Educational Functions of Volunteering and their Perception in the Teaching of the Catholic Church in the XXI century

Piotr Krakowiak



Mutual assistance between people is a part of every civilization and society and therefore the history of volunteering is as ancient as the existence of mankind. Analysis of the history of volunteering helps in understanding today’s meaning of voluntary sector and the development of this activity in the world, Europe and Poland. Educational sciences emphasize the educational functions of volunteering. Its particular value in the modern world is appreciated by the Catholic Church, demonstrated by statements of 21st century pontiffs: John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis. This analysis enables for an insight into roles which can by played by volunteer involvement in helping our neighbor in human and Christian formation. Reading of the texts referring to volunteering can serve as inspiration for both clergy and laity, to use volunteering to help those in need, but also for instruction through service to others and learning in practice, what is the interpersonal solidarity and Christian charity. This analysis is designed to help both theoreticians of pedagogy and Christian education, as well as practitioners who – in schools, parishes, or in the structures of Caritas and other charitable organizations – are involved in volunteering or coordinate it. The development of a voluntary commitment to the needy is a pressing social need in Poland and an opportunity to discover the vocation to Christian and humanistic activities which is both educational tool, possible to use in educational institutions and communities of faith.


volunteering; education; vocation; motivation

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