Catholic Social Teaching Archive


Social Analysis: Students Take a Close Look at Homelessness

On Monday, students who attend weekly service at the Siena/Francis House were invited to come together for a social analysis to discuss issues surrounding poverty and homelessness. Every week at the Siena/Francis House, Creighton students eat dinner with the residents and then listen to the story of someone in the Addiction Recovery Program.

It is an impacting service site, a place where I have discovered the importance of community and of feeling listened to. After doing service that deals with a certain issue, it’s important to come together and discuss that issue in order to reflect on the service and truly bring about social change.

At this social analysis, we brainstormed religious, economic, social, political, healthcare-related, and educational questions that surround the issue of homelessness. Some things that came up were mental healthcare, minimum vs. livable wage, access to a quality education, and how possible it is to climb the social-economic ladder. We then drew connections between all of the different issues in order to see how many different factors there are that affect homelessness, and how they are related. For example, with mental health problems, it is difficult or even nearly impossible to find a job, affecting the ability to make a living wage. Or, with no access to a quality education, finding a job and making professional connections is very difficult.

It can be daunting to look up at a whiteboard full of questions and issues that affect homelessness in the United States. Social analysis shows how complicated the problem is, and how many different areas there are within it that need work. It is important to use service as the first step, and to then use what we learn in service to advocate and work to change social structures that cause problems, in order to promote social justice and a better world.

Leah Schaffer
Class of 2015


The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.




USCCB Chair Optimistic about Senate Immigration Framework




January 28, 2013

An important first step in process and tone, says Archbishop Gomez
Promises bishops’ support for system to protect human dignity, homeland simultaneously
Plan gives hope to millions of fellow human beings

WASHINGTONArchbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, welcomed principles set forth by a group of eight U.S. Senators as a blueprint for reform of our nation’s immigration system.

“I welcome the introduction of a bipartisan framework to help guide Congress on immigration reform,” Archbishop Gomez said January 28.”It is an important first step in the process and sets a bipartisan tone.”

The framework released by the “Group of Eight” working group would include a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented in the nation. It also would reduce family backlogs in the immigration system, which requires family members to wait years to reunite with their loved ones.

“It is vital that the framework includes a path to citizenship, so that undocumented immigrants can come out of the shadows and into the light and have a chance to become Americans,” Archbishop Gomez said. “It gives hope to millions of our fellow human beings.”

Archbishop Gomez noted that the framework leaves room for improvement, as it fails to restore due process protections to immigrants lost in the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) or address the root causes of migration, such as the absence of living-wage employment in sending communities or protection for refugees fleeing persecution.

Nevertheless, he pledged the support of the USCCB in pushing sound immigration legislation forward and working with Congress to create an immigration system which respects basic human rights and dignity while also ensuring the integrity of our borders.

“A reformed system can protect human dignity and the homeland at the same time,” he concluded.

In their 2003 pastoral letter, “Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) outlined several policy goals for immigration reform, many of which are consistent with the framework outlined today by the U.S. Senate:

″A path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented in the nation;

″The protection and enhancement of the family-based immigration system, including the reduction in backlogs and shortening of waiting times for husbands and wives and their families, ″A program which allows low-skilled migrant workers to enter and work in the United States legally and safely and includes appropriate wage and worker protections;

″The restoration of due process protections for immigrants removed by the 1996 Illegal Immigrant Responsibility Act; and

″Policies which address the root causes, or push factors, of irregular migration, such as the absence of living wage jobs in sending communities and persecution.

More information can be found at


Action Opportunity:


Jesuit Conference Makes Statement on the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Society of Jesus Statement on the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

On this 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Society of Jesus in the United States (the Jesuits), the largest religious community of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church, vigorously affirms our opposition to abortion and our support for the unborn. Our commitment is shared by people of conscience seeking to restore our country’s re- spect for all human life.

Ten years ago, on the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Society of Jesus issued Standing for the Unborn: A Statement of the Society of Jesus in the United States on Abortion; this statement speaks of the sacredness of human life in all its forms, and we again uphold its vision. In those ten years, 16 million more abortions have taken place, bringing the 40-year total to more than 55 million. Throughout this period, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has served as a powerful voice for life. This task has not been easy, and the Society of Jesus stands with the bishops in our words, deeds and prayers.

As all human life is sacred and should be protected by law, the Society of Jesus believes in a consistent ethic of life from conception to natural death, an ethic which includes our opposition to the death penalty and assisted suicide and our support for improved palliative care. All human life deserves dignity and respect, and all of God’s children, particularly the most vulnerable, must be protected and supported by the laws and policies of our nation.

On this 40th anniversary, let us continue to work and pray for consistent and forceful support of all human life.

For further reading visit: 


National Migration Week January 6-12

United States Conference of Catholic BishopsNATIONAL MIGRATION WEEK 2013 TO BE CELEBRATED JANUARY 6-12

We Are Strangers No Longer: Our Journey of Hope Continues
Will launch postcard campaign for comprehensive immigration reform
USCCB Committee invites Catholics to support efforts through prayer, action

 WASHINGTON—National Migration Week will be observed in dioceses around the country January 6-12. This year’s theme, “We are Strangers No Longer: Our Journey of Hope Continues,” includes a postcard campaign that calls for comprehensive immigration reform.

This year’s theme also celebrates the tenth anniversary of the joint pastoral letter, Strangers No Longer: Together on a Journey of Hope, issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Conferencia del Episcopado Mexicano in 2003. In the pastoral letter the bishops reflected on migration between Mexico and the United States as a “sign of the times” that is necessary and beneficial, with promises and challenges.

“Catholics have a responsibility to welcome newcomers into our communities and parishes, help them integrate and provide material and spiritual support that will allow them to flourish,” said Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration. “National Migration Week is an opportunity for the Church to remember and reflect on these obligations.”

As part of this year’s National Migration Week celebration the USCCB Migration and Refugee Services will launch a postcard campaign that calls on Congress to pass fair and comprehensive immigration reform that would:

  1. Provide a path to citizenship for undocumented persons in the country.
  2. Preserve family unity as a cornerstone of our national immigration system.
  3. Provide legal paths for low-skilled immigrant workers to come and work in the United States.
  4. Restore due process protections to immigration enforcement policies.
  5. Address the root causes of migration caused by persecution and economic disparity.

Catholics are also urged to support this campaign.

“The Administration and Congress should work together to secure legislation that will provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, provide legal means for migrants to enter our nation to work, and reform the system to allow family reunification,” Archbishop Gomez said.

The observance of National Migration Week began over a quarter century ago by the U.S. bishops to give Catholics an opportunity to take stock of the wide diversity of peoples in the Church and the ministries serving them.

The full text of the joint pastoral letter, Strangers No Longer: Together on a Journey of Hope, can be found online at:

Educational materials and other resources for National Migration Week can be found at: Posters, prayer cards and booklets can be ordered through the USCCB publishing service at or by calling 800-235-8722.

Details on the postcard campaign can be found at:


World Youth Day 2013

Campus Ministry is interested in attending the 2013 World Youth Day and Magis Program in July 2013!

Magis is a program run by the international Society of Jesus in the weeks anticipating World Youth Day, a global youth celebration held every 2-3 years. In 2013 Magis will begin on July 12 in Salvador De Bahia, in northeast Brazil, and conclude a week later, just before World Youth Day begins, in Rio de Janeiro.
During that time students from Jesuit universities from all around the world will come together for a time of prayer, sharing, and service to strive for even more than just the normal pilgrimage experience to WorldYouth Day and to participate in one of the international Society of Jesus’ largest gatherings!

Trip dates are July 12-28, 2013.
If you are interested in this opportunity or for more information, contact Marie Hilton in Campus Ministry by November 1. The deadline to apply is November 12.


Discover Peru this Summer!

Study Abroad In Peru
















Interested in living and learning in Peru for six weeks over the summer?