The SJA in Catholic Social Teaching

Le premier apostolat des scouts est celui de l’exemple dans la Troupe.
En se formant personnellement et collectivement, il sont déjà au service de l’Eglise et façonnent l’instrument de leur apostolat futur… Mais cette formation doit dès leur jeune âge, par les méthodes concrètes d’observation et de réflexion qui leur conviennent, être ouverte sur les réalités sociales, naturelles et surnaturelles : Ils doivent apprendre à vivre dans la société moderne, et pour cela être prudemment informés sur ses structures, ses qualités et ses défauts. Ils doivent particulièrement se préparer à prendre dans leur milieu et dans leur communauté paroissiale la part d’influence et de responsabilité, dont ils sont capables. En somme, la formation du caractère, qui est la fin principale du scoutisme, doit avoir une orientation franchement sociale et apostolique. Elle doit préparer à servir le prochain à la fois dans les contacts personnels et dans les institutions civiles et religieuses.

English translation

The primary apostolate of the scouts is that of example in the Troop. By forming themselves personally and collectively, they are already at the service of the Church and shape the instrument of their future apostolate … But this formation must from an early age, through the concrete methods of observation and reflection that suit them, be open to social, natural and supernatural realities: They must learn to live in modern society, and for that to be carefully informed about its structures, its qualities and its faults.

In particular, they must prepare themselves to assume in their milieu and in their parish community the share of influence and responsibility of which they are capable. In short, the formation of character, which is the main end of Scouting, must have a frankly social and apostolic orientation. It must prepare to serve the neighbor both in personal contacts and in civil and religious institutions.

Pius XII, Allocution to the First International Boy Scouts Congress, June 6, 1952: A.A.S. 44 (1952) pp. 579-580

There are three stages which should normally be followed in the reduction of social principles into practice. First, one reviews the concrete situation; secondly, one forms a judgment on it in the light of these same principles; thirdly, one decides what in the circumstances can and should be done to implement these principles. These are the three stages that are usually expressed in the three terms: look, judge, act.

Pope John XXIII, Mater et Magistra, §236

Since formation for the apostolate cannot consist in merely theoretical instruction, from the beginning of their formation the laity should gradually and prudently learn how to view, judge and do all things in the light of faith as well as to develop and improve themselves along with others through doing, thereby entering into active service to the Church. This formation, always in need of improvement because of the increasing maturity of the human person and the proliferation of problems, requires an ever deeper knowledge and planned activity. In the fulfillment of all the demands of formation, the unity and integrity of the human person must be kept in mind at all times so that his harmony and balance may be safeguarded and enhanced.

In this way the lay person engages himself wholly and actively in the reality of the temporal order and effectively assumes his role in conducting the affairs of this order. At the same time, as a living member and witness of the Church, he renders the Church present and active in the midst of temporal affairs.

Vatican II, Apostolicam Actuositatem, §29

It is precisely these fundamental affirmations about work that always emerged from the wealth of Christian truth, especially from the very message of the “Gospel of work”, thus creating the basis for a new way of thinking, judging and acting.

Pope John Paul II, Laborem Exercens, 14 September 1981