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Holy Family

Catholic Primary School

Living, Loving, Learning Together

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Catholic Social Teaching

Catholic Social Teaching


Catholic Social Teaching

Catholic Social Teaching is based on the belief that God has a plan for creation, a plan to build his kingdom of peace, love and justice.


Our faith calls us to love God and to love our neighbours in every situation, especially our sisters and brothers living in poverty.  Following in the footsteps of Christ, we hope to make present in our unjust and broken world, the justice, love and peace of God. (Cafod).  


Catholic Social Teaching is based on the life and words of Jesus Christ, who came "to bring glad tidings to the poor...liberty to captives...recovery of sight to the poor" (Luke 4:18-19). It concerns what the Church has to say about social issues and the way in which Catholic faith should be lived out within society. These teachings are rooted in Scripture and especially in the teachings of Jesus found in the Gospels.

 Catholic schools therefore become places where our young people are helped to put their faith into loving actions for others so that their faith can illuminate life and society (Pope Francis, Lumen Fidei 55).


At Holy Family, Catholic Social Teaching is incorporated into our everyday life and the curriculum. Children are asked to put their faith into action and reflect on how their learning enables them to do so. Each collective worship refers to Catholic Social Teaching which helps make the worship relevant to our lives today.

Introduction to  our class CST Jars and stickers

We decided to help the children learn more about these important teachings, using the animals, we'd encourage children to nominate children and staff in their class who are demonstrating their animal's qualities in the way they are living out God's word in their everyday life.  


These are then celebrated in assemblies each week where a name is picked from the nominations and children receive a special animal sticker as a reminder of their great choice.

Welcome to our class CST animals

Introduction to CST animals and God's message through them

Introduction to CST jars and stickers

Solidarity and the Common Good (Shristi the Sun Bear)

We are all people of God, one family.  Therefore what happens to one has an impact on all, locally, nationally and globally.  At the heart of solidarity is the pursuit of peace and justice.  Our love for all calls us to work for a peaceful and just society where everyone has a fair share of the goods needed for a sustainable life, and opportunities for growth and development is offered equally.  The dignity of every person is respected.


We show solidarity by:

  • raising awareness of social justice

  • writing to our local leaders

  • praying for others

  • making connections

  • making socially responsible choices


“... all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28


“I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security...while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: ‘Give them something to eat’ (Mark 6:37).” Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 49


“We are a single family dwelling in a common home.” Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti, 17



Human Dignity (Luc the Deer)

Every human person is created in the image and likeness of God.  Therefore, every person's life and dignity must be respected and supported from conception until the end of their natural life on earth.


We recognise the human dignity of others by:

  • being respectful

  • treating people equally

  • raising awareness of civil rights

  • preferential option for the vulnerable


God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness.“ Genesis 1:26


“Every person is worthy of our giving...they are God’s handiwork, his creation. God created that person in his image, and he or she reflects something of God’s glory. Every human being is the object of God’s infinite tenderness, and he himself is present in their lives.” Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 274




The Common Good (Chikondi the Giraffe)

Our actions have an impact on everyone. When we make decisions, we should consider the good of all. The common good is about respecting the rights and responsibilities of all people and leaving no one behind.


“The whole is greater than the part, but it is also greater than the sum of its parts.” Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 235.


“All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would... distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.” Acts 2:44-45

Participation (Patariki The Penguin)

We all have the right and duty to participate fully in society. We live in community with others, growing together. We are called to be active participants in all that we do. We have a responsibility to be inclusive so that we allow all people to participate.


“It is necessary that all participate, each according to his position and role, in promoting the common good.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1913


“When each separate part works as it should, the whole body grows and builds itself up through love.” Ephesians 4:16 “Each of us has a part to play, a gift to share, a service to offer, for building up the Body of Christ in love.” Pope Francis, 19 June 2013


Subsidiarity (Sid the Sheep)

Subsidiarity involves making sure that decisions are made at the most appropriate level, so all those affected can contribute and have a voice. Everyone has important ideas and knows what is best for their families and communities. They need to have a say and the chance to influence outcomes.


“...together we want to give voice to all those who suffer, to all those who have no voice and are not heard. ” Pope Francis, 20 September 2016


Jethro said to Moses, “Let them bring every important case to you, but decide every minor case themselves.” Exodus 18:22



Stewardship (Sofia the Sloth)

Stewardship is all about caring for the many gifts that God has given to us. These include our environment, our own talents and other resources. All living things are connected so we must use God’s gifts responsibly to meet the needs of everyone, now and in the future.


“...the world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us.” Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ 159


“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.” Genesis 2:15


“Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home” Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ 13


Preferential Option for the Poor (Poppy the Popokotea)

A preferential option for the poor means that we think first about the needs of those who are the most vulnerable. Jesus taught that when we feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, look after the sick and visit those imprisoned, we are looking after Him.


“The [Option for the Poor] affects the life of each Christian as he or she seeks to imitate the life of Christ.” St Pope John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 42


“Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” Isaiah 1:17


“The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need, those who have nothing apart from their poverty!” Pope Francis, 26 July 2013

Distributive Justice (DJ the Dolphin)

God’s plan was for all people to share in the goods of this world. This means that no person should struggle to have the basic necessities of life such as food, shelter and clothing. Distributive justice is all about fair allocation of resources (including income, goods and services).


“The principle of the universal destination of goods is an invitation... to bring about a world of fairness and solidarity...” Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 174


“All who believed were together and had all things in common.” Acts 2:44-45


“...we are agreed today that the earth is essentially a shared inheritance, whose fruits are meant to benefit everyone”’ Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 93


Promoting Peace (Daisy the Dove)

Peace is not just the absence of war. It is part of God’s nature, and a value we should all seek to live out in our daily lives. Peace comes from both justice and love and is dependent upon people understanding one another.


“Inner peace is closely related to care for ecology and for the common good because, lived out authentically, it is reflected in a balanced lifestyle together with a capacity for wonder which takes us to a deeper understanding of life.” Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 225


“...those who promote peace have joy.” Proverbs 12:20


“Today the world has a profound thirst for peace. In many countries, people are suffering due to wars which, though often forgotten, are always the cause of suffering and poverty.” Pope Francis, 20 September 2016


CAFOD - LIVE SIMPLY Assembly - Sept 23


This week we have started our LiveSimply journey. The Chaplaincy Team along with the Eco Council prepared and led a whole school assembly informing our school community about our Catholic Social Teaching commitments - this week we focused on 'Stewardship'. Together as a school, each class pledged ways that they could 'own' their environmental footprint and help to make the world a cleaner and greener place.  Each class has a Live Simply Certificate to help them along this journey.

LIVE SIMPLY - Assembly

CAFOD - Catholic Social Teaching Day


We had CAFOD come into school this Autumn to help the children understand the reasoning behind their teachings. Each class had a lesson about how we as Catholics can become fulfilled in community and family. They talked about how we can promote these virtues and how it is our responsibility to participate in society and to promote the common good, especially for the poor and the vulnerable.


In Year 6 they discussed the 9 principles that make up this wonderful thinking - and if the principles were incorporated into everyone's lives, the world would be a better place for all. The principles are:  Human Dignity, Subsidiarity, Participation, Common Good, Stewardship, Distributive Justice, Solidarity, Promoting Peace & Preferential Option for the Poor. The children had to think about each of these in small groups and discuss how they link to certain situations. The whole class were engaged and enthusiastic.


In Year 4, we discussed the 9 animals which represent Catholic Social Teaching in a Worldwide Context - we linked some of the animals to the continent that they originate from and looked at some examples of ways we can support people in these communities using the example of Catholic Social Teaching. The children were then given a range of different scenarios that may happen in their lives - they had to work together to decide which of the elements of Catholic Social Teaching was represented in each example.