Our call as Catholics is to witness God’s love and vision for the Kingdom of God through our lives: our prayer, family life, work, and participation in the political and civic processes. This includes charity work and advocacy for justice in our communities, engaging in civil and respectful conversations even when we disagree, staying informed about policies and decisions affecting our communities, and forming our consciences so we are equipped to make decisions when voting and acting in the public arena.
We invite you to use this page as a tool on your journey of faithful citizenship!
Leading up to the November 2020 General Election, we published several pieces in our parish bulletin which can be found below.
September 27: Faithful Citizenship and the Common Good
Many of us too often think that our lives as people of faith and our lives as citizens or residents of the United States should not mix. Yet, if we are serious about our faith, it will permeate and inform all of our lives. And what we do outside of church will also have an impact on our relationship with God, too! As our country nears the general election, we invite you to explore this page for suggested resources and ideas for being intentional about integrating your faith and civic life. This week if you are eligible to vote, we also encourage you to register to vote or check your voter status if you are unsure if you’re registered. Go to mnvotes.org to find out!
October 4: Politics as a Form of Charity
During a homily in 2013, Pope Francis stated, “Good Catholics meddle in politics, offering the best of themselves, so that those who govern can govern…Politics, according to the Social Doctrine of the Church, is one of the highest forms of charity, because it serves the common good. I cannot wash my hands, eh? We all have to give something!” This week we invite you to reflect on the ways you “meddle in politics” or don’t. In particular you might consider: whose voices do I listen to on topics relating to politics, civic life, and the common good? Whose voices do I tune out? Where can I grow?
October 11: Civilize It!
This week we invite you to consider taking the Civilize It: Dignity Beyond the Debate Pledge, asking Catholics to pledge civility, clarity, and compassion in our families, communities, and parishes. All persons, even those with whom we disagree, are beloved children of God. Though challenging, we are called to encounter one another through intentional, respectful dialogue. Find the pledge at wearesaltandlight.org/civilize-it. Don’t forget to invite others to take the pledge, too!
October 18: Voting and Values
This week we are making the recording of the Voting and Values: Integrating Faith in the Public Arena event (originally held on Sept. 16, 2020) available here in case you missed it. We will leave the recording up through the general election.
October 25: Placing God at the Center–a Guided Reflection with Scripture
This week we encourage you to reflect on your lived faithful citizenship by bringing the 1st Reading & Gospel reading for today (Ex 22: 20-26 and Mt 22: 34-40) to prayer. View a guided reflection here.
November 1: Prayer before the Election
Lord God, as the election approaches, we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our local and national communities, and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens. We ask for eyes that are free from blindness so that we might see each other as brothers and sisters, one and equal in dignity, especially those who are victims of abuse and violence, deceit and poverty. We ask for ears that will hear the cries of children unborn and those abandoned, men and women oppressed because of race or creed, religion or gender. We ask for minds and hearts that are open to hearing the voice of leaders who will bring us closer to your Kingdom. We pray for discernment as we cast our ballots, recognizing that voting is just one way of living as faithful citizens. We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Don’t forget to vote!
[The above prayer was adapted from the Prayer before an Election by the USCCB found here.]
Haven’t found what you’re looking for yet? Click the tabs below for even more suggested resources.
Have more questions about faithful citizenship or a related topic? Contact Grace Koleczek, Adult Faith Formation & Social Justice Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 952-698-1724.
Resources from the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops
Our faith does not endorse any political party or candidate; rather, our faith calls us to make informed decisions, always seeking to support and promote the dignity of life and the common good of our communities. The USCCB offers the following resources on this topic:
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility The USCCB updated their 2015 statement (same title) in preparation for the 2020 general election.
Further Resources of Value
Explore the education and advocacy resources from Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis by clicking HERE.
Read Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit by Parker J. Palmer. (This link also includes great video resources and discussion guides!) Click HERE to access a synthesis of one of the major themes of the book: “Five Habits of the Heart that Make Democracy Possible.”
The blog “Catholic Moral Theology” has a series called Conscience at the Polls. Click HERE for the first introductory post (with links to subsequent posts).
Fr. Thomas Krenik, Pastor of Risen Savior, created the following document to help understand and reflect on the role of conscience as it relates to voting in particular.