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Magisterium of the People: The Story of the People’s Pastoral from the Catholic Committee of Appalachia

Far from the corridors of the Vatican, the real Francis impact is lived and felt by people inspired by the Pope’s call for more compassion, inclusion, sustainability, and dialogue in a world torn apart. The Catholic Committee of Appalachia (CCA) has been listening to the cries of the poor and the earth since 1970. Its hallmark: three pastoral letters published over the last forty years that have told the story of a land and people struggling for survival against a system of exploitation and indifference. The third pastoral letter, issued in 2015, did not come from the Catholic bishops of Appalachia, but from the people themselves. The film, directed and produced by Sebastian Gomes, highlights the work of the grassroots church in Appalachia, including the development of CCA’s third pastoral letter, The Telling Takes Us Home. Magisterium of the People can be rented online for $4.99 at www.saltandlighttv.org/magisterium. DVDs will be available in early 2019. See the trailer below.

The Telling Takes Us Home: A Reflection on the People’s Pastoral

Immersion and service groups coming to the Appalachian region may find this short video reflection on CCA’s “people’s pastoral” letter, The Telling Takes Us Home, particularly helpful. Produced by Bob Choiniere and Kelly O’Donnell. A higher quality version is available to stream and/or download here.

An introduction to the Catholic Committee of Appalachia:

Cross in the Mountains Ecumenical Prayer Service (Kentucky 2010):

Sister Jaculyn Hanrahan, CND, discusses her work and the “People’s Pastoral”:

Fr. John Rausch featured on Al Jazeera:

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/2015/9/in-coal-country-a-catholic-priest-fights-for-environmental-issues.html

Michael Iafrate and Fr. Edwin Gariguez
“Catholics and Coal” at DePaul University:

https://vimeo.com/201757171

“Justice Transition: Shrinking our Carbon Footprint While Leaving No One Behind” webinar from Catholic Climate Covenant, with Dr. Jessica Wrobleski and Dr. Erin Lothes Biviano:

Michael Iafrate, “Taking Our Place in the New Appalachian Story,” at the Ignatian Family Teach-in in Washington, DC (Nov. 4, 2017):

Michael Iafrate, “The Audacity of the Laity and the Option for the Poor in the Appalachian People’s Pastoral Letter,” at the Lay Movements as Structures of Grace Conference in Cincinnati, OH (July 6-8, 2018):

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