Synopsis of Prindples of Catholic Social Teaching

There are six key principles of Catholic social teaching. These printhp!es are summarized as follows:

Dignity of the Human Person. All people are a reflection of the image of God, and thus all human life, at all stages from conception through death, is sacred. The basic dignity that each person possesses comes from God; therefore all discrimina-tion is wrong. People take precedence over things and structures. Systems are meant to selve people, not vice versa.

Community and the Common Good. The mystery of the trinity involves the relationship of complete love among the three divine persons— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—in one God. As persons made in God’s image, we must model divine self-giving love. Hence the human person is both sacred and fundamentally social. In community we realize the fulfillment of our dignity and rights in relationship with and to others.

Rights and Responsibilities. People have basic rights and responsibilities because of their human dignity that reflects the fact that they have been created in God’s image. Catholic teaching emphasizes that people have a right to life and to the basic necessities that provide quality to life: food, shelter, health care, education, and employment. We are cal[ed to respect the rights of others and to seek the common good.

Option for the Poor. The Gospel calls Christians to put the needs of the poor first. A common moral test of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable people. Wherever there is structural injustice, Christians are called to oppose it. Those with the greatest need require the greatest response.

Dignity of Work. Work is an expression of our dignity and of our involvement in God’s creation. People have a right to decent work, fair wages, and private property The economy exists to serve people, not vice versa.

Solidarity. We are all one human family in the world. Because we realize our dignity, rights, and responsibilities, in relationship with others, we need to continue to build a community that empowers people to attain their full human potential. By working for justice, we fulfill our mandate to build the body of Christ.

Equal Exchange: Who We Are
Equal Exchange is a democratically organized, worker-owned cooperative, founded in 1986, to pioneer a new model of trade built upon fairness and stronger relationships between farmers and consumers.

When you purchase Equal Exchange coffee, tea, chocolate, and other products, you join a network that enables farmers in Latin America, Africa, and Asia to stay on their land, support their families, plan for the future: and care for the environment. Through Fair Trade we can create a more equitable world.

Why Fair Trade?
Agriculture is big business, but for the majority of farmers the benefits are small In developing countries most farmers work modest plots of land and are isolated from markets, The path leading from their farms to your table is long, and filled with powerful intermediaries, As a result, little of the money that you spend on food reaches farmers.

But there is an alternative. At Equal Exchange we’ve created a different path to the market for farmers that brings them closer to you: and delivers more of your dollars to them. We do this by purchasing coffee and other crops directly from farmer co-ops around the world, and by adhering to Fair Trade standards Through this model we believe food can become a delicious and powerful tool for creating positive change for small farmer - and their families.

Equal Exchange items (Coffee, Tea,etc.) will be available every:
1st Sunday of the month at St Christophers Parish. 

For more information about Equal Exchange go to

About Operation Rice Bowl

Operation Rice Bowl, the official Lenten Program of Catholic Relief Services, began in 1975 in the Diocese of Allentown, PA as a response to the drought in the African Sahel. For 33 years, Operation Rice Bowl has called participants to pray with their families and faith communities; fast in solidarity with those who hunger; learn about our global community and the challenges of poverty overseas, and give sacrificial contributions to those in need. Since its beginning Operation Rice Bowl has raised more than $160 million to fund development projects that improve peoples’ ability to access food around the world and in local diocesan communities in the United States. Today, more than 14,000 faith communities across the United States participate in Operation Rice Bowl as a way to respect human dignity and foster solidarity with the poor around the world.

Operation Rice Bowl has served as a tangible way for Catholics in the United States to connect in solidarity with our brothers and sisters overseas for more than 30 years. Receive answers to your Frequently Asked Questions, or contact us to learn more about how you can become involved in this Lenten tradition.

Websites with information and/or links to other sites concerning water issues:    Sisters of St. Joseph   Sisters of Providence White Violet Center     Alliance for Water Efficiency   Sisters of St. Francis Sister Water Project    Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable Global Water Partnership Nat’l Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program Water Aid  Water for all campaign    The world’s water      Women’s Environment & Development Organization     World Council of Churches   World Water Council     Meeting the MDG drinking water and sanitation target   UN on environmental and sustainable development links      UN on environmental protection     Water Advocates World information on environmental issues   Congregation of the Mission UN Office      Water-related environmental issues    Public citizens on privatization of water   Focus on water for all        Focus on multinational corporations & impact on water        Focus on corporations’ responsibility for common good Offers one hour video on water, “Thirst”   Global organization focusing on crucial worldwide threats to the planet of  biodiversity and environment USA’s Environmental Protection Agency       Water shed information & work to keep Clean Water Act

Other justice-related sites                                                         All things green—fair trade, no sweat clothes, sustainable living, just investing, etc.     Interdenominational fair trade product source     U.S. Bishops’ documents      Comprehensive site, including political action alerts  Reasonable fee gives access to faith-based information, lesson plans, etc.      Working to end the genocide in Darfur   Find farmers’ markets year-round     Provides world-wide relief; also big on fair trade & environment Fair trade and environment issues     Human rights and environmental issues Rainforest Action Network
www.votesmart.orgLearn how your representatives voted on issues   Christians for justice and peace   Human rights issues      Ideas for environmentally sustainable living from what we eat to what we wear to how we play
www.envirolink.orgSustainable living tips     Very specific info on making changes toward sustainable living Collection of sustainable living articles and resources      Bridges the gap between charity and justice by providing farm animals and training to needy people;
    they, in turn, give an offspring and training to a neighbor who promises the same—and so on...       Any amount of money can be sent to the person of your choice; they’re working poor in the developing
    world who get loans to start businesses (basket weaving, knitting, farming, etc.)  You receive e-mail
    updates throughout. When the money is paid back  (and it is!), it is returned to you.  You decide
    whether to take it or reinvest in someone else.

Sister Water Project Brochure

Video of Sister Water Project in Tanzania

Video of Sister Water Project in Honduras

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