By Victoria Ferguson, volunteer with SCIAF (Caritas Scotland)As I prepare to depart for the World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro I have been reflecting on this year’s theme 'Go and make disciples of all nations' Matthew 28:19. What a perfect theme for an international event which brings together young people from around the world for the biggest and only event of its kind.Pope John Paul II was the founder and of this unique event. In its 28th year it continues to grow in attendance, with a predicted 2 million pilgrims this year. All of who will travel to Brazil and come together to meet with the Holy Father Pope Francis, for his first international visit since being appointed as the Successor of Peter.This will be my fifth World Youth Day and I consider myself blessed to be attending this rather spectacular festival of faith in which young people [...]
Read the blog in Spanish, in French, or in Portuguese. By Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, President of Caritas Internationalis Like the Rolling Stones a few years before him, Pope Francis will gather to celebrate with millions of young people on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro next week. The occasion will be World Youth Day, an event where the Holy Father will invite the young to “Go and make disciples of all nations”. But many years before these celebrations, there was a more significant joyous meeting on a beach. The one where our risen Lord appeared to the disciples on the shores of the sea of Galilee. (Jn 21:1) The disciples had fished all night and had lost hope. As dawn came, the Lord appeared and told them to cast their net to the other side of the boat. What they brought back up was an abundance of fish. It […]
By Val Morgan, SCIAF (Caritas Scotland) Scotland’s Rio is an event for the young people of Scotland to coincide with the World Youth Day being celebrated with Pope Francis in Rio de Janeiro in July 2013. It will take place at Stirling University Campus from Thursday 25 - Sunday 28 July, 2013. We hope to give young people from across Scotland the opportunity to experience something of the celebration of the international World Youth Day. Elizabeth Millar, one of the organisers of the event said, “Scotland’s Rio will be an exciting and inspiring occasion for all involved, and it will give the Church in Scotland a reason to celebrate and be enthusiastic about what young people today can offer the Church both locally, nationally and internationally!” There will be opportunities for celebrating and learning about the Catholic faith through worship and catechesis. The Youth Festival will offer an opportunity to participate in a [...]
Caritas member organisations around the world are preparing for World Youth Day in Rio. Here's what some young people who are going to WYD with Cafod (Caritas England and Wales) say:
What inspires young people to cross continents for a celebration of faith with Pope Francis? Lilian Chan, on line editor for Caritas Australia, tells us about the energy, diversity and unity to be found at World Youth Day. One of the phrases I've most heard during my preparations for WYD is "to expect the unexpected"! I am definitely looking forward to seeing Pope Francis. I've read a few of his addresses, and they have been so amazing and inspiring - he is simple to understand, but has such insight into the world and how we as Catholics fit in. He also shows such love and understanding of humanity when he speaks, which is so different to what we often hear in our world today. The chance to see a pope from Latin America in Latin America will be really amazing. Most importantly, I've decided to go to WYD this year because I [...]
World Youth Day 23rd-28th July By Michelle Hough, communications officer for Caritas Internationalis Read in Spanish. Pope Francis now has more people following him on twitter in Spanish than he has in English (well over a cool 2.5 million followers in each language). Seeing as up to three-quarters of twitter users are said to be between 15 and 25 years old, that’s a good sign for the upcoming World Youth Day in Brazil. Around two million young pilgrims are expected to flock to Rio de Janeiro where they’ll join Pope Francis on Copacabana beach and in other places to take part in various events such as catecheses, masses and a vigil. I’ll be with them, applying sun cream and anti-aging creams at frequent intervals and working with my colleagues from Caritas Brazil to provide the 164 organisations in our global confederation with blogs, press releases and photos.
Greetings of hope to all Caritas friends from all over the world! We are living a time of hope and good news. One of them is that World Youth Day will take place in the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 23rd to 28th July. We from Caritas Brazil want to meet and get to know other Caritas youth from around the world and from our own region. With that in mind, we will hold an International Meeting for the youth of Caritas on 14-15 July in the in the State of Minas Gerais. After that, the Missionary Week (prior to World Youth Day) will take place in several dioceses from 16th to 23rd July. The youth are invited to take part in both events to then travel to Rio de Janeiro on World Youth Day.
Caritas Rome provides accommodation through its shelters to poor and vulnerable individuals needing a place to sleep. Some people staying at the shelters have written the below letter to Pope Francis following Lenten reflections. The letter was presented to the Holy Father by the director of Caritas Rome, Msgr Enrico Feroci. Your Holiness, We are guests at Caritas shelters in Rome. Even though you have been Bishop of Rome for very little time, we feel a sense of respect and solidarity which makes us feel very close to you and gives us the impression that we’ve always known you. The choice of your name and what you say in your speeches which we have reflected on during Lent show us daily the essence of the Christian faith: that God is love. Our difficult situation allows us to know firsthand how important a gesture of solidarity can be and the comfort a hug or [...]
By Michelle Hough ‘Lady Poverty’ was St Francis’s bride and Pope Francis has put the need for commitment to the poor up front and centre from the very beginning of his pontificate. After two days of voting, white smoke puffed out of the tiny chimney above St Peter’s Square on 13th March 2013. The man who came out on the massive balcony in front of St Peter’s basilica as the new Pope was unknown to many outside of his native Argentina. The new Pope Francis is a man who visited slums and rode on buses. He is a man who refused the fur-trimmed cloak, red leather shoes and gold cross worn by previous Popes. He is a man of startling simplicity. The Pope spoke to the crowd that night in his role as Bishop of Rome and protector of the poor: “And now let us begin this journey, bishop and people, this journey [...]
By Michelle Hough, communications officer with Caritas Internationalis It’s been a week of lots of coffee, very little rest and some very bad, unhealthy food mostly eaten standing up. But it’s also been a week that I’ll tell my grandchildren about: the week Pope Francis was elected and conventional wisdom about what a Pope is supposed to be like was turned on its head. This morning was Pope Francis’s inaugural mass in St Peter’s Square. It would have been nice to have moseyed on over there at 9am and got a seat at the front ready for the 9.30am mass, but that would have been about as likely as meeting the Pope himself (maybe not so unlikely considering the way things are going with him). So I got there at 6.30am, got a good place half way between the obelisk and St Peter’s and prepared myself for a five hour […]
By Michelle Hough, communications officer for Caritas Internationalis I’ve seen Pope Francis three times in six days, starting with the night he was elected. Every time I’ve had to wear the highest heels I own just to see over the heads of the massive crowds. I could also have done with a pair of binoculars. On Sunday, I arrived at St. Peter’s around 11.15am for the midday Angelus. The square was already packed and a massive crowd of hundreds, if not thousands were waiting to get in. I decided to use my press pass to go up to the roof area between St Peter’s and the colonnade (Braccio Carlo Magno) as it didn’t even look as though I’d be able to get into the square. On the roof there were dozens of TV and photo journalists with many more camped under temporary gazebos on buildings near-by. A new Pope is […]
What’s in a name? Since the Holy Father chose to be the first Pope Francis in history, many people have been speculating about the significance of this. Francisco Gearóid Ó Conaire OFM is a co-executive secretary of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission of the Union of Superiors General (USG/UISG) and he is based in Rome. He reflects upon St Francis of Assisi and Pope Francis – and throws in a bit of St Francis Xavier for good measure. Interview by Michelle Hough. “St Francis saw the whole of creation as one big family under God. If we and the whole of creation are all from the same Father, we’re related to each other. If you’re connected to and are related to each other, you have a responsibility to each other,” said Francisco. On creating him Patron of Ecology in 1979, Blessed Pope John Paul II wrote: ‘The […]
“MISERANDO ATQUE ELIGENDO” - Su Santidad Francisco Todas las Caritas de América Latina y el Caribe, nos unimos al regocijo que experimenta el Pueblo Santo de Dios después de haber hecho oración al Padre, para que a través del Espíritu de su Hijo Jesucristo, llamara y eligiera a Francisco para vivir la comunión con El y predicar el Reino de Dios (cf. Mc., 3,13-19; Mt., 10,1-42). Que el Señor lo conforte, lo proteja y lo llene de fortaleza, para que al igual que Pedro pueda llevar adelante la tarea de hacer discípulos del Resucitado a todos los pueblos, los santifique y los sirva en el nombre del Señor todos los días (cf. Mt., 28,16-20;Mc., 16,15; Lc., 24,45-48; Jn., 20,21-23) y así dilate a la Iglesia y la apaciente. (Cfr. LG 19) Desde ya, las Cáritas de América Latina y el Caribe, nos sentimos animadas, fortalecidas y esperanzadas por su sencillez, humildad y espíritu de oración. Su testimonio [...]