Caritas is a new department of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg under the leadership of Auxiliary Bishop Duncan Tsoke, at different levels within the diocese.
Training for volunteers starts this month, from 4 to 8 September in Pretoria and Johannesburg.
Parish priests are invited to promote Caritas at parish level and, more precisely, at the level of the basic Christians communities. This makes a presence in society to fulfil and carry out effectively the work of charity.
According to Pope Benedict XVI, in his document Intima Ecclesia Natura, Caritas is the social arm of the Catholic Church and, as such, it is under the responsibility of the Catholic bishops, who send Caritas to fulfil the mission of charity.
The work of Caritas is one of the three dimensions of the mission of the Catholic Church: diakonia (ministry), Martyra Kerygma (preaching of the Gospel) and Litourgia (liturgy). The three are inter-linked and pre-suppose each other and consequently, Diakonia becomes part of the mission of the Church (Pope Benedict XVI Encyclical- Deus caritas Est).
As the socio-pastoral instrument of the Church, Caritas, along with the other Church organisations, and under the leadership of the Bishop, is called to implement the work of charity in coordination with the other services of the Church.
The mission of charity is a pedagogical work of building a community of love and solidarity as was the case in the early church – charity liberates and restores social justice for the poorest.
Caritas Johannesburg follows the social teachings of the Catholic Church. The Caritas interim coordination committee has met with some deaneries and would like to thank to the deans and the priest for the support and appreciation shown to them. They will continue to visit other deaneries according to the schedule given to the department.
On 25 August, a Caritas meeting was held with the interim committee, coordinators of each parish and other organisations. Caritas Johannesburg is growing and God is blessing us with many people eager to volunteer themselves for the most vulnerable people in our communities.
Caritas South Africa has organised training for diocesan Caritas coordinators to be held in Pretoria from 4 to 7 September, who will be trained by Aloysius John and Moira Monacelli from Caritas Internationalis.
Further training will be taking place on 8 September for the coordinators of Caritas Johannesburg, including parish coordinators and Catholic charitable organisations. The venue will be at the Small Hall of Cathedral of Christ the King from 9:30 to 15:00.
For more information, please contact the Caritas Johannesburg Office at the Chancery of Johannesburg on 011 402 6400.
Sr Maria de Lurdes
National Co-ordinator of Caritas SouthAfrica