“Stretch out your hand to the poor” – 4th World Day of the Poor
The World Day of the Poor was established by Pope Francis in 2017 with the theme “Let us love, not with words but with deeds”. This year the theme was “Stretch forth your hand to the poor” (Sir 7:32). In announcing the theme for this year, Pope Francis concluded by reminding us that “In this journey of daily encounter with the poor, the Mother of God is ever at our side. More than any other, she is the Mother of the Poor.” Given the Order of Malta’s dedication to the poor and our Lady, this speaks to us directly.
To acknowledge this special day, members and volunteers of the Order of Malta across Australia participated in both organised activities and personal acts.
With the easing of Covid restrictions in Melbourne, members and volunteers distributed Covid care packs directly to the homeless and through the Missionary Sisters of Charity. They also shared breakfast and warm coffee served with homeless in the city of Melbourne who were delighted to be greeted early Sunday with a smile.
In Brisbane, members, candidates and volunteers shared high quality, personal care packs and solidarity with many friends from the Emmanuel City Mission. During friendly conversations, attendees expressed appreciation for the thoughtful care packs and “early Christmas” sweets.
In Sydney, Magistral Chaplain, Father James McCarthy, offered Mass at his Parish, St Aloysius in Cronulla. After Mass, the Order of Malta Volunteers hosted a free BBQ next to our Order of Malta marque, where parishioners were invited to join our members and volunteers to learn about our activities to assist those in greatest need.
In the Northern Territory members and volunteers packed 100 hygiene bags for the homeless in preparation for World Day of the Poor and connected with St Vincent de Paul to distribute the packs to the homeless who visit Ozanam House.