Formed by the rich heritage of Catholic Social Teaching and inspired by the pastoral vision of Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, the mission of the Hunthausen Center for Peace and Justice is to encourage, foster, and support a culture of service that shapes the whole person. Its dedication to service, action, and education is continually renewed through shared fellowship and prayer with all people of good will. Its guiding principles are:
Justice for the Poor
The Church calls upon us to embrace those less fortunate and put the needs of the poor first. Therefore, it is vital to promote awareness of poverty and injustice and to respond in academic pursuits, service opportunities, and choices in career and vocation not simply to serve others but to work with those who are poor to effect change.
Consistent Ethic of Life
Catholic tradition holds that life is the most basic moral right of every human person, since no other rights may be experienced without it. At the same time, living appropriately is an ongoing moral responsibility which should not be intentionally ended or impeded. Additionally, persons of various faiths affirm the belief that all of God's children are to cultivate a world wherein every life is able to flourish. To be consistently pro-life is also to be consistently contra-death, i.e. to resist violence, oppression, despair, and all other mortal forces via individual and communal prayer, education, and action.
Peace and Reconciliation
Working for justice is the foundation of peace, but there can be no peace without reconciliation between parties in conflict. Indeed, it is forgiveness, not retribution, which has the power to move humanity from the hatred and despair that comes from violence, poverty, and injustice to the love and peace that has its source in God. Education and action promote the peace that results from true forgiveness.
Cooperation, mutual understanding, and reconciliation among the various faith communities are vital to the spiritual health of the particular communities and the success of their common projects. Consequently, a spirit of cooperation and toleration among the various faith communities encourages interfaith dialogue and coordinating efforts in areas of common interest.
The biblical tradition calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves. In our contemporary globalized and increasingly interdependent world this command reminds us that we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers-Christian and non-Christian-both within our local communities and throughout the world.
The purpose of a liberal arts education is to shape the whole person. Consequently, the ongoing education of the Carroll College community and the people of the Diocese of Helena in matters of faith and justice remains essential to empower these groups to engage in the Catholic faith more fully and to further our shared mission in light of Catholic Social Teaching.