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Pat Dougherty

St. Louis, MO

On the door of my office is this sign: “We are connectors of dots and un-doers of knots”.  I wonder if bridging some of the many divides we encounter is really all about helping some to connect the dots and others to undo knots---inspired in part by “Our Lady—Undoer of Knots”.

As a state legislator for 28 years, as Advocacy Director for Catholic Charities and as a parishioner,  my passion has been for public policies—ones that try to address the needs of the poor and vulnerable.

Public policy isn’t some intellectual exercise in government law making—it is about real people as they live each day in our country.  Making policies has a huge moral dimension that we often forget about as we view them through our “Democrat” or “Republican” lenses.  Using these lenses rather than the lens of our faith and Catholic Social Teaching leads to devaluing the poor and exacerbates our “throw-away culture” as Pope Francis reminds us.

When we use the lens of our faith to help others see the individual-the face of Christ-- we can help the policy maker to connect the dots—to see how and what they do impacts so many.  If we can work with those in need to undo some of the knots in their lives, then we are living and breathing “bridges” and can cross over many of the divides and transform both policy makers, those in need and ourselves as well.