Peace in Our Communities

September 9, 2016: Memorial of St. Peter Claver, Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities

Today in the Catholic Church in the United States is a day of prayer for peace in our communities. This has been implemented by the USCCB looking back on the violence and racial tension of the past few months. It is also the fruit of a task force of American Catholic Bishops in finding ways to help in the mending of the many suffering and broken communities throughout the country; as well as the spring board for looking to future hopefully of greater solidarity in our country.

More information:

Article on the Day of prayer form July 21, 2016: http://www.usccb.org/news/2016/16-095.cfm

Link to the USCCB hub on confronting racism and the day of prayer for peace in our communities: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/index.cfm

5 Ways You Can Cultivate Peace and Work for Racial Justice: https://togoforth.org/2016/08/18/5-ways-you-can-cultivate-peace-and-work-for-racial-justice/

I want to point out through this a way that social change and justice is being strived for in a peaceful and hopeful way. Unfortunately many times when confronted with stories of violence and injustice we feel vengeful in the compassion we feel and this often leads to a short term highly emotionalized response that can lead to bad decisions/ outcomes and fizzes out over time. Social change/ justice comes over time with acquired knowledge and good planning based on solid foundations of concern and genuine compassion.

God Bless the United States of America. Amen

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Catholic Social Teaching

Catholic Social teaching is old.  It is as old as the Church.  Though the name and modern concept are quite new (that is in comparison to the age of the Church because modern Catholic social teaching is over a 120 years old) the roots are found in the earliest doctrines of the Catholic Church and of course in the teachings of Jesus.  Modern Catholic social teaching finds its start with the Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII,  Rerum Novarum (On the Condition of the Working Classes), put out in 1891.  If you would like to learn more about the origin of modern catholic social teaching I would suggest this article by Fr. Paul Pearson:  http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=7732 .

Catholic social teaching today is based upon seven major themes that are based on our understanding of human dignity and life rooted in the Catholic Church’s commitment to the poor and building relationships of life and justice. The seven themes are the life and dignity of the human person, the call to family, community, and participation, the rights and responsibilities of the human person, options for the poor and vulnerable, the dignity of work and the rights of workers, common solidarity of humanity, and care for Gods creation. For more on these I suggest looking at the USCCB’s page titled Care for God’s Creation (http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catholic-social-teaching/seven-themes-of-catholic-social-teaching.cfm)