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
“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
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
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
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
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
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.