August 8, 2011

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 [...]

November 22, 2010

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    Middle East Synod: Foster quality and transparency in charity work

Middle East Synod: Foster quality and transparency in charity work

By |22 November 2010|

Interview with Naguib Khouzam, General Supervisor of Caritas Egypt’s SETI Centre and Professor of Educational Psychology at Ain Shams University. Mr. Khouzam, you are the General Supervisor of the Caritas Egypt’s SETI Center for disabled people. This centre trains special needs teachers, supports disabled people and their families and runs research in this field. What insight from your experience did you want to share at the Synod?  Mr. Khouzam: The topic of this Synod is “Communion and Witness”. In my speech, I decided to focus on one point, witnessing through social work in Catholic schools and organisations like Caritas. In my opinion, there are four essential factors to make this work effective. The first one is a certain spirit of work, based on love of others and Caritas’s vision to help the poorest. The second factor is quality. In order to ensure quality services, indicators should be set up and checked through rigorous [...]

Caritas statement on Pope and HIV and AIDS

By |21 November 2010|

  Caritas Internationalis welcomes the Pope’s reported comments on the importance of responding to the HIV pandemic. They are an affirmation of the importance of pastoral sensitivity and compassion in HIV and AIDS prevention. The comments are reported in the book “The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times” due to be published on November 23. In the book, the Pope is quoted as saying that for some individuals – for instance a male prostitute – the use of a condom to prevent HIV infection can be a first step towards assuming moral responsibility and adopting a more human way of living sexuality. He goes on to say that while condoms may reduce the risk of infection, the Church does not regard them as a real or moral solution. Caritas Internationalis works in the prevention of HIV infection and in the treatment and care of those living with HIV and AIDS. Caritas Internationalis [...]

September 22, 2010

Synod for Middle East can bring communities together

By |22 September 2010|

Caritas says the upcoming Synod for the Middle East can help divided communities come together for the region’s poorest people. The Synod will take place in Rome from 10 to 24 October. It is the first synod dedicated specifically to the Middle East. Church leaders will discuss problems ranging from the Israeli-Palestinian stand-off and conflict in Iraq, to radical Islamism, the economic crisis and the divisions among the region's many Christian churches. “The Synod presents an opportunity to assess the social, as well as the religious situation in the region,” said Lesley-Anne Knight, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis. “It can give Christians a clear vision of the significance of their presence in Muslim societies and their role and mission in the countries in which they live,” she said. “It is urgent to find new ways to work towards peace in this troubled part of the world. This is of vital importance not only [...]

Middle East Synod a symbol of peace

By |22 September 2010|

The first Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops will take place in Rome from 10 to 24 October. Caritas hopes the Synod can build bridges between faiths in a region wracked by conflict. Caritas will be represented at this event by representatives from the Middle East, sharing their practical experience in this fragile region. Read more on the Synod and Caritas: Interview with Joseph Farah, President of Caritas MONA: Middle East: a testing ground for the spirit of reconciliation Interview with Naguib Khouzam, General Supervisor of Caritas Egypt’s SETI Centre and Professor of Educational Psychology at Ain Shams University: Foster quality and transparency in charity work Caritas press release: Synod for Middle East can bring communities together Lesley-Anne Knight speech to Caritas MONA Regional Forum July 2010:  (Middle East and North Africa) Implications for Caritas of the Instrumentum Laboris of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod [...]

Middle East: a testing ground for the spirit of reconciliation

By |22 September 2010|

Interview with Joseph Farah, President of Caritas MONA (Middle East and North Africa)  What are your expectations for next week’s synod? What main challenges in this region should it address?  Mr. Farah: The Middle East is a fragile region. People feel insecure and have to face situations of permanent belligerence, in particular due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many people don’t manage to make ends meet. The Church is already very active in different fields. It stands up for reconciliation and peace. With its different organisations, one of whom is Caritas, it works to improve people’s lives. But it is not enough. We need to make greater effort. The Caritas MONA region is very vast. It goes from Mauritania to Iran. This region is very particular. At both the levels of religions and civilizations, it is pluralistic. This pluralism can even be found within the Catholic Church. There are Maronites, Syriacs, Greek, Armenian [...]

May 30, 2010

Archbishop Óscar Romero – a voice for the oppressed

By |30 May 2010|

For me the death of Archbishop Oscar Romero is one of the saddest moments of my life. By bravely speaking out on behalf of the poor and oppressed he paid with his death.

August 16, 2009

Be a Fairtrade pilgrim to Eternal City this Lent

By |16 August 2009|

Millions of people come to Rome every year – 2.2 million went to Papal audiences last year alone. Lent and Easter are particularly important times for people to make a pilgrimage to the Eternal City. Many would use fair-trade products at home but travelling in a foreign country it’s not so easy. Now there is a solution to that problem. The Economic Justice Group of the Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) is working group of Unions of Superiors General (USG/USIG). It’s a group of people from religious congregations based in Rome and also includes Caritas Internationalis. They’ve just published a booklet “Empowering the poor in the developing world” which contains a rundown of shops in Rome they’ve found selling fair-traded goods. The guide explains both what religious congregations are doing around the world and how they can make a difference starting with many of their headquarters here in Rome. But it’s [...]

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