(Vatican Radio) December saw the launch of of a new parish programme, 'Love in Action' designed to introduce various faith-based groups to the principles of Catholic social teaching.
Created by Caritas Westminster, the programme allows for the education and inspiration of parishes, and encourages communities to examine local needs, putting their love into action. Upon completion of the programme, parishes will have the necessary tools to engage in social outreach within their own communities. The resources are free and are available online for download.: www.stepforwardinlove.org
John Coleby, Director of Caritas Westminster, spoke with Vatican Radio’s Hayley Susino about the launch of the Love in Action programme.
The Love in Action program introduces participants to six principles of Catholic social teaching through Sunday Liturgy, group activities, and assemblies over the course of seven weeks. It is designed to speak to the motivation of why Catholics must be involved in service and social action, in order to respond to the needs of the world.
Love in Action speaks to and extends the mission of Caritas by, “Providing the why for congregations, groups, and individuals as well as the motivation,” says Coleby.
The program was developed over the course of several years, including two pilot parishes, which provide a plethora of experience and support to aid success in the communities who participate.
Coleby hopes that, “We will be able to showcase those two parishes and what the outcomes have been for them, along with the difference it has made for them in terms of thinking.”
Caritas Westminster is a part of a much larger network in the United Kingdom called Caritas Social Action Network, where they are also promoting the use of the Love in Action resources. They strive to not only have an impact in the dioceses, but also in areas of the United Kingdom where the church is active.
Currently, there are no plans to extend the program outside of the United Kingdom, but Caritas Westminster is open to talking to interested groups through Caritas Europe or Caritas International who would like to develop the program for their audiences.
The program encourages feedback from participants. Coleby explains, “We want to be able to include new reflection on aspects of Catholic social teaching, which for example come from the papacy, particularly Pope Francis and others who have something to say on Catholic social teaching.”
Coleby emphasizes, “Love in Action creates a bridge between how we move from our reflection on the word and our participation on the sacraments to the point of how we reach out to the poor and the marginalized in our communities.”