Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Faithful Citizenship for Homilists and Liturgy Planners

As the election draws near, there may be weekends when parish leaders feel it's appropriate to incorporate political themes into prayers, music, or homilies. Active, involved citizenship is an ongoing part of being a good Catholic; loving God and our neighbor should be reflected in all aspects of our lives. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has posted prayers of petition, music suggestions, homily helps and other liturgy resources on their website at

Some appropriate times could be during the convention weeks in August and early September, early October as the deadline to register (October 10) approaches, or in the weeks leading up to the election. Once again, it's very important that homilists and bulletin editors remain nonpartisan and focus on values rather than candidates.

Pope Benedict XVI has called us to celebrate the "Year of St. Paul" in honor of the 2000th anniversary of the saint's birth. Many of the Sunday readings from St. Paul in the coming weeks call us to live lives as attentive followers of Jesus - the way of the faithful citizen. September 7 reminds us of the primacy of the Law of Love, Sept. 21 to "conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ." Sept 28 is a beautiful call to reject selfishness and take on the attitude of Jesus, looking out for others. Equally beautiful is the October 5 reminder to take on "whatever is true...honorable...just...pure...lovely...gracious...." These are essential messages when political advertising plays on fear and self-interest.