World Day of the Poor: What parishes can do
This is the English cover of Pope Francis’ message for World Day of the Poor, which is to be marked Nov. 17. In the message, the pope called for Christians to understand the importance of embracing and assisting the poor, oppressed and outcast. CNS/PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR PROMOTING NEW EVANGELIZATION
By CBCP News
November 4, 2019
On World Day of the Poor, Catholics are called to open their arms for people living in poverty, the Church’s social action arm said.
Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona, head of the National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace, hoped that the day will spur greater attention to the needs of the least and the marginalized.
Suggested by the Nassa, here are some ways the dioceses and parishes can celebrate the special day “as our expression of solidarity, love and services to the poor”:
- Eucharistic celebration with special promotion/acknowledgment of the World Day of the Poor on Nov. 17, Sunday in all churches at 8:00 am.
- After the Mass on Nov. 17, or on Nov. 18/Monday, an activity for the poor shall be organized. Recommended activities could be (you may choose at least one):
- Visit to poor communities (with distribution of gifts)
- Visit to prisoners (with distribution of gifts)
- Conduct a medical mission or hospital visit (with distribution of gifts)
- Conduct feeding session
- Conduct a forum or dialogue on social justice for the poor
- Or anything feasible that can be done by the parish.
On Sunday before the 3WDP, or on Nov. 17 itself, churchgoers are requested to offer during Masses offertory packages for the poor, which may contain the following:
- Hygiene Kit (bath and laundry soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, alcohol, face towel) – good for 1 family or more
- Food pack (rice, canned goods, coffee, sugar, powdered milk, bread) – good for 1 family or more
- Kids pack (biscuits, candies, pad paper, pens/pencils, crayons)
- Medicine/supplemental pack (paracetamol for kids and adults, vitamin C, cough syrup/capsule, medicine for diarrhea, etc.)
- Money (this is also an option to support medical mission)
Archbishop Tirona said that the giving or sharing of offertory packages is a small gesture to restore hope for the poor.
“Genuine love, concern and service to the poor go beyond initiatives of assistance,” he said.
In 2017, Pope Francis designated the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time each year as World Day of the Poor.
This year the celebration will fall on Nov. 17 with the theme is taken from the Psalms: “The hope of the poor shall not perish forever.”
The pope is inviting not just the Church but also all the people around the world of other faiths to do good deeds for the poor.