First World Day of the Poor, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 19 November 2017

First World Day of the Poor, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 19 November 2017 

15 November 2017 General Interest

His Holiness Pope Francis has designated the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 19 November 2017, as the First World Day of the Poor. Some of your dioceses have already planned initiatives to mark this occasion. Attached for your information the associated message from His Holiness, the theme of which is “Let us love, not with words but with deeds”.

Pope Francis reminds us that there are many people who have devoted their lives to serving the poor. We recall our own Australian Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop. 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.” His Holiness describes the Our Father as a prayer for the poor and hence an appropriate prayer for this occasion: “The Our Father is a prayer said in the plural: the bread for which we ask is “ours”, and that entails sharing, participation and joint responsibility. In this prayer, all of us recognize our need to overcome every form of selfishness, in order to enter into the joy of mutual acceptance.”

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.

Attached for your information is a recent article from the Irish publication Intercom by Fr Sean Healy SMA on the First World Day of Prayer.


Catholic Diocese of
Broken Bay

Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road
Pennant Hills NSW 2120

PO Box 340
Pennant Hills NSW 1715

Phone 02 9847 0000
Fax 02 9847 0001

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