Rights and Responsibilities

All of God’s people should have food, water, work, clothes, a home, school and medical care. These are ‘rights’: things every single person on earth must have to live as God intends. But many people do not have them. Jesus wants those who enjoy these rights to help their sisters and brothers obtain their rights. It is not enough to feel badly for others. Jesus says it is our responsibility to see that they receive their rights.

Articles with Study Guides

Additional Activities
Book Suggestion:

Picture books or short chapter books for younger students

Addy Learns a Lesson: Connie Porter (American Girl series)

Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Young Readers Editions. By William Kankwamba

The Bus Ride that Changed History: Pamela Duncan Edward

The Butterfly: Patricia Polacco

Delores Huerta, A Hero to Migrant Workers: Sarah Warren

Fly Away Home: Eve Bunting

If This Bus could Talk: Faith Ringgold

Just Kidding: Trudy Ludwig

The Mangrove Trees: Planting Trees to Feed Families. By Susan L. Roth

Nasreen’s Secret School: a True Story from Afghanistan. By Jeanette Winter

Nobody Knew What to Do: Becky McCain

The Recess Queen: Alexis O’Neill

Sam and the Lucky Money: Karen Chinn

Samantha Learns a Lesson: Susan S. Adler (American Girl series)

Side by Side/Lado a Lado: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez/ La Historia de Dolores Huerta y Cesar Chavez

Monica Brown: The Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down. By Andrea Davis Pinkney

The Story of Ruby Bridges: Robert Coles

Thank you, Mr. Falker: Patricia Polacco

You and Me and Home Sweet Home: George Ella Lyon

Chapter Books or picture books for older students:

Because of Mr. Terput: Rob Buyea

The Breadwinner Trilogy: Deborah Ellis

Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope: William Kankwamba

Gifted Hands, the Ben Carson Story: Gregg Lewis and Deborah Shaw Lewis

Good Night, Mr. Tom: Michelle Magorian

A Long Walk to Water: Linda Sue Park

Number the Stars: Lois Lowry

Through My Eyes: Ruby Bridges

The Upstairs Room: Johanna Reiss

We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March. By Cynthia Levinson

Supplemental Articles

Living What We've Learned
December 2008   
A short article that gives concise examples of Catholic Social Teachings.5-12
Graduation in El Cedro
May/June 2009  
Lay Missioners Erick and Margaret Cambier work to offer learning opportunities to children and adults in El Salvador. This article helps readers think about education: how much do you value it if it is difficult to get, what would you be willing to undertake to get an education, what might it mean to only finish 9th grade? K-12
Down from Paradise
September 2009
Former gang members from Honduras work with Father Thomas Goekler to establish a Catholic Worker House near Guatemala City, where "poverty is not an option." Goekler speaks of systemic poverty and they all work to develop situations where people have opportunities to flourish. This offers discussion opportunities on poverty, justice, responsibility, as well as recognizing one's own values and choices.7-12
Missioner Tales, Donald Doherty, M.M. 
April 2010
Over 30 years ago, Father Donald Doherty worked in Tanzania where he assisted a young man named Andrew to go to school. Meeting again recently, this time in New York City, Father Doherty reallzies how actions on his part then have resulted in benefits for many other people.  This is a lesson in how we affect one another. K-12
Liberation in Ecuador
July/August 2011
Sister Elsie Monge has spent years standing with the poor and oppressed. Prompted by her faith, she fought for human rights and teaching others how to do so too. This article should be used with only the most mature students as it speaks of torture, kidnappings, people forced from their lands, and other tragedies. Despite this, the article is hopeful, as progress has been made in Ecuador. 9-12
The Mission of Charity
May/June 2010
Saint Theresa Opportunity Center in Taiwan is a vibrant place for people with disabilities, from infancy to adulthood. Director Mei-Hua Yang (also known as Charity) is enthusiastic about her work and credits Fr. Brendan O'Connell with bringing the concept of inclusivity and special ed to Taiwan6-12
Service is Sleepless in Seattle
September 2009   
The Seattle area is home to many mission-minded people and consequently to many projects and opportunities: from high school students doing day care in a migrant camp to a parish successfully battling a parasite in Ghana. Read this for inspiration and then look at your own diocese to see what is happening and where you can get involved. For younger students, the teacher can read just the parts about specific work.4-12
Climate Justice for All
January 2010
At a United Nations summit on climate change in 2009, Catholic lay and religious leaders advocated for poor and vulnerable people. Information in this article will open discussions on what are individual and group responsibilities in caring for the earth, views of religious people from varying parts of the world, what kind of numbers of people have already been affected by climate change disasters. 6-12