Solidarity is defined as “…the growing awareness of interdependence among individuals and nations…a moral and social attitude,” (St, John Paul II, Sollicitudo rei Socialis, 1987). This perspective is powerfully experienced through the encounters of mission.
St. John Paul II also stated in Sollitcitudo rei Socialis that solidarity is about “building a community that empowers everyone to attain their full potential through each of us respecting each other’s dignity, rights and responsibilities making the world a better place to live.” According to our Catechism, “international solidarity is a requirement of the moral order” (1941). It is about standing with others and experiencing their joys and struggles. And solidarity is much more than a feeling, it is a call to action to commit oneself to the common good of all, especially the poor and most vulnerable. This commitment is actualized through addressing “the fundamental causes of injustice and the sources of violence in our world” by engaging in activities like peacemaking, just policy advocacy, and of course prayer and education (National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Called to Global Solidarity).
Mutuality is an approach that retains, even enhances, human dignity between peoples and communities in mission. It attempts to rid relations with individuals and communities of power imbalances due to education, wealth and resources; paternalism; causes of dependency and cultural arrogance.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) offers programs, activities and opportunities throughout the year that reflect solidarity and mutuality. The Center for Mission represents CRS in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
If you would like additional information about solidarity, mutuality or CRS, contact Mike Haasl, Global Solidarity Coordinator, for the Center for Mission, Click Here>>