A Concise Guide to Catholic Social Teaching

A Concise Guide to Catholic Social Teaching

Author: Kevin E. McKenna

Price: $16.95

Format: Paperback

Pages: 192

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 978-1-59471-438-2

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

On-sale date: November 25, 2013

This product is no longer for sale.

More Ministry and Pastoral Planning, Reference


The language of Catholic social teaching emerges regularly in American public discourse, often connected to discussions about religious freedom, abortion, immigrant rights, racism, and capital punishment. In this thoroughly revised volume, Kevin E. McKenna provides a clear, primer-level reference tool to help readers navigate this vast body of Catholic teaching.

In the newly updated ministry tool and pastoral resource, Catholic social teaching is enlivened with material of the past decade from papal documents and the US Catholic Bishops. A Concise Guide to Catholic Social Teaching includes a thematic homily guide, historical charts, papal biographies, a sample penance service, links to online support materials, an expanded glossary, and new questions for self-study or group conversation.

Building on the core themes of human dignity, community, rights and responsibilities, option for the poor, dignity of work, solidarity, and care of creation, priest and teacher Kevin E. McKenna expertly distills Catholic social teaching into easily digestible summaries. He provides clear teaching and insight on such issues as religious freedom, rights to privacy and self-determination, and the value of the common good. This book is perfect for ministry formation and as an ancillary resource for RCIA.


"A true treasure and necessary companion."

"A true treasure and necessary companion for those who want to understand how Catholic social teachings relate to our daily and communal lives. McKenna writes clearly and organizes his materials to facilitate easy reference through excellent summaries and guided theological reflections."

Carolyn Y. Woo
Former president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services

"A vital reference."

“As people of good will, we are called to work towards justice for all. This guide is a vital reference for those interested in applying Catholic social teaching to the ongoing debates in the public square.”

Larry Snyder
Catholic Charities USA

"An important study guide."

"McKenna’s text is an important study guide to Catholic social teaching and its impact on both the life of the Church and global community. His presentation shows how this teaching continually challenges forces of injustice, violence, and oppression."

Sr. Marianne Farina, C.S.C.
Department Chair of Theology
Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology
Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley

"A great tool."

"This book lays out the reasons Catholics advance social justice in their spheres of influence. McKenna provides a concise and pastorally useful presentation of the Catholic social tradition. Any Catholic wanting to understand social doctrine—especially those working in parish, university, diocesan, or agency settings will find this to be a great tool."

Bill Purcell
Associate Director for Catholic Social Tradition
Center for Social Concerns
University of Notre Dame

"A real treasure trove."

"Here the most inspiring kernels of the major social encyclicals and pastoral letters are made assessable to everyone. Though he is also a scholar, McKenna is first a fine parish pastor, who builds upon the six major themes of Catholic social teaching linking them with prayer, sacraments, and action. This little volume packs a real treasure trove for anyone seeking to learn, act, teach, or preach on Catholic social teaching."

Dawn M. Nothwehr, O.S.F.
The Erica and Harry John Family Endowed Chair in Catholic Ethics
Catholic Theological Union

"A great passion for justice.”

“The Vatican’s official summary of Catholic social doctrine runs nearly 450 pages. Father McKenna accomplishes the same task in clear style in 160 pages. McKenna's book also includes a valuable glossary, a timeline, a homily guide for social themes and more. His tone reflects just who he is: a workaday parish priest with a great passion for justice.”

William Droel
National Center for the Laity

Catholic Social Teaching and Living the Gospel Today

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