BOSTON, MA--Parishes from around the Archdiocese of Boston came together on Saturday, October 17, 2009 to learn more about Catholic Social Teaching, celebrate the work for justice already going on, and find out concrete ways to connect faith with action in the service of justice.  Over 300 people including priests, religious, parish lay leaders, and parishioners gathered at Boston College High School to hear insightful talks, participate in breakout sessions, and share ideas during the networking lunch and exhibit.

Cardinal Seán O'Malley, OFM Cap, Archbishop of Boston, began the day leading the group in prayer and offering opening remarks. Using Chapter 25 in Matthew's gospel, the Cardinal remarked, "The more we show love to another the more credible will be Christ's message in the world." He also drew the analogy that the Catholic social teaching in the Gospel is a blueprint for God's Kingdom here on here, and we must be the architects and builders.

The Keynote Address by Fr. J. Bryan Hehir, Cabinet Secretary, Health and Social Services, Archdiocese of Boston covered the topic, "Catholic Social Vision: Its Content and Challenges." Fr. Hehir laid out the evolution and landscape of Catholic thought on social teachings, drawing from Scripture, Papal documents, and the Second Vatican Council. He reminded listeners that both faith and reason are required to navigate challenges as our Church exists in a secular state, a morally pluralistic society, and the world's most complicated economy in the only global superpower.

A panel discussion led by Sr. Terry Rickard. O.P., Executive Director, RENEW International, featured Tiziana Dearing, President, Catholic Charities Boston, and Fr. David Couturier, OFM Cap, Director, Archdiocesan Office of Pastoral Planning

Breakout sessions by experts in Social Justice from the Archdiocese, RENEW International, and Catholic Relief Services addressed wide-ranging topics of social concern including dignity of life, immigration, poverty, human trafficking, among others.

For more information, please contact:
Sr. Honora Nolty, RENEW International Pastoral Services Team Leader
908-769-5400 x162