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Church of the Incarnation &
Little Brothers and Little Sisters of the Incarnation
In Solidarity With Haiti
What Is Solidarity?
Catholic Social Teaching (CST) is a body of encyclicals, speeches, letters, and other written
documents that articulate the meaning of Jesus’ teachings in our everyday experiences and
direct our efforts to build a just and peaceful society in a modern world that is often in direct
opposition to the Gospel message. CST is considered one of the Catholic Church’s “best
kept secrets,” but in reality, it is one of the centerpieces of our faith and should be the basis
of the choices we make in our daily life—choices that affect not only ourselves and our
families but also our brothers and sisters in Christ, all over the planet.
Solidarity is considered both a guiding principle of CST and a recurring theme that touches
nearly every social issue in our world. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
describe solidarity as follows:
“We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and
ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may
be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world. At the core of the
virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Pope Paul VI taught that, ‘if you
want peace, work for justice.’ The Gospel calls us to be peacemakers. Our love for all
our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by
violence and conflict.”
In 2002, Pope John Paul II addressed the First Globalization Conference by saying:
“The goal of solidarity must be the advancement of a more human world for all – a
world in which every individual will be able to participate in a positive and fruitful way,
and in which the wealth of some will no longer be an obstacle to the develop-ment of
others, but a help [to realize the inherent dignity of every human being.]”
Thus, solidarity is a commitment we must make in our lives to feel, as much as possible, both
the sufferings and the joys of all children of God with whom we share our earth. Solidarity
evokes connection and compassion for the plights of others, and it reminds us that we are
connected to and dependent on all humanity, collectively and independently. From the
perspective of our faith, we believe that the principle of solidarity should guide the
organization of our societies and governments, on the macro level, and the choices we
make for our own lives, on a micro level.