What difference would Catholic Social Tradition make if it guided our personal and communal financial decision-making? The Sermon on the Mount reminds us of this fundamental decision-making when it comes to questions of faith and money: “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth” (Matthew 6:24). In Counting the Cost, Clemens Sedmak and Kelli Reagan Hickey suggest a theological and spiritual discernment process for the everyday reality of budgeting and financial planning that explores the status of money and monetary values by reflecting on this gospel call.
Counting the Cost explains how Catholic Social Teaching provides a framework for our thinking around finances by answering questions such as: What does this fundamental decision look like in times of financial scarcity and stewardship responsibilities? How do the attitudes that Jesus invites us into shape the ways we make financial decisions? And how can budgeting be and become a way of discipleship for individuals, parishes, and dioceses? The book includes a range of financial decision-making examples and reconstructs them as decisions about priorities, values, and commitments to respond to the world and its material realities in a gospel-inspired way.
The Enacting Catholic Social Tradition series is dedicated to the systematic application of Catholic Social Teaching to real-world problems and issues. Written for both academics and pastoral practitioners who want to draw on and learn more about the rich resources of Catholic Social Tradition for the practical work of justice, the series aims to strengthen the capacity of the church to respond lovingly and well to the demands of the gospel.
Clemens Sedmak is a professor of theology and Catholic social tradition advisor in the Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame. He is also a concurrent professor of social ethics and interim director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the Keough School of Global Affairs.
Kelli Reagan Hickey is a writer and student of Catholic Social Tradition. She serves as the Director of Formation for the Francesco Collaborative, a team inspired by the Economy of Francesco Movement and the emerging solidarity economy. She holds a degree in economics from Yale University and completed her graduate studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.