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Catholic Life - Our Bishop’s vision - Bringing People closer to Jesus Christ through His Church

“As a Catholic family we welcome all and value Christ in everyone, whilst seeking the highest possible achievements.”

With our loving St. Joseph and St Teresa of Calcutta as their role models, the children of St Joseph's:

Welcome, Care and Work Hard.

'You are greater than you know.'

Mother Teresa

 Our vision is central to everything that we do. It inspires our curriculum design, is the basis for policy decisions and underpins our whole school culture and ethos; something which we are extremely proud of. As the children develop and mature they are encouraged to put their faith into practice in their own lives, through their interactions with others and kindness and generosity to those less fortunate, both within our local community and further afield.

Below are some examples of our Catholic life and mission, how the children at St Joseph's put their FAITH INTO ACTION

See our most recent RE Newsletter

Catholic Social Teaching-the Bishop’s vision- Bringing People closer to Jesus Christ through His Church.

Catholic Social Teaching is very important to the staff, children and governors of St Joseph's. At the core of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) are a number of key concepts and principles. At St Joseph's CST is embedded in our curriculum and beyond. Please see below.

Dignity

God made each of us, so every life is important and should be protected.

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.

Jeremiah 1:5

‘Catholic social teaching believes that human beings, created in the image and likeness of God. This means that God is present in each and every one of us, regardless of race, origin, sex, orientation, culture, or economic standing. Catholic Social Teaching emphasises that we must see within each other a reflection of God and we must honour and respect this dignity as a divine gift.

What we do at St Joseph’s:

  • We ‘live’ our School’s Vision
  • We celebrate special days e.g. World Down Syndrome Day
  • We teach about other faiths
  • We have Churches Together Assemblies
  • We pray for those in need
  • We celebrate different nationalities through raising their flags.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Days
  • Mental health awareness days

We ‘live’ our School’s Vision

 

  • We celebrate special days e.g. World Down Syndrome Day
  • We teach about other faiths
  • We have Churches Together Assemblies
  • We pray for those in need
  • We celebrate different nationalities through raising their flags.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Days
  • Mental health awareness days

Common Good

THE COMMON GOOD

You are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor person. You are handing over to them what is theirs.

Saint Ambrose (340-397)

“Pursuit of the common good is one of the ways in which Catholics practice solidarity: the common good is not just shared with those nearest to us, or even with all those in our own society; it is a universal principle, which fosters the unity of the whole human family.” (Catechism of The Catholic Church-CCC, paragraph 1911) In practising it, Catholics are called to have particular care for the weak and vulnerable, because they are our neighbours in a pre-eminent way.  (Luke 10: 25-37).

What we do at St Joseph’s:

  • We support CAFOD and the Fairtrade Foundation
  • We organise charity events e.g Young Minds, Toy Appeal
  • We donate to Food banks
  • We collect for ‘Bags for Life’
  • We link our Lenten Liturgy prayers to our local parish
  • We pray for our community at every Mass

We support CAFOD and the Fairtrade Foundation

  • We organise charity events e.g Young Minds, Toy Appeal
  • We donate to Food banks
  • We collect for ‘Bags for Life’
  • We link our Lenten Liturgy prayers to our local parish
  • We pray for our community at every Mass

Peace

God wants us to make sure that everyone is safe and healthy.

Peace…is an order that is founded in Peace, nurtured and animated by charity and brought into effect under the auspices of freedom.

Pacem in terris 1963

The Catholic traditions teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human dignity. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities to one another, to our families and to the wider society.

What we do at St Joseph’s:

  • We take part in Anti-Bullying and Safeguarding Week
  • When we have the opportunity to represent the school, we have a duty to do so positively
  • We are taught that our actions and words are an example to others
  • Year 6 write to local MPs regarding topics such as climate change.
  • We take part in Anti-Bullying and Safeguarding Week
  • When we have the opportunity to represent the school, we have a duty to do so positively
  • We are taught that our actions and words are an example to others
  • Year 6 write to local MPs regarding topics such as climate change.

The Option for the Poor

God wants us to help people who are poor, don’t have enough food, a safe place to live and don’t belong to a community.

The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring the good news to the afflicted. He has sent me… to let the oppressed go free.’

Luke 4:18

The option for the poor reminds us of God’s preferential love for the poorest and most vulnerable people. God’s love is universal; he does not side with oppressors but loves the humble.

What we do at St Joseph’s:

  • Give to Charity
  • Pray for those in need
  • Theme Days to raise awareness and money
  • We do not judge others
  • We have a clothes bank in the Parent’s car park
  • Monitor all children to ensure they have the same opportunities
  • Offer support to vulnerable parents/families

Give to Charity

  • Pray for those in need
  • Theme Days to raise awareness and money
  • We do not judge others
  • We have a clothes bank in the Parent’s car park
  • Monitor all children to ensure they have the same opportunities
  • Offer support to vulnerable parents/families
  • Collect food and other non-perishable items for local foodbanks

The Dignity of Work and Participation

Work is important in God’s plan and their families, so jobs and pay should be fair.

A small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the labouring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself.

Rerum Novarum, 1891, #3

Catholic Social Teaching holds that work is dignified and an intrinsic good, and workers must always be respected and valued.

Work must be undertaken responsibly, and labour treated well, this includes how we approach the work we do, what it is we do with our work and how employers treat their employees. Jesus speaks a lot about work, while much of this is in parables, we shouldn’t restrict interpretations of these parables to be only spiritual ones.

What we do at St Joseph’s:

  • Support Fairtrade
  • Thank staff and show our appreciation
  • Be polite and attentive to special guests and visitors
  • Say each other’s names when we greet each other
  • Supporting staff through training
  • Encourage past pupils to return for work experience/teacher training
  • Support staff members going through challenging times through prayer and actions
  • Treat everyone in our school as family
  • Support Fairtrade
  • Thank staff and show our appreciation
  • Be polite and attentive to special guests and visitors
  • Say each other’s names when we greet each other
  • Supporting staff through training
  • Encourage past pupils to return for work experience/teacher training
  • Support staff members going through challenging times through prayer and actions
  • Treat everyone in our school as family

Solidarity

God made each one of us and we are all unique.  We are all brothers and sisters in God’s family, wherever we live.

In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of my brothers (or sisters) of mine, you did it to me.

Matthew 25:40

‘We are all one family in the world. Building a community that empowers everyone to attain their full potential through each of us respecting each other’s dignity, rights and responsibilities makes the world a better place to live.’ Sollicitudo rei socialis – ‘On Social Concern’ (1987)

What we do at St Joseph’s:

  • Matthew White, our School’s CAFOD volunteer has delivered refugee themed workshops
  • We are encouraged to turn off taps so we do not waste water in solidarity for those who do not have access to safe clean water, and turn off unnecessary lights to show solidarity for those hit hardest by climate change
  • This year, for Lent, we organised a ‘Walk a mile against Hunger’ for CAFOD in solidarity with refugees who walk perilous journeys to safety
  • We have bought and worn flowers to show support and solidarity for the victims of war
  • We supported our school community through the Pandemic
  • Matthew White, our School’s CAFOD volunteer has delivered refugee themed workshops
  • We are encouraged to turn off taps so we do not waste water in solidarity for those who do not have access to safe clean water, and turn off unnecessary lights to show solidarity for those hit hardest by climate change
  • This year, for Lent, we organised a ‘Walk a mile against Hunger’ for CAFOD in solidarity with refugees who walk perilous journeys to safety
  • We have bought and worn flowers to show support and solidarity for the victims of war
  • We supported our school community through the Pandemic

Care of Creation

God created our wonderful world. We should take care of all creation.

Who turned the wonderworld of the seas into underwater cemeteries bereft of colour and life?

Catholic Bishops of the Philippines, 1988

Respect for human life means respecting all of God’s creation. We must re-engage with our environment and take responsibility for it; live sustainably, live so that there are enough resources for everyone.

‘Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.’ Pope Francis

What we do at St Joseph’s:

  • We try to recycle as much as we can at school and home
  • We grow plants eg sunflowers (mental health day)
  • We help one another
  • We reuse things eg geography- making a town
  • We put litter in the bin.
  • We had a Laudato si’ competition showing appreciation for God’s world.
  • We teach children to be Stewards by treating our outside areas as God’s garden.
  • We have set up an Eco group

Taking care of our wonderful world

  • We try to recycle as much as we can at school and home
  • We grow plants eg sunflowers (mental health day)
  • We help one another
  • We reuse things eg geography- making a town
  • We put litter in the bin.
  • We had a Laudato si’ competition showing appreciation for God’s world.
  • We teach children to be Stewards by treating our outside areas as God’s garden.
  • We have set up an Eco group, taking guidance from CARITAS.

Oscar Romero Award

Oscar Romero was the Archbishop of San Salvador in El Salvador.  He spent his life as ‘the voice of the voiceless’ working for the poor and forgotten and continually encouraged people to ‘aspire not to have more, but to be more.’  On the 24th March 1980, he was assassinated for continually speaking out for the poor.

 The Romero Award is a charitable award to help Catholic schools and colleges put Catholic Social Teaching in to action.

It recognises, celebrates and encourages schools to:

  • Live out the message of Jesus
  • Care for our neighbours
  • Make the world a fairer place
  • Tell people about how and why we should care for others
  • Raise money to help those in need
  • Make a real difference to the world we live in

St Joseph’s is proud to say that we have achieved the first level of the award. We are currently working on the Developer level with our Eco Committee steering this.

ECO Committee And Our Connection To Caritas

“I will point to the intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet, that everything is connected and the proposal of a new lifestyle”.
– (Laudato Si’ #16).
 
Laudato Si’
A renewed commitment to hear the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth

In his encyclical letter, Pope Francis calls the Church, decision-makers and all people of goodwill to acknowledge the urgency of our environmental challenge. The poorer areas of the world are particularly vulnerable to environmental degradation and their populations bear the brunt of its effects.

Caritas recognises some of the biggest social and environmental problems facing us: widespread pollution, climate changemigration, food insecurity, poverty and inequality and an over-reliance on technological change for solutions.

Catholic Social Teaching instills in us a need to do more for those in the world which we share.  It is for this reason that we now have an Eco Committee here at school. 

Our Eco Committee are committed to doing their bit and in turn educating those around them. Thus far, they have shared their ideas and aspirations for the school, some of which we have already implemented. The council provided us with some food bins, which the children now take in turns in emptying. The committee set up and run 'free fruit and milk Friday's', which is proving popular with our parents. The committee take it in turns to spend time on the infant playground and in infant classes, educating them on the need to recycle. Looking forward, the committee are looking forward to helping the Early Years children plant their bulbs and meeting a member of the Caritas team to discuss how we can further improve our school. 

Moral Development for The Common Good

Our school family have a clear understanding that we are committed to following the teaching and example of Jesus as expressed in the Gospels, the social teaching of the Church and the school's own charism.  Our children gladly embrace their personal responsibility to care for our common home, pursue the common good and serve those in need.  Together, our school family support CAFOD , Trussel Trust and Jigsaw.

This year, our Year 6 children made cards for 'people alone at Christmas', a charity set up through the Princess Hall.  Councillor Austin met with the children to thank them and to take the cards to those who would appreciate them.

 

An emergency food parcel is being given out every 13 seconds. That is why  food donations are absolutely vital.  Without donations, food banks would really struggle to operate.

During Advent, we asked you to donate to the Trussell Trust.  Not only did you provide a huge amount of items, but we also raised £82.50! The School Committee would like to say a huge thank you for your generous donations, it really will make a difference.  

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