BY: JULIE MINDA
Catholic Social Teaching directs the faithful to care for people in need, and the church's ministries recognize that this calling extends beyond one's local community. Religious organizations have responded to this call by establishing a wide variety of outreach programs in developing countries worldwide.
In this special Health Progress section — "Global Solidarity: Developing Connections with the Third World" — a group of writers share their perspective on why these efforts are important, how outreach work has an impact worldwide, and how this work relates to Catholic social teaching. All 10 authors are affiliated with Catholic organizations and are involved with international aid work, which gives them firsthand knowledge of how international aid work is carried out.
For many Catholic organizations, being involved in ministry abroad not only serves as an opportunity to help people in need; it also provides a valuable learning experience. Additionally, many have found that maintaining long-term relationships with overseas communities benefits not just the aid recipients but the providers as well.
International outreach, for many, demonstrates a commitment to solidarity — to uniting with others to address global problems. This type of perspective on ministry recognizes that aid is provided and received "in community" and that relationship building abroad is the key to success.
— Julie Minda
Copyright © 2006 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
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