Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Salt and Light Group - Catholic Social Teaching

Perhaps no one has as clearly and beautifully stated the purpose of our Salt & Light group as Pope Francis in a letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron, MP (15 June 2013) - (click for full text)

...the goal of economics and politics is to serve humanity, beginning with the poorest and most vulnerable wherever they may be, even in their mothers' wombs. Every economic and political theory or action must set about providing each inhabitant of the planet with the minimum wherewithal to live in dignity and freedom, with the possibility of supporting a family, educating children, praising God and developing one's own human potential. This is the main thing; in the absence of such a vision, all economic activity is meaningless.

In this sense, the various grave economic and political challenges facing today's world require a courageous change of attitude that will restore to the end (the human person) and to the means (economics and politics) their proper place. Money and other political and economic means must serve, not rule, bearing in mind that, in a seemingly paradoxical way, free and disinterested solidarity is the key to the smooth functioning of the global economy.

Our Salt & Light group takes its name from the sayings of Jesus in Matthew 5:13-14: "You are the salt of the earth...You are the light of the world..." We are called to imitate Christ Jesus by serving others. The image to the right shows Jesus washing the feet of His apostles. He instructs them to do the same. As Jesus' disciples today, we carry out His mandate to become servants of peace and justice.

The dignity of the human person and the common good are key elements of our work and prayer.

The Salt & Light group of St. Benedict's Parish strives to make Catholic Social Teaching (CST) a reality. It is open to anyone interested in Peace and Justice issues. Examples include: life issues and bioethics (we work closely with our Respect Life Ministry on these), care for the environment, immigration, economic justice, global poverty, human trafficking, and unemployment/underemployment. With the charitable organizations of our parish, we attempt to focus on root causes of injustice, Catholic advocacy and education.

We usually meet once a month for approximately one hour. Our meetings begin with a reading from the Gospel, we introduce ourselves, receive an update on the progress of current projects, take some time to study and discuss part of a papal social encyclical or a document of the US Catholic Bishops, have an open discussion, ask for new ideas, and close with a simple prayer. We communicate often via email on current projects. Members receive periodic e-mailings from the Diocese of Buffalo on CST issues as well.

We would love to have you take part in our Salt & Light group. For information, please contact rectory@saintbenedicts.com or simply attend a meeting.

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