There is need to be aware and objectively assess the needs of those in need so that we can respond effectively and appropriately to them. This is the appeal launched by Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo, the Archbishop of Kinshasa, on the occasion of the upcoming World Day of the Poor, commemorated in the Archdiocese of Kinshasa as the Day of Diakonia.
Stanislas Kambashi, SJ - Vatican City.
As the Church prepares to celebrate World Day of the Poor on 19 November, Pope Francis has called for sensitivity towards providing free healthcare, medical examinations, vaccinations, and bill payment assistance to those in need.
The Pope instituted the celebration of the World Day of the Poor in 2017. This year’s theme is, “Do not turn your face away from anyone who is poor” (Tob 4:7)-
The Day of Diakonia in Kinshasa
“I particularly encourage that our pastoral practice in favour of the poor be carried out in an orderly manner,” writes Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo in a message addressed to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Kinshasa on the occasion of the upcoming World Day of the Poor commemorated in Kinshasa as a Day of Diakonia.
The Greek word diakonia means service among others, and has its roots in Scripture.
The Archbishop of Kinshasa recalls that the Day of Diakonia is a response to the Holy Father Pope France’s initiative for a day dedicated to the poor.
Appropriate responses to situations of poverty
Cardinal Ambongo further reminded the faithful that this year, Pope Francis’ message for the Poor, calls on all Christians to become aware of new forms of poverty that the world is called to combat with an urgent and concrete commitment to preserving the dignity of those considered poor.
The Archbishop of Kinshasa has since thanked the faithful of the diocese “for so many sacrifices and unceasing generosity at all levels of diocesan life: in the Small Christian Communities, parishes and deaneries.” The Cardinal added that one of the most critical challenges in serving the poor lies in assesing and understanding the lived reality of those to be helped so that “we will be able to respond effectively and appropriately,” he said.
Pastoral conversion placing the poor at the centre
As part of the Day of Diakonia, the faithful in the Archdiocese of Kinshasa also plan to “clean and rehabilitate the sanitary facilities at the diocesan minor seminary."
Further and above all activities and initiatives, the Archbishop of Kinshasa calls the faithful of the Archdiocese to a pastoral conversion that places concern for the poor at the centre of the life of communities, parishes, deaneries and the archdiocese.