Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Terry Brady will celebrate Mass at the parish of St Canice in Elizabeth Bay to mark the first World Day of the Poor this Sunday (November 19).
Pope Francis added the day to the Church’s calendar earlier this year, with a message explaining that it is one of the fruits of the Jubilee Year of Mercy which ran from 2015-16.
“I wanted to offer the Church a World Day of the Poor so that Christian communities can become an ever greater sign of Christ’s charity for the least and those most in need,” he wrote.
Service to the poor is one of the first signs of the entrance of the Christian community upon the world’s stage.
And St Canice’s certainly fulfils the needs of its diverse inner city community.
It is home to several initiatives including a 300-volunteer community kitchen offering daily lunchtime meals.
The Mass for the World Day of the Poor will begin at 10.30am followed by refreshments.
Bishop Brady said Pope Francis reminds us that there are many people who have devoted their lives to serving the poor.
“Pope Francis calls on us to truly encounter the poor and to see how poverty challenges us in so many ways, in faces marked by suffering, marginalization, oppression, violence, torture and imprisonment, war, deprivation of freedom and dignity, ignorance and illiteracy, medical emergencies and shortage of work, trafficking and slavery, exile, extreme poverty and forced migration,” he said.
“It is the Holy Father’s wish that this occasion will provide a time for Christian communities (to) become an ever greater sign of Christ’s charity for the least and those most in need. It is my hope that the World Day of the Poor will become an important date in our Australian liturgical calendar.”
Pope Francis will celebrate the first World Day of the Poor by celebrating a morning Mass with people in need and those who assist them. After Mass, he will offer lunch to 500 people in the Vatican audience hall.
He announced World Day for the Poor as he wanted to set one day aside each year to underline everyone’s responsibility “to care for the true riches, which are the poor.”
The result was the World Day of the Poor, which is to be marked annually on the 33rd Sunday of ordinary time on the church’s liturgical calendar and with the theme “Love not in word, but in deed”.
Read the full message from His Holiness Pope Francis for the World Day of the Poor here: