Formation for All – Give Shelter to the Homelessness, Preferential Option for the Poor and Vulnerable

Those leading discussion please note that some of the students in your classroom may be experiencing homelessness or have experienced it in the past. Be compassionate and avoid making students share their experience. If a student offers their experience voluntarily be sure to instruct other students about respecting the student’s privacy and be mindful not to press for more information in front of the other students. If your school/parish was unaware of the student’s situation follow local policy on addressing student and family needs.

 

If you are a member of your family is experiencing homelessness contact your local parish/school or a local non-profit that works with homelessness to find out what resources may be available in your community.

 

Opening Prayer

Incline a merciful ear to our cry, we pray, O Lord,

and, casting light on the darkness of our hearts,

 

visit us with the grace of your Son.

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Amen

(from the collect of prayers Proper of Time: Monday of the Third Week of Advent ; Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, ICEL. All rights reserved.)

 

Scripture ReadingGospel Reading – Third Sunday of Advent  Luke 3:10-18

Catechesis Video

Grades 7-12

  1. What does the “option for the poor and vulnerable” mean?
  2. Pope Benedict XVI, in the document “Charity in Truth”, stated:  “justice is inseparable from charity, and intrinsic to it.”   Within paragraphs 6 and 7 of the document he expands on this. Read those paragraphs and discuss what this means for legislation and government policy as it relates to poverty and homelessness.
  3. Is charity enough to end poverty by itself? Why not?

Parish Leaders/Committees

  1. What does the “option for the poor and vulnerable” mean?
  2. Pope Benedict XVI, in the document “Charity in Truth”, stated:  “justice is inseparable from charity, and intrinsic to it.”   Within paragraphs 6 and 7 of the document he expands on this. Read those paragraphs and discuss what this means for legislation and government policy as it relates to poverty and homelessness.
  3. Is charity enough to end poverty by itself? Why not?

Faith Sharing/Parishioners/Bible Study

  1. What does the “option for the poor and vulnerable” mean?
  2. Pope Benedict XVI, in the document “Charity in Truth”, stated:  “justice is inseparable from charity, and intrinsic to it.”   Within paragraphs 6 and 7 of the document he expands on this. Read those paragraphs and discuss what this means for legislation and government policy as it relates to poverty and homelessness.
  3. Is charity enough to end poverty by itself? Why not?

Witness Video 

Saint Benedict Joseph Labre – https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-benedict-joseph-labre/

Witness Video Reflection Questions

Grades 7-12

  1. What systemic issues are obstacles to the poor to escape poverty?
  2. What can your school do to follow the principle “preferential option for the poor and vulnerable”?
  3. How do we avoid a condescending posture towards the poor when we seek to address homeless or poverty?
  4. How do we enter into a mutual relationship of community, seeing the poor and vulnerable as equals and partners ?
  5. How do we avoid “great savior” posture and attitude when working with homeless and the poor?

Parish Leadership/Committees

  1. How does your parish serve the poor?
  2. Does you parish focus on charity or does it also spend time looking at systemic or institutional reasons for poverty?
  3. What systemic issues are obstacles to the poor to escape poverty?
  4. How do we avoid a condescending posture towards the poor when we seek to address homeless or poverty?
  5. How do we enter into a mutual relationship of community, seeing the poor and vulnerable as equals and partners ?
  6. How do we avoid “great savior” posture and attitude when working with homeless and the poor?

Faithsharing/Parishioner/College Students

  1. How can you serve the poor and vulnerable?
  2. How do we avoid a condescending posture towards the poor when we seek to address homeless or poverty?
  3. How do we enter into a mutual relationship of community, seeing the poor and vulnerable as equals and partners ?
  4. How do we avoid “great savior” posture and attitude when working with homeless and the poor?

Action Steps

Grades 7-12

  1. Do a class project or write a paper using resources from povertyusa.org or https://www.confrontglobalpoverty.org/ to help educate people about poverty in our nation and the world. Learn how we can effect change to end poverty.
  2. Stay up to date with Action Alerts on various issues, Catholic Confront Global Poverty Action Center, the Poverty USA Action Center, and the Iowa Catholic Conference Action Center
  3. Consider participating in a parish or community activity that serves the homeless and poor.

Parish Leadership/Committees

  1. Share resources with your parish from povertyusa.org or https://www.confrontglobalpoverty.org/ to help educate people about poverty in our nation and globally and learn how we can effect change to end poverty.
  2. Stay up to date with Action Alerts on various issues, Catholic Confront Global Poverty Action Center, the Poverty USA Action Center, and the Iowa Catholic Conference Action Center
  3. Consider evaluating and discerning current works your parish does to serve the poor and vulnerable. Does your parish follow “two feet of love in action” approach, doing charity and working towards a just society through advocacy?

Faithsharing/Parishioners/College Students

  1. Share resources with your parish from povertyusa.org or https://www.confrontglobalpoverty.org/ to help educate people about poverty in our nation and globally and learn how we can effect change to end poverty.
  2. Stay up to date with Action Alerts on various issues, Catholic Confront Global Poverty Action Center, the Poverty USA Action Center, and the Iowa Catholic Conference Action Center
  3. Consider participating in a parish or community activity that serves the homeless and poor.

Closing Prayer

God of Justice,
open our eyes
to see you in the face of the poor.
Open our ears
to hear you in the cries of the exploited.
Open our mouths
to defend you in the public squares
as well as in private deeds.
Remind us that what we do
to the least ones,
we do to you.
Amen.

—from Being Neighbor, the Catechism and Social Justice,Catholic Campaign for Human Development, ©1998 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

 

Bonus video. Pope Francis speaks on homelessness: