October 12, 2011

World Food Day reflection from Bangladesh

By |12 October 2011|

By Bishop Theotonius Gomes CSC, President of Caritas Bangladesh  One essential aspect of the mystery of the human person is its union of the earthly body and the heavenly soul, a union on earth destined for eternity. On earth, the body has to be a true home for the eternal spirit; in eternity the soul has to be home of the risen body. On earth, food assists the body in its essential function to keep “body and soul together” towards the fulfillment of that mystery of the human person. Thus ‘food security’ is hardly a mere earthly affair, it has eternal overtures. The Lord’s Prayer is no common petition. It is the prayer for the coming of the Kingdom of God. In it we pray for the “daily bread”, the everyday food of the poor leading to the eternal bread of tomorrow for all. Scripture refers to food as the basic earthly need: At creation, no [...]

August 30, 2011

Archbishop Óscar Romero lives on

By |30 August 2011|

It is thirty years since Óscar Romero was assassinated while celebrating Mass. As Archbishop of San Salvador he spoke out against the brutal regime that oppressed the people of his country.

The hallmark of Christianity

By |20 August 2011|

More than 1000 young people gathered in the parish of the Holy Family in Madrid to hear Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga present his second catechesis at World Youth Day. The same day, Pope Benedict arrived in the Spanish Capital from Rome, Cardinal Rodriguez spoke of the Pope’s message for World Youth Day: “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith.” Caritas Spain looks at what he said. Cardinal Rodriguez said, “Whatever we build must be planned in a way that that when tough winds blow, it isn’t swept away.” “Our lives are constantly put to the test by personal, family and social crises, through relativism and the ethics of convenience which try to uproot us and make us believe that all that which satisfies our personal needs is good. Yet faith isn’t the rational adherence to an ideology but a personal meeting with Christ who lives [...]

The foundations of faith

By |18 August 2011|

Caritas Internationalis president, Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga has given the first of three catecheses at World Youth Day in Madrid. The theme of all the catecheses is “That each of us uses what we receive to serve others.” Caritas Spain looks at the first catechesis.

World Youth Day inaugural mass

By |17 August 2011|

By Ana Guirao, Caritas Spain The heat didn’t stop thousands of young people coming to Plaza de Cibeles to take part in the inaugural mass for World Youth Day. Even though the celebration was starting at 8 in the evening, young people started to arrive from midday onwards. Young people with their country flags came from all corners of the city to converge on the square. Cardinal Antonio Maria Rauco, Archbishop of Madrid, welcomed the young people. He then gave a homily in which he said, “Do you accept the wonderful and beautiful challenge of “the new evangelisation” of your young peers? Answer him yes, remembering that vibrant and brave call of John Paul II in the homily on Monte del Gozo on the 20th of August, 1989: “Do not be afraid to be saints! Let Christ reign in your hearts! Answer him yes with a complete hope and a generous opening to the [...]

Caritas Australia team in Madrid for World Youth Day

By |17 August 2011|

We feel privileged to be here in Spain, being witnesses of hope and joy through our faith. It is wonderful to meet so many people from around the world and to be part of the vibrant celebrations that bring us together.

A fresh breeze is blowing through Madrid…

By |12 August 2011|

Ana Guirao, Caritas Spain (see below for Spanish) We just had the final press conference in preparation for World Youth Day. They offered us load of figures about the participation, registration, volunteers, costs and the like. Almost half a million people have already registered. We’re really on the home straight. The stage in Plaza de Cibeles – the place where the Pope will be welcomed - is almost up, so are all the structures to hold TV cameras and satellite equipment. Pilgrims have started to arrive and you can see all the volunteers on the streets wearing their green tabards. Madrid has been turned into one big stage in preparation for this festival of faith. This is the right time to celebrate hope. It’s a moment when many tired and disheartened young people will see firsthand that it’s possible to have hope, that love is in each person’s heart and is just waiting [...]

Hola España!

By |8 August 2011|

World Youth Day 2011 kicks off in Madrid on 16th August. Elizabeth Pappalardo and Krystie Tham from Caritas Australia are just two of the hundreds of thousands of young people who will travel to the Spanish capital to celebrate their faith and join in the celebrations. From our experiences at World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, we will never forget the pride we felt in being young Australian Catholics. Being witnesses of love and peace through smiles, laughter, singing and dancing as the diversity of cultures and nations came together, was a week we will never forget. World Youth Day is a significant event for young Catholics as the diversity of nations and countries joined under the Catholic Church unite to share their faith. The experience rejuvenates us to spread the gospel of Jesus in our home lands. We are looking forward to being a part of the love and joy shared [...]

We welcome you to Madrid for World Youth Day

By |8 August 2011|

By Ana Guirao, Caritas Spain Available also in Spanish Almost half a million young people from around the world will gather in Madrid with Pope Benedict to celebrate World Youth Day from 16-21 August. It is a real opportunity for young people to answer their call and to strengthen their commitment to their faith. The Pope will celebrate Mass and participate in the Via Crucis while there as well hear young people from different countries confess . The culmination of WYD will be a concluding Mass on Sunday 21 August which will be celebrated by the Pope and at which hundreds of thousands of people are expected. WYD wouldn’t be complete without a fundamental aspect of Christian life: charity. How can you love Christ and not love your neighbour? How can you take part in adoration of the Eucharist and non in the suffering of your brother or sister? This […]

July 20, 2011

Green Tips from Catholic Health Association in the U.S.

By |20 July 2011|

In the United States, Catholic hospitals, medical centers and health care centers came together in 1915 to form the Catholic Health Association (CHA). Its goal was to support one another in the ministry to the sick, the poor and the vulnerable. Today CHA remains dedicated to serving the nation's Catholic health care organisations and supporting the strategic directions of mission, ethics, and advocacy. CHA is also a leader in the United States regarding environmental issues, especially the “greening” of hospitals. You are invited to see their publications, inviting and challenging Catholic health institutions to become better stewards of the environment. In a recent publication entitled Environmental Sustainability: Getting Started Guide, CHA provides some great Green Tips. Here are some tips related to leadership: Green tip: What does leadership look like? Announces policies Develops an environmental mission Encourages dialogue Promotes/publicises your successes Develops an executive sustainability dashboard Identifies a lead person and committee structure for sustainability activity Apply for awards Develops a [...]

Protecting integrity of creation in Africa

By |20 July 2011|

Participants from the Church in Africa and Caritas Africa members have met in Johannesburg, South Africa to plan their response to the challenges of climate change. The Consultative Meeting of Secam-Caritas Africa Working Group on Natural Resources and Climate Change (SECAM stands for the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar) brought together 25 participants from 7 to 11 May. “This conference took place at very opportune time in South Africa when a debate was raging about the issue of [the oil company] Shell’s proposed exploration for gas in the Karoo by means of ‘fracking’” said Sr. Aine Hughes, Caritas South Africa. “The Karoo is one of the most sensitive and unique bio-diverse areas and the impacts of the ‘fracking’ include pollution of aquifer water, air pollution and of course, climate change impacts from the burning of gas and the release of methane—a potent greenhouse gas,” she said. “The church encourages the [...]

A Synod for the Middle East

By |7 July 2011|

Recognising the need for a way for ward in peace and reconciliation, the first synod specifically dedicated to the Middle East was convened in October. Representatives from Caritas Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon and Joseph Farah, the President of Caritas Middle East and North Africa (MONA) took part.

June 20, 2011

Future of peacebuilding conference

By |20 June 2011|

Read about the conference on the blog and see photos on flickr  From southern Sudan and Central America to Congo and Colombia, the Catholic Church is a powerful force for peace and reconciliation This often untold and unheralded dimension of the Church’s mission has not been systematically examined by academics and is often ignored or misunderstood by policymakers. Caritas is co-sponsoring a Catholic Peacebuilding Networking conference from 9.00 – 13.00 on Thursday 30 June at the Christian Brothers’ Casa La Salle, Via Aurelia, 472, Rome. The event is open to the public.  Leading Catholic theologians, ethicists, academics and practitioners will examine the role of Catholic peacebuilders in preventing and resolving conflicts, and reconciling divided societies. Speakers include Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Michel Roy, Caritas Internationalis Secretary General and Maryann Cusimano Love, The Catholic University of America. They will ask what constitutes effective and authentically Catholic peacebuilding, how can [...]

March 2, 2011

Lenten message from Pope Benedict 2011

By |2 March 2011|

“You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him.” (cf. Col 2: 12) Dear Brothers and Sisters, The Lenten period, which leads us to the celebration of Holy Easter, is for the Church a most valuable and important liturgical time, in view of which I am pleased to offer a specific word in order that it may be lived with due diligence. As she awaits the definitive encounter with her Spouse in the eternal Easter, the Church community, assiduous in prayer and charitable works, intensifies her journey in purifying the spirit, so as to draw more abundantly from the Mystery of Redemption the new life in Christ the Lord (cf. Preface I of Lent). English French Spanish.

December 3, 2010

Caritas response to Pope on condoms and HIV and AIDS

By |3 December 2010|

Why should Caritas and other Catholic Church organizations be encouraged by these comments of Pope Benedict XVI?  Comment by Pope Benedict XVI: “the Church does more than anyone else. And I stand by that claim. Because she is the only institution that assists people up close and concretely, with prevention, education, help, counsel, and accompaniment.” Talking Point: The Pope clearly affirms those Catholic Church-related organizations that have been engaged in HIV prevention, treatment, support and care. He acknowledges the urgency of the HIV pandemic and the need to assist people living with or affected by HIV. Does Pope Benedict offer any new insight on the issue of HIV and AIDS?  Comment by Pope Benedict XVI: “There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward [...]

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