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Catholic Social Teaching

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.

Human Dignity

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

‘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

Community and Participation

God made us to be part of a family, a community and a country. So that, we can share and help each other.

We are not created by God to live alone. Living in community is an essential expression of who we are. But Community does not just happen – it is something that all of us must work together to develop.

THE COMMON GOOD

“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

 

Rights and Responsibility

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

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.

Help the Poor and Vulnerable

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

Dignity and Rights for Workers

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

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

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.

‘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

Stewardship

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

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
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