Catholic Social Thought

Drop Shadow

Participation: Call to Family, Community, and Participation

There is an essential unity among all human persons such that the common good takes priority over individual, self-serving goals. The community is the space and location where the dignity and rights of the human person are fostered. A challenge to the often exalted individualism of society must be made by an emphasis on the contributions that the family makes in meeting the demands of social justice, by working for the common good, by promoting the right of people to participate in society, and by seeking together a shared future for all. The common good entails an environment of peace and security, protected by the public authority to ensure a just order. 


The problems of our world are complex. Ignorance and apathy are the easy ways out. It is much harder to jump in with an open mind, listen to the stories of suffering people, use the best tools of social analysis, and try to discern the most appropriate response in community. That is what Catholic social teaching is all about: understanding social problems with the goal of working to transform them. Emily Reimer-Barry