A simple method which helps us to stop, stand back from a situation and reflect on it before we jump in and take action. This process helps us to develop critical judgement about situations, events and structures. Often the three stages overlap and intermingle. Click on each word to learn more.

  1. What is happening?
  2. Who are the people involved?
  3. Who gains from this situation? Who loses?
  4. What is the situation doing to people?
  5. Why is it happening? Why does it continue?

  1. How do you feel about this situation?
  2. Have you ever behaved or acted like anyone in the situation? If so, what happened? Why? How did you and/or those involved feel?
  3. What do you think should be happening?
  4. What does your faith say about it?
  5. What does our Vincentian Tradition say about it?


  1. What can we do to bridge the gap between what is happening (the reality) and what should be happening (the ideal/what our faith says)?
  2. What action are we going to take?
  3. Who can we involve in our action?


For further study, see:

The Pastoral Cycle

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4 Comments on “The “See, Judge, Act” Process”

  1. This three-way process is the one used by Latin American Christian Base Communities. I learned it was first used by the Catholic Action in France.
    The weakness I see in this presentation is what seems to me to be an anecdotal analysis of the reality to consider in the first step. As it is mentioned with clarity in our Vincentian rule, we need to deeply analyze the basic structures of society: a) the econocic structure. Corporate capitalism . The dictatorship of money over people. The primacy of profit over any other consideration. b) the political stucture. It should be controlled by the people but it has been co-opted and bought out by the multinational corporations to do their bidding, against the interests of the people. c) the ideological structure. Again the ideas disseminated by the mass media and many ideological institutions are the ones of the economical elites who own and control these ideas, resulting in an uninformed, confused and divided citizenry.
    This analysis urged the LatinAmerican bishops to judge this world situation as “sinful structures”. With this vision, the action impulses us to work with the causes of injustice and poverty and not only with its symptoms. Obviously, this evil and monstruous institutionlalization of sin we are confronting will require research, planning, great effort and courage and above all, union . Individual injustices can be dealt with individual interventions. Social injustices need to be dealt with people socially conscious, organized and mobilized. And we have the resources do do just that. What we need mainly is the will to do it.
    Sorry for being so lengthy. I wanted to be as clear as possible.
    Thank you for reading and considering…

  2. Thank you Jenaro, for helping us see that we need to “See” the causes of injustice and poverty and not only “See” its symptoms.

  3. Thank you for all contents about see judge act.help me so much for transfer this process to my students .to know How to serve.
    and heal the world in their social.
    Teacher BB

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