Immigration: Social Justice Series Resources

There is no denying the issue of immigration is in the news every day. On Monday February 18th come to learn about the Catholic Church’s teaching about this complex and critical issue.

As with every week of the series I am providing a reading packet in advance for those that with to study and review a sampling of the Church’s teaching on the issue.

Here are this week’s readings:

Immigration: Reading Packet (<– Click the link to download the .pdf file.)

I look forward to seeing everyone on Monday evening at 6:30 pm in Kertz Hall.


Poverty: Social Justice Series Resources

Continuing the Social Justice Series of adult faith formation for the Church in the Modern World, this week’s topic is poverty.

The readings represent just a small portion of the Church’s teachings on the issue. While the Church has taught about helping those in need since Christ himself said the words in Sacred Scripture, these readings come from the past 130 years or so. Together they touch on a wide variety of the related issues.

The documents themselves are quite long and rich, but worth the read. As always, the reading packet only includes excerpts from otherwise lengthy documents. To read the full texts just search for the title provided and make sure you’re on the web site.

Here are the readings:

Poverty: Reading Packet (<– Click the link to download the .pdf file.)

Abortion & Life Issues: Social Justice Series Resources

Thanks to the 112 folks who braved the cold temperatures to attend the first session on Principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

Having reviewed the foundational philosophical principles, we now begin the hard work of applying those principles to specific current issues.

This week we will focus on abortion and other life issues, specifically euthanasia and the death penalty.

The documents come from a wide variety of sources spanning from the first century to just this past year.

Click the link below for the reading packet, I look forward to the discussion on Monday evening.

Abortion & Life Issues: Reading Packet (<– Click the link to download the .pdf file.)


Principles of Catholic Social Teaching: Social Justice Series Resources

Beginning on Monday, January 28, I will launch another adult education series, this time focusing on the Catholic Church’s social teaching.

All sessions will be held Monday nights from 6:30-8:00 in Kertz Hall at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Jefferson City, Mo.

Every week resources will be provided in advance. So without further ado, here are the resources for the first week’s session.

Principles of Catholic Social Teaching: Reading Packet (<– Click the link to download the .pdf file.)

This week we will begin the class with the overarching principles of Catholic social teaching, before applying those principles in the weeks to come to a variety of relevant issues.

This week’s readings are organized by the seven principles of Catholic social teaching:

  • Life and Dignity of the Human Person

  • Call to Family, Community, and Participation

  • Rights and Responsibilities

  • Option for the Poor and Vulnerable

  • The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers

  • Solidarity

  • Care for God’s Creation

The reading packets are always composed of magisterial texts, that is texts published by the Vatican, not anyone else’s commentary. This week’s readings come from a variety of documents from our recent popes. They include:

  • St. JOHN XIII, Mater et Magistra, 1961

  • St. JOHN XXIII, Pacem in Terris, 1963

  • VATICAN II, Gaudium et Spes, 1965

  • St. JOHN PAUL II, Familiaris Consortio, 1981

  • St. JOHN PAUL II, Laborem Exercens, 1981

  • St. JOHN PAUL II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 1987

  • St. JOHN PAUL II, Christifideles Laici, 1988

  • St. JOHN PAUL II, Centesimus Annus, 1991

  • St. JOHN PAUL II, Evangelium Vitae, 1995

  • POPE BENEDICT XVI, Deus Caritas Est, 2005

  • POPE BENEDICT XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 2009

  • POPE FRANCIS, Evangelii Gaudium, 2013

  • POPE FRANCIS, Laudato Sii, 2015

  • POPE FRANCIS, Amoris Laetitia, 2016

I look forward to starting off this new series on Monday. Be sure to invite a friend.



Understanding Mary Today: Foundations of Faith Resources

Incredible that this quick course is already coming to an end. Thank you to all who have attended even just one session. I hope that everyone has learned at least something about their Catholic faith.

For this last session, my new class coincides with an older IC parish tradition, the Advent Soup Supper. So while the format of the class in terms of discussion and lecture will remain about the same to previous weeks, this week there will be soup! Many thanks to the education commission for their hard work providing drinks for all the sessions and organizing the soups for tomorrow night.

As for the topic, “Understanding Mary Today,” it is chosen because prior to the session, we will celebrate the parish’s patronal feast, that of the Immaculate Conception.

As such, I have put together a packet of readings spanning from 374 A.D. up to Vatican II of texts pertaining to some of the key teachings of the Church regarding Mary, in particular her Immaculate Conception. Through these readings, and the class, we will see the beautiful interconnectedness of different teachings of the Church about Mary and how she lived them out in her life.

Understanding Mary Today: Reading Packet (Click the link to download the .pdf packet)

See you all tomorrow night! Mass is at 5:30 in Church, and the class immediately following.

Understanding Jesus Today: Foundations of Faith Resources

Having completed weeks on Faith and Reason, and various topics associated with Revelation, the class enters it’s final phase and week.

In the next week there will be two sessions. The first on Monday December 3rd will look at “Understanding Jesus Today.” The later session will be a follow up of sorts on “Understanding Mary Today.”

As for the readings for this session on Understanding Jesus Today, they come from one document. This document is not magisterial text of the Church, but rather was put together by a group of theologians who consult the Vatican, known as the International Theological Commission.

The document is titled, “The Consciousness of Christ Concerning Himself and His Mission.” The document was written in 1985, which gets us fairly close to the “Today” portion of the session title. To read the entire document click here. I have cut out the introduction and methodological sections to just give you all the meat. This looks at four questions, which we will examine on Monday.

  1. Jesus’ understanding of being the Son of God the Father
  2. Jesus’ understanding of his mission
  3. Jesus’ understanding of his founding the Church
  4. Jesus’ understanding of his love for all

The text is full of citations from Sacred Scripture, so I highly recommend having a Bible in hand when you sit down to read the text.

Reading Packet: Understanding Jesus Today (Click link to download the .pdf)

See you all Monday evening!

Scripture & Tradition: Foundations of Faith Resources

After a two week break, last week we picked up the class again with a session on, “Origins of Sacred Scripture.” I thought the conversation and dialogue was some of the best yet.

This week we conclude the three week sub-unit on Revelation, as we carry the conversation from Sacred Scripture to now discuss Scripture & Tradition.

This week the readings come from Vatican II, the Council of Trent, and the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

Scripture and Tradition (Click on link to download the .pdf)

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! See you all Monday in Kertz Hall at 6:30 PM.

Also, for a little bit of a preview of this week’s discussion, you can listen to a homily I gave last week: