This being my first blog entry, I’d like to take some time to introduce myself. My name is Christine
Dragonette I am originally from North Carolina (but do not have a southern accent, as many people
observe). After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012, I moved to St. Louis to participate in Vincentian
Mission Corps (VMC), a year-long community and volunteer program. It was through this program that I
connected with the wonderful St. Vincent’s parish community. After completing VMC, I began school in the
Master of Social Work program at Saint Louis University and have just completed my first of two years.
Through my social work classes this year, I have been constantly exposed to the National Association of
Social Workers (NASW)’s Code of Ethics, a compilation of core values and principles which should guide
all social work practice. I’ve noticed that many of the values listed in the Code of Ethics align closely with
the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching, and are similarly rooted in a desire to protect human life and
dignity. I hope to further explore this connection throughout my social work study and practice, as well as
to reflect on how I can better allow Catholic social teaching to guide my daily life outside of social work. I
am also interested in examining how current policies and programs serve to either fulfill or detract from
our call to respect the dignity of all people.
It’s clear that St. Vincent’s is a service-focused parish, following in the example of St. Vincent DePaul’s
commitment to serve the poor and marginalized. The Meals Program, food pantry, and other outreach
programs are regular demonstrations of Catholic social teaching in action. I will be interested to hear from
you all about how you connect your involvement (at St. Vincent and beyond) to your faith, and how you
integrate Catholic social teaching into your daily life. What does Catholic social teaching mean to you on a very practical level? I hope this website can serve as a springboard for these discussions.