The church has much to teach and much to learn from families about the gifts and challenges of building a more just and compassionate society. Families are schools of solidarity, working each and every day to deepen relationships within the family itself and with other families both near and far. In Schools of Solidarity, Mary Doyle Roche explains how families can resist dehumanizing elements of our culture (competitive consumption, wastefulness, violence, etc.) and transform the many arenas of daily life (homes, workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, and parishes) so that they honor the dignity of all people, especially the poor and vulnerable.
Doyle Roche offers questions and activities for discussion and reflection in conjunction with each of the major themes. The practical activities she suggests encourage families to explore social justice issues and ways they might transform unjust conditions in local and even global contexts.
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This is the rare book that gets precisely right the true meaning of the phrase "family values." Grounding her recommendations in the tradition of Catholic social thought and bringing its core values into dialogue with contemporary challenges, Roche invites families to "turn outward to others" and to "flex their solidarity muscles." Readers will find this book accessible, creative, probing, practical, and above all joyful.
In Schools of Solidarity, Mary Doyle Roche provides an engaging and accessible workbook for families hoping to be informed by Catholic social teaching as they practice discipleship together. The book joyfully celebrates families who build up the reign of God in the messiness of everyday life, and challenges families to ever-deepen practical commitments to love one another as well as the neighbors in need outside their doors.
We are so thankful that Mary M. Doyle Roche has written this accessible, thorough, and practical reflection on the ways that families today can grow together through the practice of the principles of Catholic social teaching. We couldn't agree more with her, that families today will grow in holiness to the extent that they can develop new ways of living what Jesus preached about loving our neighbors and discerning the face of God in that process. We warmly recommend this book for parents seeking to live out faith in the context of family life, and for anyone who is ready to be surprised at the ways that Catholic social teaching takes on new life in the context of the contemporary family.
Now I have a book I can give to friends and family who are inspired by Pope Francis and interested in applying Catholic Social Teaching to their daily lives. In down-to-earth language, with elegance, mercy, and grace, Roche offers timely wisdom for families all of shapes and sizes.
Mary M. Doyle Roche is associate professor of religious studies at the College of the Holy Cross, where she teaches courses in moral theology, medical ethics, and the ethics of work and family life.