ServiceFaith with out works of charity is empty. We are called as Christians to make the love of Christ manifest through our actions.

‘If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen’(1 John 4:20). But this text hardly excludes the love of God as something impossible. On the contrary, the whole context of the passage quoted from the First Letter of John shows that such love is explicitly demanded. The unbreakable bond between love of God and love of neighbour is emphasised. One is so closely connected to the other that to say that we love God becomes a lie if we are closed to our neighbour or hate him altogether. Saint John’s words should rather be interpreted to mean that love of neighbour is a path that leads to the encounter with God, and that closing our eyes to our neighbour also blinds us to God.' Deus Caritas Est 16 (Pope Benedict XVI, 2006).

Supporting An Existing Project

Many areas have a volunteer soup kitchen team. Perhaps members of the parish could be invited to become volunteers as a fruit of the Papal Visit?

Free Community Event

Working in consultation with local agencies, you may decide to put on a free party for a group of people in your area - the elderly, mums and toddlers or young people.

Commemorative Gesture

To mark the visit of the Pope you might decide to make a gift to your local community. This could take the form of sponsoring the creation of a garden area or making a donation of books to a local school or charity.

Overseas Service

CAFOD is inspired by Scripture, Catholic Social Teaching and by the experiences and hopes of people who are disadvantaged and living in poverty. Staff work with people of all faiths and none. As part of the Catholic community, and together with partners and the global Caritas family, it:

  • works with poor and disadvantaged communities in the global South to overcome poverty and bring about sustainable development and well-being.

  • protects lives and relieve suffering during emergencies; reduce the risks to vulnerable communities as a result of conflict and natural disasters.

  • raises awareness and understanding of the causes of poverty and injustice to inspire a commitment to lasting change.

  • challenges those with power to adopt policies and behaviour that promote social justice and end poverty.

To fulfil this mission CAFOD raises funds and mobilises action from the Catholic community and beyond, and is sustained by their prayer and commitment.

Since 1922, Missio has been the Catholic Church’s official support organisation for overseas mission. The Pope specifically asks Missio to help bring the Good News of Christ to the world, especially in countries where the Church is new, young or poor.

  • Missio cares for and supports the younger churches until they are able to be self-sufficient.

  • Missio raises awareness and fosters prayer and cooperation in the whole Church, with 120 offices worldwide, it is the only organisation which supports every one of the 1,069 mission dioceses of the world.

  • Missio exists through the generosity of Catholics. Thanks to them, it is able to respond in faith and love to the needs of our brothers and sisters, especially where poverty is most severe.
  • Missio plays a crucial role in combating poverty, disease, injustice and exploitation.

Additional ideas

Volunteering to do bag packing at the local supermarket, offering free parking to shoppers if your parish is situated close to amenities.

Inspire Others

You may chose to share with others which act(s) of service you’ve decided to do in your parish. Please email and, where appropriate, the activities will be listed on a web page.