Catholic Relief Services offers a number of resources for lay ministry formation programs that can be incorporated into courses on moral theology, social justice, Catholic social teaching or other related topics. Here are some ideas:
Start or end your class with a CRS prayer.
One way we can help form people about the social teachings of the Church and different social issues is by inviting them to pray. We have dozens of prayers, in English and Spanish, related to global concerns like hunger, poverty, human trafficking, the refugee crisis and other current emergencies. Inviting students to pray for social concerns together is a great way to create awareness and be in solidarity with those most in need.
Show a CST 101 video.
CRS and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) teamed up to offer video catechesis for each of the seven principles of Catholic social teaching (CST) as outlined by the USCCB. Each video has an accompanying study guide that outlines a short session with prayer, reflection on Scripture and Tradition, and a brief story that gives a snapshot of that CST principle in action.
(CST videos and resources|Algunos disponibles en español)
Share a story or video of the Church in action around the world.
CRS works on behalf of Catholics in the US to assist poor and suffering people in in over a hundred countries around the world. The stories and videos about this work are powerful and can be used to create awareness on various social issues people in poverty around the world struggle with, share lived examples of CST and learn how the Church is responding.
Encourage faith sharing and discernment.
Lay ministry formation is an opportunity for participants to enrich their personal faith journey, grow spiritually and enrich their ministry. We offer faith sharing sessions on different topics with exercises, reflection questions and discernment activities. These can be incorporated into related courses to help students deepen their reflection on what the social teachings of the Church mean for them and their ministry as parish leaders, catechists and people of faith.
Live faith in community through: CRS Rice Bowl, Helping Hands and Ethical Trade.
Participating in one of these rich faith formation and educational programs can provide an opportunity for parish leaders to put their faith into action, encounter our vulnerable brothers and sisters around the world and together with their communities better understand the social mission of our Church. Through CRS Rice Bowl, Helping Hands or Ethical Trade, the faithful come to see and know the work of our global Church through videos, reflections, activities, and prayers.
Copyright 2017 Genevieve Jordan Laskey for Catholic Relief Services.
All images copyright 2017 Catholic Relief Services. All rights reserved.
About the author: Genevieve Jordan Laskey is a Catholic mom and a resource development specialist for Catholic Relief Services, working with their US Operations department to develop tools for prayer, Catholic formation and action with a global perspective, for use by Catholic communities in the United States.