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

Social justice at the gospel’s heart

Writing competition focuses on social justice

Patrick Horan
3 May 2011

The archdiocesan social justice hui ‘Working for the common good – being salt and light’ in February sparked renewed interest in issues of social justice which challenged more than 300 participants to widen their view. Now the Knights of the Southern Cross have decided to further promote social justice in the archdiocese by making its annual essay competition on a justice theme.

This year competition entrants will be asked to address the question, ‘Is social justice at the heart of the gospel?’ Some will find this question fairly easy to answer; they will be involved in social justice issues and will have read the Salt and Light Synod 2006 document that outlined the importance the archdiocese places on social justice (see the Synod document pps 31-34)

Or you could be like me and find social justice issues a bit messy and hard to deal with. In that case a good starting point to find out more about social justice is sections 1928-1948 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as those sections in clear language put the whole social justice issue into perspective – human dignity, our need for each other and, according to our talents, the help we should give to each other. And that need/help can be fulfilled in many ways, for example, when our prayer and donating to charitable organisations such as those ministering to quake victims in Christchurch or Japan leads us to question why some people are so vulnerable and more in need of help than others.

So where are you with social justice issues? Why not crystallise your thoughts with an entry in the 2011 religious writing competition organised by the Knights of the Southern Cross; the competition topic is: 

1. Social justice is at the heart of the Gospel. Do you agree? Give reasons for your view. (75 marks)
2. Give brief details of two social justice actions that you have supported recently and explain why you supported them. (25 marks)

The competition is free to enter yet offers prizes totalling $1200 over four age categories (under 14, under 16, under 18, and 18 plus – so no matter what your age there is a category for you) and the closing date is July 16, 2011.

Full details of the competition rules have been sent to every parish and Catholic college in New Zealand; see also



or email patrickjh@xtra.co.nz

Links: Catholic Social Teaching www.osjspm.org/catholic_social_teaching.aspx