Caritas Portugal staff preparing for their encounter with the Pope
10 May 2010
Caritas Portugal staff will take part in an encounter between Pope Benedict XVI and charity organisations in Fatima on 13 May.
Pope Benedict XVI visited the Caritas shelter in Rome on Sunday, 14th February 2010, to highlight poverty in Europe.
“We are very happy about this meeting, it means a lot to us” said Luisa Correia, Communications Officer at Caritas Portugal.
Caritas Portugal published a special brochure, based on the encyclical letters Deus Caritas Est and Caritas in Veritate, to help people prepare for the Pope’s visit.
Pope Benedict XVI will visit Lisbon, Fatima and Porto from 11 May to 14 May on occasion of the 10th anniversary of the beatification of the Fatima visionaries.
Portugal recently received media attention when heavy rains struck the island of Madeira, leaving 43 people dead. Caritas provided housing, food and blankets to the victims.
Caritas Portugal’s main concern however is rising poverty in the country. “With the economic crisis, the situation has become really bad. Around two million of the roughly ten million inhabitants of Portugal live in poverty. Young people are very hard-hit by unemployment, even if they are highly-skilled. It takes many university graduates more than a year to find a job,” said Mrs. Correira.
Caritas Portugal has been particularly active in the Europe-wide Caritas Campaign “Zero Poverty”, organizing special events and conferences about poverty in order to encourage people to sign the campaign’s petition against poverty in Europe.
“We hope that this campaign will raise awareness about poverty in Europe. Hopefully, the European Union will take measures when receiving the petition”, said Mrs. Correira.
Caritas Portugal has set up different programmes to help young people, the homeless and families that were hit by unemployment due in the crisis. Measures include food distributions, training courses, payment of bills and other financial support. Through a recent national campaign, Caritas Portugal raised around 300,000 euro for Portugal’s poor.
Please call Patrick Nicholson on +39 06 698 79 725 or +39 334 359 0700 or email email@example.com with any requests.