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Catholic Social Teaching

What does ‘Catholic Social Teaching’ mean?

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. It holds that God has a special plan for every single one of us, whoever we are. Our part in this plan isn’t just limited to things ‘spiritual’, or times when we do “religious things.” It involves every aspect of our lives, from the things we pray about, to how we live as a responsible global citizen. Our part in this story is a kind-of vocation for the common good, a call to treat everyone as our brothers and sisters.  It is something that we all share.

The Catholic Church has seven principles of social teaching that we share with our children through all that we do, through the curriculum, special events and activity and through our ordinary actions in school.

This short video explains the seven principles of Catholic Social Teaching in an easy to understand way:


Catholic Social Teaching in action at Sacred Heart

Dignity of the Human Person

We know that everyone is important and valuable: no one is better than anyone else. At Sacred Heart, we know that we must make everyone welcome. We live, love and learn by the teaching that 'we are all made in the image and likeness of God.' At its simplest level, our children know that we must treat others in a caring way because they were made by God too. Examples of this or woven into every aspect of life at Sacred Heart. 

Family and Community

A community needs a soul if it is to become a true home for human beings. You, the people, must give it this soul.' (St. Pope John Paul II) At Sacred Heart, we know that we must treat our school community as we would our family, pouring our love, understanding and compassion in to the way that we behave and treat others. At Sacred Heart, we hold a number of events throughout the yar that focus on this particular area of CTS. These include our annual harvest collection to support the local foodbank, fundraising for Elliott's Arc and Macmillan Cancer Support as well as the Harvest Cream Tea where we invite family, friends and neighbours into school to enjoy a cream tea and be entertained by the school choir.



Solidarity and the Common Good

Solidarity arises when we remember that we belong to each other. We reflect on this in a special way at Mass. Solidarity spurs us to stand side by side with our sisters and brothers, especially those living in poverty.

At Sacred Heart, we work together to help those who are most in need. In our school, we work together so that our community is good for everyone to live in. Actions we take to support this include supporting The Good Shepherd Appeal, Children in Need, Comic Relief and CAFOD to name a few.

The Dignity and Rights of Workers

The Dignity of Work is to be found in scripture and in the ministry of Jesus. Jesus himself worked as a carpenter before starting his ministry. Work is also seen as something which brings dignity to the human person and at our school we work hard to equip all pupils with the skills for learning and life essential for working life. We explore vocations and what God calls us to be.

Rights and Responsibilities

The Church has been clear in defining basic human rights which are founded on the dignity of the human person. However, the Church also recognises that one cannot have rights without responsibilities. At Sacred Heart we recognise that  some people have what they need to live and some people don't. Jesus wants us to take care of each other. We have a full programme that runs throughout the year that helps us to really think about others and help wherever we can.

Option for the Poor and Vulnerable

This area of Catholic Social Teaching is about the emphasis which the Church places upon helping the poor and those who are vulnerable. We share what we have so that everyone gets some; we make sure the people who have the least get served first. In our school, we show care for those who have less than us – we gather together and make donations to charities which support those who need it most.

Stewardship of God’s Creation

The Church’s teachings show that we have a duty to ensure that the gift of Creation is shared with all and used wisely and respectfully to ensure its protection both now and for the future. In Laudato Si, Pope Francis has reminded us that the earth is our ‘Common Home’. At Sacred Heart, we work hard to care for our environment by recycling as much as we can, keeping our school and local area free of litter, encouraging sustainability (our PTA runs a very successful pre loved uniform shop), trips out to understand how our food is grown, our own gardening club that cares for our sensory garden. 

Please click below for a complete overview of Catholic Social Teaching at Sacred Heart

This year, we have embarked upon CAFOD's Live Simply Award. The Live Simply award is an opportunity for Catholic communities to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation in Laudato Si' to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”.

The Live Simply award is earned by  schools who can show how they have been living:

  • simply

  • in solidarity with people in poverty

  • sustainably with creation.

The award celebrates what we have already done and inspires us to do more. It helps our community to live, not just more simply, but also more fully.


For full details of how we, at Sacred Heart, intend to put his into action please click below.