As we enter this New Year, it’s time to make some new resolutions. Some of us will be losing weight, and others will be turning off our computers at the end of the workday… others will be learning more about Catholic Social Teaching! What? You read that right! Why not make it your New Year’s Resolution to learn more about Catholic Social Teaching in 2022?
We are seeing a heightening of complex social problems in our world—poverty, racism, pandemic, drought, pollution, violence—and without the Gospel, none of these problems will come to a resolution. Catholic Social Teaching allows the Church to Unleash the Gospel effectively and coherently when confronting such complex issues. Therefore, all pastoral ministers must have a thorough and ever-deepening understanding of the Church’s social doctrine.
Here are some resources that can help you dive deeper into Catholic Social Teaching this year:
- Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace—this Church document “serves as a tool to inspire and guide the faithful who are faced daily with moral and pastoral challenges.”
- Catholic Social Teaching Collection, Word on Fire Classics Series- This anthology of Catholic Social Teaching includes an introduction by Bishop Robert Barron and selections from primary church documents and scholars about Catholic Social Teaching.
- A Primer on Catholic Social Teaching: The Church’s Best Kept Secret by Mark P. Shea- This book is a beautiful introduction to anyone who may be intimidated by Church documents or highly academic works. In this book, the author presents four main themes of Catholic Social Teaching and gives context for each within the daily life of the Church.
- Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching from the USCCB- This website breaks down seven core themes of Catholic Social Teaching and provides links to additional resources on each.
- CST 101 from the USCCB and Catholic Relief Services- This 7-part video and discussion series brings the themes of Catholic Social Teaching to life. The course includes resources for adults, teens, and children.
- Catholic Social Teaching Course from the McGrath Institute at Notre Dame University- This online pastoral theology course helps students identify basic principles of Catholic Social Teaching drawn from Scripture and magisterial documents and apply them to activities in their parishes and local communities.
- Culture of Life Track at the Catechetical Institute of Franciscan University- This online course will launch in 2022 and help participants weave together the themes of Catholic Social Teaching toward empowering ministers to build a culture of life.
- Ut Unum Sint (That They May All Be One) and Veritas Splendor (The Splendor of Truth)- Two encyclicals from Pope St. John Paul II that touch upon the basis of Catholic Social Teaching with respect to the dignity of the human person and the foundations of the natural moral law.