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Catholic Social Teaching

Catholic Social Teaching (CST) is rooted in Scripture, formed by the wisdom of Church leaders, and influenced by grassroots movements. It is our moral compass, guiding us on how to live out our faith in the world.

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.
Modern Catholic Social Teaching is said to have originated in 1891 with the encyclical letter, Rerum Novarum. Since then, a wealth of teaching continues to give new life to the Scriptures and shape the Church’s response to our modern world. Pope Francis’ continues to add to Catholic Social Teaching with his own encyclicals including Laudato Si’ (2015) and Fratelli Tutti (2020)

From these Catholic social teaching documents and encyclicals we derive core principles. There is no fixed or official list of principles. Different organisations and writers include different ones. However, they will include the same ideas and beliefs. At Divine Saviour we use CAFOD's  9 principles. There will be cross over between these principles and our actions for global and local justice will often be in response to more than one principle at a time.

Catholic Social Teaching Principles and Prayers

Catholic Social Teaching Prayers


Catholic Social Teaching in Action 2022-2023

 Whole School Displays 

We started the academic year by asking each class to choose one CST principle and create a display about it. The aim of this project was to develop our community's understanding about Catholic Social Teaching.  


Pupil Leadership: Participation 

‘Each of us has a part to play, a gift to share, a service to of-fer, for building up the Body of Christ in love.’ Pope Francis, June 19, 2013

Mrs Wilson ran a workshop with our House Captains: 

 The Chaplains Weekly Mission

Each week our chaplain's set the school community a mission based on the week's gospel reading.  Members of our school community can choose to complete the mission and send in photos and reflections related to the week's theme.



Mini Vinnies

Our Year Five Mini Vinnies group come together to form a part of the St. Vincent de Paul Society England and Wales, a voluntary organisation dedicated to tackling poverty in all its forms. Mini Vinnies meet to pray, discuss and support however they can to help make a difference in their communities.  Our Mini Vinnies truly turn concern into action as they use the simple formula of ‘see, think, do’ to find people in need and help them. 

On Tuesday 4th October we welcomed one of our school governors, Mrs Petrie (who is also an RE teacher at St Joan of Arc) to school when she came to lead a workshop for our new Year 5 Mini Vinnies team. We were joined by the Mini Vinnies teams from two of our ASCAT family of schools for what was a fun and productive session. The children explored the life of St Vincent de Paul (who started the society of which they are now part) , thought about ways in which they as individuals can  live out the mission of our school and began to plan their first charitable work for this year.  We were very proud of all the children who are taking their new role very seriously. Having worked very hard our Year 5s enjoyed leading their new friends out onto the playground for a run around at the end of the session! Our enormous thanks to Mrs Petrie for giving up her time to plan and deliver this session  - she inspired the children to come up with some amazing ideas of the good works they can do this year.

Year 4 Caritas Westminster Imagining Futures Project 

Imagining Futures is a new project for primary schools to celebrate Caritas Westminster’s tenth anniversary. This two-part project encourages students to have a positive, hopeful view of the future through collective imaginings, the creative arts, and social action.

Our wonderful Year 4 children  are undertaking this task of imagining, planning and developing ways of making their dreams for our future world a reality. 


Common Good during Advent 

Advent is a time of preparation, not just for Christmas, but for meeting Our Lord at the end of time. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus told us that he is already present with us - in the least of our brethren (Mt 25:31-46). We meet him regularly in the poor, the hungry, the needy, the vulnerable – people of various ages, backgrounds and cultures. Our challenge during Advent is to respond to Jesus in our fellow man with compassionate, generous and forgiving hearts and, as teachers, to guide our pupils in building up the Kingdom of God.

Each KS2 class created their own ‘See, Think, Do’ project.  Their corridor displays were based around their projects. 


KS2 Catholic Social Teaching Displays and Projects



Parish links: Chingulungulu, Tanzania 


 Laudato Si’

On Wednesday we began our day with an assembly in which we heard again the message of Pope Francis in his letter to the world, ‘Laudato Si’. This encyclical, written in 2015, still resonates as a profound invitation to us all to care for our common home. Our planet belongs to our children - it is their future and we are failing miserably to look after it. I challenged the children on Wednesday to send another letter to the world to remind everyone why we need to care for the home we all share. Please do read Nicolle’s letter - she is speaking to you, to me, to us all! Let us all do what we can to protect the gift that our beautiful, blue planet is.

CAFOD Catholic Social Teaching Workshop

During February Years 3-5 took part in workshops on CST led by  Jeff Pratley from CAFOD. They learnt about the principles of CST, listened to the letters of Pope Francis & talked about how we are all global neighbours working for the common good.   



 The Big Lent Walk 2023

We are challenging ourselves by taking on 'The Big Lent Walk'.  We will be walking at least 200Km in Lent to help fight global poverty! 

Click here to donate 

 The Big Lent Walk 2023

On Wednesday 29th March the entire school took part in a very rainy Big Lent Walk. We  walked up to church to watch Year 4's Easter Passion and then walked back to school (approx 2 miles).  By lunchtime we had walked an amazing 702km.

Total Distance covered: 1,088.2 km 

Funds raised: £418



Silver Stories

As human beings, we are called to live in community, with others, growing together and flourishing as a result. We are also called to get involved. At World Youth Day in 2013, Pope Francis challenged us:
Don’t be observers, but immerse yourself in the reality of life, as Jesus did.”

We are called to be active members of society, our local and global community. Observing the reality of the world, remembering that first guideline of the dignity of all people, supporting one another and recognising how our gifts and talents could be used to the advantage of the wider community. We can’t just sit back and talk about what’s happening, whether in our own parish and community, society, or the world. We are called to get our hands dirty, to get involved, to help build a better world. We’re all called to put love into action.  

One of the ways in which in which we will be 'putting love into action' is to  provide hope and joy to elderly and lonely members of our local and wider community, treating them with dignity and respect whilst improving the wisdom and learning of some of the wonderful children in our school.  We will do this through our  'Silver Stories' project which will begin in Summer Term 2. 

Click here to view our Silver Story page - we will up date this once we start the project! 


Catholic Social Teaching in Action 2021-2022

 Laudato Si’

The Eco Team wrote to Dean Russell our local MP as part of their work on participation and stewardship.



CAFOD Eyes of the World

We have been learning about how climate change is affecting the world's poorest communities. After finding out about the impact that climate change is having we joined CAFODs campaign to call on our government to keep the poorest people at the heart of their talks!



Science and RE Week: God's Planet

This week the children of Divine Saviour School have been very busy exploring our world in our science week on the theme of ‘God’s Planet.’ 

Everyday the classes have explored a different scientific concept related to our planet covering our oceans and seas, the polar regions and ice caps, why is climate change happening, global warming and what we can do to protect our Earth! We had a live streamed workshop on Monday with STEM ambassador Paula McMahon, an engineer, who spoke to our children about her area of science and how it is contributing to the fight against global warming. But everybody's favourite was definitely the visit from the Rise Theatre who’s play ‘God’s Planet’ our week was themed around. The message that we are responsible for our Earth and looking after it was definitely received and ‘Planet Heros’ are a plenty in our community! That our science week took part during COP26 was no accident and it is amazing just how well informed our children are and how much notice they have been taking of what is going on in Glasgow. CAFOD have asked us to make sure that the politicians know, ‘The Eyes of the World are Watching’ - Divine Saviour definitely is!

 CAFOD's Walk against Hunger

This year we are walking for our world and our brothers and sisters across the globe who are being badly affected by climate change. We raised an amazing £1,309.50! 


On Sunday 26th March the Parishes of St Saviours and Our Lady Mother of the Saviour walked together from the parish in Chipperfield to the parish in Abbots Langley to support CAFODs 'Walk against Hunger.'   


Our Reception children have been learning about Stewardship. They are helping to take care of our prayer garden with a little help from Mrs Webb



To help us put our call into action of making the world the best possible place it can be, and as God intended it to be when He gave it to mankind as a gift, we often revisit the 9 CAFOD themes of Catholic Social Teaching. In some of our assemblies we spend time reflecting on Sunday's Gospel or issues that are arising in the world and discuss, contemplate and pray for guidance on identifying how CST can enable us to understand the outward show or action of our Catholic faith that will impact on many aspects of our life and, in turn, lead us to making an impact on the world so it can be as God intended it to be.