How to Teach Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy to Catholic Confirmandi

by Sister Anne Marie Lom on January 9, 2011

Recently, Franciscan Sister Anne Marie Lom explored, taught and interacted with the Confirmandi of St. Raphael Parish, Oshkosh, using the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.  Read about her experience.

Franciscan Sister at Oshkosh Father Carr Place to Be

Franciscan Sister Anne Marie Lom teaches the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy to St. Raphael Confirmandi at Oshkosh Father Carr's Place 2Be.

On January 5, 2011 I explored, taught and interacted with the Confirmandi of St. Raphael Parish, Oshkosh using the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. The classes are held at Fr. Carr’s Place To Be, the nearby homeless shelter. This seems a fitting place to learn of the Works of Mercy.

Teaching experience told me to begin with a background to these Catholic actions. Each student was given a card stating and explaining seven Themes from Catholic Social Teaching published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. They are:

  • Life and dignity of the human person
  • Call to family, community and participation
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Option for the poor and vulnerable
  • The dignity of work and the rights of workers
  • Solidarity
  • Care for God’s creation

After reading, discussing and asking questions on this material, the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, which spring from Catholic Social Teaching, were learned and discussed through interviewing each other.

The “ticket” to leave the session was a completed cross-word puzzle identifying these Works of Mercy.

What corporal and spiritual works of mercy do you do?

  • N.

    I sometimes read the Bible, get together and play sports with community and take care of my family.

  • A.

    I give advice to people who want it, give away clothes and donate food to the hungry.

  • F.

    I donate clothes, visit the sick and volunteer at Fr. Carr's Place 2B.

  • Lrizzo1950

    I often take boxes of food and drop them into the special offering at the church where I attend. I have many times given monetary gifts for Food for the Poor organizations and others. I donate used clothes and items to the Charity Centers, Whenever a famiy member I will try to visit;however, if it is physically impossible, I will send out Spritual Get Well of either a card or a flower.

    My Spriritual Works of Mercy I often comfort the afflicted and those who have lost love ones by going to the funeral home to pay my respects. I am quickly and willingly able to forgive anyone who I feel has taken offense against me. this is just my Christian nature. I also give counsel and encouragement to those who are in doubt. If Ifeel that I have wisdom and knowledge that another does not possess, I will without showing my arrogance, try to instruct them. Most of my spiritual works of mercy is done through prayer. I pray for others continually. I pray the Rosary for living and the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the poor souls in Pergatory.

  • Lrizzo199590

    Just another note< My Spirtual and Corporal Works of Mercy were not really learned from my parents and grandparents. If you live your life from a small child seeing others perform these works of mercy , it will become part of your human nature to do these same works as well.
    Catholic Education takes over or takes the place of where parents at home fail. That why it is very important for Catholic families to send their children to Catholic Schools. The school day of a Catholic school child is filled with works of both spiritual and corporal mercy, and service projects which teach personal reponsibility for fullfilling these Works of Mercy.

    of both Spritual Mercy, Corporal Mercy, and Service Projects
    W as well.
    Parents and Grandparents are our greatest teachers.

  • Anne Marie Lom

    This was such a positive experience for me. The teens were cooperative, curious and respectful. I taught in the chapel and Jesus was present in so many ways. I'm eager to read your comments.

  • Marie

    Spiritual Works: I ask for Mercy whenever I hear any EMS sirens. Usually I say the Fatima Prayer, and then I ask that the EMS personnel stay safe physically and spiritually as they work.
    Corporal Works: I mentor students, and their parents, by providing advice and other resources beyond the scope of my employment.

  • Maureen Donovan

    Thank you for advertising our Church's best kept secret…principles of Catholic Social Teaching. These are ways that we put our faith into action. We frequently sing the song “We Are Called” which is taken from the book of Micah 6:8. What does God ask of us. “We are called to act with justice; we are called to love tenderly. We are called to serve one another, to walk humbly with God.”

  • R.

    I help people with academics, comfort friends when they are down and give money to the poor.

  • K.

    I coach indoor soccer, do Christmas outreach and donate to the Salvation Army.

  • C.

    I sing at nursing homes and mental institutions, tutor other students and help coach tennis lessons.

  • Anne Marie Lom

    Thanks, Maureen, for your contribution. I'm becoming more clear on the difference between charity and justice and continue to learn. You (and Tom) are a fine example of both.

  • Anne Marie Lom

    Thank you, Marie, for sharing your spiritual and corporal works of mercy. It helps to deepen our understanding by hearing from others.

  • Concerned

    I, too, console my girl friend when she's upset, let her stay at my house when the cops show up at her apartment…visit my grandma while she was in recovery from a broken hip.

  • Caring

    I, too,help friends, babysit my sister & kids, volunteer at the hospital, help with food drive and bare necessities (shampoo, toothpaste, etc.) drive.

  • theresas_sister

    “Catholic Education takes over or takes the place of where parents at home fail…”  This is a very strong statement which reflects the arrogant mindset that “we can do it better” and a real lack of understanding that one of the big reasons that “parents at home fail” is that the many Catholic schools of the last generation failed to teach the faith.  The many adults who attended Catholic schools but who have left the Catholic Church were not lacking the service projects, art projects, etc…WE HAD LOTS!  When Catholic schools finally realize that their real job of supporting the family is by teaching the tenets of the Catholic Faith—immersing the youth through the lens of the Beauty of our Catholic Faith (literature, music, art, history, etc.) there will be no empty seats in the classroom.

  • Theresas_Sister

    Yes, this includes teaching and modeling the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, but these should be woven into the fabric of curriculum so that these can be lived on a day to day basis in the environment of the Catholic School and brought home to the family…

  • Sister Anne Marie Lom

    It may help everyone to know that the students I was teaching were a mixture of Catholic school and public school (and maybe home school). The Holy Spirit works in each heart and mind and soul at will. Each type of education: religious education, Catholic school and home school attempts to facilitate the Holy Spirit who is the best and finest educator. Of course, the family is the “first school of faith”. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy predate any educational system but are centered in the Gospel. In summary let us be, like St. Francis, a disciple of the Gospel of Jesus. Then all other works have a place to take root.

  • Xnxaxnx

    The Works I do include being a state prison sponsor for two inmates, taking four indigent men to mass and parish events. These works have been ongoing for four years. It is so rewarding to interact and to make them happy. When I look at them I see the face of God.

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