Catholic Social Teaching and Civic Engagement: Grounding Civic Praxis in Catholic Theory

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In the United States, there are approximately 244 Catholic colleges and universities that together form an “incomparable centre of creativity and dissemination of knowledge for the good of humanity.”1 These societies of scholars and learners are not cloisters removed from civic life; they are apostolic in nature, called to “an institutional commitment to the service of the people of God and of the human family.”2 They are active in civic engagement because of the set of values and meanings that defi ne them as essentially Catholic and that are explicitly expressed in the long tradition of Catholic Social Teaching. Thus, Catholic colleges and universities can animate their service and teaching missions by developing initiatives that ground the service commitment to their communities in the teaching of their shared values.

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