Notes for Neighbors

This triweekly electronic newsletter shares news, resources, tools, and opportunities for action from the USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, to help Catholics love their neighbors near and far. Subscribe to Notes for Neighbors now!

Two Feet of Love in Action

Catholic disciples on mission arecalled to put Two Feet of Love in Action! This foundational tool describes two distinct, but complementary, ways we can respond to the Gospel call to put love in action: social justice (addressing systemic, root causes of problems that affect many people) and charitable works (short-term, emergency assistance for individuals). A brochure, facilitator's guide, and handouts are available to help you educate others about the Two Feet of Love in Action. 

Get the resources here.

Bilingual Resources to Put Faith in Action

As we seek to develop leaders that reflect the diverse face of the body of Christ, here is a Spanish-language list of bilingual resources on the call to put faith in action.

Pope Francis Quotes

This is a compilation of helpful quotes from Pope Francis on issues of life, dignity, justice and peace. This informal compilation is not comprehensive; it does not cover every issue. This document is a work in progress and will be updated periodically.  Available in both English and Spanish.

Sacraments and Social Mission

Short, two-page handouts on Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick can help Catholics who are preparing for the sacraments reflect on our Catholic call to mission in the world.  Available in both English and Spanish

Catholic Social Teaching (CST)

Resources on Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home include a discussion guide, bulletin insert, preaching and liturgical resources, and more.

Caritas in Veritate lesson plans and individual study guide can help you learn more about Pope Benedict's encyclical, which explores Catholic teaching on human development, economic life, and other pressing global issues.

Resources on Catholic social teaching, includes scriptural foundations, Church documents, major themes, reflections on Joy of the Gospel and Charity in Truth, and activities such as lesson plans and a CST timeline game. En Español

Faithful Citizenship

Faithful Citizenship provides materials and resources to prepare Catholics to bring their faith to public life and to live as faithful citizens.



The New Evangelization



The New Evangelization calls us to make our lives a proclamation of the Good News through our witness of love and justice.  Learn more through the handout, The  New Evangelization: Disciples on Mission in the World and these Quotes about the New Evangelization and Social Justice.

Parish Social Ministry

USCCB Resources:

Communities of Salt and Light can help all parts of parish life (prayer and worship, catechesis, family ministry, etc.) form disciples who can be "salt" and "light" by putting faith into action. is a website of the USCCB that includes more than 100 resources, success stories, videos, and assessment questions for helping faith communities pray, reach out, learn and act together in the vision of Communities of Salt and Light.

Building Effective Parish Social Ministry Teams can help you start a parish team to integrate concern for neighbor into all aspects of parish life.

Partner Resource:

The Catholic Charities USA Parish Social Ministry Tool kit is a collection of strategies, resources and practical steps developed by parish social ministry leaders from across the country.

Prayer and Worship

Questions to Examine Conscience in Light of Catholic Social Teaching (also available en Espanol) can supplement a traditional examination to assess how well your choices and actions reflect love of neighbor.

Lent Resources can help you pray, learn, and act justly during Lent.

Suggestions for Prayer and Liturgy are available on many topics, including peace, the Middle East, immigration, life issues, and more. 

Tools for Social Justice-Hispanic Ministry Collaboration

Our communities can become more vibrant, and our efforts more successful, when we listen to, learn from, and form relationships that reflect the diverse faces of the body of Christ. This webinar, an accompanying handout (also en Español), and our small grants program can help diocesan social justice and Hispanic ministry staff build stronger relationships.

Year of Mercy

The Jubilee Year of Mercy is Dec. 8, 2015 to Nov. 20, 2016.  This two page handout offers a brief reflection on the Year, as well as ideas for prayer and action. For more materials on the Year, visit the Year of Mercy homepage.

Young Adults

USCCB Resources:

Our Catholic Faith in Action Campus Web Site is the U.S. bishops' website to help college students and campus ministers pray, learn, and act for justice and peace on campus.

CCHD Internship Program provides paid internships for U.S. Catholics to assist dioceses in their work to address poverty through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award honors a young Catholic ages 18-30 who exhibits leadership to address the root causes of poverty in the United States.

Take a Step: Illustration of the Advantages, Disadvantages and Factors Leading to Poverty (en Español)

Scripture and Justice Timeline Activity - This activity illustrates how Scripture provides a foundation for our concern for those who are poor and vulnerable. Participants have only a few minutes to arrange biblical events in chronological order. Then, the facilitator checks the timeline and uses it as a starting point for teaching about the scriptural call to justice.

Biblical Justice Challenge - There are hundreds of passages in Scripture that exhort us to work for justice. In this fun activity, small groups compete to find scriptural references related to concern for those who are poor and vulnerable.

Campus Partnerships to End Poverty - Collaboration between college campuses and CCHD-funded groups helps campuses live out their Catholic mission, while increasing the capacity of community organizations to fight poverty.

Partner  Resource:

CRS College has academic and campus materials to promote global solidarity on campus.


Stack of the Deck Illustration of the Root Causes of Poverty (en Español)

"Creating on the Margins" Contest is a program for young people in grades 7-12 to learn about poverty in the U.S., its causes, and the response of the Church. After learning, youth become educators of others through their artwork.

Ending Poverty in Community (EPIC) is a toolkit to help young people learn about the causes of poverty in the United States. Lessons 5 and 6 include materials to help youth identify an issue of concern in their community and create a plan to get involved in addressing it.

Poverty Student Action Project is a guide with ideas and suggestions for educating about poverty and our Catholic response for grades K-8.

Partner Resources:
CRS Education is a website with learning resources about care for creation, fair trade, hunger, and more.

Color the World with Justice is a coloring activity created by CCHD in the Archdiocese of Baltimore to introduce children to the themes of Catholic social teaching. Different variations are available for elementary, middle school, and high school youth.

Issue-Specific Resources and Tools 

Death Penalty

Partner Resource:
Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Use of the Death Penalty have PowerPoints, videos, lesson plans, and other tools to help Catholics work to end the use of the death penalty.


Partner Resource:
Catholic Coalition on Climate Change has many useful resources for parishes and schools concerned about caring for God's creation.

Fair Trade

Buy gifts that support economic development in poor communities in the U.S.

Partner Resource:
CRS Ethical Trade program helps Catholics support farmers, artisans, and their families through the purchase of crafts to support economic initiatives in developing countries.


World Day of Peace (Jan. 1) resources from the Catholic bishops are available to help Catholics pray and act for peace. The resources are based on Pope Benedict XVI's annual World Day of Peace Message.

Catholic Study Guide for Use with Nuclear Tipping Point can help small groups reflect on Catholic social teaching and nuclear weapons while watching the Nuclear Tipping Point film.

Poverty is a website sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development with facts and figures about poverty in the United States and what can be done to address it. The Poverty Tour video helps viewers understand the challenges of trying to live at the Poverty Line.

Poverty USA: Game Show Edition  Lead your class or small group in this interactive game show in which students can compete and learn by answering true/false questions about Poverty in the U.S.   INSTRUCTIONS: To navigate the game show, start the slide show from the beginning. On slide 3, you will see a main Game Board.  Have players or teams choose questions of differing point values from the main Game Board. Click directly on a number on the Game Board to go to a question.  The correct answer to the question is always on the following slide. On each answer slide, there is a blue “HOME” button in the bottom corner to return to the Game Board.

CRS - Lead the Way - an initiative of  Catholic Relief Services (CRS) with support from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that calls on Catholics to defend the life and dignity of people living in poverty throughout the world.

Journey to Justice - Journey to Justice is a day-long retreat that facilitates an experience of encounter with persons living in poverty and helps participants grow in understanding of the root causes of poverty in their community and reflect on how the Gospel challenges us to respond.


Torture is a Moral Issue: A Study Guide explores the question, "What does the Church say about torture?"


Vocation of the Business Leader: A Reflection, from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (en Español). This 32-pages volume is designed as a ready reference, for business leaders trying to integrate their faith with their work, as well as for professors in formative moments in schools and universities.