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Catholic Social Teaching

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 environment.

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.

The following movie clips have relevant excerpts in posing core questions re Catholic Social Teaching:
  1. Erin Brockovich (2 mins) 

  2. Romero (9 mins)

  3. Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (4 mins)

  4. He Named Me Malala (Trailer)

  5. Rabbit Proof Fence (First 8 mins)

  6. Good Will Hunting

  7. I Am Sam

  8. Philadelphia

  9. Living with the Enemy

  10. Money Monster

  11. Blindside 

  12. Suffragettes

  13. TED Talk Pope Francis: Catholic Social Teaching

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