PERU/VATICAN, Manuel Huapaya •
Every four years the General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis takes place in Rome. The 162 countries that are members of the Caritas confederation around the world meet to review the path they have taken, the experiences they have had and to renew their mission or, in some cases, to amend their paths. At this assembly, a new secretary general and president of Caritas Internationalis are elected. —
Since before the pandemic, this is the first time that all the Caritas of the world have gathered again around the Holy Father, who received them on May 11 in a private audience.
Schoenstatt was also present through two representatives from Peru, the President of Caritas of Peru, Bishop Reinhold Nann, and the Secretary General, Manuel Huapaya. Mons. Nann is a member of the Institute of Schoenstatt Diocesan Priests and currently bishop of the prelature of Caraveli, an area in southern Peru. Manuel Huapaya is a member of the Institute of Schoenstatt Families.
Pope Francis urged us, inviting us to a permanent renewal: “It is important to return to the source, God’s love for us, precisely because the identity of Caritas Internationalis depends directly on the mission it has received. What distinguishes it from other agencies working in the social sphere is its ecclesial vocation. And what specifies its service within the Church, compared with many other ecclesial associations and institutions devoted to charity, is its task of assisting and supporting the Bishops in their exercise of pastoral caritas, in communion with the Apostolic See and in harmony with the Church’s magisterium. In this regard, I am aware that you are working on partnership and fraternal cooperation as fundamental pillars of the Catholic identity of Caritas: I thank you and I urge you to continue along this path”.
Caritas is the loving caress of Mother Church to the most needy
Both Schoenstatt members have assumed this task since the beginning of 2022, recalling the commitment made in 2014 to be a Schoenstatt reaching out and at the same time builders of a Covenant Culture. Caritas of Peru is an institution of the Catholic Church that has been accompanying and serving the most needy for 67 years, generating means of life that allow the integral human development of those who have fewer possibilities and, as Pope Francis said years ago, “Caritas is the loving caress of Mother Church to the most needy”.
The General Assembly was held from May 11 to May 16 and was attended by more than 300 people. Each country was represented by its president and secretary general and at the closing ceremony, Cardinal Michael Czerny, prefect of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, addressed a few words inviting and exhorting us to continue strengthening Caritas: “…that they may be able to trace the best paths, to continue to be the face and the ‘loving’ arm of the Church”.
Full text of Pope Francis’ speech
Original: Spanish 2023-05-20. Translated by: María Aragón, Monterrey, México