At least every four years we are given the opportunity to elect our civil leaders. The current politically polarizing atmosphere in our country can discourage people from participating in this privilege. However, it is not only our civil responsibility to vote, remembering those who have given their lives to protect this right, but it is also our responsibility as people of faith.
In the document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship compiled by the United States Catholic Bishops, quoting Pope Frances it states: “Everyone living in this country is called to participate in public life and contribute to the common good… Your identification with Christ and his will involves a commitment to build with him that kingdom of love, justice and universal peace. . . .You cannot grow in holiness without committing yourself, body and soul, to giving your best to this endeavor. The call to holiness requires a firm and passionate defense of the innocent unborn and equally sacred are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection.
The Bishops go on to say: Our approach to contemporary issues is first and foremost rooted in our identity as followers of Christ and as brothers and sisters to all who are made in God’s image. For all Catholics, including those seeking public office, our participation in political parties or other groups to which we may belong should be influenced by our faith, not the other way around… At all levels of society, we are aware of a great need for leadership that models love for righteousness (Wisdom 1:1) as well as the virtues of justice, prudence, courage, and temperance. Our commitment as people of faith to imitate Christ’s love and compassion should challenge us to serve as models of civil dialogue, especially in a context where discourse is eroding at all levels of society. Where we live, work, and worship, we strive to understand before seeking to be understood, to treat with respect those with whom we disagree, to dismantle stereotypes, and to build productive conversation in place of vitriol… we urge leaders and all Catholics to respond in prayer and action to the call to faithful citizenship. In doing so, we live out the call to holiness and work with Christ as he builds his kingdom of love.
It is my hope that all of us will take our responsibility to vote seriously, casting our vote for that person that each of us feels is the best person available to serve our nation and to address the various challenges we face as a nation and as a world.
There are a couple of websites that I will offer as places you can go to try to make this important decision, weighing all the issues.
The first site is The website of the United States Catholic Bishops:
The other is from EWTN: https://www.ewtn.com/vote/
Make sure you pray before you vote!
Lord God, as the election approaches, we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our city/state/country, and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens in our community.
We ask for eyes that are free from blindness so that we might see each other as brothers and sisters, one and equal in dignity, especially those who are victims of abuse and violence, deceit and poverty.
We ask for ears that will hear the cries of children unborn and those abandoned, Men and women oppressed because of race or creed, religion or gender. We ask for minds and hearts that are open to hearing the voice of leaders who will bring us closer to your Kingdom. We pray for discernment so that we may choose leaders who hear your Word, live your love, and keep in the ways of your truth as they follow in the steps of Jesus and his Apostles and guide us to your Kingdom of justice and peace. We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. – USCCB