Catholic Social Teaching
Catholic Social Teaching underpins the essence of our daily school life.
As members of the Catholic Church, we are all called upon to preserve the dignity of all human beings, to care for creation, and to reach out to our sisters and brothers in need.
These principles form part of Catholic Social Teaching, a body of work developed by Church leaders over the centuries. Pope Francis emphasises that it is our duty to work together to bring about a more just and peaceful world: to put love into action.
It is vital that our children can articulate the connection between Jesus' teaching and doing good deeds.
Catholic Social Teaching, which calls us all as Catholics to work for the common good, help build a just society, uphold the dignity of human life and work for justice and the dignity of all our brothers and sisters, especially those in the greatest need. Caritas in Action provides a unique and engaging set of teaching and learning opportunities for seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching. These themes are as follows:
Dignity of the Human Person
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.
Family and Community
The human person is not only sacred, but social. How society is organized, be it socially, economically, legally or politically has a direct impact on the dignity and growth of every human person and community. Marriage and family should be supported and strengthened. Every person has a right to work to support themselves and their families as well as the building up of the common good for all.
Solidarity and the Common Good
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 are offered equally. The dignity of every person is respected.
Dignity of Work
Work is a way in which we can continue to participate in God’s creation. Work gives dignity to life and must be carried out in such a way that the basic rights of workers are respected. Everyone has the right to productive work, to fair and liveable wages, and to organize and join a union. The economy must be conducted so that it serves the needs of the people.
Rights and Responsibilities
Every person has a fundamental right to life. It is this right that makes all other rights possible. Everyone has the right to food, health care, housing, education and employment. We all need to strive to secure and respect these rights for others both locally and globally.
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
Society is judged on how it cares for the poor and vulnerable – our brothers and sisters. We read in scripture how God has a special concern for the oppressed, poor, vulnerable and those forced to the margins of society. The Church calls us to respond to the cry of the poor and put their needs first. This preferential treatment for the poor and vulnerable must be seen in action in our daily lives.
The world God has created for us has been entrusted to everyone and we are responsible and accountable to God as stewards of the earth. The world has been given to us as a gift, to enjoy and care for so that future generations can enjoy it too. It is in caring for creation that we show our love and respect for its creator.
Over the year, every child in every year group will study each of the seven themes of Caritas in Action at their own level. During their time at St. Wulstan's, your child will progress through this programme and will be enriched in and through Catholic Social Teaching.
St. Wulstan's Caritas Ambassadors
The Caritas Ambassadors are a selection of students who are witnesses to God’s faith by putting prayers into action and supporting those who are less fortunate than themselves.
The team are comprised of children in Year 4 and 5 and are led by Miss Hadfield. At the start of the year, the team decide on what charity they are going to support and what areas of the Catholic Social Teaching needs our attention. Together we create an action plan for that year that will raise money and awareness and encourage others into action themselves. This year, we are working alongside Maundy Relief in Accrington to help the marginalised and vulnerable members of our community.
We now have a special Caritas award in place where children can nominate each other if they see Catholic values being displayed in and around school. The children are becoming experts at spotting these acts of kindness and love that they learn so much about throughout their time at St. Wulstan's.
Within our community, we have lots of local families who are struggling and our school family is very generous with donations of clothes, food, toiletries and furniture to help them. We have a Wall of Kindness outside our main entrance where people can donate and from where people can help themselves. We work with many different charities and organisations to help families such as the St. Vincent de Paul group, the Baptist Church Food Bank with Pastor Anne, HARV and the school uniform bank in Accrington. On top of this, we work, with the help of our Home School Liaison Officer, tirelessly to refer families to agencies so that they can receive help for the wide variety of different issues that they face on a daily basis.
This is what Bishop John Arnold said about Caritas Ambassadors about the essential work they do.
Dear Caritas Ambassador
It has always been at the very foundation of our Christian Faith that we not only profess our faith and belief in the love of God but that we express that Faith in an active care and love for our neighbour. If we claim to believe in the Gospel and ignore the plight and suffering of others around us then we have made our Faith an empty and useless vessel.
As Caritas Ambassadors you have made a very generous commitment to put your Faith into practical action; caring for those in need and fighting the disease of poverty that so threatens the well-being of our society and our world. You have recognised the innate dignity of every person and are showing the way to others how we respond to people’s needs. Thank you for what you are doing and for the sign and the witness that you give.
There are tough challenges ahead but there are always the opportunities to bring the love of God to others through our actions The Caritas Ambassadors are showing us all, by example, how we can make our world a better place
† Bishop John Arnold