"We cannot be Christians part time.  If Christ is at the center of our lives, he is present in all that we do." Pope Francis

Pope Francis has made mercy a central theme of his papacy,  speaking of it often in homilies and in his texts. Pope Francis said "Dear brothers and sisters, I have often thought of how the Church may render more clear her mission to be a witness to mercy, and we have to make this journey.  It is a journey which begins with spiritual conversion.  We want to live in the light of the word of the Lord.  "Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful."(cf.Lk 6:36)".

To follow Pope Francis' words, this year St. Jude is highlighting the Themes of Catholic Social Teaching in our Families Living the Gospel Initiative.

Catholic Social Teaching (CST) is the church’s presentation and articulation of its reflection upon human beings in society. It sets about naming realities, highlighting the dangers to full human flourishing and critiquing them from the point of view of the Catholic faith. 

The Church’s social teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amidst the challenges of modern society. It helps us to answer the question, “As a Catholic, how should I respond to this situation?” Catholic Social Teaching strives to foster a living faith that leads to loving action in the world today, thereby making visible the love of God.

Each month you will receive a Families Living the Gospel Newsletter or “Feet Sheet” in your parent packet at your faith formation session. The newsletter will be focused on one of the themes of Catholic Social Teaching. It will explain the theme, give suggestions for books and movies you can use to teach the theme at home, and provide ideas on how your family can live out that theme in your daily lives.

Each family is also invited to perform works of service and mercy together and to participate in our Families Living the Gospel Mercy Challenge! “When parents nurture their child’s sense of compassion and commitment toward their community, we build a better world for now and for the future. While doing important community work, service-minded families are growing children and teenagers who are more likely to become civically engaged, thoughtful,caring, and generous adults.”

After your family performs a work of service or mercy together, you can fill out a Families Living the Gospel reflection sheet. This reflection will help your family discuss your shared experience and delve deeper into why service is an essential part of faith.