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The Church in the 21st Century Center

The Poor: What did Jesus Preach? What does the Church Teach?

Picture of a Poor Box

Pope Francis has called for a "Church that is poor and for the poor." It seems that Francis is inviting us to risk being vulnerable so we can realize more fully our common connection to all humanity as "children of God."

The reality of poverty has challenged the moral convictions of humanity throughout history. How are Christians called to respond to poverty? More importantly, how do we respond to children, parents, or grandparents who suffer the effects of poverty? We might
ignore these realities; blame a political ideology; volunteer or enter a career to provide services; or actively support or work towards systemic solutions.

Picture of Fall 2014 C21 Resources magazine cover
C21 Resources Fall 2014

The Poor: What did Jesus Preach? What does the Church Teach?

We are grateful for the thoughtful guidance of guest editor Rev. Kenneth R. Himes, OFM. Please share this magazine with family, friends, students, colleagues, and fellow parishioners. We are happy to fulfill requests for additional copies. Please send an email to


Kenneth Himes
Himes joined the theology department faculty at Boston College in January, 2004. Prior to that date he taught for more than two decades at the Washington (DC) Theological Union. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Virginia, the Divinity School of Howard University, and St. John's University (NY), where he held the Paul McKeever Chair in Moral Theology.


Search under Fr. Kenneth Himes and poverty on our C21 Videos page to find all events related to this focal issue.

Still of Fr. Kenneth Himes, OFM

Being Catholic and American: Compatible or Conflicted?: In the monthly event designed for students seeking to learn more about faith and religion in an inviting social environment, Kenneth Himes, O.F.M., raised questions regarding religion and public life. He spoke to the question of ethics and religious faith and its effect on the public and political spheres.

Click here for more videos with Fr. Kenneth Himes, OFM.

Still of Roberto Goizueta and Paul Farmer


Accompaniment: Liberation Theology, Solidarity and a Life of Service: Listen to a conversation about Dr. Farmer’s vision for healthcare, the reality of social inequality and the option for the poor.

Still of Sr. Helen Prejean

Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues: Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J., instrumental in sparking national dialogue on the death penalty, spoke about her call to prison ministry. Sr. Helen is the author of the book "Dead Man Walking," which inspired both a motion picture and an opera.

Still of Ken Hackett

Comforting Jesus Christ in Combating Hunger, Sickness, and Poverty: Ken Hackett, President of Catholic Relief Services, discusses the work of CRS, its development since its foundation, and the Catholic impulse that powers its service around the world.

Still of Fr. Neenan

Agape Latte with Fr. William Neenan, S.J.: Listen to Fr. Bill Neenan, S.J. share five things that he has learned at Boston College.