Over 45 people attended an event on 12 November at St Mary’s in Poole to reflect on Pope Francis’s message for World Day of the Poor. Participants were from across the Diocese, mainly from the Dorset Deanery. We were grateful to be joined by the Dean Canon John Webb, and by Canon John Deeny, Chair of Caritas Plymouth who led the event and liturgy.

Raymond Friel OBE, CEO of Caritas Social Action Network, introduced the work of Caritas across the world and the importance of our faith as the source and summit of our charitable work. Raymond talked about the first document of Catholic Social Teaching ‘Rerum Novarum’ and how relevant this is to the current situation: “Some remedy must be found and quickly found for the misery and wretchedness, which presses so heavily at this moment on the large majority of the very poor’. He talked about the preferential love for the poor and the need to work for their relief, defence and liberation. CSAN has two current campaigns which everyone is invited to support – the cost-of-living crisis and a partnership with St John of God SJOG to find hosts for Ukrainian families.  Caritas Social Action Network – Caritas Social Action Network – CSAN

John Paul de Quay from the Ecological Conversion group explored the concept of integral ecology, right relationships with God and the importance of asking the question ‘How did we get here?’. Pope Francis explored integral ecology in Laudato Si’ – the importance of living in harmony with God, others, nature and self.  We are not separate from our planet nor from our neighbour but are interdependent with our brothers and sisters and our Common Home. ‘Nothing in this world is indifferent to us – everything is connected’. John Paul introduced a set of resources to help parishes, groups and individuals reflect on how we can build caring communities using an integrated approach The Journey to 2030

Caritas Plymouth is happy to organise events at Deanery and parish level to help us to reflect as a Diocese how we are responding to the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor. Please get in touch if you would like to invite us to run an event or we can help in some other way. Please contact caritas@prcdtr.org.uk