Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand celebrates its jubilee


Last Thursday, Cardinal John Dew and new Apostolic Nuncio to New Zealand Novatus Rugambwa celebrated a special Mass to mark the jubilee year of Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand.

Fifty years ago, the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference/He Huinga o ngā Pīhopa Katorika o Aotearoa, established national bodies for Catholic overseas aid, justice and peace, and provision of lay volunteers overseas.

Caritas is holding a series of diocesan Masses to acknowledge and honour all those, past and present, supporting the Church’s mission for justice, peace and development.

Anniversary masses were held in Dunedin and Christchurch in March.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is responsible to the Bishops in providing an avenue for Catholics to be actively involved in overcoming poverty and injustice.

The organisation grew out of Catholic concern in the 1950s and 1960s for justice and a fairer distribution of the world’s resources, as well as the Second Vatican Council’s promotion of the Church’s concern for social issues and the role of the laity.

In his most recent Newsletter, Cardinal John said the Jubilee is a chance to reflect on the challenge which belongs to all Catholics to reach out to the poor and underprivileged.

“It could be easy to think that Caritas is doing all the work and the rest of us don’t need to do anything,” he said.

John noted that Pope Francis reminded those gathered in Rome for the Caritas Internationalis meeting a few weeks ago that anyone one who wants to follow the path of charity, humility and listening needs to turn an ear to the small ones.

Francis said “In the world, those who have more speak more, but among us it cannot be that way because God loves to reveal himself through those who are small and last.

“He is inviting all of us to listen to and care for ‘the small ones’, those who struggle in life.”


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News category: New Zealand.

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