The Catholic pathway to solving social problems

faith Oct 30, 2020


I was on a project as a consultant a couple years ago. It was a catholic and a US agency sponsored project. I was very excited about it since it was my first project that would have links to the Vatican and I needed to maximize it.
As I went through the entire curriculum which had been delivered in over 70000 communities I carefully noticed that there was no mention of god factor or prayer time in the entire 28 week intervention. As a matter of fact there was no hail Mary or sign of rosary. It could have passed for a Harvard led intervention because it was purely data driven and scientific in its execution yet very effective.
My brief was to review the entire curriculum and make Inputs that made it user friendly to a particular country. I noticed there were ways to measure the intervention and there were milestones to the entire project.
I was so blown away that I had to engage one of the foreigners on the project and sought to find out how they solved social problems and the guy said something that changed my entire operations and the way I approached projects.
He had this to say about the Catholic church approach to problem solving;
When there is a social problem the first thing we do is to go into history to check if it had happened before and find out what was done to resolve it.
"If there was no history we attempt to understand the root cause to see if we can generate new solutions that can solve the problem
If the first 2 fails we get into prayer because it could be that God wanted to birth a new solution"
I left him that day and my mind raced to what I had gotten used to and the next time i saw my pastor i shared with him what i had learnt on my consulting job and he nodded and said something to me "That is how to change culture and transform a nation because the brain God gave us is not for decoration and gyration"
Right there and there we started figuring out how to make every church project measurable and to design a proper M and E around all we had to do.
There was a reason they built hospitals and schools and made soup kitchen with a benefit of hindsight you'd notice these were well thought out interventions and well monitored.
We must begin to do better and copy templates that has results for what we are trying to solve.
The concept of Repent is about the use of mind and Christianity isn't anti thinking and science. We must begin to do better such that when gross darkness abound we beam our street lights and not just get into activities that may not deliver the critical results that's most needed.
What problem do you want to solve and how do you intend to go about it?

I hope this helps

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