School year theme of Catholic social teaching

School year theme of Catholic social teaching
On the reader board outside of Central Catholic the sign reads: “If you want peace, work for justice”. This famous quote from Pope Paul VI greets all the students and staff as they head into the 2018-19 school year. This year, the school will focus on the theme of Catholic social teaching. 

One of the ways students have been introduced to the theme is through the school’s summer reading program. For the second year, Central Catholic has done themed reading, allowing students to choose books from a themed list provided by the school instead of assigning books by grade-level. 

This year’s theme was “Justice in Action”. Central Catholic’s librarian, Nic Netzel said, “In light of many high-profile, national, student-led protests and social movements, most of the book titles feature teens as the actors for social change.” The list was created to include relatable, relevant, and readable books that would inspire the community to read during the summer and have a common topic to discuss at the beginning of the year.

In the Diversity and Inclusion Program, director David Blue says social justice is embedded in the programs mission. “From our Brown Bag series, tackling difficult topics, to the work of our affinity clubs, we will look to challenge each other to be our best selves,” Blue said. 

Blue, once again this year, will be taking students to attend multiple diversity, inclusion, and social justice leadership conferences in the Portland-area and beyond. “These opportunities help to  create a rich atmosphere for learning and teaching, and are vital for preparing our students to succeed in a diverse world and change it for the better." 

Sr. Grace Marie Horan, F.S.E., is working with the school’s Rams for Life group. They will be working to raise awareness about the gift of life and to pursue activities that are life-affirming, especially in situations where life is vulnerable. The group will design activities throughout the year to call students to be in solidarity with refugees, persons with disabilities, women in crisis pregnancies and their unborn babies, and to promote healthy ties with creation and respect for the environment. 

School liturgies will focus on these same themes. The Campus Ministry team’s goal is to partner prayer with action, recognizing the sacraments as a source of grace to be the living face of Christ to others in the world.