Notes from the
on Thursday, May 7, 2020
Blessings, Self-Care and Summer
help those in need,
give strength to the weak,
comfort the sorrowful,
pray for God's people,
assist the clergy,
intercede for religious.
Mary all who seek your help
experience your unfailing protection.
Participants were invited to introduce themselves and share a blessing experienced since the March 17th shut down in Ohio.
Move/improved prayer time
technology working at home!
Family time (spouse, kids, grandkids)
seeing parishioners checking in on each other
Help at home
helping others/working with food cupboard
Calling parishioners has helped make great connections
As a reminder that we have to take time to take care of ourselves in order to be able to serve others. Stephen Covey’s 7th Habit of Highly Effective people is to “Sharpen the Saw” where we have to schedule time for our physical, emotional/mental and spiritual well-being. We divided into breakout rooms to discuss how we are doing so. As re-grouped and shared the following insights:
Need to work on more
walking – indoors and outside
Getting up from the computer periodically
stop work at 4:00 p.m.
Video chats with family/friends
old fashioned phone calls
Reading, including spiritual books
praying as a household
going in to the office, but shorter hours
Set an alarm every two hours to get up and move
new prayer styles
Cindee referred to organizations that she listed in yesterday’s Youth Ministers Update that had canceled, postponed or rescheduled some summer events (see below). Most are cancelled for 2020, but some have only gone through June so far.
The unknown is difficult. Right now, we only have mandates through May, wherein we should not be calling people out of their homes unnecessarily. The limits of ten people, with masks and six-feet distancing once we can gather also can be challenging, but some things can continue to be done virtually, by mail, and the other creative ways you have used for two months now…. Once the Ohio dioceses share the guidelines for resuming Mass and Liturgy, we will need to follow up similar guidelines for other pastoral activities as well.
Post-meeting note: since there was a question about planning for June,Cindee did email Msgr. Zuraw that question. He replied,
“I would advise against this at this time.”
Also, once Church buildings do open, be sure to talk with the pastor/administrator/leader to inquire about hosting prayer services for/with teens and/or their families following the guidelines. Highlight various aspects of your Church as appropriate (statues of saints or stained glass windows as a focus for prayer)
Do not let fear rule, Keep hope and “Be Not Afraid”
but keep in mind our responsibilities should we schedule something at which an outbreak happens…. We don’t want to put our teens (or the households to which they return) in harms way.
KEEP UP THE CREATIVITY and doing what you can to support the teens and their families. And you for all you do!
Mollie: Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska
Joe: Can You Drink the Cup?: Henri JM Nouwen
Article to which was referred regarding U.S. bishops’ guidelines for re-opening Churches:
Participants: Bob Barto (Holy Trinity East Liverpool), Marcy Fessler (St. Patrick Youngstown), Joe Frangos (St. Paul North Canton and Little Flower Middlebranch), Mollie Kulig (St. Peter and St. John Canton), Cara Lipinski (St. Joseph Massillon), Shannon Pecchia (St. Angela Merici), Terry Sibert (St. Joan of Arc Canton), Diane Tarka (St. John Summitville), and Cindee Case (Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry), and late Anne Weeks (Holy Spirit). Asher Frangos also joined us a few times (so glad to see him doing well!)
- Updates from some of the organizations used by parishes in our diocese:
> Catholic Heart Work Camps
All 2020 summer camps have been canceled.
> CMD Young Neighbors in Action and CMD Just 5 Days
All 2020 summer camps have been canceled.
However, The Center for Ministry Development is planning to provide resources for parishes and Catholic High Schools to serve in your community this summer. We are preparing for a multi-day national event in late July or early August that will include live streaming for music, prayer, and faith sharing as a send-off and wrap-up for service in your local community.
> ND Vision at Notre Dame
Canceled for summer 2020
> One Bread, One Cup
CANCELED the summer conferences for 2020 (May 1 announcement)
> Steubenville Youth Conferences
As of May 5th, they have still only canceled/rescheduled June dates, they still have July dates posted... but check with them if the parents/teens of your group do not yet feel confident about going, to inquire about cancellation policies.
Honoring the Class of 2020 and other Youth Ministry Ideas
During this unique time of social distancing, we have to get creative about taking advantage of the opportunities we have -- after grieving the losses of canceled events and programs -- and think of ways to adapt how we honor graduating seniors (and perhaps 8th graders and college grads as well.) This was a topic for discussion of an April 24th conversation with some parish coordinators of youth ministry.
Watch the recording above, and see if you noted additional ideas to ones I've listed below:
+ See what parents of the students want to do - they may have creative ideas, energy to help and funds to pay for ways.... for instance, parents of JFK seniors (although not parish) decided to pay for yard signs that were designed and delivered by a group of volunteers.
+ Card Campaign -- invite parishioners to write out cards to grads. St. Patrick and St. Angela Merici is still discussion if cards will go to the parish for distribution or if parents will want their addresses shared for direct mailing. Holy Family has a parish lock-box for drop off (and ask for the envelops to be unsealed so that prayer cards can be inserted!)
+ Sending prayer cards!
+ Massillon St. Joseph has purchased door decorations (in the school colors of the teens!) and will decorate the doors when the weather clears
+ delaying and moving activities outdoors during the summer -- seniors party, senior Mass, etc.
+ senior pictures used to be collected to put into the parish bulletin, ask parents if can post on parish website and/or social media
+ creating senior Facebook Tributes - get parental permission, photo, post-graduation plans, a quote, list extracurricular activities, etc.
+ ask parishioners to 'adopt a senior' and share a list of things that senior likes for gift baskets to be made and delivered
+ approach other parish groups (Ladies Guild, Altar and Rosary, K of C, etc., especially if they sponsored events or gifts in the past) to purchase a gift book to send to seniors, with prayers cards, letter from pastor/staff
+ see if your pastor is willing to record a short video message/blessing for the seniors (if you post to YouTube, you an always text to the link to those who do not have online-meeting technology!)
+ invite college students to record short messages to seniors with tips and encouragement
In other news:
> help parents deepen their commitment to being the primary catechists for their children:
1. mail packets, lesson plans, prayer services, religious craft ideas, etc. with instructions
2. consider inviting parents to a virtual meeting on Zoom, FreeConferenceCall.com, Google Meet/Hangout, Go To Meetings, Google Classroom, etc.
3. Record videos to parents with support and/or of short lessons that they can show to their kids with discussion questions
4. Share existing webinars that might be of interest to parents
5. Mail them Thinking of You cards
6. Pray for them!
> Do not forget that there are still call-in conference call options for those who do not have (or not want to use) virtual meeting spaces
> As we move through the summer and into fall without knowing if we will be able to gather large groups, keep in mind the multitude of ways we might minister with youth:
- small groups gathered
- conference calls
- virtual meetings
- independent study/home-schooling
- let teens that like using technology create short lessons, prayer services, etc. for teens or younger students
> Do not forget to adapt the Permission for Direct Contact with Youth Form as needed. It is posted at:
> KEEP PRAYING!
Virtual Youth Ministry
COVID-19 protocols moved us quickly to our homes and ended large gatherings. As we do not yet know when we may be safe and open to gather, God has blessed us with time to keep connected with teens and their parents using technology!
The following are just a few reminders and tips on doing this well.
(Feel free to add more ideas in the comments below.)
First, for all of these,
make sure you have an updated and revised-as-needed
"Permission for Direct Contact with Youth"
so you can follow the parent's wishes.
(You can find it in KEY FORMS on the
Coordinators page of this site)
1. Have a phone log of some sort - can be a spreadsheet on your computer or a paper-and-pen notebook. Have space to note:
- time (start and end)
- number called
- with whom you spoke
- notes abut the topics discussed
2. Consider writing a script before calling, even if it is just a basic check in, write down your questions and any announcements, resources or references you plan to share. Don't read the script like a robot, but it is good to have on hand to assist you should the teen or parent be quiet, and assured you will cover the same information with each call.
3. If it is safe and possible to make the calls from a parish phone, with other staffers or volunteers nearby, that is preferred. If not, make sure that your pastor/supervisor approves whatever phone line you will use and with what other adult will be nearby, and amend your
"Permission for Direct Contact with Youth" Form as needed.
4. Say a prayer that the Holy Spirit will guide your words and grant the call-receiver peace.
5. Call. Listen. Be reassuring.
Offer to pray for/with, if you feel comfortable.
Take notes in your call log.
EMAILS and SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
1. Use official parish accounts, or have permission from the pastor/supervisor for other accounts and amend your
"Permission for Direct Contact with Youth" Form as needed.
2. Always have at least one other adult connected with each communication/monitoring the account.
3. Try not to over do it (believe me, I struggle with this when I see many things I would like to share. I try to save some items to share on subsequent days. On Facebook and a few other social media, you can schedule out posts in advance.)
4. Be sure to follow up on any comments and questions posted, if you allow them.
5. Feel free to share posts from the Vatican.va, Pontifex, the USCCB, the Diocese of Youngstown, our Catholic Charities and other diocesan offices as they support your efforts.
6. Remember, you are sharing the Gospel in all that you post!
(Note: similar for Group Texting efforts!)
1. Use official parish accounts, or have permission from the pastor/supervisor for other accounts and amend your
"Permission for Direct Contact with Youth" Form as needed.
Currently, the diocese does not limit what platform you can use,
as we want you to work what works for you....
free options exist with FreeConferenceCall.com, Zoom, Google Meetings (Hangouts), and Facebook Live (to be done within a closed Group page, unless you just want to broadcast without interaction....
and paid options with Go To Meetings, Cisco WebEx, Flocknote, etc.
(Feel free to include others you use in the comments below.)
2. Always have at least one other adult participating (and two or more for each small group if you use a program in which you will be breaking them into small groups).
3. Prepare an outline (with scripting as needed) for the gathering - opening and closing prayer, ground-rules, discussion, activity, etc.
Preview any videos you plan to share.
Even if it is just a casual hangout while teens discuss homework or topics they wish, make sure faith is infused. I mean, we need to recognize God as part of all our experiences, especially in ministry.
4. Practice with the platform you will be using before your actual session so that you can see how features work and what PRIVACY settings you may want to enable.
5. Make event By Invitation Only -- not posted on parish website or public forum, unless you can secure the site and approve each participant. (If you haven't yet heard, some unfortunate individuals have been Zoom-bombing wherein they disrupt sessions and occasionally post inappropriate things in an open chat, post inappropriate images in open-screen-sharing, etc. thus the need for security.)
6. Pray before you begin that the Holy Spirit will guide you and touch the hearts of the participants.
7. Have any screens (prayers, videos, resources, images, etc.) ready to share before you begin.
8. Begin... RECORD the session if possible...
establish ground-rules (muting, respecting when other speak, etc.)...
be reassuring and faith-filled...
9. End on time - parents will appreciate it. You can always schedule another session if they want more time!
May our God bless you in special ways
as you explore new ways to minister to,
for and with our Young Church!
Does your parish do something to honor/congratulate/bless graduating high school seniors?
On May 8, 2019, I received a call from a parish wondering what gifts other parishes give to graduating high school seniors. We discussed a few ideas of which I was aware, but thought it was a good time to touch base with parish ministers to see what was currently done.
I am thankful for the Coordinators for Youth Ministry that responded to my Google Form survey.
Following is a summary of that input as received May 8 – 15.
25 parishes said YES, they do something to honor/congratulate/bless graduating high school seniors,
and 4 responded that they do not.
21 of the 25 stated they have a special blessing for the graduates at Mass,
13 at a specific Mass and
8 at every Mass on a specified weekend.
Most indicated they also have an Universal Prayer for the graduates,
some including all levels of graduates.
14 parishes have a reception,
10 offer breakfast/brunch
3 have light snacks
And one offers a dinner.
For these, 6 indicated the receptions were for the graduates and their families,
1 for graduates only and
5 were for the whole parish.
As for that question about gifts. 10 parishes do give gifts:
► Book (Bible, "How to Stay Catholic in College," Lean Into the Wind: How to Face the Future” by Fr. McKarns, prayer book)
► Prayer card
► Coffee mug with scripture quote
► Photo frame
► A cross
► A certificate
► A religious medal
► information on how to find the Newman center on their campus
(Note that a few parishes give more than one gift)
Other great ideas included:
- We have teens serve as liturgical ministers for a Mass
- We make a poster with pictures of all the graduates
- We take a group photo of the graduate and place it on the cover of a Church bulletin Any graduating teen who missed the Mass is asked to submit a senior picture to be included on the bulletin cover.
- Our parish offers three scholarships for education, materials and supplies
- Considering a retreat
- We make a bulletin insert celebrating the graduates
- We also host the Baccalaureate ceremony sponsored by the Conneaut Area Ministerial Association. Baccalaureate is the day before graduation is open to all seniors at Conneaut High School. We do have a light reception following the ceremony.
- We tell them we are proud of them
St. Thomas Aquinas school added that in addition to the Baccalaureate Mass that each Catholic School does in our diocese, they invite back those celebrating their 50th reunion to join them for Mass and a reception. They also have a blessing of the seniors at the last All School Mass of the year.
As you put the finishing on any graduation celebrations for your parish,
I hope these insights from other parishes are helpful.
Most importantly, continue to pray for these young people,
especially as they go off to college, the military, vocational training,
a gap year, or the work world.
May they be open to the Holy Spirit at work in their lives!
A big "Snow Event" is predicted for northeast Ohio and many other areas of the U.S. for this weekend. Due to this, some events are being rescheduled, changed or canceled. As I heard one teen wonder out loud, "Great, what am I going to do now?" I immediately began thinking of a myriad of options... some outdoors, some indoors.
I realized as I started listing ideas off in my head that this officially makes me an 'older' adult, but then I thought,
a. if you are a teen really looking for ideas, then here you go....
b. if you are a fellow adult who feels the same but would like to have a place to direct your kids attention without it looking like you are the cranky one listing off options, here you go:
30 Snow Ideas for Teens/Families:
1. Read a book*
2. Clean your room
3. Offer to shovel snow for neighbors (after your own driveway and sidewalk, of course)
4. Build a snowperson or two, or even snow animals
5. Make snow angels
6. Go ice-skating
7. Go sledding (and maybe take your little siblings with you)
8. Build a snow fort
9. Have a snow ball fight
10. (If permitted where you live and with supervision) have a bonfire (if you have dry wood stored somewhere)
11. Learn to make a new craft using YouTube videos
12. Cook a meal
14. Play a board game
15. Exercise or dance
16. Do your homework
17. Write thank you cards, Valentines cards, etc.
18. Create a snow day play list of music
19. Do mani-pedis, a facial or other spa treatment
20. Go on a winter hike
21. Catch snowflakes on your tongue
22. Build a house of cards
23. Watch a movie*
24. Color (yes, with crayons or pencils)
25. Pull up a karaoke app and start singing!
26. Play tic-tac-snow (draw the board in the snow, use sticks and rocks as your Xs and Os)
27. Stick the Nose on the Snowman (like Pin the Tail on the Donkey, but playing a carrot on a snow man as blindfolded)
28. Make bird feeders like you used to at camp or on kindergarten (peanut butter on pinecones, sprinkled with birdseed, tie with yarn or string and hang out on a tree)
29. Look for critter-prints ( you know, pawprints from animals and identify the animals)
30. Snow-painting (fill squeeze containers or spray bottles with water and food coloring, mix, then head outside to "paint")
If you are still board after all of these ideas, then take a nap, watch TV or play video games! OR share more ideas in the comment section below! In any event, I hope you have some fun and take time to enjoy winter.
(I'll likely be sipping on some hot chocolate by the fireplace!)
* Since I am posting this during the March For Life and as we enter the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, can I suggest looking for books and movies related to Respect for All Life and equal rights?
A few that come to mind include:
~ A Raisin in the Sun
~ Mississippi Burning
~ To Kill a Mockingbird
~ The Butler
~ The Long Walk Home
~ The Rosa Parks Story
~ Hotel Rwanda
What other books and movies follow these themes?
You can also join in the final days of the 9 Days for Life
Prayer initiative at:
Most youth ministers and high school catechists discovered years ago that teens learn better by Doing and so have gotten very creative in ways to help youth apply learnings, but we often still have time for lecturing by the adult.
A few of us have moved to sending articles/chapters/booklets home to read or video links to view prior to meeting for class or session, adapting the teaching method of "flipped classroom" into religious education. (You can learn more about this below.) This is a great way to assure there is time to respond to questions and encourage discussion (so long as the students actually do the preparation and if all the youth have access to the media needed!)
I like this explanation of Jigsaw Learning as a way of perhaps using some Flipped Model, but giving another way for the youth to dive into the content. I think many of us have used this method in concept, but perhaps not with as much organization as this video describes:
This video lays out a game plan clearly. I really like the "expert group" portion where teens help each other understand the concepts (with adult advisors assisting when needed.) Then when the teens take the extra step to TEACH, we know they learn better.
Albert Einstein once said:
“I never teach my pupils,
I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
Can you see how the Jigsaw can provide conditions to learn?
I can envision a few ways to use this:
a. using The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth,
dividing up sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
or selecting by topic, such as:
Parts of the Mass...
Gifts of the Holy Spirit…
Fruits of the Holy Spirit…
Types of Books in the Bible....
The 7 Sacraments...
what other topics jump out for you to consider using Jigsaw?
b. having the above or YouCats for teens to look up topics that apply to the textbook you may be using for religious class
c. if using the Phlaum Weeklies, divide up sections, making sure teens have access to the teaching guide and supplementary booklets as well as Bibles and other resources to allow them to expand the information
d. even on a retreat, set aside some time for learning sessions on the theme of the retreat.
e. prior to a service/mission activity, cover Catholic Social Teachings or elements of the service project as connected to our faith.
What other ideas come to mind?
Reflection (feel free to share your responses as a Comment below)
Thanks for all you do to pass on the faith to the next generation.
We must ensure that young people are well equipped
for their special mission in the world.
-Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry
Quick overview of a Flipped Class:
Example of watching a Flipped Classroom
“Those who know, do.
Those that understand, teach.”
A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.
Offering his guests coffee,
the professor went to the kitchen
and returned with a large pot of coffee
and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal,
some plain-looking, some expensive, and some exquisite -
elling them to help themselves to the coffee.
After all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:
"If you noticed,
all the nice-looking, expensive cups were taken up,
leaving behind the plain and cheap ones.
While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves,
that is the source of your problems and stress.
"Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee.
In most cases, it's just more expensive
and in some cases even hides what we drink.
What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup,
but you consciously went for the best cups...
and then began eyeing each other's cups.
"Now consider this:
Life is the coffee,
and the jobs, money and position in society are the cups.
They are just tools to hold and contain life,
and the type of cup we have does not define
nor change the quality of life we live.
Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup,
we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us."
God brews the coffee, not the cups . . .
enjoy your coffee.
During the Ash Wednesday 12:10 p.m. Mass homily at St. Columba Cathedral,
Bishop George V. Murry, S.J. began by sharing that the word Lent
Often springtime conjures images of cleaning out things after winter.
He then continued to talk about spiritually cleaning one's heart for a better relationship with God.
However, my mind veered off a bit to the meme seen above.
Many people on social media have been sharing this idea of physically cleaning things out
this Lent... to simplify your home but also to potentially assist those who may need things.
As a bit of a clutterbug (not quite up to the TV show "Hoarders" level, yet,
but I have the potential), this is an exhilarating and scary idea.
But, I am going to give it a try....
if not 40 large trash bags, then at least several bags and boxes.
I am also reminded of the Zelda Fitzgerald quote:
What most people need to learn in life is how to love people and use things
instead of using people and loving things.
While I do my best not to use people, I may have a tendency to love things,
as I was taught to treasure gifts from loved ones, and I place perhaps too much
emotion into items I own. Therefore, this might just make for a good Lenten practice for me,
as I will need to pray my way through it.
One prayer I will be praying is the Suscipe by St. Ignatius of Loyola
(proud of my Jesuit education):
Take Lord, and receive all my liberty,
and my entire will,
all that I have and possess.
Thou hast given all to me.
To Thee, O lord, I return it.
All is Thine,
dispose of it wholly according to Thy will.
Give me Thy love and thy grace,
for this is sufficient for me.
(As one who grew up in the "Glory and Praise" era of Church music,
I often 'hear' this prayer in the musical form,
which if you are not familiar, I would encourage you to listen:
Please pray with me,
and perhaps join in me in this process of letting go.
Maybe in the giving of material things,
my heart will also let go of hurts, disappointments, or other feelings that
impede a joy-filled relationship with God?
May I be able to clean out all things that block God's love for me,
so that I can be open to a deeper Easter joy.
May your Lenten practices do the same for you!
Whoever confers benefits will be amply enriched,
and whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Whoever hoards grain, the people curse,
but blessings are on the head of one who distributes it!
Prior to the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry, or NCCYM, in San Jose last month, I participated in a two-day "Youth Mental Health First Aid" training. (I am sure you will hear and see me reference this training a few times in the future!) One of the numerous ideas I noted was tis idea of a "Been There, Done That" box of index cards....
What you would do is to contact parents who have gone through some specific situation, issues or crisis,
and see if they would be open to talking with other parents from the parish or school who approach you to discuss that topic. (I'd also suggest you ask these kind, brave parents willing to discuss their situations to pray for any parent that does contact them... and perhaps pray WITH them!)
-- teens breaking curfew and how to deal with that in a healthy way
-- incarcerated youth
-- dealing with underage drinking
-- child diagnosed with a special need
-- kids who struggled through their divorce
-- custody issues
-- teens cutting school
(Start brain-storming as you reflect on questions parents ask you!
What a wonderful resource this box can be as you help connect people that support each other
and build community.)
Please be sure to keep this information confidential, but have them on hard for support.
Of course, you could keep this information on a spread sheet on your computer or tablet.
And, obviously, for anyone who needs professional help,
make that appropriate referral.
However, often, parents just need support --
someone to listen
someone who understands
and sometimes some ideas and advice.
This seemed like a great idea to share with you all as you approach Pastoral Care with youth and their families.
Let me know if you do this and how it works for you. Add any helpful tips in the comments below.
Here is a prayer from Loyola Press for Parents:
A Parent's Prayer Loving God,
You are the giver of all we possess,
the source of all of our blessings.
We thank and praise you.
Thank you for the gift of our children.
Help us to set boundaries for them,
and yet encourage them to explore.
Give us the strength and courage to treat
each day as a fresh start.
May our children come to know you, the one true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
May your Holy Spirit help them to grow
in faith, hope, and love,
so they may know peace, truth, and goodness.
May their ears hear your voice.
May their eyes see your presence in all things.
May their lips proclaim your word.
May their hearts be your dwelling place.
May their hands do works of charity.
May their feet walk in the way of Jesus Christ,
your Son and our Lord.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
have been working on a fantastic video series that we can use for FREE to help share the
elements of our Catholic Social Teachings.
The videos are brief (3 - 5 minutes each), beautiful and informative.
They have been posted on YouTube, so can be
easily shared via social media or used in classrooms/meetings.
Below, please find direct links to the first few videos,
and look for future videos (and additional resources) to be posted at:
Rights and Responsibilities
The Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities--to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.
More on Rights and Responsibilities
Call to Family, Community, and Participation
The person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society -- in economics and politics, in law and policy -- directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. Marriage and the family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined. We believe people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.
More on Call to Family, Community, and Participation
Life and Dignity of the Human Person
The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. This belief is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching. In our society, human life is under direct attack from abortion and euthanasia. The value of human life is being threatened by cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and the use of the death penalty. The intentional targeting of civilians in war or terrorist attacks is always wrong. Catholic teaching also calls on us to work to avoid war. Nations must protect the right to life by finding increasingly effective ways to prevent conflicts and resolve them by peaceful means. We believe that every person is precious, 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.
More on Life and Dignity of the Human Person
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. 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 to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.
More on Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
Care for God's Creation
We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. 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 Gods creation. This environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions that cannot be ignored.
More on Care for God's Creation
We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers and sisters keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world. At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Pope Paul VI taught that if you want peace, work for justice.1 The Gospel calls us to be peacemakers. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.
More on Solidarity
> The Dignity of Work and the Rights of WorkersThe economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in Gods 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 the organization and joining of unions, to private property, and to economic initiative.
More on Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
Descriptions shared from http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catholic-social-teaching/seven-themes-of-catholic-social-teaching.cfm - (c) USCCB
Cindee Case, MPS
Director of the Diocese of Youngstown Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.