Fr. McKenna, who holds a doctorate in canon law, brings to life the practical elements of Catholic social teaching as addressed in Church documents and pronounced throughout sacred scripture. Separate chapters are devoted to each of the social teaching themes defined by the U.S. Catholic bishops: respect for the life and dignity of each person; call to family, community, and participation; rights and responsibilities of the human person; option for and with the poor and vulnerable; dignity of work and the rights of workers; solidarity; and care of God's creation.
Throughout, Fr. McKenna remains focused on integration of prayer and action in Christian life. "Doing works of justice should not be separated from a vital and personal relationship with Jesus Christ," he writes. "But neither should a life of prayer be immune or separated from concrete, practical efforts at living the teachings that Jesus proclaimed." This integration of prayer and action is exemplified in the personal stories that open each chapter. In addition to these stories and examination of church documents and scripture, each chapter contains reflections and questions for discussion.