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Bring your faith to the public square


From Safari….

Fans of Meteorology, know that autumn

began on the first of September.

For many Labor Day Weekend is the last

weekend of summer, as we jump into the

school year on the day after Labor Day

and a different kind of busy begins.

Political campaigns switch into high gear ahead of the

November elections. This both exciting and dreadful.

One of the great aspects of democracy is that we

have voice in choosing our leaders and the direction of

our country, state, city, and school.

This is for many a dreadful time as campaigns have

seemingly gotten worse as the years go by. We are

deluged with mailings, robocalls, radio, TV, and social

media. Lawn signs dot our routes as we drive to work

and run our errands. Election brings a sigh of relief.

There can be the temptation not to enter the process.

As Christians we have a responsibility to bring gospel

values into the public debate on the issues influence

how we live. As the Bishops of the United States have

written:

“As Catholics, we bring the richness of our faith to the

public square. We draw from both faith and reason as

we seek to affirm the dignity of the human person and

the common good of all. With renewed hope, we, the

Catholic Bishops of the United States, are re-issuing

Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, our

teaching document on the political responsibility of

Catholics, which provides guidance for all who seek to

exercise their rights and duties as citizens. Everyone

living in this country is called to participate in public

life and contribute to the common good.1 In Rejoice

and Be Glad [Gaudete et Exsultate], Pope Francis

writes:

Your identification with Christ and his will involves a

commitment to build with him that kingdom of love,

justice and universal peace. . . .You cannot grow in

holiness without committing yourself, body and soul, to

giving your best to this endeavor.

2 The call to holiness, he writes, requires a “firm and

passionate” defense of “the innocent unborn.” “Equally

sacred,” he further states, are “the lives of the poor,

those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and

the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly

exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human

trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of

rejection.”

3 Our approach to contemporary issues is first and

foremost rooted in our identity as followers of Christ

and as brothers and sisters to all who are made in

God’s image. For all Catholics, including those seeking

public office, our participation in political parties or

other groups to which we may belong should be

influenced by our faith, not the other way around.”

4 I encourage you to take part in the political

process. Support a political party or be

independent. Campaign for the candidates you

feel will best lead and include gospel values.

Again, the bishops write:

“As Catholics, we are led to raise questions for

political life other than those that concentrate on

individual, material well-being. Our focus is not on

party affiliation, ideology, economics, or even

competence and capacity to perform duties, as

important as such issues are. Rather, we focus on

what protects or threatens the dignity of every

human life.”

5 Included with this week’s bulletin, on our bulletin

boards, and social media platforms are guidelines

that Bishop Kettler and the bishops of Minnesota

support as we enter into this election cycle.

Come Holy Spirit, guide the candidates and

voters!

Have a peace filled week! Fr. Ron

1 Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 1913-15.

2 Pope Francis, Gaudete et Exsultate, no. 25.

3 Ibid, no. 101.

4 Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

2020, introduction

5 Ibid, no. 91.

Take part in the public debate This is also an

exciting time as we again have the opportunity to

exercise our right to vote. To have our chance to

influence the leadership of our country.

Voting is not optional for us as Catholics.

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