"Big Four" Highlights


‘What to Do?’

Church’s social teaching explained for young people

The popular youth catechism, YOUCAT, now has a companion volume called DOCAT, as in DO this and not that. It explains the social teachings of the Church in Q & A format, with simple language, helpful examples and real-life situations. The subtitle of the book is a question we all ask in some form everyday: “What to do?”


With an introduction by Pope Francis, DOCAT will be officially released July 26 at World Youth Day 2016 in Kraków, Poland. To get an insider’s look at the book and its purpose, Fathers for Good spoke with Mark Brumley, president and CEO of Ignatius Press, the U.S. publisher of DOCAT.

Fathers for Good: What is the message for young people in DOCAT?

Mark Brumley: We at Ignatius Press want young people to take from DOCAT (pronounced like “do” and “cat”) what our Holy Father wants — that young people change their lives with the Gospel, then change their closest surroundings and, finally, transform the world! They are called to become enthusiastic, well-formed and well-informed disciples of Jesus, acting by the power of the Spirit. Of course, the Holy Father addresses this challenge not only to young people, but to all followers of Christ. He says we all need to undergo conversion. DOCAT can help with it.

FFG: How challenging was it to put the Church's social teaching into a youth Q&A format?

Mark Brumley: It was a challenge. The YOUCAT Foundation had a great deal of help from Catholic young people. Young people are often concerned about social issues, even if they don't fully realize it. From that perspective, their interest in Catholic social teaching can be piqued. DOCAT does that. DOCAT doesn't stress technical terms, but it does use them when helpful. And it introduces them in an accessible way.

FFG: Young people demand authenticity from teachers. How does this book fit into that mindset of walk the walk, not just talk?

Mark Brumley: DOCAT is, as Pope Francis says in the Introduction, a “user's manual.” It shows young people how to use Catholic social teaching — which is really the gospel lived in society in a consistent way — in their daily lives and in their life aspirations. The many photos of people from diverse backgrounds and walks of life communicate a sense of urgency of action. Of course, people have to be informed and guided — DOCAT provides that. But they also need to be inspired and challenged to act concretely, here and now, in their communities and in their world. DOCAT is a catalyst for conversion and action.

For more information, visit Ignatius Press.