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Gospel values and Church social teaching issue a clear call for Catholic schools and education systems to engage with the poor and people most in need. Less clear, however, is how well this call is being met, or could best be met, today in ways which are both pastoral and practical. This paper reports upon research commissioned by one Catholic Education Office to examine the school community members' perceptions of 'the poor', the role of the school in relation to the poor and strategies for engaging or building the capacity of the local community in addressing a 'preferential option for the poor'. The findings from the research, together with the Church's social teaching, emphasise the importance of awareness-action-transformation at school and system levels if the call to engage with the poor is to be a priority.


Institute for Advancing Community Engagement

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Journal Article

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