We have big shoes to fill! Sister María Pilar López, DC recently laid out how Vincent, without using the words was well in advance of the Church’s social teaching.

Frederic, whose feast we celebrate September 9, influenced the magisterium in the words and concepts  of the church’s social teaching. His concept of the “natural wage” anticipated what would later be called a “living wage”.  He wrote of the worker’s right to form unions.  An active member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Giuseppe Toniolo,  was consulted for technical assistance by Pope Leo XIII as he drafted Rerum Novarum.[17] Thus, it is certainly fair to say that Ozanam developed some of the key terminology of fair wages and labor unions that were more fully elucidated in Rerum Novarum.

Walking in those shoes…

  • How familiar are we with Church’s social teaching?
  • Are we familiar enough with it to let it influence our way of thinking and acting about the economic issues of our times and how they impact those living in poverty?
  • Do we speak out of this tradition?


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