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By Michel Roy, Secretary General
The Catholic Church in Sudan is appealing to everyone to join with it in praying for the future of the Republic of South Sudan, which secedes from Sudan to become Africa’s newest nation on 9 July.
It will be a moment of great joy for the people of South Sudan to become independent. They have suffered decades of conflict that has decimated their communities, forced millions from their homes and left the people among the poorest and least developed in the world. For example, a Sudanese girl has more chance of dying in childbirth than finishing school. Continue reading
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By Lesley-Anne Knight, Caritas Internationalis Secretary General
The week-long Caritas Internationalis General Assembly begins next Sunday 22 May with over 300 delegates from national Caritas member organisations arriving in Rome. We are privileged to have many important guests, including the Secretary of State of the Holy See, His Eminence Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., who will be concelebrating our opening Mass as part of the 60th anniversary festivities for the Caritas confederation. We will have the special joy of an audience and blessing from the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI on the last day of the Assembly.
As part of the 60th anniversary celebrations, Vatican officials, ambassadors to the Holy See, Caritas representatives, supporters and train enthusiasts will be taking part in a special event on the eve of the General Assembly. An historic steam locomotive will be taking them in vintage carriages from the Vatican train station to Orvieto and back, all in aid of our humanitarian work. We are saying a really big thank you to the Governatorato of the Vatican City and Ferrovie dello Stato (the Italian State Railway System) for making this happen for us.
Caritas Lebanon Migrant Center employee Mya Ziadeh with a child at Saloum border crossing between Libya and Egypt. Credit: Donal Reilly
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By Lesley-Anne Knight, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis
The headlines have been dominated by the conflicts in Libya and across the Middle East, a descent into civil war in Cote D’Ivoire and the terrible earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan.
Caritas has sent two Emergency Response Teams to the Libyan-Egyptian and the Libyan-Tunisian borders and is providing emergency aid such as food, health care and counselling to thousands of stranded migrants.
I have visited Caritas Japan, and know it’s wonderful work. So I know the resilience and courage they will have as they respond to a 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the northern coast of Japan on 11th March 2011. Caritas has been giving out blankets and supporting parishes in providing food.
Hundreds of thousands of Ivoirians have already fled their homes to escape the violent post-election clashes in Côte d’Ivoire. Caritas is providing food, health care, sanitation and more to thousands of displaced people inside Côte d’Ivoire and in nearby Liberia. Continue reading
Lesley-Anne Knight speaking at Edmonton Cathedral. Credit: Development and Peace
By Lesley-Anne Knight, Secretary-General
Available in Spanish and in French
One of the huge privileges of my job as Secretary General of a world-wide confederation is to be able to visit our member organisations around the world and experience at first-hand how our Church embraces so many diverse cultures.
This February I was in Edmonton, Canada with our national Caritas organisation, Development and Peace. I joined their Director Michael Casey, our Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga and Archbishop Richard Smith at his cathedral, the Basilica of St Joseph, to speak on international development and social injustice.
Lesley-Anne Knight, Secretary-General
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Caritas Internationalis managers from the General Secretariat began the year with a spiritual retreat that included silent meditation on biblical stories such as the feeding of the five thousand, followed by discussion on what they had to teach us in the context of our work. The retreat was a precious moment of calm and reflection at the beginning of this new year 2011. It was also a reminder to us that we have a wonderful resource in the Bible, giving us courage as we face sometimes daunting obstacles. Continue reading
Caritas Internationalis is 60 in 2011
Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis
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“One Human Family, Zero Poverty” has been selected as the theme for the Caritas Internationalis General Assembly in 2011. The meeting, which takes place every four years, is an opportunity for leaders of our 165 national Caritas members to come together in Rome to reanimate our mission and agree common strategies that we will take forward over the next four years.
The meeting from 22 – 27 May next year will be particularly special for us all because it coincides with the 60th anniversary of the founding of our confederation. Continue reading
Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Lesley-Anne Knight with Caritas Chile Director Lorenzo Figueroa on a visit to Talca to meet people affected by an earthquake earlier in the year. Credit: Caritas.
By Lesley Anne Knight, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis
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Change has been in the air in Rome in October, with autumnal weather and new appointments. Caritas Internationalis warmly congratulated His Eminence Cardinal-elect Robert Sarah on his appointment to the College of Cardinals and as President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum. We look forward to renewed and fruitful collaboration with Cor Unum under his leadership.
Rome hosted the Middle East Synod of Bishops this month, where Church leaders discussed the unique difficulties facing this fragile region. Delegates included representatives of Caritas Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the Caritas Middle East and North Africa (MONA) President, Joseph Farah. The propositions adopted by the Synod Fathers show real hope in unity that there is a way out of the conflict which overshadows so much of daily life there. “Peace is possible”, as the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI said in his closing address. Continue reading