Resources and Tools to Learn, Reflect, and Act

We are called as missionary disciples to bear witness in the world! The USCCB's Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development (JPHD) has numerous resources to help Catholics engage in the Church’s social mission.

Catholic Social Teaching

This page contains resources on the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching (CST), including the CST101 video series, discussion guides, handouts, foundational documents, an examination of conscience in light of CST, activities, and more. Visit the CST pages in English and Spanish.

Prayers for the Church and World

As members of the Body of Christ, we share in the joys and struggles of all who are poor and vulnerable. In faith and trust, we pray for a broken world awaiting redemption. See a complete list of prayers in English and Spanish.

Sacraments and the Social Mission: Living the Gospel, Being Disciples

Updated in 2021, this publication helps Catholics better understand the connections between the celebration of the sacraments and our mission as disciples. Double-sided handouts/bulletin inserts on each sacrament, a guide for study sessions, and suggestions for use in a parish setting are included. Purchase the full 2022 publication. The handouts are downloadable in English and Spanish.

Reflect and Act with Pope Francis

  • Fratelli Tutti – Visit our Fratelli Tutti page for Vatican and USCCB materials to explore this important encyclical on social friendship and universal fraternity. You’ll find a study guide, reflections, infographics, videos and more.
  • Laudato Si' - As Catholics, we respond to Pope Francis' call to care for creation, our common home. Visit our Environment page for resources in English and Spanish including prayers, bulletin inserts, a postcard, a discussion guide, and more.
  • Querida Amazonia – Join Pope Francis to listen and accompany those who live in the Amazon region. Use the study guide in English and Spanish to listen, learn and take action to protect this vulnerable region.

Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love

In their pastoral letter against racism, the U.S. Catholic bishops invite all Catholics to examine their hearts and put faith into action to end racism. Our racism page includes bilingual parish resources, educational materials, and more.

Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

In their statement on political participation, the U.S. Catholic bishops teach that "even those who cannot vote have the right to make their voices heard on issues that affect their lives and the common good" (no. 16). Visit FaithfulCitizenship.org to read the statement and access dozens of bilingual resources, including those for Parishes and Schools.

Civilize It: A Better Kind of Politics

Civilize It: A Better Kind of Politics is a nonpartisan initiative of the USCCB to help Catholics overcome polarization and division in Church and society by following the example of the Good Samaritan, who challenges us to "become neighbors to all" (Fratelli Tutti, no. 80). Take the pledge to charity, clarity, and creativity and access numerous resources to be builders of bridges.

PovertyUSA.org

PovertyUSA.org shares facts and data about the reality of poverty in the U.S. and how we as Catholics can act to end it, including during “Poverty Awareness Month” each January. The Spanish mirror site is PobrezaUSA.org.

Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)

Learn more about the work of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic bishops which helps low-income people create communities where all can thrive. Learn how CCHD empowers families, immigrants, new mothers, workers, and those in need. Find CCHD-funded groups in your area on our map. Plan a Journey to Justice Day to facilitate encounter and understanding of the root causes of poverty.

WeAreSaltandLight.org

This USCCB website helps missionary disciples to be salt and light in their communities in the vision of the U.S. bishops’ statement, Communities of Salt and Light: Reflections on the Social Mission of the Parish. We Are Salt and Light contains more than 100 resources, dozens of success stories, an assessment tool, our blog, and more.  

Two Feet of Love in Action

There are two distinct, but complementary, ways to put the Gospel in action in response to God’s love: social justice (addressing systemic, root causes of problems that affect many people) and charitable works (short-term, emergency assistance for individuals). Learn more in English and Spanish.

Youth Resources

Materials are available to engage youth in prayer, encounter, learning and action. Resources include a Two Feet of Love in Action session for teens, numerous lesson plans/activities by grade level on racism, a Scripture and Justice Timeline Activity, the Biblical Justice Challenge, and the CST timeline activity. These activities help youth better understand the reality of poverty and our faith response:

Creating on the Margins Contest (also in Spanish) Take a Step: Illustration of the Advantages, Disadvantages and Factors Leading to Poverty (also in Spanish) Stack of the Deck Illustration of the Root Causes of Poverty (also in Spanish) Ending Poverty in Community Toolkit 

Young Adult Leadership Formation

The CCHD Internship Program provides paid internships for U.S. Catholics to assist dioceses in their work to address poverty through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.  The Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award honors a young Catholic ages 18-30 who exhibits leadership to address the root causes of poverty in the United States. The Young Leaders Initiative engages college, university, and young adults in leadership development at the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering (see below).

Our Annual Gathering to Pray, Connect, Learn and Advocate

Catholic Social Ministry Gathering (CSMG)

CSMG has served as the central gathering of Catholic social ministry leaders in the U.S. for more than three decades. Each year, more than 500 leaders participate, including diocesan peace and justice coordinators, representatives of religious orders and congregations, parish leaders, university staff and students, and emerging Catholic leaders. CSMG participants pray, learn, and put their faith into action by advocating for the domestic and global needs that affect our most vulnerable brothers and sisters at home and around the world. The Diversity and Young Leaders initiatives seek to grow the participation of emerging leaders of diverse cultural families and abilities as well as young leaders.  Learn more about the next CSMG.

Stay in Touch through our Newsletters

Sign up for communications from the USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development. Be the first to learn about new tools and resources for missionary disciples in social mission!  Communications include Action Alerts, the Notes for Neighbors tri-weekly newsletter, and the bilingual (English and Spanish) Iglesia en salida siendo sal y luz.

Additional Resources for Hispanic Leaders

In addition to the many bilingual resources above, access these additional resources to form and send Hispanic leaders in social mission.

S.M.A.R.T Goals

This guide was created during the process of the national V Encuentro to assist Hispanic/Latino leaders to develop S.M.A.R.T goals (specific, measurable, achievable, results and on time) (Spanish) in order to intentionally discern and address the numerous issues and elements needed to produce successful outcomes in their justice and peace pastoral plans.

National Pastoral Migratoria Network / Pastoral Migratoria: A Ministry of Social Action

Pastoral Migratoria is a national Catholic ministry that helps immigrant leaders to become protagonists of their own development through actions of service, justice, and accompaniment immigrant-to-immigrant on issues such as immigration and labor rights, education, housing, and mental health. USCCB Migration and Refugee Services collaborates with Pastoral Migratoria to coordinate the National Pastoral Migratoria Network.  Learn more: Immigration and Its Parish | Inmigración y Su Parroquia