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 […]

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 [...]

Grande finale

By |27 May 2011|

La journée tire à sa fin. La 19e assemblée générale de Caritas Internationalis aussi. Ce midi, rencontre avec le pape au Vatican, Puis, il y a eu l'adoption du message final. Enfin, nous y voilà, les inévitables discours officiels. Il y en a un qui est particulièrement attendu, un discours d'adieu celui-là. Celui de Lesley-Anne Knight, secrétaire générale sortante. Avec beaucoup de dignité, elle a rappelé le chemin parcouru depuis quatre ans. Une certitude: <nous avons pris le bon chemin et nous avons écouté la voix puissante et authentique des pauvres>. Et c'est cette voix qu'elle a tenu à faire entendre dans les grands forums internationaux auxquelle elle a participé. Celui qui la remplacera, Michel Roy, a tenu à la remercier. Plus tôt, lorsqu'interrogé sur les valeurs qu'il défendrait, le nouveau secrétaire général a déclaré qu'il allait aussi <défendre une vision du monde inspirée par la spiritualité des pauvres. Ce qui [...]

The big question: why are we here?

By |25 May 2011|

By Michelle Hough, communications officer It took Sr Senolita Vakata two days to come to Rome from Tonga in the Pacific Ocean for the Caritas Internationalis General Assembly. She’ll make her return journey after just seven days in the Italian capital. “I wake up at 3am every morning because of jet lag, but it’s worth it. I’m getting used to the long journey. I feel as though I’m part of the family,” says Sr Senolita. Today, delegates have been working on the strategic framework for Caritas organisations for the next four years. It’s not an operational work plan, but offers guidance to members. Everyone is given a chance at the General Assembly to offer input into this important document. I go and look at the flip charts where discussion groups have jotted down their ideas, thoughts and feelings: “The vitality of Caritas is incomparable” “The poor have much to give […]

Moteurs de changement

By |25 May 2011|

Une assemblée mondiale, c'est évidemment un grand nombre de plénières et du travail en ateliers. Et au menu de ces agapes délibératives, il y a inévitablement des rapports à approuver, des états financiers à scruter à la loupe, des plans stratégiques à commenter et à bonifier. Sans com pter ces élections à la direction et ces longues périodes où chaque délégation doit déposer son vote – 128 pays étaient représentés hier lors du vote pour la présidence et la trésorerie – après quoi trois scrutateurs dépouillent, un à un, les bulletins. Heureusement, il y a aussi ces moments où ces gens du terrain rendent compte de ces projets et événements qui façonnent leur quotidien. Il faut entendre Odile Sadou du Niger raconter comment les femmes de son pays répondent à la crise alimentaire. «Nous avons des zones chroniquement déficitaires en nourriture», puisque les 300 ou 400 millimètres de pluie que nécessitent la [...]

Interview with Father Timothy Radcliffe, OP

By |24 May 2011|

Le rapport du président

By |24 May 2011|

«Nous ne pouvons accepter qu’un seul de nos frères et de nos soeurs doive continuer de vivre dans l’extrême pauvreté – encore moins un milliard d’entre eux», a tonné le président de Caritas Internationalis, le cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga. Dans son rapport présenté lors de la 19e assemblée générale de cette confédération, il a rappelé qu'elle fête cette année son 60e anniversaire. «Pendant six décennies, Caritas Internationalis a vécu l’option préférentielle pour les pauvres, répondant à la souffrance humaine dans un monde injuste et inéquitable par l’amour et par des gestes concrets.» Il reconnaît que, durant cette période, de grands progrès ont été réalisés dans les domaines du développement international et de l’éradication de la pauvreté. Mais nombre d'améliorations ont été mises à mal, en 2008, lorsqu'a éclaté la crise financière et économique dont les répercussions «se feront sentir pendant des années encore». Pour le cardinal, un «monde qui repose sur [...]

There’s something about Caritas

By |23 May 2011|

By Michelle Hough, communications officer The enormous richness that is Caritas suddenly hit me when we were at Mass at the end of the first day of our General Assembly. People from the four corners of the earth gathered together under the roof of Palazzo Carpegna chapel in Rome. One thing united them all: Caritas and their dedication to working for the poor. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, celebrated the Mass. During his homily, he reminded us that Caritas isn’t just an aid agency and doesn’t just take care of the body, but also the spirit. He used the Gospel story of the healing of the paralytic at Capernaum to illustrate how we all have a transcendent dignity regardless of our physical and material state. As I’d greeted those arriving from Caritas organisations throughout the day, I’d been reminded of the special qualities of Caritas people from many […]

Réflexions théologiques

By |23 May 2011|

de François Gloutnay Prédicateur de la Maison pontificale, le capucin Raniero Cantalamessa, a rappelé combien il avait été ému lorsque, présent dans un pays du Sud, il avait croisé tous ces enfants en haillons et vu des gens courir après des bennes à ordures en espérant y trouver de quoi survivre. «Je suis devenu  sans voix, j'ai perdu mon souffle, en me disant ceci est le Seigneur. La personne pauvre, c'est précisément Jésus qui marche dans le monde, incognito», a-t-il lancé. Le père Cantalamessa menait la réflexion théologique, en ce lundi matin, à Rome, lors de la 19e assemblée générale de Caritas Internationalis. Il a ensuite souligné que «tous ceux qui aiment leurs voisins et leurs prochains n'aiment pas nécessairement le Christ. Mais tous ceux qui aiment le Christ, aiment leurs prochains». Le cardinal Peter Turkson, président du Conseil pontifical Justice et Paix, a poursuivi sur cette question: «Qui est mon prochain?». [...]

Début de la 19e assemblée générale

By |22 May 2011|

de François Gloutnay C'est dans moins d'une heure que débutera officiellement, à Rome, la 19e assemblée générale de Caritas Internationalis. Déjà quelque 300 participants et participantes sont présents dans les corridors du centre de congrès Domus Mariae Palazzo Carpegna. Le président de Caritas Internationalis, le cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga, prononcera l'allocution d'ouverture. Elle sera suivie par un discours du cardinal Robert Sarah, président du Conseil pontifical Cor Unum. La confédération Caritas accueillera aujourd'hui cinq nouveaux membres, soit Caritas Mongolie, Caritas Vietnam, Caritas Suède, Caritas Monaco et Caritas Samoa. L'organisme compte dorénavant 165 membres et représente les agences et bureaux de secours humanitaire et de développement social des conférences épiscopales nationales du monde entier.

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 [...]

Female face of migration conference in Senegal

By |26 August 2010|

Caritas Internationalis is organising a conference on “The Female Face of Migration” in Saly, Senegal 30 November to 2 December 2010 in cooperation with Caritas Senegal. The aim of the conference is to better understand the phenomenon of the ‘feminization of migration’, which describes the increasing percentage of women migrating. Caritas Internationalis Director of Policy Martina Liebsch said, “More women are migrating independently from their families. The demand for workers in female-dominated sectors, such as in domestic work and healthcare, in countries of destination is increasing. Migration policies have not adjusted to this trend. “There is no systematic global understanding on how to assess the impact of emigration and immigration policies on men and women. No globally agreed “code of conduct” exists to ensure migration is a safe informed option for earning a living. Little support is available on how to assist families separated by migration.” Caritas members, migration experts and academics will [...]

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