“There is no democracy with hunger, nor development with poverty, nor justice in inequality.”
Pope Francis, 2019
Social Justice can be defined as the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. At St. Catherine’s we aim to create equal opportunity for all our pupils and encourage them to do this within the wider community.
Pope Francis has reminded us that Saint Francis of Assisi “calls for a love that transcends the barriers of geography and distance, and declares blessed all those who love their brother ‘as much when he is far away from him as when he is with him’.”
This moves us to respond to our sister or brother in need, whoever they are, wherever they may come from (FT, 72). We are challenged to turn outwards, to act as neighbours, and to reach out to all those who are in need.
The encyclical Fratelli Tutti calls for the creation of a new kind of solidarity, to tackle the crises the world is currently facing. Pope Francis calls on us all to play our part in building peace, and to focus on becoming a neighbour to others – in particular to welcome migrants, and to resist racism, prejudice and discrimination.
At St Catherine’s, we are responding to this call. Our focus this year (2021-2022) will be through our work on Equality, Diversity and Anti-racism. We have enhanced our classroom Religious Education through an additional Enrichment Unit, ‘Fratelli Tutti and Anti-racism’. It is not enough to be a school where we aren’t racist, we are striving to be actively anti-racist and to teach every child how to be an ally to those who are marginalised or suffer prejudice and discrimination.
At St Catherine’s we have been working to welcome newly relocated Afghan Refugees into our Watford community. Our Year 5 Teresa class have sent them ‘Welcome’ cards and collected much-needed toiletries. Over the course of this year we are committed to helping them feel a loved and valued part of our community and providing them with the essentials that they need.
At St Catherine’s, we have a long-standing commitment towards tackling local hunger. We have worked with Watford Food Bank and Watford One Vision Project to provide food to vulnerable families at key times in the year and especially during the Covid crisis.
As far back at 2016, our children have been collecting for, and volunteering at, Watford Food Bank.