CHARITY AND JUSTICE
The Catholic Church's social teaching has its roots in the words of Jesus himself, who told his followers in Matthew's Gospel that they would be judged by what they do for the least among them. Christ's message and example throughout the gospels of caring for the poor, the vulnerable, the forgotten, and the marginalized forms the foundation of what we today Catholic social teaching.
In 1891, Pope Leo XIII was the first pope to write an encyclical—Rerum Novarum, or "On the Condition of Labor" - addressing how the Church's social teaching can be applied to modern life. Later popes, from John XXIII on down through Pope Francis, have carried on the tradition, and along with other Catholic leaders they have created a rich body of teaching that shows how our faith in God can inspire us to serve those around us
The Church has identified seven key themes for the modern application of this teaching: protecting the life and dignity of the human person from conception until natural death; a call to participate in and seek the common good through family and community; recognizing and defending the rights of others and our responsibilities to one another; putting the needs of the poor and vulnerable first; preserving the dignity of work and the rights of workers; solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ both locally and globally; and care for all of God's creation through good stewardship of the planet and its resources.
At Holy Family Parish, we take seriously the call to live out our faith through the social teaching of the Church. We do this through our work and partnerships with several Catholic organizations.
As of January 2023, our Caritas program is summarized nicely in this overview.
And here is a parish pastoral letter expressing our vision of Caritas here for the community.
For a quick review of Catholic social teaching, go here.