Catholic Social Teaching

At St Joseph’s, we are inspired by the teaching of Christ. In all areas of our lives, we try to demonstrate the principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

Catholic Social Teaching is founded in Scripture and includes statements and letters written by Church leaders. It offers wisdom and insights on living the Gospel in today’s world. Jesus tells us to love God and to love our neighbours, especially our sisters and brothers living in poverty. We use Catholic Social Teaching principles to guide all our work at St Joseph’s.

Catholic Social Teaching Progression

Catholic Social Teaching CAFOD Notes

We are called to uphold the principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

Human Dignity – Everyone is Special

St Paul tells us that each person is a work of art, created by God and chosen for a unique purpose. Ephesians 2:10

At St Joseph’s we recognise the human dignity of others by:

  • being respectful
  • treating people equally
  • raising awareness of civil rights
  • preferential option for the vulnerable
  • as a Rights Respecting School we know that everyone has rights
  • by being aware of Protected Characteristics
  • showing the virtues of love, charity and respect


The Common Good– Taking Part in our Communities

“You are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor person.  You are handing over to them what is theirs.” St Ambrose (340-397 AD)

At St Joseph’s we show we are part of a community by:

  • working together
  • working for the common good
  • participating and engaging
  • being active members of our community
  • our Pupil Voice Groups make changes that are good for everyone


Participation – The dignity of Work

Do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honour. (James 3:17)

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40

At St Joseph’s we recognise the dignity of work by:

  • respecting all workers
  • contributing to society
  • making responsible economic choices
  • supporting wellbeing and workers’ rights
  • sharing our talents with others


Subsidiarity– All people Should have a Say

Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right- Psalm 106:3

Fear not for I am with you. I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

At St Joseph’s we acknowledge our rights and responsibilities by:

  • recognising our duties as members of a community
  • standing up for what is right
  • respecting the rights of others and following our class charters
  • following our school rules
  • following our behaviour curriculum
  • contributing to the life of the school through our various roles and responsibilities


Stewardship – Caring for God’s Creation and Gifts

The ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion…Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience. Pope Francis – Laudato Si

At St Joseph’s we show we care for creation by:

  • taking responsibility for our environment
  • making environmentally responsible choices
  • having awe and wonder for the natural world
  • our Eco- Committee help is to care for our world
  • through the ‘Live Simply’ Award


Solidarity – We are One Big Family

Blessed Pope Paul VI taught that “If you want peace, work for justice”. The Gospel calls us to be peacemakers.

At St Joseph’s we show solidarity by:

  • raising awareness of social justice
  • writing to our local leaders and working with our local MP
  • praying for others
  • making connections
  • making socially responsible choices
  • inviting our local community to events
  • visiting the local Care Home


Option for the poor – Some People need Extra Help

‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Matthew 25:35-40

At St Joseph’s we show a preferential option for the poor and vulnerable by:

  • fundraising for charitable causes through our class charity work and whole school events
  • raising awareness
  • treating others with dignity and respect
  • thinking of the needs of others
  • praying for those in need
  • having coat and uniform swaps


Distributive Justice – Being Fair

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

At St Joseph’s we recognise the need to share the worlds resources fairly by:

  • celebrating Fair Trade Fortnight
  • hosting book, clothes and uniform swaps
  • through our OPAL play
  • by sharing our belongs


Promoting Peace – We can be God’s instruments of Peace

“Our common bonds of humanity demand that we live in harmony and that we promote what is good for one another. These ethical implications are the reason why solidarity is a basic key to peace.” St John Paul II

At St Josephs’s we show we are people of peace by:

  • treating each other kindly
  • turning away from conflict
  • creating bonds between people
  • loving others
  • all following our behaviour curriculum and demonstrating our virtues

CAFOD Catholic Social Teaching Video