"Say it with your life": first world day of the poor

Say it with your life Caritas Westminster
"Say it with your life" Caritas Westminster via Flickr

Fr James Hanvey SJ recently spoke at a Westminster Caritas event anticipating the church's first world day of the poor. His talk was entitled 'Say it with your life', and focused on the way Catholic social thinking brings new life to a wounded and broken world. Fr Hanvey talked about 'the magnificent witness of practical hope;' that Caritas and their partners represented.  What is unique about Catholic social teaching is that it's not just abstract thought but rather the interplay with the experience of the church. He focused on three ways in which Catholic social teaching does this, bringing new eyes to problems, bringing a new capacity, bringing a new imaginative understanding and thus a new possibility.  You can hear the whole of Fr Hanvey's talk on Soundcloud.

The event was chaired by Danny Curtin and attended by over 40 people. The audience also heard from Tom O'Connor from Providence Row and Ellen Teague about practical ways of bringing CST to life. Westminster Diocese Director of Evangelisation Fr Chris Vipers closed the event by reminding people that we are called to show love with our life.

Pope Francis designated last Sunday as the first world day of the poor as one of the fruits of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. He tasked the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization to organise this.  Monsignor Geno Sylva of the council explained  “The Holy Father announced this initiative, occasion, this opportunity for grace during the Jubilee when he reached out to those who are socially marginalized and so this is an opportunity for the Church around the world to not only celebrate and assist and be with those who are poor, but also to change our attitudes about poverty.”

In Rome the celebrations began with a special prayer vigil for all those who volunteer to work alongside the poor. On Sunday Pope Francis had a special lunch with the poor in the Paul VI Hall and also in the dining halls of Rome.