1st steps – introductory guides

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 individual adults

‘Hoping for mild at least’ – Poverty: A short formation resource, CSAN, 2022 (pdf, 0.8mb)

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 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‘.

Love in Action – A pack of materials to run an intensive programme, introducing parish groups to Catholic Social Teaching, and giving them tools to start their own social outreach projects. Created by Caritas Westminster (CSAN member) in association with CSAN and other Caritas agencies, with materials written by Danny Curtin and Stephen Davies.

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.

For schools

Caritas in Action – produced by Caritas Salford (CSAN member). This is an educational and formation programme for schools on Catholic Social Teaching.

For women

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.

For parish youth ministry

Million Minutes (CSAN member) has published a range of free guides for parish youth ministries, from how to engage new volunteers in a parish or group, interacting with different types of young people and encouraging others to put their faith into action. The guides include:

  • Complex Catholicism – discover the realities of different types of young people and how you can accompany and engage them
  • Parish mapping – tool to help identify young people to engage
  • Parish plan – think creatively about your first steps in engaging young people. Get to know the practicalities of planning youth work activities.
  • Engaging volunteers
  • Intergenerational conversations



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).