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
a brainstorm accompanied a thunderstorm....
(are you ready for the idea?)
Pair up young adults (in their 20s and 30s) who belong to your parish (look through your former youth ministry rosters and see who is still living in town) with senior members of the parish who need rides to Mass.
When I lived in Florida, our parish often ran general bulletin announcements for parishioners
to call the rectory if they are willing to pick up older Church members who are unable to
drive themselves. A few members of the parish Young Adult Singles Club decided to give it a try.
For one member in particular, Susan, who was in her late 20s at the time,
she was assigned to drive a nearby parishioner, Agnes.
It only meant that Susan had to leave about ten minutes earlier for Mass,
and then a few minutes longer to drive home as she paused to drop Agnes back off.
This was a great service to Agnes, as she was able to get to Church much more often.
Agnes enjoyed getting out of the house and getting to see some of her friends at Church,
and was thrilled to be able to celebrate Mass with the community.
Susan, of course, began this is a sort of service project....
you know, helping someone who needed the help.
Susan was surprised to realize that she also go things out of this arrangement:
1. a stronger commitment to going to Mass with her responsibility to Agnes
(a.k.a. strength to resist turning off the alarm and staying in bed or opting out of a Mass
for other reasons as may have been the case on a few Sunday mornings.)
2. someone to sit with at Mass (this was key because Susan really did not like going to Church alone,
and her schedule didn't always coincide with her friends' schedules, so sometimes would sit alone
prior to driving Agnes. Sometimes though, her friends would also sit with them.)
3. a new parishioner with which to form a relationship and build community.
For many months, the commitment was just the transportation to and from Mass.
However, Agnes then invited Susan to lunch a couple of times,
and they even went to see a couple of movies as their friendship grew.
After two years, Susan's job transferred her to a different state,
so she said good-bye to Agnes, but for those two years, they both supported each other
and were parish community for each other!
So, I would like to suggest that parish staffer take some time to recruit young adults to
provide this driving service for older members who may not be able to transport themselves to Mass.
Or your parish Mission.
Or the parish picnic.
Or an adult education series.
Get the idea?
If so, and you do it, I would LOVE to hear how it goes...
I do realize it can be tricky as some young adults may have schedules that could frustrate some seniors if they are unable to help on a consistent bases.... and it may take the senior time to trust the younger driver... people would need 'screened' a bit to ensure a good experience for all... but it seems like it could be well worth it.
Especially as we seem to seek ways to help young adults (especially singles) feel connected to our faith communities, and as we know some seniors can use the help.
Let us inspire our parishioners to take a step closer to Tabitha's description from Acts 9:36
"Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translated means Dorcas).
She was completely occupied with good deeds and almsgiving."
by at least getting them to carpool!
I love this idea 'borrowed' from Catholics Mobilizing:
An Advent Jar
What’s an Advent Jar you ask?
Well, it’s just like an advent calendar,
except you use a jar and Popsicle sticks.
This is a creative and fun way to incorporate prayer, scripture,
service and family time into your Advent journey as a family
(or with roommates or even alone).
For this project you will need:
26 Large popsicle sticks (the ones that are like tongue
depressors) – colored ones are best
2” Wide Ribbon
½” wide ribbon
Fine tip Sharpies
Starting with a clean, empty mason jar,
cut the wide ribbon long enough to wrap completely around the jar with a bit extra on the ends to fold over.
Fold over one end of the wide ribbon about an 1/8 of an inch.
Using glue dots or double sided tape, adhere the large ribbon to the jar.
Cut the ½” ribbon long enough to wrap around the jar with enough extra to make a bow.
Place the smaller ribbon so it lays over the wider ribbon and tie it around the jar using a
bow to secure it.
Once the jar and ribbon is done, it is time to make your advent jar popsicle sticks.
Using a fine tip sharpie families (or roommates or even an individual, as I did) should select 26 things
– either from the list below, or they can make their own – that they can do throughout Advent.
Write one thing on each stick and place it in the jar.
Each morning, take 2 seconds before running out the door to grab a stick
and make that your goal for the day. Or if your family (roommates) gathers for dinner
take the stick out before diner and talk over dinner about doing that item
for the day. If you draw one that you can not
do that day, simply place it back and draw another.
1. Say a prayer for someone who is sick or lonely
2. Drive around the neighborhood to look at Christmas Lights
3. Go out to the town’s annual tree lighting
4. Go to Church this Sunday as a family
5. Do something nice for some who you may not always like
6. Bake Christmas Cookies and listen to Christmas music
7. Read a favorite Christmas story together as a family
8. Decorate the Christmas tree as a family
9. Baking cookies for Santa – make extra to give to neighbors or those who are
10. Read the Nativity story – Luke 2:1-14
11. Send a letter to a family member that lives far away
12. Set up the Nativity
13. Pray Psalm 25 together as a family
14. Write a note to a family member telling them one thing you are thankful for –
15. Offer to help with a chore that is not normally “yours”
16. Make a Christmas Card for your favorite teacher and give it to them
17. Say a prayer at dinner for all those who are hungry
18. Do a kind act for a neighbor
19. Read the story of St. Nicholas whose Feast Day is celebrated during Advent
20.Make 5 Christmas cards and deliver to a hospital or nursing home
21. Make hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie as a family
22. Pray the joyful mysteries of the Rosary as a family – dedicate your prayers to those who go without
23.Collect change for 5 days – the entire family collects all their extra change each
day – donate what you collected to an organization that helps those who are sick.
24.Pray for those who do not have families during this holiday season
25.Wrap presents for friends and family
26. Write your own ideas.....
(Could also write carious Scripture verses on each stick to help you remember
to include the Bible in your daily life!)
I found green and red craft sticks at Dollar Tree (40 for $1) as well as ribbon and a jar...so this can be done very inexpensively and can be used from year to year!
This article seemed hidden on another page, so is copied here to be more easily accessed. Also be sure to pull up the Diocesan Child Protection Policy page to assure you have all your adults ready to serve with the youth!
"Be hospitable to one another without complaining. As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace. Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God; whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." (1 Peter 4: 9 - 11)
CONSIDERATIONS in planning
Mission trips or service trips:
All projects, whether local or distant, should involve the following elements:
These program elements are widely adaptable to service opportunities that are suited to different regions, cultures, age groups, education levels, and issues. They are essential to ensuring that all young people who participate, whether they serve through their place of worship, school, or community group, benefit from the experience.
(Much of this article was taken and revised from "Summer of Service: A New American Rite of Passage" by Shirley Sagawa. It was published by Innovations in Civic Participation, Washington D.C., www.icicp.org)
Check out the additional items posted on the Service and Justice page of this site:
Cindee Case, MPS
Director of the Diocese of Youngstown Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.