Catholic Social Teaching

Made for Community: An Introduction to Catholic Social Teaching
9 weeks
Father Peter Ascik, Rachel Willoughby and Dr. David Glasow
Wednesdays, April 14 to June 14
7 to 9 pm
Banquet Room
No Fee, please register (click the title of the class)

“To teach and to spread her social doctrine pertains to the Church’s evangelizing mission and is an essential part of the Christian message…” (Centessimus Annus, 5)

Pope St. John Paul II has two things to say about the social teaching of the Catholic Church: it is essential and it is evangelical. The social teaching of the Catholic Church helps us understand who we are and how we are to relate to one another. How do we answer the perennial question: Lord, who is my neighbor? Jesus answered this question with the story of the Good Samaritan. How do we see our world today through the eyes of the Good Samaritan? Created for community, it is essential that we spend some time contemplating the goods and structures of societies. It is precisely because it is so essential, affecting every aspect of our worldly lives, that the social teaching of the Catholic church is such fertile ground for evangelization. We pray for the earth to be made like the kingdom of heaven daily in the Our Father. Through its social teaching, the Church works toward this reality.
Through these nine weeks of Catholic Social Teaching, we will work through the approach of the Catholic Church to some of the major questions of our times, encounter some heroes of recent history who lived these principles well, and hopefully leave more inspired to live out these principles ourselves.

“The Church, in fact, has something to say about specific human situations, both individual and communal, national and international.” (Centessimus Annus, 5)

Join us on Wednesday, April 14 to find out what it is.

Advent in a Small Group

Advent is coming!

Advent is a great time to re-invigorate your small group!

Any time of preparation, be that a Liturgical season, like Advent or Lent, or a season of life like the weeks leading up to a new school year or a wedding day, is a great time to examine what is most important in life.

Advent and Lent help me narrow my focus by looking at the top priority in my spiritual life. How can I more fully achieve that relationship with Christ, that love of neighbor, that heart of a servant, or whatever goal that stands out as the next step of my spiritual journey? How can I find the goal, if the future of my spiritual life seems blank or dry? How can I remember the goal and keep my focus in those times of intense joy or activity?

Times of preparation bring these and many other questions into sharp relief and give us a sense of purpose and guidance. Sometimes these questions give us fresh energy, and other times they might unleash a mild panic. Either way, it is helpful to have a small group to share your life with.

Let your small group help you uncover the goodness that God has in store for you. They can help you pace yourself for the long race so that your enthusiasm holds out. They can help you sort out the panic and replace it with peace. Your small group can help you bring all of your preparation before the throne of God and, placing it there before Him, allow for it to be opened up, guided, and shaped into the life that He has, is and will be making available to you.
If your group is wanting to prepare for Christmas together throughout Advent, consider some of the following resources.

The following books, as well as many others, are available in the St. Matthew library or on amazon.com:

The Advent of Christ, by Edward Sri

Advent and Christmas with G.K. Chesterton

Advent and Christmas with the Saints

Advent and Christmas with Fulton Sheen

Come, Lord Jesus: Meditations on the Art of Waiting, by Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C

The following online resources can be found through Formed:

Walk through the weekly Mass readings here: Opening the Word

Hear Fulton Sheen speak about Christmas here: The True Meaning of Christmas

Hear Dr. Edward Sri, Bob Rice, Brigid DeMoor, and Dr. Tim Gray speak about the meaning of Advent here: Advent

There are many other great advent resources available to you through Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire, Dynamic Catholic and Ascension Press, among others. If you have questions or need help sorting through material, reach out to us through smallgroups@stmatthewcatholic.org!

Sometimes it is hard to decide how much to read in between meetings. If your group struggles with that and is reading Into His Likeness, here’s a “pacing guide” to help get you started! Of course this isn’t a rule – your group might want to move faster or slower than this. But sometimes it’s nice to have something to start with.

If your group meets WEEKLY:

Week 1 Introduction and Follow Me (p.1-12)
Week 2 Total Commitment (p.13-22)
Week 3 In the Dust of the Rabbi (p.23-32)
Week 4 The Struggle (p.33-40)
Week 5 Not Perfect, but Close (p.41-55)
Week 6 Meeting God in the Valley (p.61-70)
Week 7 Drunk with Love (p.71-80)
Week 8 Forgiven; Real Healing, Real Change (p.81-93)
Week 9 Introduction to Part 3 and The Battle for Your Mind (p.97-113)
Week 10 Christian Friendship (p.115-122)
Week 11 Amazing Signs, Amazing Grace (p.123-132)
Week 12 The Primacy of the Interior Life and Conclusion (p.133-146)

If your group meets every other week

Meeting 1 Introduction; Follow Me; Total Commitment (p.1-22)
Meeting 2 In the Dust of the Rabbi; The Struggle (p. 23-40)
Meeting 3 Not Perfect, but Close; (p.41-55)
Meeting 4 Meeting God in the Valley; Drunk with Love (p.61-80)
Meeting 5 Forgiven; Real Healing, Real Change (p.81-93)

If your group meets monthly:

Meeting 1 Introduction; Follow Me; Total Commitment; In the Dust of the Rabbi; The Struggle; Not Perfect, but Close; (p.1-55)
Meeting 2 Meeting God in the Valley; Drunk with Love; Forgiven; Real Healing, Real Change (p.61-93)
Meeting 3 Introduction to Part 3; The Battle for Your Mind; Christian Friendship; Amazing Signs, Amazing Grace; The Primacy of the Interior Life; Conclusion (p.97-146)