1st steps – introductory guides
The following resources offer introductions to the core concepts of Catholic Social Teaching and action, for individuals and particular groups.
For parishes, groups and individuals
Introduction to Catholic Social Teaching – including reflections from charities and individuals in England and Wales.
Love in Action – This programme is designed to introduce parish groups to Catholic Social Teaching, and give them the tools to start their own social outreach projects. Created by Caritas Westminster (CSAN member) in partnership with CSAN and other Caritas agencies, with materials written by Danny Curtin and Stephen Davies.
Calling People of Goodwill – pocket-sized booklet exploring the common good in the Bible. ‘A real treasure… A great resource’ – Cardinal Nichols. Produced by Together for the Common Good (CSAN member). Buy from Bible Society
Discipleship Quads enable a group of four people to grow and encourage each other in Catholic faith formation weekly over a 12-month period. The Quad does not have to be attached to a parish. Developed by the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Social action usually includes a process of discernment. ‘The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet’ (Frederick Buechner). Approaches include:
- The ‘Pastoral Cycle’ – see notes from National Justice and Peace Network.
- Ignatian discernment, see for example the Ignatian Spirituality site.
The Social Mission of the Church – Thomas Storck, in ‘Distributist Review’ (USA). A challenge to Catholics, to engage fully in contributing to what Pope St. John Paul called, ‘a civilisation of love‘.
Keeping the Faith: A Short Guide for Faith-Based Organisations (pdf, 5.7mb) – Theos and the Centre for Theology and Community. Practical guidance on sharing faith in the context of serving communities.
Caritas in Action – produced by Caritas Salford (CSAN member). This is an educational and formation programme for schools on Catholic Social Teaching.
Women and Poverty toolkit (pdf, 2mb) – The National Board of Catholic Women (CSAN member) produced this toolkit to empower women to challenge the system and structures that fail to address poverty, get involved and make a difference.
Picture – Mosaic by Marko Rupnik SJ in the chapel of the National Shrine of St John Paul II, Washington DC. Credit to Fr Lawrence Lew OP (source).