Catholic Social Teaching

'Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.'
1 John 3:18 (ESV)

Catholic Social Teaching (CST) is based on a tradition of episcopal and papal writings on political, economic and social issues facing our time. CST provides us with a structure on how to encompass and apply these reflections to our daily lives. More importantly, it guides us on how we should respond to our faith as individuals, and actively respond to God’s call to work towards a common good.

Volunteering is at the very heart of CST. Volunteering is a form of vocation or calling by God to use our gifts for the benefit of the common good, be it for our local community, or more broadly within the world. It forms part of our response to God’s plan for each of us – volunteering puts that plan into action.

An essential part of the Catholic faith, the key values of Catholic Social Teaching are found at the core of the Gospel. The key themes of CST are:

  • Human Dignity
  • Community & Participation
  • Care for Creation
  • Dignity in Work
  • Option for the Poor
  • Solidarity & Peace

Each of these themes can be applied to volunteering, as well as reflecting the broad variety of volunteering opportunities that are available. In addition, each theme may provide a useful starting point for reflection on what God may be calling us to do.

In December 2016, Caritas Westminster launched Love in Action, an engagement programme that aims to help parishes, youth groups, schools, or faith-sharing groups explore the main themes of CST. The programme gives groups the tools to start their own outreach projects, helping them to address the needs of their communities and put love into action.

To find out more about Love in Action, visit the website here:


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