Catholic Social Teaching is a
framework for social analysis and action. It builds on the teachings of
the Gospel in light of the experience of the church and society over the
centuries. Its core principles include the respect that is due to every
person; the bonds that we share with all of humanity; the centrality of
policies that serve the common good, rather than the interests of one part of
society; and the importance of self-determination, within a supportive
In recent years, Catholic
Social Services Victoria has been conducting a program of workshops on Catholic
Social Teaching. Peter Hudson has been the lead presenter. Each
workshop is designed to introduce key people from member organisations to these
themes, building on key documents, and on Pope Francis’ teaching and actions;
and to address issues of interest to participants. The workshops have run
for around 3 hours, either over a morning, or early evening. The evening
sessions are targeted particularly at board members, and others who find evenings
easier. Reading materials are provided.
Feedback from the sessions has
been very positive and appreciative. Participants have found in Catholic
Social Teaching a good way of reflecting on what difference being a Catholic
organisation should make to what we do and to how we do it. In a
number of cases, participants have made arrangements for a workshop to be
presented at their own organisation, thus enabling greater involvement.
A recurring theme has been that the experience has been more beneficial
when more than one person from an organisation has participated – that makes it
easier to discuss how to take the learnings back to the workplace.
Since November 2016 CSSV, Train the Trainer workshops in Catholic Social Teaching have been conducted. The target audience is people who have responsibility in their organisations for training and development in Catholic culture and identity.
The Train the Trainer program resources participants to apply the principles of Catholic Social Teaching in the work of their organisation. It has been developed as an interactive model in adult learning practices and for the sharing of a wide range of techniques and resources in the development of training programs for personnel in our Catholic organisations. It has evolved into a strong personal and communal reflective experience.
It is a rich learning experience for all concerned, including the presenters. Feedback from the workshops continues to be very positive and participants appreciated the valuable opportunity for focussed reflection, collaboration and networking.
Two Train the Trainer workshops were developed during 2017. These were in collaboration with Peter Hay, Formation Coordinator- Christian Brothers Oceania and Sr Bernadette Keating, Presentation Sisters and were conducted at Amberley, Lower Plenty (winter workshop) and St Joseph By The Sea Retreat Centre, Williamstown (summer workshop).
Three workshops are being developed for 2018. For these future workshops please contact
Peter Hudson for further
information, or about other aspects of Catholic Social
Teaching and how it might assist your organisation.