Creating Spaces Where Love Can Build Bridges
Caritas is a Latin word meaning "charity" or "love". It is one of the three Christian theological virtues: "So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor 13:13).
At Brescia University our commitment to caritas is grounded in scripture and the Catholic moral tradition. In "Deus Caritas Est" (2005) Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that "everything has its origin in God's love, everything is shaped by it, everything is directed towards it. Love is God's greatest gift to humanity, it is his promise and our hope” (no. 2).
Benedict XVI speaks of God's love for humans and humans' love for one another when he writes:
Love of God and love of neighbor are thus inseparable, they form a single commandment. But both live from the love of God who has loved us first. No longer is it a question, then, of a “commandment” imposed from without and calling for the impossible, but rather of a freely-bestowed experience of love from within, a love which by its very nature must then be shared with others. Love grows through love. Love is “divine” because it comes from God and unites us to God; through this unifying process it makes us a “we” which transcends our divisions and makes us one, until in the end God is “all in all”. ~1 Corinthians 15:28” (no. 18).
In "Caritas in veritate" (2009) Benedict XVI expounds on his earlier encyclical and connects caritas to Catholic Social Teaching when he explains, “Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace” (no. 1); “Caritas in veritate” is the principle around which the Church's social doctrine turns ...” (no. 6). In doing so, he emphasizes the importance of the common good as a "requirement of justice and charity" (no. 7).
The common good is thus central to the interdisciplinary work of the Caritas Center. We invite you to explore our various caritas endeavors on this site, including the work of the Marilyn Younger Conley School of Social Work, the "Learning to Lead with Love" program, and the "Living and Leading with Love" (L3) High School Youth Theology Institute.