Bishops send Catholic Worker Movement representative to Rome

Catholic Worker Movement

Forrest Chambers is in Rome to participate in the World Meeting of Popular Movements  from 2 to 4 November.

On Saturday 5, the Holy Father Francis will receive the participants in audience in the Paul VI Hall.

The attendees will include Don Luigi Ciotti, founder of the Abel group which fights against abuse by the Mafia throughout Italy; Vandana Shiva, Indian philosopher and environmentalist; and Pepe Mujica, president of Uruguay from 2010 to 2015.

Accompanying Forrest is his 14 year-old daughter, who studied Ancient Rome last year. She is excited about to being able to see it in person.

Both she and Forrest are looking forward to visiting the places that are important to their Catholic faith.

The World Meeting of Popular Movements, promoted by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pope Francis himself, brings together people who are involved in communitarian organisations all over the world.

Forrest’s involvement with the Catholic Worker Movement led to Bishop Charles Drennan of the Diocese of Palmerston North recommending that he attend the meeting.

Drennan noted that “the Catholic Worker Movement have a long history of simple living, and practical concern for the poor and marginalised”.

He said their community in Palmerston North was “a humbling place of prayer, hospitality and support of many including those with mental health challenges”.

Forrest’s role as a Catholic Worker Movement representative will be to look at the issues facing the poor and marginalised in our communities and ask, ‘what’s wrong with the world that’s causing people to suffer so much? And what can we do to change this?’

Forrest says that everyone at the meeting will be discussing these questions, both generally and more specifically to their particular countries and situations.

This year will be the third time World Meeting of Popular Movements has met.

The meeting will take place over three days, and will focus on how to bring about the necessary social changes to reduce inequality, injustice, and the degradation of the planet.

Attention will also be given to how the poor of the world can have greater access to the ‘3L’s’: land, lodge and labour.

150 representatives from approximately 70 countries are expected to attend.

He is interested in hearing from the other representatives at the meeting.

“New Zealand is such a wealthy country – we have poor people here, but our situation is radically different to a lot of other countries.” said Chambers.

He also encourages all Catholics to read Laudato Si’, which part of the meeting will be focusing on. “It’s a great read,” he says.


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