs and initiatives at the Coalition.
Ohio Coalition for Responsible Lending
The Ohio Coalition for Responsible Lending is a broad-based organization of non-profit, religious and civic organizations that
have joined together to seek fair and just lending practices by payday lenders in Ohio. The Ohio Coalition for Responsible
Lending opposes unfair lending practices within the payday loan industry in Ohio! Several Catholic Diocesan Social Action
offices are active in this coalitionl.
Catholic Campaign Against Global Poverty
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) invite Catholics throughout
the U.S. to join this campaign as we advocate for U.S. policies that foster economic and social development for people living in
poverty throughout the world.
The campaign focuses on three areas of U.S. economic policy:
Trade: Shaping U.S. trade policies so that overcoming poverty and promoting human development are central
Aid: Supporting effective programs that foster long-term development and empowerment of the poor.
Debt: Eliminating the debt of the poorest countries in ways that reduce poverty and promote human dignity.
Visit this site often as new materials for educational programs, prayer and worship, and advocacy will be added regularly.
Bread for the World
Bread for the World is a nationwide Christian movement that seeks justice for the world's hungry people by lobbying our
nation's decision makers. Staff of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops serve on Bread for the World’s board of directors.
DIGNITY OF WORK AND THE RIGHTS OF WORKERS
U.S. Bishops Labor Day Statement and Resources
Each year on Labor Day, the U.S. bishops release a strong statement on the rights of workers, and those, along with other
statements on work-related issues, can be accessed at: http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/national/labor.shtml
Interfaith Worker Justice
Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) calls upon our religious values in order to educate, organize, and mobilize the religious
community in the U.S. on issues and campaigns that will improve wages, benefits, and working conditions for workers,
especially low-wage workers. Interfaith Worker Justice: Protects Worker Rights, Builds Relationships, Develops Resources,
Engages Religious Employers, Organizes Local Interfaith Committees, Supports Poultry Workers, Supports Direct Care
Cincinnati has a local Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, which has founded an Interfaith Worker Center. For more
information, visit www.cworkers.org .
Catholic Relief Services Fair Trade
The fair choice is the right choice. The daily decisions you make as a consumer can make a real, positive difference in the
world. When you choose to buy fair trade products you are making a strong connection with hardworking, but impoverished
workers around the world. Our CRS Fair Trade network guarantees fair wages to disadvantaged artisans, farmers and workers.
It also provides the technical and financial assistance that poor people so desperately need but so rarely get in the conventional
trading system. Team up with us. Buy fair trade products and you return human dignity to people just like you.
Archdiocese of Newark Office of Human Concerns Sweatshop Initiative
The Sweatshop Initiative is a two-step approach to assuring that Catholic school uniforms in the Archdiocese of Newark are
not made in sweatshops or by child labor. The site includes a test on your knowledge regarding sweatshops.
Archdiocese of Cincinnati Mission Office
The Mission Office is the local office of the Pontifical Mission Societies which support the 1,150 struggling mission diocese
around the world. The Pontifical Mission Societies are: The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Holy Childhood
Association, the Society of St. Peter the Apostle, the Pontifical Missionary Union. Programs are offered to schools and
churches to promote and educate concerning short and long term mission work/visits, twinning between parishes of the
Archdiocese of Cincinnati and mission sites, and about mission/global solidarity efforts in general. The Mission Office
provides opportunities for mission experiences, celebrations of solidarity and spiritual and financial support of the missions.
We promote the support of both home and foreign missions.
Catholic Relief Services
Our mission is to assist impoverished and disadvantaged people overseas, working in the spirit of Catholic Social Teaching to
promote the sacredness of human life and the dignity of the human person. Although our mission is rooted in the Catholic faith,
our operations serve people based solely on need, regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity. Within the United States, CRS
engages Catholics to live their faith in solidarity with the poor and suffering of the world.
Learn about how CRS is operating in the Cincinnati Archdiocese at: www.catholicsocialaction.org .
CARE FOR GOD’S CREATION
U.S. Bishops Environmental Justice Project
EJP seeks to educate and motivate Catholics to a deeper reverence and respect for God’s creation, and to engage parishes and
dioceses in activities aimed at dealing with environmental problems, particularly as they affect the poor. EJP acts as a resource
for Catholic dioceses and state Catholic conferences, and through them Catholic parishes.
Catholic Coalition on Climate Change
What are the moral implications of climate change? Who is most impacted? What should the Catholic community do? The
Catholic Coalition on Climate Change was launched in 2006 to help the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and
the Catholic community address these issues.
Marianist Environmental Education Center
The Marianist Environmental Education Center (MEEC) is an education ministry in the Catholic tradition. Located in Dayton,
Ohio, we steward the 100-acre Mount St. John Nature Preserve and are committed to sharing and interpreting the gift of the
land with others. In Mary’s hope-filled spirit, we advocate environmental justice as integral to sustainable living and achieve
our mission through land restoration, ecological research, service learning, and educational programs.
Imago in Cincinnati
Imago offers a variety of Education programs - for people who want to learn more about natural history, the environment and
sustainable living. Our education programs span the ages from toddlers and preschoolers to adults. Our feature education
programs are based at our Earth Center, our 16-acre nature preserve where we lead hands-on education hikes for over 8,000
schools and scouts each year.
SPECIFIC LESSON PLAN FOR FAITH FORMATION–EXAMPLE
(FROM “CUSTOM PARISH PLAN FOR FAITH FORMATION IN CATHOLIC SOCIAL
TEACHING” ON PAGES 3 – 6 IN THIS SECTION)
Catholic Social Teaching Theme: Life and Dignity of the Human Person (This theme is the moral foundation for all other
themes of Catholic Social Teaching and should be taught first). The other themes should be taught individually and in like
manner. Also age appropriate modifications may be necessary if this plan is used exclusively with adults.
Session One: Experience - In this session you will lead participants in discovering what they already know, and what they
would like to know about the Catholic Social Teaching theme. Try to address any misinformation or biases they may have.
Finally, you will lead participants in identifying social issues related to the theme, and in selecting an issue to address.
Open the session with the following prayer: O Heavenly Creator, source of all life, you bestowed dignity upon all human
beings when you made us in your image and likeness, when you breathed life into us with your own breath, and when, through
the blessing you bestowed upon Mary, you sent your son, Jesus, to earth to be one of us.
Grant us the grace to recognize your presence in those who are culturally, religiously, economically,
and politically different than us. Amen
Grant us the grace to respect the sacredness and dignity of all human life. Amen
Grant us the grace to oppose all actions and attitudes that would degrade your gift of life, we pray in
Jesus’ name. Amen. (develop a similar prayer for each theme)
Introduce the theme and ask participants the following questions:
What do you already know about the theme, Life and Dignity of the Human Person? (List their answers on a large sheet of
paper and address any misinformation or bias that comes up. Then, read the information about Life and the Dignity of the
Human Person from the document, Themes from Catholic Social Teaching.)
What social issues can you identify that would threaten the “life and dignity of the human person”? (Remind participants that
these issues would include anything that harms a person’s physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual well-being; or something
that keeps a person from fulfilling the potential and purpose for which they were created. List their answers on a separate,
large sheet of paper. Read MT 25:31-40 and discuss how it relates to the theme.)
Which of the issues you identified would you like to address? (Gain group consensus in selecting one of the issues on the list.
It is important to let the group choose the issue than to impose an issue on them. The more invested they are in the process, the
more effective the faith formation experience will be.)
Social issue related to the theme: Illegal immigration (For the purposes of this sample, we will assume that the group
selected immigration as their issue.)
Editors Note: This specific lesson plan includes the example of “Immigration” as an issue for dialog with a Catholic
Social Teaching theme. Other issues that fall under Respect Life (abortion for example) and Social Justice (Worker
Justice for example) can be used in this process as well. It is still important that the group select the issue.
What questions do you have about this issue? (List their questions on another large sheet of paper, but do not attempt to answer
their questions at this point. Let them know that their questions will be discussed in the next session. Ask the participants to do
some research about this issue before the next session to see if they can find the answers to their questions. In the meantime,
be sure to research and/or ask a knowledgeable person for help in answering any of the participants’ questions to which you do
not have an answer.)
Core Value of Catholic Social Teaching in this Session: We are called to relationship with others.
Learning Outcome for this Session: This step in the process should help us realize that we can make a difference in the world,
and that we are called to respond to the needs of others every day.
Session Two: Message – In this session you will address the questions raised by the participants in the previous
session by inviting them to share the information they gathered in their research. Address any unanswered
questions by citing examples from the scriptures and church doctrines, or by relaying the information you
acquired in your research. Supplement this information by inviting a guest speaker (someone who has first
hand knowledge of the issue) to interact with the group. If a speaker is not available, then a filmstrip,
Power Point presentation, magazine or news articles, etc, will suffice. Be sure to display the three large
sheets of paper from the first session.
Open the session with the Prayer to the Holy Spirit
What do church documents teach us about the church’s involvement in social-political issues? The Vatican II Pastoral
Constitution, Gaudium et Spes states, “The Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of
interpreting them in the light of the Gospel.(#4)” This passage suggests that scrutiny of social-political issues is an on-going
process and a responsibility of the Church. As the times change, and as new issues come to light, the Church is required to
seek a better understanding of the issues, interpret them in light of the Gospel and current theology,
and inform the faithful of the understanding gained.
What do the scriptures teach us about Life and Dignity of the Human Person and the treatment of foreigners and aliens? (Add
any new information about the theme to the large sheet of paper about what the participants “know” about Life and the Dignity
of the Human Person.) Choose one or two of the following scriptural references and discuss: EX 22:20
LEV 19:9-10, 33-34
Did your research resolve any of the questions from last week? (Give participants the opportunity to share any answers they
may have discovered through their research. Then answer any remaining questions. Cross off the questions on the large sheet
of paper as they are answered.)
Introduce the guest speaker, film, or other presentation materials that give participants insight into the values, concerns and
needs of a community affected by the issue they chose to address. (Record the concerns and needs of the community on a large
sheet of paper.)
Community Concerns/Needs: (For the purposes of this sample, we will assume that the group
identified the following issues related to the illegal immigrant community) Employment,
housing and furnishings, illegal status/difficulty of obtaining a green card or work visa,
fear of discovery by the INS, discrimination/victimization, health care, fear of separation from
naturalized/native family members, concern for family members in their native country.
Help participants come to a consensus on which need they will address.
Then ask participants to prepare for the next session by taking an inventory of the resources available in our church and
community, and their own resources and talents that could be used to address this need. (For the purposes of this sample, we
will assume that the group chose to address housing and furnishings for illegal immigrants.)
Core Value of Catholic Social Teaching in this Session: The understanding that the community they will serve has strengths as
well as needs.
Learning Outcome for this Session: This step in the process should help participants recognize that though we are different, we
share many things in common with those in need, and that serving others is essential to our identity as Catholics.
Session Three : Discovery – In this session you will lead participants in the process of developing an appropriate plan of
action. You will have participants identify the available resources they uncovered.
Then you will lead them in discerning what time, treasure, and talents they can contribute and what project responsibilities
they will assume. Finally, you will work with the group to map out how the project will be organized and implemented.
Open the session by reading 2COR 9:6-15
Identify resources: Ask participants to share the available resources that they discovered for meeting the need. Then have each
participant give an accounting of the time, treasure, and talents that they are prepared to commit to this plan. Invite the
participants to affirm one gift or identify a gift that they see in at least one other group member.
Map out a plan – Ask participants to brainstorm ideas for a plan of action to meet that need. Once participants reach a
consensus on the plan of action, have them identify the various tasks that need to be accomplished (i.e. publicity, fund raising,
transportation, phone calling, etc.), and set a timetable for the plan. Advise participants that they will need to form committees
and meet in small groups to complete their tasks.
Lead the Discernment – Begin by reading 1COR 12:4-7. Ask participants to prayerfully consider how their talents and
spiritual gifts can best be used in this plan of action. After a few minutes ask participants to identify which responsibility they
will assume in the plan of action.
Implement the Plan – Participants will meet in one large group a week or two before the date of the plan of action to report on
their progress. Then, implement the plan on the designated date.
Core Value of Catholic Social Doctrine in this Session: Organization of available resources to create an appropriate plan of
action to meet the community-defined needs.
Learning Outcome for this Session: In this step participants will discover that serving others is a collaborative process, and is
Session Four: Integration – In this session you will lead participants and representatives of the community that you served in
an assessment of the plan of action, and provide an opportunity for both groups to share their experiences of the plan of action.
Open by reading PHIL 1:3-11 – Thank everyone for participating in the plan of action.
Ask the following questions: (Record the answers on a large piece of paper for future use.)
What went right?
What went wrong?
Did our plan of action have any unexpected results?
What suggestions can you offer for improving the next plan of action?
Ask community members to identify other needs with which the participants can help. (Record these needs on a large piece of
paper for future use.)
Ask community members and participants to identify what they have learned about each other through this plan of action.
(Record the answers on a large piece of paper and post on the wall.)
Separate the community members from the participants, and ask each group to create a symbol of appreciation for the other
group. Supply art materials, music, bible, magazines, etc. Suggest that they create a collage, a poster, a greeting card, a skit, a
poem, a song, or some other activity of appreciation.
Close by reading Acts 4:32-35 – Then prayer of petition from those gathered there.
Core Value of Catholic Social Teaching in this Session: Recognition of and respect for the intrinsic value of all people as
children of God.
Learning Outcome for this Session: In this step of the process participants will learn to work together to successfully meet the
needs of others, and will recognize that even those in need have value.
Session Five: Reflection – In this session you will lead participants in reflecting upon what they have experienced.
Open by reading SIRACH 14:20-21
Instruct participants to reflect upon the following questions: (Post the papers from the previous session that identifies what each
group had learned about each other, and additional needs of the community they served. Have participants write their answers
on paper and collect them.)
What did you like about being involved in this process? Was there anything you didn’t like?
How has involvement in this process changed your opinion about the community we served?
Would you consider being involved in another activity to help this community? If so, which one? (Refer to the posted paper on
needs of the community.)
What have you learned about you own life as a result of being involved in this process?
Has your faith been strengthened as a result of being involved in this process? If so, how?
Announce when the next series of sessions on Call to Family, Community, and Participation will be held.
Close with LK 10:29-37
Core Value of Catholic Social Teaching in this Session: Reflection upon the process of serving others leads to spiritual growth.
Learning Outcome for this Session: In this step of the process participants will come to appreciate how blessed they are, and to
recognize the serving others is mutually beneficial.
Please customize this specific lesson plan for your audience adding and deleting material as needed
For additional help with lesson planning a teacher’s toolbox containing a rich assortment of CST teaching aids can be found at
the Office of Social Justice St Paul Minneapolis web site http://www.osjspm.org/teachers_toolbox.aspx