Caritas Calling! April / May 2022

A Monthly Bulletin for our local parishes, charities and Catholic Agencies

  1. CSAN convenes national Catholic response to Ukrainian refugees
  2. CSAN web-based toolkit resource on Ukraine 
  3. Theme for 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees announced
  4. Pastoral Orientations On Intercultural Migrant Ministry
  5. Poverty challenge 2022: See, Judge, Act
  6. The Pope’s Prayer intentions:

April – For health care workers

May – For faith-filled young people

  1. The Cycle of Prayer
  2. Synodality in the life of the parish’ – considering ways forward in the synodal journey
  3. CSAN convenes national Catholic response to Ukrainian refugees

On 11 March 2022, Catholic organisations joined an online meeting convened by CSAN to consider the organised response of the Catholic Church in England and Wales to the impact of a new wave of refugees from the war in Ukraine.

Raymond Friel, Chief Executive of CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network), chaired the meeting, with 39 representatives of Catholic organisations tackling poverty in England and Wales. Some of the organisations also work directly in the war region through wider Catholic networks, such as the Caritas federation, Depaul International, the Jesuit Refugee Service, and Society of St Vincent de Paul. Bishops Terry Drainey (Chair of CSAN) and Paul McAleenan (Lead Bishop for Migration in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales) were in attendance, with Bishop McAleenan leading prayers.

Participants described some of their emerging practical responses, and the need for coherent national representation of Catholic concerns to the UK Government. Feedback from those in the meeting suggested areas of common focus for guidance, coordination and support across many Catholic organisations, including:

  • Uses of church-owned properties for accommodation, training, improving social connections and understanding of life in this country, and space for groups of refugees to worship together in their own language.
  • Effective support for Catholic households looking to welcome one or more refugees in their own residence and investment/rental properties, with attention to safeguarding, the potential for exploitation and domestic abuse.
  • Trauma informed support and counselling. Several Catholic direct service providers offer relevant services in parts of the country, but there is a need to consider how other areas might benefit from this.
  • Translation services.

CSAN is concerned that the war in Ukraine comes on top of a rapidly growing ‘cost of living crisis’, likely to push hundreds of thousands of existing households into severe poverty this Spring. Many of the potential local responses to refugees should be considered for existing households falling into deep poverty too.

CSAN recognises that the UK Government faces challenges in policy and Departmental readiness to support refugees and others in poverty, including:

  • A backlog of asylum claims unprocessed by the Home Office
  • Adequate fulfilment of the UK’s international obligations in law and practice
  • Investing greater trust and management of welfare spending in local public bodies and community organisations, where this can realise a more humane welfare system.

The UK Government has so far announced two schemes to support Ukrainian refugees – a family unification route, and a scheme for individual households to host refugees in return for a monthly cash payment. A further announcement is expected on plans for churches and other charities to resettle refugees over a longer term, through a new Humanitarian Sponsorship scheme, which will be different from the current Community Sponsorship Scheme for Syrian refugees.

Raymond Friel said:

‘The Humanitarian Sponsorship Scheme offers the opportunity for the generosity of UK citizens to express itself. We look forward to working with all partners to ensure the scheme works as effectively as possible. Ukrainian refugees need homes, work and education opportunities until they are able to return to their own beloved nation. We welcome this development and hope it will gain wide support.’

  1. CSAN web-based toolkit resource on Ukraine 

CSAN has provided a web-based toolkit resource Responding to War in Ukraine. The Foreword and About this resource have been reproduced in this Bulletin. The resource, including Updates, is available here:


We have been following the situation in Ukraine with dismay and with our prayers. The brutal conflict has triggered the largest war-related migration of people since the Balkan War of the 1990s. The humanitarian aid response in Ukraine and other countries continues to develop. CSAN and CAFOD have made a joint statement (pdf, 0.2mb) about our roles in this situation, and receive regular updates on emerging needs from national Caritas agencies in the war region.

The Catholic community’s response to refugees has expressed a heartfelt compassion and practical support, for example in recent years through the Community Sponsorship Scheme for Syrian refugees, and for those displaced from Afghanistan. Pope Francis summarises the right response ‘to the arrival of migrating persons in four words: welcome, protect, promote and integrate’, and goes on to set out a list of ‘indispensable steps’ (Fratelli tutti, 129-130). CSAN and other Catholic charities have already received many offers of support to help Ukrainian refugees, and we hope this resource will help to inform further practical responses.

In addition, the need to plan and resource a humanitarian response to poverty in England and Wales is acute: how we resource both the needs of incoming refugees and existing residents already in poverty. 14.5 million people in the UK are in poverty. A ‘cost-of-living crisis’ this Spring is forecast to push an additional 4 million UK households into poverty in 2022.

About this resource

  • CSAN has received many enquiries from members of the public and Catholic organisations asking how they can help people caught up in the war in Ukraine. This resource is addressed mainly to the Catholic community in England and Wales, offering some answers on how to help. Please note that we do not offer advice on collection or transport of goods – see the section on donations below.
  • Responses from the UK Government and civil society organisations are developing rapidly. CSAN will add to and amend this page as new details emerge, with a summary of the updates at the top of the page.
  • We are very grateful to the Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs Division for consent to re-use some of their materials with modifications.
  1. Theme for 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees announced

Pope Francis has chosen “Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees,” as the theme for the 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, to be celebrated on 25 September. The Day is observed every year on the last Sunday of September as an occasion to express support and concern for people who are forced to flee their homes, to encourage Catholics worldwide to remember and pray for those displaced by conflict and persecution and increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers. It  was first celebrated in 1914.

Building the future with migrants and refugees

According to the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Vatican’s Dicastery the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, this year’s theme highlights  the commitment that we are all called to share in building a future that embraces God’s plan, leaving no one behind. Building with” means recognizing and promoting the role that migrants and refugees have to play in this work of construction, because only in this way will it be possible to build a world that ensures the conditions for the integral human development of all, a communiqué explains. Pope Francis’ Message, featuring six sub-themes, will explore how migrants and refugees are able to contribute – now and in the future – to the social, economic, cultural, and spiritual development of societies and ecclesial communities.


As every year,  the Migrants and Refugees Section will carry out a communications campaign starting at the end of March, aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of the theme and sub-themes through multimedia aids, informational material, and theological reflections.

  1. Pastoral Orientations On Intercultural Migrant Ministry

On 24 March 2022, the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has published Pastoral Orientations On Intercultural Migrant Ministry.

In the Preface, Pope Francis writes:

These Pastoral Orientations offer proposals for intercultural pastoral ministry, transmitting in concrete terms my invitation in the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti to develop a culture of encounter. I invite you to take up anew the image of the polyhedron, which “represents a society where differences coexist, complementing, enriching, and reciprocally illuminating one another […]. Each of us can learn something from others. No one is useless and no one is expendable.” (FT, 215)

“We are all in the same boat.” All of us are called to commit ourselves to universal fraternity. For Catholics, this translates into being ever more faithful to our being Catholic. As I wrote in the Message for the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, “encountering the diversity of foreigners, migrants, and refugees, and in the intercultural dialogue that can emerge from this encounter, we have an opportunity to grow as Church and to enrich one another.”

In times of greatest crisis, like the pandemic and the wars that we are currently experiencing, closed-minded and aggressive nationalism (FT, 11) and radical individualism (FT, 105) fracture or divide our unity, both in the world and within the Church. The highest price is paid by those who end up getting labelled as “them” versus “us”: foreigners, migrants, and the marginalised who inhabit the existential peripheries. In this context, these guidelines propose an ever wider “we,” which refers both to the entire human family and to the Church.

“The Catholic faithful are called to work together, each in the midst of his or her own community, to make the Church become ever more inclusive.” These Pastoral Orientations invite us to broaden the way that we experience being Church. They urge us to see the tragedy of prolonged uprootedness, to welcome, protect, integrate, and promote our brothers and sisters, and to create opportunities to work together towards communion. They give us the chance to live out a new Pentecost in our neighbourhoods and parishes, as we come to realise the richness of their spirituality and vibrant liturgical traditions.

This is also an opportunity to be an authentically synodal Church, journeying together, not set in our ways, never stagnant, but a Church that “makes no distinction between natives and foreigners, between residents and guests,” for we are all pilgrims on this earth.

We are called to dream together. We should not be afraid to “dream as a single human family, as fellow travellers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all” (FT, 8). These proposals invite us to begin this dream from our concrete reality, extending to the ends of the earth like an immense tent, embracing our migrant and refugee brothers and sisters and building the Kingdom of God together in a universal spirit of fraternity.

The Lord Jesus tells us that every encounter with a refugee or migrant is an opportunity to encounter Him (cf. Mt. 25:35). His Holy Spirit makes us capable of embracing everyone, cultivating communion in diversity, and harmonising differences without ever imposing a depersonalised uniformity. Catholic communities are invited to grow in the joy of encounter and to recognize the new life that migrants bring with them.


Vatican, March 3, 2022

The whole document is accessible through this link: Testo in lingua inglese

  1. Poverty challenge 2022: See, Judge, Act

Many members of our communities face a steep rise in the cost of living, particularly from April 2022. People who were already poor and most affected by Covid-19 will also be hit hardest by price rises. Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates that a further four million UK households could end up below the poverty line in 2022, adding to 14.5 million UK households already in poverty.

CSAN has published a short formation resource, ‘Hoping for mild at least’, to explain the Catholic Church’s teaching on poverty, and to invite a deeper response to it within the life of local communities. Welcoming the resource, Bishop Richard Moth, Chair of the Department for Social Justice of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said,

‘I am very pleased to be able to commend to you this short booklet on a theme that must always be dear to the heart of us all, both in prayer and in action. The resource offered here is timely. It will enable our communities in parishes and schools to reflect further on this important issue, thereby discerning the most appropriate ways to engage in the best possible response.’

The booklet aims to increase awareness of Catholic Social Teaching on poverty, and to inform local responses using the Church’s approach of ‘See, judge, act’. Download the resource (pdf, 0.8mb)

  1. The Pope’s Prayer intentions: [Visit: each month for the latest video]

April – For health care workers

“We pray for health care workers who serve the sick and the elderly, especially in the poorest countries; may they be adequately supported by governments and local communities.”

May – For faith-filled young people

“We pray for all young people, called to live life to the fullest; may they see in Mary’s life the way to listen, the depth of discernment, the courage that faith generates, and the dedication to service.”

  1. The Cycle of Prayer

Throughout Lent we are asked to pray for the following intentions:

Candidates for the Sacraments – especially on the Sundays of Lent

The Needy and Hungry of the World – especially on Lenten Fast Day – 11 March CAFOD

Women’s World day of Prayer – especially on 1st Friday – 4 March

Penitent and Wanderers

Throughout Easter we are asked to pray for the following intentions:

New Members of the Church

Vocationsespecially on World Day of Prayer for Vocations — 4th Sunday of Easter

Survivors of Sexual Abuse – Tuesday 17 May [Tuesday 5th week of Easter]

Human Workespecially on St Joseph the Worker —1 May

The right use of the Mediaespecially on World Communications day — 7th Sunday of Easter

The Churchespecially on Pentecost [5 June]

  1. Synodality in the life of the parish’ – considering ways forward in the synodal journey
  2. 83. The parish is the community of the faithful which incarnates the mystery of the Church in a visible, immediate and everyday form. The parish is where we learn to live as disciples of the Lord in a network of fraternal relationships and experience communion in the variety of vocations and generations, charisms, ministries and competencies, forming a genuine community where everyone jointly lives out his or her mission and service, harmonising the specific contributions of them all.
  3. 84. In the parish there are two structures which have a synodal character: the parish pastoral council and the financial council, with lay participation in consultation and pastoral planning. In this sense it seems necessary to review the canonical norm which at present only suggests that there should be a parish pastoral council and to make it obligatory, as the last Synod of the Diocese of Rome did[99]. Bringing about an effective synodal dynamic in a local Church also requires that the Diocesan Pastoral Council and parish pastoral councils should work in a co-ordinated way and be appropriately upgraded[100].

ITC, Synodality In The Life And Mission Of The Church, 3.2.3 Synodality in the life of the parish (2018)


This Bulletin has a number of items the plight of refugees, particularly as a result of the war in Ukraine. But we must remain aware, too, of the needs of Syrian and Afghan refugees and must find ways of including them in our society and within our communities.

Pastoral Orientations On Intercultural Migrant Ministry by the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, reminds us of the need to build capacity and competencies within our parish communities in order to address ‘new forms of poverty and vulnerability, in which we are called to recognize the suffering Christ, even if this appears to bring us no tangible and immediate benefits. Migrants, [displaced people, refugees] present a particular challenge for me, since I am the pastor of a Church without frontiers, a Church which considers itself mother to all.’(EG 210)

The following are extracts from the Conclusion

Growing in freedom from all fear, particularly fears based on misguided perceptions, Catholic communities are called to build bridges with newcomers, promoting a real ‘culture of encounter’. We sincerely hope that this booklet helps its readers to truly become builders of bridges, drawn to deepen their awareness, through experience, of the richness that the presence of migrants and refugees bring into our communities…

Indeed, these Pastoral Orientations aim for us to start from below and expand to the farthest reaches of our countries to welcome, protect, promote and integrate our migrant and refugee brothers and sisters, building the Kingdom of God in fraternity and universality, and join Zacharias as he sings: “And of the oath he swore to Abraham our father, and to grant us that, rescued from the hand of enemies, without fear we might worship him in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.” (Luke 1:73-75).

CSAN’s Poverty challenge 2022: See, Judge, Act is a reminder of the existing and growing poverty across our communities and the need to build skills, knowledge and understanding in our parishes and schools on how we may address and tackle the issues, informed by Catholic Social Teaching.

The International Theological Commission’s study, Synodality In The Life And Mission Of The Church, 3.2.3 Synodality in the life of the parish, reminds us that ‘the parish is where we learn to live as disciples of the Lord in a network of fraternal relationships and experience communion in the variety of vocations and generations, charisms, ministries and competencies, forming a genuine community where everyone jointly lives out his or her mission and service, harmonising the specific contributions of them all.’

As we conclude the first phase of the Synodal Journey it seems appropriate to remind ourselves that we need to approach and address all charitable needs and social action through the lenses of Communion, Participation and Mission.

For more details on any of the items in this Bulletin, or to consider forming a parish Caritas team,

please contact: Jim Barnaville, Coordinator, Caritas Archdiocese of Cardiff. Email