S+L logo

Live from New York… it’s Salt + Light!

May 21, 2007
Wally & Kris in downtown Toronto
It’s the Victoria Day holiday in Canada (a happy belated Victoria Day to all of you out there!), but this year I find myself spending the day in Riverdale, New York. Riverdale is a wonderfully green suburb, twenty some-odd minutes north of Manhattan. (I have yet to spot Archie, or Jughead, but my hopes remain high.) What brings myself, reporter Kris Dmytrenko, and cameraman Wally Tello here is a conference on Catholic social teaching held by the Holy See Mission (herein HSM) to the United Nations. The Passionists Riverdale retreat house is the residence where we lay our head after a busy day at the conference in Manhattan at the United Nations. Kris will be asking tough questions, Wally will be filming every angle, and I’ll be somewhere in between (or at either extreme), as we document this week’s events, for a documentary that will air this summer on Salt + Light Television. In the above picture, you can see Wally (or at least his hand!) filming part of our tour of New York City, while Kris, the short-haired gentleman in the background in the glasses and dark jacket, listens intently to our tour guide. And pictured below, Wally snapped this shot of me standing at Ground Zero.
The three of us are joining fifty other young people from Canada, the United States, and even Europe, who have gathered for this week’s long seminar to learn about the HSM as a permanent observer to the United Nations and to learn about the Church’s social teaching. There’s of course much more to the conference – many of these young people will return to their colleges, universities, and communities with a better appreciation of the role of the Church in the involvement of the nations of the world, and will hopefully take newly acquired information on our social teaching and share it with others; be it through word, or action. Matthew at Ground Zero
I’m sure many of you are aware of the basic core of social teaching: upholding the dignity and value of the human person, promoting the family, protecting the poor and vulnerable, safeguarding the rights of workers and the rights of all people, and caring for what God has created.
But after a Sunday evening presentation by Luke Swanepoel, a dedicated member of the HSM, I discovered two other elements we may want to consider.
The first is responsibility. We read about the importance of rights and dignity, and other core tenets of the Church’s social teaching, but how, in my own life, have I taken responsibility to promote the importance of this? Have I only paid lip service to these notions? Do I speak of the dignity of person and helping the poor or vulnerable, but when the opportunity presents itself to help the poor, do I run away? Perhaps over the next few days I will be asking: how should my responsibilities, in the world of social justice, play out not just in my own community, but in Canada, and even in the world? What am I personally responsible for? How am I fulfilling that responsibility?
The second element that caught my attention during Luke’s presentation was solidarity. Reading John Paul II’s 1995 address to the United Nations, the then Holy Father stresses solidarity several times. Solidarity – we are a family of nations. How do we watch out for each other? Do we watch out for each other?
These are some of the thoughts that are in my head as we begin this week at the HSM. I’m also very curious to see the role the Church plays at the United Nations. How effective is the Holy See Mission? What kind of influence does it have? How do the goals of our Catholic social teaching intersect with secular goals?
I’m sure it will be an interesting week, we'll be sure to keep you posted!
Related posts
Good evening and welcome to Perspectives Daily. 2019 World Youth Day in Panama is coming up pretty fast and registration for this event is open and spots are starting to fill up. On today’s sho ...read more
Blessed Paul VI will be canonized later this year. Pope Francis made the announcement to the pastors of the Diocese of Rome during a question-and-answer session, that he had with the priests on Februa ...read more
Second Sunday of Lent, Year B – February 25th, 2018 Moriah. Sinai. Nebo. Carmel. Horeb. Gilboa. Gerizim. Mount of Beatitudes. Tabor. Hermon. Zion. Mount of Olives. Calvary. Golgotha. Mountains a ...read more
In today's episode of Perspectives Daily, we sit down and chat with the geniuses behind the Broadway musical hit, Come From Away. Canadian playwright Irene Sankoff and David Hein talk to Noel Ocol abo ...read more
Deacon-structing Lent: Our Baptismal Promise
FacebookTwitter
When you think of Lent, what do you think of? Do you think of feasting or fasting? Do you think of partying or penance? It’s true that Lent is a penitential season, but do you know that the word ...read more