“To foster gospel values in our society, promoting the dignity of the human person, the importance of the family, and the common good of our society so that our nation may continue to be transformed by the saving power of Jesus Christ.”
This goal follows upon the other two; the appreciation of our faith and its spread should lead to the transformation of our society. The pursuit of this goal, however, must accompany the pursuit of the other two because evangelization is not possible without powerful signs of justice and peace, as the Gospel shapes the framework of our lives. The Catholic Church has developed a strong social doctrine concerning the common good – a tradition based on proper ordering of society and supporting the inalienable dignity of every person. In the United States, this tradition has been cultivated in the advocacy of religious liberty; the pursuit of social justice, especially for those left out of today’s society; just economic policies; a consistent ethic of human life; and striving for peace in a nuclear world.
This goal means supporting those cultural elements in our land that reflect Catholic values and challenging those that reject it. Catholics, who today are involved in every level of modern life in the United States, have to address our society as a system and also in particular situations.
The transformation of our society in Christ particularly calls for the involvement in skills of lay men and women who carry the values of the Gospel into their homes, workplaces, areas of recreation – indeed inot all aspects of life.
This goal requires the strategy of strengthening our everyday involvement with those in need, of reflecting on the workplace and media and of encouraging Catholic involvement in area of public policy as a way of having greater impact on society’s values.
To involve parishes and local service groups in the needs of their neighborhood.
- raising the awareness of Catholics of the needs of the poor and marginal;
- making works of justice and love priorities in our parishes and other agencies;
- organizing the service of almost every Catholic in these works;
- engagement in ecumenical agencies committed to the common good;
- expansion of works of charity and help for the needy; and
- setting specific targets for parish or diocesan involvement in works of service to meet immediate human needs.
To foster the importance of the family.
- marriage preparation and support for young married couples;
- family retreats and other religious experiences;
- spiritual, personal, social, and financial counseling for families;
- couple-to-couple faith sharing;
- support groups and networking for families; and
- influencing social policy to strengthen family life.
To develop groups to explore issues of the workplace and lay spirituality.
- workshops on evangelization in the workplace;
- support groups for professionals;
- retreats on the value of work and the ethical/justice issues associated with employment; and
- renewal days organized by and for lay people.
To encourage Catholic witness in the arts and in the American intellectual community.
- development of the arts as a way to proclaim the Gospel;
- formation of faith support groups for artists;
- promotion of gospel values in Catholic institutions of higher learning; and
- support of campus ministries in their Christian witness to institutions of higher learning.
To involve every Catholic, on different levels, in areas of public policy.
- parish education programs with a social justice component;
- study and education about political choices that Catholics make;
- voter registration drives;
- support groups for professional Catholics and other Christians, particularly in area of law, economics, and social services; and
- encouraging lay people to run for and hold public office.
To involve the Catholic Church, on every level, in the media.
- development of media plans for evangelization on the national, local, and parochial levels;
- use of audio, video, and videotapes to communicate the Catholic faith to others;
- reflection on Catholics’ use of the media in their homes, workplaces, and educational settings;
- formation of task forces of Catholics and other Christians involved in communications in various regions to discuss questions of values in the media and the impact Christian people can have on them;
- the involvement of bishops and other religious leaders as public spokespersons of the Church through local print and broadcast media; and
- cultivation of cable television, optical storage, computer and other technology for communicating the Gospel and Christian values.
To involve Catholics, at every level, in questions of economic systems.
- use of professional resources in the parish and diocese to raise questions about economic systems and their consequences concerning the dominant issues of justice, particularly homelessness, social inequities, educational opportunities, housing and employment, and racial equality; and
- forming ministries to deal with unjust economic systems and practices.