Caritas is responding to a direct call from Pope Francis to create a culture of encounter. The culture of encounter focuses on building stronger relationships between people, and as a result, stronger and more peaceful communities.
As Caritas’ inspiration, Pope Francis is the catalyst in prompting us to take practical action to open up spaces for migrants and local communities to meet and to talk. Caritas creates opportunities for communities to come together with migrants and refugees, to share stories and experiences and to speak out together on a local, national and international level.
As an international confederation of member organisations in 165 countries, Caritas accompanies the poor and marginalised on their journeys through life with love, compassion and solidarity.
Pope Francis says we are all on “an itinerant journey towards our heavenly homeland”, and urges us to take into our hearts his ‘four verbs’, which frame his vision of justice and compassion: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate.
As well as giving hope and restoring dignity, Caritas organisations reach out with practical help to refugees and migrants. We advocate for their care and protection and for their human rights to be respected.
Caritas believes that hearts and minds will be changed by taking part in practical community-level action. In his 2017 Easter message, Cardinal Luis Tagle, Caritas Internationalis president said, “Meeting migrants in all their difficulties, and hearing about their hopes and dreams, has caused me to ask myself what’s really important to me.”
Today’s migrant and refugee situation is a chance for us all – individuals, communities and nations – to re-examine our priorities, values and our vision of the world we want to build for future generations.