WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Social teaching an understanding tool

In the Palm Sunday reading from the prophet Isaiah today, we hear again the words:
‘each morning God wakes me to hear,
to listen like a disciple.’
(Is 50:4)
The prophet’s task is to present an alternative way of understanding and imagining the reality in which we find ourselves. Isaiah invites us again today to listen to the word of God, which is always new as it seeks understanding at this time and calls us to respond here and now.
Catholic Social Teaching (CST) is one of the tools we have for helping us understand what God is asking of us today in our world. The United States Bishops wrote in 1998:
 Far too many Catholics are not familiar with the basic content of Catholic social teaching. More fundamentally, many Catholics do not adequately understand that the social teaching of the Church is an essential part of Catholic faith. This poses a serious challenge for all Catholics, since it weakens our capacity to be a Church that is true to the demands of the Gospel.
After participating in a course on CST last year, Maureen Laws wrote:
 Catholic Social Teaching animates the gospel for me, and personalises my responsibilities and accountabilities as a Catholic Christian. The Gospel is no longer ‘an interesting story’ to be listened to and reflected on as an exercise, but puts me in a very uncomfortable position – essentially if I don’t shape up I’ve shipped out. CST is the context for everything CatholicCST course
A six-week course in CST will be held at the Catholic Centre in Wellington, Tuesdays May 8 – June 2, from 5.30-8.30pm. See details in March Wel-com. Contact Mary Hepburn for further information at m.hepburn@wn.catholic.org.nz or call 496 1701. To register call 496 1718 or wcec@wn.catholic.org.nz. This course is also available by distance learning.

CST education
Attending a six-week course at the Catholic Centre is not feasible for many people throughout the archdiocese. There are several possibilities to consider:
Organise the JPD Office to hold a local seminar. The office is here to serve the archdiocese. Seminars can be of varying lengths to suit local needs. Contact Mary Hepburn (details above).
Get a group together in your parish/area and enrol in the distance course from WCEC. This could also be in conjunction with a local seminar.
Plan your own educational forum. If desired, call on JPD Office or the commission for help.
Whatever you decide, the JPD Office looks forward to hearing from you.