Catholic Social Teaching, Active Service and Charitable Outreach
‘Catholic social teaching believes that human beings, created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27), have by their very existence an inherent value, worth, and distinction.’ 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.
COMMUNITY AND PARTICIPATION
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.…A community needs a soul if it is to become a true home for human beings. You, the people must give it this soul.’ John Paul II. ‘Participation is a duty to be fulfilled consciously by all, with responsibility and with a view to the common good.’
THE COMMON GOOD
In the UK, this is perhaps one of the best-known principles of Catholic Social Teaching. 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. 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.
Solidarity is about valuing our fellow human beings and respecting who they are as individuals.
‘The many situations of inequality, poverty and injustice, are signs not only of a profound lack of fraternity, but also of the absence of a culture of solidarity. New ideologies, characterized by rampant individualism, egocentrism and materialistic consumerism, weaken social bonds, fuelling that “throw away” mentality which leads to contempt for, and the abandonment of, the weakest and those considered “useless”
‘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.
DIGNITY AND RIGHTS FOR WORKERS
Catholic Social Teaching holds that work is dignified and an intrinsic good, and workers must always be respected and valued.
The state has also the duty to protect the rights of all its people, and particularly of its weaker members, the workers, women and children.
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.
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.
The relationship between human activity and global warming must be constantly monitored for ‘the climate is a good that must be protected.
‘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
HELP THE POOR AND VULNERSBLE
‘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.
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
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.
SS John and Monica's fully embrace the Church's teaching's on social justice and do everything we can to raise funds for the needy in society both locally, nationally and globally. We raise money during the important liturgical season's of Advent and Lent by the children, staff and school community coming together for various events. The school has a long standing history of raising money for CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) and Father Hudson's Care. The different classes also choose local and national charities to do specific fundraising for. Over the last year local and national charities include SIFA Fireside, Mind, Shelter, Dementia UK, Age UK.