The Feast of All Saints, falling on November 1 of each year, is celebrated on the doorstep of Election Day in the United States. This annual coincidence provides us with an opportunity to make a connection between the lives of the saints and our civic duties. Pope Francis explained that “an authentic faith…always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better than we found it….If indeed ‘the just ordering of society and of the state is a central responsibility of politics,’ the Church, ‘cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice.’” (Evangelii Gaudium, #183)
At election time, we are bombarded with TV ads from candidates that list the various reasons why people should vote for them. Such ads include the candidates’ visions, hopes, and promises along with characteristics and attributes that supposedly make them the right person for the job.
A good way to celebrate All Saints Day and to connect it with the reality of Election Day is to invite participants in your faith formation group to create “campaign” ads, posters, or commercials promoting a certain saint for an unspecified office. The ads should express what this saint stands for and what qualities he or she possesses that make him or her the right person for the job. Challenge your learners to connect saints with principles of Catholic Social Teaching that help to form a basis for voting decisions for Catholics.
The Catechism for the Catholic Church states that it is a moral obligation to exercise the right to vote. (#2240) All Saints Day provides us with an opportunity to help young people recognize this obligation and to identify principles upon which consciences are formed.