As I am nearing my graduation date, I am asked frequently what my majors are and what I plan to do after I graduate. I respond by explaining that I will have a degree in Catholic Studies and in Social Work. After I mention these majors, I am given a confused look as to why I have paired them together. What does Catholic Studies have to do with social work? How do they relate?
Catholic Studies classes and faculty provide a holistic view of the human person. In studying the whole person, I begin to have a better understanding of what a human being needs to be fulfilled and to be happy. Human beings need Christ and his saving love. This understanding pushes against what the world values and thinks a society needs. Working in class and with the faculty on how best to bring this love of Christ to others, I am able to sort through how to love as well as how to address the social issues that Americans are facing today.
Social work is doing service and charity work as a profession. Charity is at the heart of the Church. Catholic Studies teaches me how the Church addresses many of the social issues that I am faced with in this profession. By studying documents that Pope Benedict XVI has written and many other Catholic writings, I am able to have a deeper understanding of how to do charity work. I use such documents to guide and inform my practice every day as a student and a social worker.
The social work profession gives me the structure and skills that I need do charitable work as a profession, but the Church provides for me a deep understanding and a model of love that allows me to practice social work well. A perfect example of doing Catholic social work is Blessed Mother Theresa. The witness that she was to Christ’s love shows how important Catholic Studies and Social Work perfectly complement each other.
Blessed Mother Theresa, help me to practice social work with a loving heart like yours!
~Amy, Catholic Studies and Social Work student