I’ve taught and written a lot about Catholic Social Teaching, but I’ve never preached it as a retreat before—and I’m thrilled!
I’m presenting five talks: The Kerygma, The Dignity of the Human Person, the Common Good, Subsidiarity, and Solidarity. The heart of this retreat, and really the heart of Catholic Social Teaching, rests on who God created us to be and how He wants us to bring about His Kingdom on earth.
Human beings is made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore we have infinite dignity (Dignity of the Human Person); are radically interdependent on each other made in the image and likeness of a Community of Love (Common Good); have been given freedom (Subsidiarity); and because God is our Father and Creator we are all brothers and sisters (Solidarity).
Original sin causes us to be tempted to use other people as means to an end (Dignity of the Human Person), to turn in on ourselves in an individualistic way (Common Good), and to possess and control others (Subsidiarity). Further, the first sin, and all sin, are not just personal faults. Because we are all interconnected and interdependent on each other, sin begets more sin, it pollutes the human family, and creates structures of sin. God empowers His people and tasks us with undoing the structures of sin and building structures of justice (Solidarity).
These teachings are all connected and challenge every ideology and political party. These truths, as Pope Francis says, call us to an “alternative way of thinking” (Fratelli Tutti 127).
I have three goals for this retreat. First, to help you trust in God’s goodness and love for you personally. Second, to propose and explain the Church’s social teaching. And finally, to invite you into vulnerable prayer with God where you are open to him moving your heart and convicting your conscience.
Thank you to Fr. Leonard Smith for inviting me to his parish; Mark Shea for his book about Catholic Social Teaching, “The Church’s Best Kept Secret,” which I’m using as a framework for this retreat; and Kayla Nelson for designing this phenomenal flyer.
The retreat will run from 9:30am until 4:00pm on Saturday. You can watch it live, or watch the recordings later, at the parish’s Youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtx7z8Zf6zJNmZSWKAkTN_Q
If you want to to lead a retreat for your own parish, campus, or young adult group, please contact me here.
Paul Fahey lives in Michigan with his wife and four kids. For the past eight years, he has worked as a professional catechist. He has an undergraduate degree in Theology and is currently working toward a Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling. He is a retreat leader, catechist formator, writer, and a co-founder of Where Peter Is. He is also the founder and co-host of the Pope Francis Generation podcast. His long-term goal is to provide pastoral counseling for Catholics who have been spiritually abused, counseling for Catholic ministers, and counseling education so that ministers are more equipped to help others in their ministry.