The seventh World Day of the Poor will be celebrated by the Catholic Church on Sunday 19 November, with the theme of “Do not turn your face away from anyone who is poor” (Tobit 4:7).
Across our Diocese, the cry of the poor resonates in a multitude of forms. It echoes through the streets where the homeless seek refuge from the cold, the struggle against the relentless tide of the rising cost of living, and the silent voices of refugees in the temporary refuge of hotel rooms. As members of this Diocese, we are called not only to hear but to respond and extend a hand of support, to build bridges of empathy, and to foster a community where the marginalised find solace and hope.
Pope Francis is calling each of us to social action to ensure we never forget the poor or most in need. He celebrates the next door neighbours, “ordinary people who quietly make themselves poor among the poor. They do more than give alms: they listen, they engage, they try to understand and deal with difficult situations and their causes”. An important theme throughout the papacy of Pope Francis has been the need to do more than just relieve suffering (compassion), but to work to challenge the causes of suffering and do what we can to ensure it does not happen in the first place (justice).