Jesuit Says Conversion for Social Justice Springs from Engagement

Jesuit Father Thomas MassaroJesuit Father Thomas Massaro spoke at the recent assembly of the Congregation of Major Superiors of Men in Orlando, during which he offered his insights on encouraging action.

“It is just not reasonable to expect to impact lives in the most profound ways through classroom activities alone,” Fr. Massaro, a professor of moral theology at Boston College, said in an address. “If you want to change the world, you will have to contribute to transforming people, not just reshuffling the ideas in their heads.”

Massaro added, “True conversion for social justice springs from personal experience and exposure to social problems and engagement in efforts to solve them. You cannot succeed without some ideas and intellectual commitments, but principles only get you so far. At the risk of lapsing into clichés, it is a matter of hearts and hands, not just heads.”

Massaro said that while there are still unresolved questions on how to best serve the poor, it is clear the Catholic Church “will continue to understand its mission as including ample engagement with the political and economic realms. … There will continue to be a crucial role for men and women religious to play in front-line work for both charity and justice.”

For more on Massaro’s address, visit the Criterion Online.

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