Stephen J. Pope, a professor in the theology department of Boston College, sees Christian service as a sign of faith, humility and hope. He says compassionate service lies at the heart of Jesus’ ministry and therefore is a core principle in living out the gospel.

Pope chose six exemplars of this kind of service and linked them to virtues. They are Dorothy Stang (stewardship), Dorothy Day (hospitality), Mother Teresa (compassion), Martin Luther King Jr. (advocacy), Oscar Romero (solidarity) and Pierre Claverie (witness).

Readers are sure to resonate with Stang’s stewardship of the good Earth and those who take care of it: Day’s rounded espousal of hospitality as a form of spiritual practice; Mother Teresa’s reverence for those whom society has rejected; King’s advocacy on behalf of those oppressed by racial discrimination, violence and injustice; Romero’s solidarity with the poor; and Claverie’s “witness to God’s love of all humanity” (Orbis Books).

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