Young people prepare for World Day of the Poor

WelCom October 2018: ‘The Lord listens to the poor who cry out to Him’ – from Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for Second World Day of the Poor, 18 November…

WelCom October 2018:

‘The Lord listens to the poor who cry out to Him’ – from Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for Second World Day of the Poor, 18 November 2018.

Young people prepare for World Day of the Poor Archdiocese of Wellington

Challenge 2000 young people work on artwork for the Wellington Archdiocese 2018 World Day of the Poor activities. The logo has been designed by Challenge Youth Worker, Jacob Bang. Pictured from left are: Anh-Dao with Layla, Jade, Mapihi, Caitlin, Sofia, Jeff, Jacob (logo artist and designer), Rimu, Aaron, Gabe and Benni-Rose. Photo: Annette Scullion/WelCom

Annette Scullion

Young people prepare for World Day of the Poor Archdiocese of WellingtonFratello, an international charity, based in France and which promotes the World Day of the Poor, has invited the Archdiocese of Wellington to be one of 12 dioceses worldwide to take the lead for Pope Francis’ Second World Day of the Poor on 18 November. The 12 dioceses have been asked to organise activities and events of encounter to help people on the margins

Also invited are the dioceses of Manila, Philippines; Paris, France; Bangui, Central African Republic; Santiago, Chile; Anatanarivo, Madagascar; Vienna, Austria; Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; Quebec, Canada; Madrid, Spain; Boston, United States; and Lyon, France.

In November 2016, Fratello accompanied 3500 homeless people and their helpers from 22 European countries to Rome for the Jubilee of Mercy. A few days later Pope Francis announced the creation of the World Day of the Poor to be held annually on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time.

In his message for this Second World Day of the Poor Pope Francis asks communities to reflect on how ‘poverty is at the very heart of the Gospel and as long as Lazarus lies at the door of our homes, there can be no justice or social peace.’ He invites our ‘personal involvement and loving attentiveness to the needs of people around us’.

The Pope says he wants the World Day of the Poor to be a small sign to the world that the Church gives heed to the voice of those living on the margins. ‘It may well be a small drop in the desert of poverty, yet it can serve as a sign of sharing with those in need, and enable them to sense the active present of a brother or a sister.’

Cardinal John Dew invites everyone in the Archdiocese to consider ways to offer acts of solidarity and practical assistance for the World Day of the Poor on Sunday 18 November. Parishes, communities, groups and families are being asked to get together to plan an initiative to reach out to others for the World Day of the Poor. ‘It may be a shared meal with neighbours, a cup of tea with someone who is isolated, a community meal, or ensuring that members of your parish or community are able to get to a local event. This is an opportunity to reach out and get to know people on the margins of our parishes, communities and society,’ Cardinal John said.

Various groups, schools and parishes have organised a number of activities. A large community Mass will be celebrated at St Michael’s in Taita, Lower Hutt, at 10.30am on 18 November. This Mass will also celebrate the tricentenary of Nano Nagle (1718‒1784), the founder of the Presentation Sisters in Ireland. Nano Nagle spent her life working with the poor.

The Society of St Vincent de Paul will offer pop-up free stores in Wellington, Porirua and the Hutt Valley on Saturday 17 November with bags of free clothing and food. At Bishop Viard College on 17 November, Challenge 2000 will host a gathering of social justice workshops, speakers and liturgy with the theme ‘Better Off Together – He Waka Eke Noa’.

Other events include an invitation to parishes to sponsor an evening’s meal at the Wellington Compassion Soup Kitchen; encouragement for parishes to take a wheelbarrow, rather than a box, of food to their local foodbank; and a workshop by Wellington Catholic Justice Peace Development Commission about the two Benefit Impact Weeks held in Upper Hutt and Naenae in 2016 and 2017 to help beneficiaries with advice.

The Wellington Archdiocese JPD can help support and publicise events. Please email for more information, or contact Challenge 2000 at for support with initiatives and help to bring ideas to reality. Updates of information will be posted on the Archdiocese website and facebook pages.