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‘Blessed are the peacemakers’

2023 Catholic Social Ministry gathering

In a country and a world filled with conflict and division, it is the bold and courageous who work for peace, call for a cessation to the cycle of violence, pause to reflect on our common humanity, and consistently treat the “other” with respect so as to tackle the problems that affect us all. In his 2023 World Day of Peace message, Pope Francis stated: “The time has come for all of us to endeavor to heal our society and our planet, to lay the foundations for a more just and peaceful world, and to commit ourselves seriously to pursuing a good that is truly common.”

Hundreds of Catholics from around the country gathered in Washington, D.C. from Jan. 28-31 for the 2023 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering (CSMG). The gathering is composed of leaders and emerging leaders in Catholic social ministry from dioceses and diverse Catholic organizations across the country. The group addressed pressing current domestic and global challenges affecting the most vulnerable while striving for peace and justice, promoting healing and reconciliation, defending all human life and dignity, and working for the common good in our society and in the world.

Priorities for 2023 included supporting children and families by passing a strengthened Child Tax Credit; supporting hungry and vulnerable people with robust international humanitarian, development, and peace building assistance; and passing legislation providing Afghans with a pathway to permanent legal status.