The Catholic Social Teachings are known as the best kept secret of the Catholic Church. There are 7 major themes of the Catholic Social Teachings (CST) Interactive learning on the 7 themes of CST The first theme is Life and Dignity of the Human Person-Every person is created in the image of God. Every person is precious. All social laws, practices, and intitutions must protect human life and human dignity from conception to natural death.
The second theme is Call to Family, Community, and Participation-We are social beings. We realize our dignity and human potential in our families and our community. The family is the basic unit of society and it must be supported.
The third theme is Rights and Responsibilities. The right to life is fundamental and includes a right to food, clothing, shelter, rest, medical care, and essential social services. We also have responsibilities to uphold for the good of all.
The fourth theme is Option for the Poor and Vulnerable. The Lord identified himself with the poor and vulnerable and so must we, giving priority concern to them. The human life and dignity of the poor are most at risk, therefore they should have first claim on our personal and social resources.
The fifth theme is The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers. Workers have rights to decent work, just wages, safe working conditions, and fair working hours. People have priority over making money.
The sixth theme is Solidarity. We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences are. The Church speaks of a "universal" common good for the whole global community. We are all linked and should live in peace with one another.
The seventh theme is Care For God's Creation."We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation." Humans are part of creation itself, and whatever we do to the earth we ultimately do to ourselves. We must live in harmony with the rest of creation and preserve it for future generations.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Consider attending the March for Life in Washington, D.C. next January. You will find information in the bulletin about how to join or you may send an e-mail here.
Look up some of the laws of Indiana and discern how they may affect human dignity and the family. You have responsibilities within your family, such as taking out the trash, keep your room clean, help carry in the groceries, etc. Make a list of responsibilities you have in your school, community, and other groups you belong to.
What is the definition of charity? What is the definition of justice? Make a list of some charitable acts and then come up with ways that justice could address these issues. An example might be: instead of just giving someone food, help them find a job so they can buy their own food.
If you have a job, think about your working conditions. How many hours are you allowed to work each day? How late are you allowed to work each day? What is the minimum wage? Are the conditions in your workplace safe and sanitary? Are there certain tasks in your workplace that you are not allowed to do for safety reasons? In America, we take most of these things for granted, but it is not so in some other countries. Surf the web to find working conditions for some of the children of the world. Then be thankful that America protects you from these conditions. If you see anything that is not right in your workplace, do something to change it.
Look at the lives of other teens and families around the world, including poor countries. How are they different from yours? How are they the same. Write down 3 items that would work for the "universal good" of all peoples.
One of the easiest ways to care for creation is to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Do you recycle all of the time? Or only when it is convenient for you? Do you try to reuse items for other purposes or just throw them away? Do you have to have all of the latest fashion trends, only to get rid of them next year? Have you ever stopped to think about how much trash we put in the ground? Did you know that one plastic bag from a store takes up to one thousand years to decompose? A water bottle takes up to 450 years to decompose. Think about how many plastic bags you use and throw away. Now times that by the 7.5 billion people who live on earth! What is this world of trash going to be like for your children to live in?