September 25, 2020

Week two: ‘Pray, Learn and Act as Faithful Citizens’

Civilize It logoCompiled by the archdiocesan Office of Human Life and Dignity and the Social Concerns Ministry

The archdiocesan Office of Human Life and Dignity and Catholic Charities-Social Concerns Ministry are collaborating to offer the second of seven weeks of prayer, study and action as the nation prepares for the upcoming election on Nov. 3.

This week, we will begin to explore the teaching document from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” which “provides guidance for all who seek to exercise their rights and duties as citizens.”

This week’s column takes a brief look at the introduction to the bishops’ statement, which can be viewed at


Merciful Father,

Thank you for inviting each of us to join in your work of building the kingdom of love, justice and peace. Draw us close to you in prayer as we discern your call in our families and communities. Send us forth to encounter all whom you love: those not yet born, those in poverty, those in need of welcome. Inspire us to respond to the call to faithful citizenship, during election season and beyond. Help us to imitate your charity and compassion and to serve as models of loving dialogue. Teach us to treat others with respect, even when we disagree, and seek to share your love and mercy. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen. (From the introduction to “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship”)


“At all levels of society, we are aware of a great need for leadership that models love for righteousness,”

(Wis 1:1) as well as the virtues of justice, prudence, courage and temperance. Our commitment as people of faith to imitate Christ’s love and compassion should challenge us to serve as models of civil dialogue, especially in a context where discourse is eroding at all levels of society. Where we live, work and worship, we strive to understand before seeking to be understood, to treat with respect those with whom we disagree, to dismantle stereotypes, and to build productive conversation in place of vitriol.

“Catholics from every walk of life can bring their faith and our consistent moral framework to contribute to important work in our communities, nation, and world on an ongoing basis, not just during election season. In this coming year and beyond, we urge leaders and all Catholics to respond in prayer and action to the call to faithful citizenship. In doing so, we live out the call to holiness and work with Christ as he builds his kingdom of love.” (From introduction to “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship”)


Register to attend one of the live webinars of the Indiana Catholic Conference’s “Beyond Secular Politics: Walking in Faithful Citizenship and the ICC,” which will be held from noon-1 p.m. on Oct. 5; from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Oct. 7; and from 10-11 a.m. on Oct. 10. Registration is required at

Pray a Memorare with the intention of ensuring that, as noted in the “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” introduction, our “participation in political parties and other groups to which we may belong be influenced by our faith, not the other way around.” †

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