Caritas in Veritate
Charity in Truth
Pope Benedict XVI
This is the fourth in a series of excerpts from his encyclical which focuses on the Unity of the Human Family and Global Solidarity.
“As society becomes ever more globalized, it makes us neighbors but does not make us brothers.” What does our faith teach us about becoming one human family?
The Holy Father argues that trade can reduce poverty, but sometimes it doesn’t? Why is this so?
Why does buying “fair trade” products guarantee their producers a decent return?
Visit Catholic Relief Services website catalog and buy “fair trade” products.
Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development
Caritas in Veritate
Charity in Truth
Pope Benedict XVI
The second series of excerpts from Pope Benedict’s encyclical focuses on Human Rights and Duties:
“The right to food, like the right to water, has an important place within the pursuit of other rights, beginning with the fundamental right to life.” (27)
“In many cases, poverty results from a violation of the dignity of human work, either because work opportunities are limited (through unemployment or underemployment), or because a low value is put on work and the rights that flow from it, especially the right to a just wage and to the personal security of the worker and his or her family.” (63)
“A link is often been noted between claims to a “right to excess”, and even to transgression and vice, within affluent societies, and the lack of food, drinkable water, basic instruction and elementary health care in areas of the underdeveloped world and on the outskirts of large metropolitan centers. The link consists in this: individual rights, when detached from a framework of duties which grants them their full meaning, can run wild, leading to an escalation of demands which is effectively unlimited and indiscriminate.” (43)
Why is the right to life considered the most” fundamental” of all rights?
How is the right to life related to other basic rights, like the rights to food and shelter?
“The reality of human solidarity, which is a benefit for us, also imposes a duty. Many people today would claim that they owe nothing to anyone, except to themselves. They are concerned only with their rights, and they often have great difficulty in taking responsibility for their own and other people’s integral development.” (43)
“The more we strive to secure a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbors, the more effectively we love them. Every Christian is called to practice charity, in a manner corresponding to his vocation.” (7)
What is a duty and how is it related to the rights we possess as human beings?
What does it mean to have a duty to “secure a common good”?
How can you fulfill your Christian duty, to practice charity by working toward the common good?
June PSM Financial Report
The Black Bag collection and the monthly tithe to Parish Social Ministry before disbursements to various PSM accounts amounted to $ 2,916.21.
The PSM office financially assisted in June:
3 families with rent totaling $175.00
1 parishioner totaling $200.00
1 family with gas totaling $50.00
12 families with electric including 2 parishioners totaling $754.73
3 people with gasoline vouchers totaling $60.00
135 families were served in the PSM Pantry
Copprome Orphanage $500.00 donation from a PSM discretionary account for SJV Honduras mission trip.
Your generosity to assist the poor and needy in our parish and surrounding community is such a gift from God. Your weekly in-kind donations to the various food pantries and the PSM household pantry is appreciated as the need is increasing as more families are suffering from unemployment and underemployment each month.
Please continue to live out your baptismal call to take care of the poor and vulnerable. If every household each week would donate 1-2 items for our PSM Pantry our shelves would be full . The barrels are located in the Narthex.
Laundry detergent (29 load size)
Fabric softener sheets
Liquid cleaning products
Food Pantry at RR Serving Center and St. Vincent de Paul
Rice, beans, spaghetti
Canned meat (tuna, chicken)
Canned fruit and vegetables
Remember the black bag collection is next weekend to assist the poor in our community.
“For I was hungry you gave me food...I was naked, you clothed me...I was a stranger, you welcomed me...whatever you did for one of these least… you did for me.” Matthew 25: 31-46
The mission trip to
There were quite a few trips to different areas of El Progresso where agencies take care of the abandoned children from impoverished families. We also went into the community and visited with some families that are part of the community outreach of the Copprome Orphanage.
Copprome: An orphanage run by The Sisters of Notre Dame that takes in children as young as 3 years of age until the age of 22 and pays for their schooling in the public school system, tutoring after school, until they graduate from a trade school or the university so they can be self-sufficient.
Hogar Suyapa: A children’s home founded by the El Progresso parish of Our Lady of Mercy. All the children there are put there by the Family Court so they can have a safe environment.
“ My purpose for going to
I know that
PSM Corner for July 5, 2009
A Summer Prayer for Children
We are grateful for the summer months ahead,
And grateful for the summer joys
And the laughter of the children
In our families, our schools, and our parishes.
Bless our children during these next months;
May they grow in grace through play and picnics,
Camps and friendships, family visits and vacations.
We pray too for children in our global community,
Especially for children being scarred by the violence of conflict,
The horror of war, of life on the run,
And the violence of child labor.
For them, the summer holds no promise nor relief.
Bless our children during the months ahead,
All our children,
Continue to be heard and continue
To silence the sounds of children’s laughter and childhood dreams.
Bless our children in every country where children labor through long days
And never know the peace of economic security or freedom.
God of Grace,
May these children know comfort and healing, through Your compassion
And through our efforts to bring peace and justice
To the global village we all call home.
Jane Deren www.educationforjustice.org
PSM Financial report for May 2009
May’s allocation to Parish Social Ministry from the black bag and transfer of funds from the parish tithe to outreach came to $3,836.82 before disbursements to specified accounts for ministries and agency outreach.
The PSM office financially assisted:
2 families with rent totaling $100.00
4 families with gas totaling $184.35
12 families with electric (including 2 parishioners) totaling $787.91
1 family with water totaling $69.80
10 people with gasoline vouchers (including 1 parishioner) totaling $175.00
1 parishioner with HEB card totaling $75.00
197 families were served in the pantry (up 50 families from Feb ‘09)
Due to the combination of the increase of families qualifying to be served in the pantry, decrease of donations to the black bag and in-kind items put in the Narthex barrel, the pantry has had to make changes to service.
Families will have to wait 6 weeks between visits and the pantry will no longer carry diapers, toothbrushes, feminine hygiene products or toilet paper.
It will still stock paper towels, shampoo/conditioner, laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, body soap, deodorant, liquid cleaning products, toothpaste, baby wash and baby wipes. These items will last a family most of a month or more.
Proof of residency (utility bill or lease)
Food Stamp verification letter only
Proof of income of anyone working in the household. Income is based on the Federal Poverty Level
More and more people are reaching out to the churches and agencies in the Round Rock area as unemployment and underemployment continues to rise. This then puts families at risk of losing their homes, being evicted and having their utilities disconnected as they juggle what bills need to be paid and which ones can be put off a little later.
Catholic social teaching and the scriptures call us, as Christians, to take care of the poor and vulnerable.
“For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me…” ‘Amen I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brethren of mine, you did for me.” (Matt 25: 35—46)
Remember the black bag collection next weekend for those in need in our parish and community.
The Body and Blood of Christ
The Eucharist and Justice:
“St. John Chrysostom has said: ‘Do you wish to honor the body of Christ? Do not pay him homage in the temple clad in silk only to neglect him outside where he suffers cold and nakedness. The One who said “this is my body” is the same One who said: “You saw me hungry and you gave me no food”, “whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did also to me”. What good is it if the Eucharistic table is overloaded with golden chalices and a fellow human being is dying of hunger.”
“The whole of the Lord’s Day should become a great school of charity, justice and peace. The presence of the Risen Lord in the midst of his people becomes an undertaking of solidarity, a compelling force for inner renewal, an inspiration to change the structures of sin in which individuals, communities and at times entire peoples are entangled.”
(John Paul II, The Day of the Lord)
John Paul II asked us to contemplate:
Jesus in the “breaking of the bread” offered for the whole of humanity.
We are called to offer our life for our brothers and sisters, especially those most in need.
The Eucharist bears the “mark of universality.”
The Eucharist is not merely an expression of communion in the Church’s life; it is also a project of solidarity for all of humanity.
The Eucharist leads us to be generous evangelizers, actively committed to building a more just and fraternal world.
The Christian community to respond by our mutual love and, in particular, by our concern for those in need we will be recognized as true followers of Christ. This will be the criterion by which the authenticity of our Eucharist celebrations is judged. (Mane Nobiscum Domine,28)
Catholic Social teaching is built on a commitment to the poor. This commitment arises from our experiences of Christ in the Eucharist. (
Breaking Bread and Sharing the Cup:
The Eucharist is an expression of what God wants us to become—one community-one living Christ
The social teaching of the Church is concerned with the nourishment of all people of the world-spiritually and physically. We desire to become what we celebrate.
Whenever we share the Eucharist, we cannot but be aware of those who are hungry. We cannot but be aware of our need to share what we have. We cannot but be aware of the need for justice.
Education for Justice
Helping our Children Live their Faith
The mission of the Church makes clear that service is integral to Catholics. The Church’s mission is threefold. It includes word, worship, and service. We live out the mission of word by reading scripture and spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. We carry out our mission of worship as we participate in liturgies and communal prayer. We live out the mission of service as we serve one another and the Church.
At Baptism, we are baptized into the common priesthood. And by virtue of our baptism, we are called to carry out the ministries of Jesus Christ in the world today. Service is essential to this call.
Summer is a great time to teach our children how to live out their faith through serving others. Below are some suggestions of family activities to accomplish this baptismal call.
Life and Dignity of the Human Person
Go visit the elderly in a senior living center or nursing home—help them to write notes, play games or read to them.
Fix a meal for a family who just had a baby, or offer to babysit for a couple of hours. Donate diapers to the Gabriel Project.
Write and send a note to pregnant moms who live at Annunciation Home (include a scripture passage)
Get involved with Special Olympics projects.
Pray together for those who are terminally ill.
Call to Family, Community and Participation
After Mass check the pews and pick up song sheets left behind.
As a family become greeters.
Before Mass, tie a knot on a prayer blanket in the Narthex.
Donate household good items for our SJV pantry each week.
Collect and donate (in good condition) games, cards, crayons, paper to children living at The Texas Baptist Children’s Home or to the Hope Alliance (Women’s Family Shelter).
Donate items to the Knights of Columbus’ box in the Narthex to send to the military serving overseas.
Collect teddy bears for children displaced by fires, abuse, or in hospitals. Take them to the fire and police departments for distribution.
Make up a “hope bag” to give to the homeless on the street corner. (water, crackers, pop up canned fruit, toothpaste, toothbrush and scripture saying to let them know you care)
Visit Catholic Relief Services website, Heifer Project webpage and discuss how others live in poor countries. Help others out through these sites.
Go to The Hunger Site each day when you turn on the computer. Sponsors donate food each time you log on.
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
Buy cake mixes, frosting and candles (to celebrate birthdays) and collect books for the Hope Alliance shelter.
Each week go together to the grocery store and buy healthy food items to donate to the food pantries. The food barrel is in the Narthex.
Donate good used clothing/computers to The Round Rock Serving center. Volunteer!
Adapted from the book “ Helping Kids Live Their Faith” by Mary Beth Jambor
Global Climate Change
Christians, in particular, realize that their responsibility within creation and their duty towards nature and the creator are an essential part of their faith. (Pope John Paul II).
Those who hold goods for use and consumption should use them with moderation, reserving the better parts for guests, for the sick and the poor. (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 2405)
Faith in Action
Visit The Catholic Climate Covenant: St Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor website at
As a family take the pledge and learn about climate change as a family.
Go to: www.newdream.org and download “The Wallchart” and “Turn the Tide” and as a family track your progress to conserve water, carbon emissions and electricity.
Recycle plastic bottles, aluminum cans, glass bottles, etc. Newspapers, magazines and old phone books can be recycled here at SJV in the container in the main parking lot.
Grow your own tomatoes in containers or buy vegetables at the local farmers market here in Round Rock on Saturday mornings.
Skip a car trip once a week and prevent the emission of 950 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.
Eat one less beef meal each week and save 40,600 gallons of water, 70 pounds of grain and prevent 300 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.
Cut your junk mail in half and save 1/6 of a tree, 70 gallons of water and prevent 46 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.
Use energy efficient light bulbs and prevent 262 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. Move the thermostat 3 degrees and prevent 360 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.
Use low-cost water saving devices and save 7800 gallons of water and the prevent emission of 460 pounds of carbon dioxide.
Turn off the water when brushing your teeth.
Use the proper water level for your laundry load in the washing machine.
Clean your fresh vegetables in a pan of water rather than having the water running.
Water your outside plants and yard only in the early morning or in the evening once a week.
Fast from bottled water and save our landfills from thousands of pounds of plastic bottles. Instead refill your own bottles with tap water.
Check for leaks in faucets, toilets and spigots and fix those in need of repair.Call your legislator and advocate for cleaner air, water and conservation.
Stewardship requires a careful protection of the environment and calls us to use our intelligence “to discover the earth’s productive potential and the many different ways in which human needs can be satisfied.” ( A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good, USCCB)
Water consumption has almost doubled in the last 50 years.
Are you aware that our eating habits affect water consumption?
One pound of feedlot beef requires more than 2,400 gallons of water.
If 1,000 people switch to a vegetarian meal once a week, our water consumption can be reduced by 40 million gallons of water each year. (St. Austin Catholic Church Project)
Water is an essential commodity for life. Without water, life is threatened, with the result being death. The right to water is thus an inalienable right. (Water, An Essential Element for Life, Pontifical Council)
1.1 billion people have no clean water; that means 1/6 of the world’s population lacks access to safe water.
2.6 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation; that is 1/3 of the world population.
Water-borne disease kills 1.8 million children each year, or 1 child every 3 minutes.
Disease caused by bacteria and viruses in polluted water kills more people than HIV/AIDS or malaria.
The poor are paying more for water as supplying it becomes a business; slum dwellers in Manila pay more for water than people living in
Bottled water has become a billion dollar business with world sales topping $100 billion in 2005. A market has been created where 75% of Americans drink bottled water and 1 in 5 drink only bottled water.
Here are some statistics to consider to break the habit of bottled water:
Making bottles to meet our demand for bottled water required the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil last year.
Each year 4 billion pounds of PET, plastic bottles, which are recyclable, end up in a landfill or as roadside litter.
About 40% of bottled water comes from the same sources as tap water. Tap water is tested far more frequently and has more independent oversight by state and federal environmental authorities than bottled water.
It takes 3 liters of water to produce one liter of bottled water.
The average cost of one gallon of bottled water is equal to 40,000 gallons of tap water.
(National Catholic Reporter, January 2008)
Global Reality:The United nations estimates it would require an additional $30 billion per year to provide safe, clean drinking water to the entire planet. Last year alone, we spent 3 times that amount on bottled water. ( St. Austin Catholic Church Project)
A person needs about 21 gallons of water a day for a reasonable standard of living. In the world’s poorest countries they use about 2.5 gallons a day.
In developed countries: 4.75 gallons for a shower; 13 gallons for a bath; 2.5 gallons to flush the toilet; 25 gallons for a washing machine; 9-15 gallons for a dishwasher.
( Education for Justice; www.educationforjustice.org)
Faithful Stewards of God’s Creation
The Challenge of Consumption
By Msgr. Charles Murphy
The industrialized countries, with only one fifth of the world’s population, consume two thirds of the world’s resources and generate 75 percent of all the pollution and waste products.
What and how much we consume manifest our conception of who we are and why we exist. How can our Catholic faith help us to find a more satisfying life for ourselves and at the same time make us more socially responsible in achieving it?
Msgr. Murphy suggests three ways:
The cultivation of the natural virtue of temperance
The gospel admonitions about the dangers of over consumption and the fundamental requirement of love of neighbor.
The social teachings of the Church based upon the order of nature and the higher demands of gospel living.
Temperance As a Virtue of Living
Among the “cardinal” virtues is the virtue of temperance; with prudence, justice and fortitude.
Temperance is regarded as one of the “hinges” on which hangs the gate to a happy life.
Temperance gives order and balance to our life.
Temperance arises from a serenity of spirit within oneself.
Temperance teaches us to cherish and enjoy the good things of life while respecting natural limits.
Temperance does not diminish but actually heightens the pleasure we take in living by freeing us from a joyless compulsiveness and dependence.
With the simple life, the aim is to achieve maximum well-being with the minimum use of the earth’s resources.
Temperance means knowing when “enough is enough.”
The Gospel and Wealth
Pope John Paul II spoke in New York City in 1979 “For it is not right that the standard of living of the rich countries would seek to maintain itself by draining off a great part of the reserves of energy and raw materials that are meant to serve the whole of humanity. For readiness to create a greater and more equitable solidarity between people is the first condition of peace.”
Parables like “Lazarus and the Rich Man” (Lk 17:19-31) “The Rich Fool” and the “Saying against Greed“ (Lk 12:15-21), “Parable of the Sower” (Mt 13:22) and “God and Money” (Mt 6:24) warn us of the hazards of wealth.
In the Beatitudes Jesus says “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.” (Lk 6:20).The poor have only God to look to for their help; thus they are able to recognize the radical human dependency that is the condition of every creature before God. Wealth, on the other hand, creates the illusion of independence and self-sufficiency.
Church TeachingPope John Paul II in Centesimus Annus said “ It is not wrong to want to live better...what is wrong is a style of life which is presumed to be better when it is directed towards ‘having’ rather than ‘being’. The ecological problem with consumerism is man consumes the resources of the earth and his own life in an excessive and disordered way.” (no. 37)
The Banquet of the Eucharist
And the Banquet of Life
Rev. Ronald Kettler Diocese of
The correlation of liturgy with social justice highlights a central principle in Church social teaching: the principle of solidarity.
An expression of the “Catholic image of the Mystical Body.
We are one human family regardless of our national, racial, ethnic, economic and ideological differences.
It entails a moral responsibility “to see others not as ‘enemy’ but as ‘neighbor.’
It requires a just social order
Where goods are fairly distributed
The dignity of all is respected
The Eucharist is a privileged sacramental moment when the culture of solidarity is reflected in the sharing of both spiritual gifts and material goods.
In unifying worship and work, the liturgy empowers those sharing in Communion “to work to heal the brokenness of society and human relationships and to grow in the spirit of self-giving to others.” (Economic Justice for All #331)
Pope John Paul II expounds: (Dies Domini, On Keeping the Lord’s day Holy)
The meaning of Sunday as a special time for dedication to “works of charity, of mercy, of apostolic outreach.”
Works of charity, mercy, and apostolic life flow from Jesus’ new commandment, “to love one another “as I have loved you.”
The faithful encounter the joy of the Risen Lord which is linked to the new commandment.
The apostolic tradition confirms the Sunday Eucharist as being lived out as “a moment of fraternal sharing with the poor.”
Eucharist is the place where:
Fraternity becomes solidarity
Where the last are first in the minds and attention of the brethren
Where Christ himself ...through the generous gifts from the rich to the poor… may somehow prolong in time the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves. (DD #71)
Eucharist should be a “great school of charity, justice and peace.”
Be a moment of conversion to confront the structures of sin which assault human dignity and entrap impoverished people unjustly. (DD # 73)
Fr. John Coleman, S.J. says that any liturgical
participation demands Christians who unite
the table of the Eucharist with the table ofordinary life.