NEW SOCIAL OUTREACH INITIATIVE LAUNCHED: The Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh has marked Scotland’s national day by launching a new social outreach initiative, Caritas Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh.
“Scotland is a country of great peace and prosperity, beauty and bounty, and yet ours is also a land where too many go without: without opportunity, without dignity, without hope,” said Archbishop Leo Cushley, 30 November, St Andrew’s Day.
“Caritas Archdiocese St Andrews & Edinburgh is a tangible legacy of the Catholic Church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy, that has just concluded, as it’s our way of continuing to bring God’s mercy, God’s love to those in greatest need; the poor, the marginalised, the lonely, the defenceless.”
Caritas Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh will aim to promote a range of anti-poverty initiatives across the 113 parishes of the archdiocese. It will enable parish communities to both create and sustain their own self-generated projects and also to successfully import and take ownership of programmes generated by existing charitable bodies – Catholic and non-Catholic – such as the Society of St Vincent de Paul, the Missionaries of Charity or the St Catherine's Mercy Centre in Edinburgh. All the work of Caritas Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh will, of course, be underpinned by prayer.
“This is a really exciting new venture to be involved in,” said Father Kevin Dow, Director of Caritas Archdiocese St Andrews & Edinburgh, who is also parish priest of Saints John & Columba parish in Rosyth and Saint Peter in Chains in Inverkeithing.
“The great legacy of Pope Francis’s Jubilee Year of Mercy includes spiritual works of mercy – such as forgiving sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation – but also corporal works of mercy such as feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless and visiting prisoners and it’s those works that Caritas Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh aims to promote in the months and years to come.”
Caritas Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh will take its place beneath the umbrella of Caritas Internationalis, the confederation of 165 Catholic relief, development and social service organisations which operates in over 200 countries and territories worldwide including Scotland’s own Catholic international aid agency, SCIAF. The title caritas derives from the Latin word for love.
“To be part of such a global network of prayer, love and expertise will provide us with tremendous support as we aim to develop and grow,” said Father Dow.
Caritas Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh was launched at a soup kitchen run by the Edinburgh convent of the Missionaries of Charity who were founded by Saint Teresa of Calcutta in 1950.
“Our saintly foundress, affectionately known around the cworld as Mother Teresa, was a beautiful example of caritas in action,” said Sister Caritas MC, Mother Superior of the Missionaries of Charity in Edinburgh.
“She knew that every poor, sick or dying person is made in the image and likeness of God and so has intrinsic dignity, worth and beauty – my prayer to her this day is that Caritas Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh can similarly bring the love of God to the most vulnerable in our society.”