What is it?
CAFOD offer workshops on Catholic Social Teaching for volunteers and workers to enable a deeper understanding of what is at the heart of CAFOD. On the 21st June, I attended one in CAFOD’s head office which was ran by Susy Brouard from the theology team in CAFOD.
What are the teachings?
CAFOD bases its work on the Catholic Social Teaching, with the 7 values at the heart of everything they do. These seven values being:
CAFOD not only values what is said in the Bible, but also what significant figures have said since.
What happened in the workshop?
To start the workshop, we were given pieces of paper with different dates on and different encyclicals. We then had to match the encyclicals to the dates.
The encyclicals were highly interesting as some topics that the Popes wrote about linked in with CAFOD’s campaigns. For example, the most recent encyclical from Pope Francis, Laudato Si’. This focussed on the environment and a call for humans to understand the destruction of the world and how this has effects on the global community.
Not only do the Catholic Social teachings show what we should do to make a difference, but these encyclicals are a way of the Pope communicating to the people about topical issues.
We were then paired up and given one of the themes from Catholic Social Teaching. I was given Creation and the Environment and had to read a sheet with Scripture, encyclicals and other sources talking about the subject. We were also given a story about our theme and had to talk about what we found interesting within these themes. What I found most interesting is that in the encyclical ‘The Call of Creation’, it talks about defining community in a global manner.
Finally, we were challenged to create an encyclical of our own about a topic that is relevant in society today. Both groups chose the Refugee Crisis. We had to name our encyclical, include scripture, Catholic Social Teaching and develop previous encyclicals.
I would highly recommend the workshop. It has definitely deepened my understanding of the teachings at what is at the root of CAFOD. Susy was a great leader and really helped everyone understand more about the teachings.
Olivia Atherton, student volunteer.