Monday, 18 April 2016,

fileIt has been a long-standing tradition in the Church that Christians give support to fellow Christians that are experiencing hardship, the Curia said in a statement. Indeed, Saint Paul the Apostle writes in Romans that the Christians of Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to share their resources with the poor of the Church at Jerusalem (Rm 15:26).

During the Angelus a fortnight ago, Pope Francis appealed to all Catholic dioceses in Europe to collect funds for the Christians in war-torn Ukraine.

According to the Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine, the people, most especially the elderly and children orphaned by the war, are enduring great distress daily. Many have become jobless and cannot support their families. The situation in hospitals is critical.

Pope Francis tells us that our charitable donations do not only serve to meet material needs but are also heartfelt expressions of solidarity with this suffering Church.

This appeal by Pope Francis is a moment of grace during this Jubilee of Mercy when the Church is called to dress the wounds, treat them with the balm of consolation, bind them with mercy and heal them with the solidarity and attention they need (see Misericordiae Vultus, 25).

In view of this, all collections carried out in churches next Saturday evening and Sunday will be for this purpose. May this earnest appeal by the Pope be “a way to reawaken our conscience, too often grown dull in the face of poverty and let us enter more deeply into the heart of the Gospel” (ibid.).