Column: Social teaching is integral to jubilee year; learn how

Do unto others
Bill Scholl is the archdiocesan consultant for the Office of Social Justice.

by Bill Scholl

In this Year of Mercy, what is the Holy Spirit prompting in you?

Have you found yourself more aware of the needs around you, more thoughtful about how you might alleviate the suffering of another?

What about in your parish? How is your community of faith preparing all of you to proclaim the good news of Christ to the world through word and deed?

As Catholic disciples of Jesus, we have been commissioned to make life on earth more like heaven. By our baptism and confirmation, we are equipped by the Holy Spirit to do the corporal and spiritual works of mercy that make God’s love a concrete reality. Catholic social teaching is the church’s unpacking of the Gospel, giving us instructions on how we unleash this power of grace to make the world better right here, right now.

Unfortunately, these teachings are one of our best-kept secrets and most misunderstood. We are tempted to see everything through the very small lens of political parties and inform our consciences through Facebook memes and Twitter links.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website explains: “Catholic social teaching is a central and essential element of our faith. Its roots are in the Hebrew prophets who announced God’s special love for the poor and called God’s people to a covenant of love and justice.”

Take this small pop quiz:

  1. Can you name the four core principles of Catholic social teaching?
  2. If you can name them, can you explain them to your spouse, a co-worker, your children?
  3. If you don’t know the answers to the first two questions, would you know where to look to find the answers?

If this pop quiz caught you unawares, you are in luck. The archdiocesan office for social justice offers a Catholic social teaching workshop for parishes and schools, perfect for the Year of Mercy.

This workshop is a hands-on, minds-on discussion group that focuses on the core Catholic concepts of Catholic social teaching. The workshop is scalable, so it can be adapted to your parish’s needs and time availability. This workshop is also free, so valuable parish resources can be used elsewhere.

If you are interested in bringing a Catholic social teaching workshop to your parish and willing to put some effort in your parish to make it happen, contact me. If you want to know more, this week there will be an information session about how to bring a workshop to your parish on Jan. 28 at Savior Pastoral Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

To RSVP or for more information, contact me at (913) 647-0317 or by email at: socialjustice@archkck.org.

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