Holy Week is a time of reflection for Catholics. We are nearing the end of Lent and preparing to celebrate the Sacred Triduum.
It is a time for us to come together, united as a global church in remembering that our Lord died to save us.
During this holiest of weeks for us as a Church, we have witnessed the near destruction of one of the most important symbols of the global Catholic Church.
The fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has mobilised Catholics, other Christians and non-Christians all over the world, with people as far away as Australia donating to the reconstruction effort.
The response on social media to the horror of the fire during Holy Week has shown the world that the Church can still come together in sorrow and in prayer.
But what often goes unnoticed is how good we are as a Church at coming together during Lent and at Easter to support our international Caritas network.
As we here in the Plymouth Diocese have been reaching out to our fellow parishioners to be generous in supporting CAFOD’s work through our Family Fast Day appeal, our Caritas colleagues in Australia have been asking their fellow parishioners to be generous in donating to Project Compassion, their annual Lenten Appeal.
As we have been holding second collections to raise money for the Cyclone Idai Appeal, so too have our Caritas colleagues in New Zealand.
By working alongside and in partnership with communities in England and Wales and internationally within the Catholic Church and beyond, we have global reach and local presence. Together, we form one of the largest development and humanitarian networks in the world, with the potential to reach everyone.
We believe that if one of us is hurt, hungry or abandoned, we all are hurt, hungry and abandoned. No one should be beyond the love and support they need to live a dignified life. So as long as we are needed, we will keep working to reach those most in need.
With our global reach and local presence – and with you standing alongside us every step of the way – we know we have the potential to reach everyone.
As Pope Francis said: With trust in the power of the Gospel, we can make a real contribution to changing things, or at least to making them better.
Wishing you all a blessed Easter.