Catholic Social Teaching for Best Practice

Caritas works in partnership with communities around the world to end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity. Partnership ultimately aims to achieve sustainable impact and social transformation for the marginalised.

Change can best be brought about when relationships among members are governed by the values of genuine partnership. Partnership goes beyond financial arrangement and into the very core of our values as a Christian humanitarian network.

Our Partnership values and principles stem from the Scripture and Catholic Social Teaching. Catholic Social Teaching can be a powerful tool to assess social realities in the light of the gospel. It can help us apply our core beliefs in our relationships and interactions with each other. It is therefore an essential framework for a student immersion.

Introduction to Catholic Social Teaching Principles

The four core principles of Catholic Social Teaching are: The Dignity of the Human Person, The Common Good, Solidarity and Subsidiarity.  Out of these flow the principles of the Preferential Option for the Poor, Participation, Economic Justice and Stewardship, among others. These principles are responsive to particular social issues such as poverty and inequality, the right to work, and environmental degradation.

For a brief introduction to Catholic Social Teaching, you can view this clip 'CST in 3 minutes'.

Watch the film clip - Introduction to CST


This video has been created in partnership with Caritas Australia, CAFOD (Caritas England and Wales), and Trocaire (Caritas Ireland), SCIAF (Caritas Scotland) and Caritas New Zealand.

We will use some of the principles of Catholic Social Teaching to frame our discussion of student immersion programs and partnerships.


It is essential that the planning and conduct of any immersion is clearly grounded in Catholic Social Teaching principles, particularly human dignity, solidarity, the common good and subsidiarity. For example, ask what the host community really need rather than just presume to collect money and (what might be surplus) goods.
David, Catholic Education Officer, Sandhurst