Tag Archives: Caritas Spain

A fresh breeze is blowing through Madrid…

Religious consult with WYD volunteers

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 for a fresh breeze to awaken it. World Youth Day, where many young people will proclaim their faith without fear, is the moment of this breeze.

The participation of pilgrims from communities and countries which are going through hard times will be especially moving. Caritas Internationalis secretary general, Michel Roy, highlighted in his message the swell of solidarity from young people during the Japan earthquake. Almost 600 young Japanese pilgrims are coming to Spain. There are pilgrims from the Horn of Africa, a region with is living through a dramatic drought. There will be 3 from Somalia, 624 from Kenya, 81 from Ethiopia, 7 from Eritrea and 60 from Sudan. There will also be pilgrims from countries where they are persecuted for their faith. The suffering of these people revitalises the Church and those who spend some time with them.

Yes, Madrid is gearing up for World Youth Day and we at Caritas are eager to welcome people. Hurry up and come and see us, we’re all waiting for you!


Ana Guirao. Cáritas Española

Acaba de celebrarse la última rueda de prensa de la JMJ, nos han ofrecido un montón de cifras: de participación, de inscripción, de voluntarios… datos económicos.

Verdaderamente estamos en la recta final, ya está casi montada la plataforma en la plaza de Cibeles, donde se dará la bienvenida al Papa; las torres para los medios de comunicación…, ya han empezado a llegar los peregrinos y a los voluntarios se les ve en la calle con sus chalecos verdes. Madrid, convertido en un gran escenario, se prepara para esta fiesta de la fe.

Se trata de un momento providencial para celebrar la esperanza; un momento en el que muchos jóvenes cansados y desanimados sabrán de primera mano que es posible la esperanza, que hay razones para ella y que el amor anida en el corazón de cada hombre esperando que una brisa fresca lo despierte, estos días, con miles de jóvenes proclamando sin miedo su fe es el momento de esa brisa.

Será especialmente emocionante la participación de aquellos peregrinos cuyas comunidades y países atraviesan momentos de dificultad. Michel Roy destacaba en su mensaje la participación de los jóvenes durante el terremoto de Japón, desde allí llegarán a España 579 peregrinos; también tenemos muy presentes a los que llegan desde el Cuerno de África que atraviesan por momentos dramáticos: 3 de Somalia, 624 de Kenia, 81 de Etiopía, 7 de Eritrea y 60 de Sudán y a otros muchos perseguidos por razón de su fe en diferentes países del mundo. El sufrimiento de todos ellos vivifica a la Iglesia y de forma especial a quienes tendremos la dicha de compartir unos días con ellos.

Madrid está preparado, os esperamos con impaciencia, Cáritas, una vez más, está lista para acoger a todos con alegría. ¡No tardéis os esperamos!

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We welcome you to Madrid for World Youth Day

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 is the reason that Caritas, as a part of the Church and as an expression of love, is present at WYD.

Caritas Spain will take the opportunity of WYD to raise awareness among young about those who are most vulnerable in the world. We are promoting two projects at WYD: one which will help vulnerable women in Spain,  and another sees us working with Caritas Brazil on a project to help young people.
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Cancun climate summit: reduce, reuse, and recycle

Martin Lago at the UNFCCC conference in Cancun

By Martin Lago,  Climate Change Advisor for Caritas Spain and Haiti programme officer

The hope I have for this summit is that the developed countries will stick to their targets for funds on climate change adaptation. Developed countries have committed in Copenhagen to provide $100 billion in annual long-term financing by 2020 and $30 billion have been pledged for fast-start financing to address urgent adaptation and associated capacity-building needs in developing countries. Again, it is not enough to tackle the challenge that we face. The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs estimated that $500-600 billion is needed in developing countries to adapt to the effects of climate change. But at least, these funds can be a start. Caritas in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic for example will apply for money out of these funds, we are working on the application at the moment. Continue reading

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Filed under Climate Change, Europe, Food, High-Level Meetings and Events, Latin America, Mexico, Spain