Pope: Love One Another, Especially the Needy

Argentina Celebrates Missionary Month

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BUENOS AIRES, AUG. 27, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is underlining the need to love one another, especially the neediest persons, as God loves us.

The Pope affirmed this in a message sent through his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to Catholics in Argentina on the occasion of a national collection for the needy, L’Osservatore Romano reported.

Christians are called to «love everyone with the same love with which God loves us, thus showing that charity must be the distinctive sign of their life,» the Pontiff stated.

He encouraged the country’s Catholics to participate generously in the 41st annual «More for Less» collection, calling it «a praiseworthy work that seeks to help the less fortunate and solicit solidarity.» 

The Holy Father exhorted believers to daily cultivate habits of «listening to the Divine Word, persevering prayer, assiduous participation in the sacraments and fraternal union, as nourishment of an ever more intense charity, and to give new life to the universal values of human coexistence.»

The collection, which is promoted by the Episcopal Commission to Aid the Neediest Regions of Argentina, will this year take place Sept. 11-12 and will have as its theme: «We Will Build a History Without Exclusions.» 

The funds resulting from this initiative are allocated among 25 dioceses that have greater need. There are five priority levels on which the aid interventions are focused in favor of children, in particular for the construction of community dwellings and soup kitchens, and to promote the opening of small enterprises that provide work for young people.

According to L’Osservatore Romano, Bishop Ricardo Faifer of Goya, a member of the Episcopal Commission for Aid to the Neediest Regions, reported that last year’s campaign registered a 35% increase, compared to the previous year. 

In total, over $2 million was collected last year and allocated to the dioceses in difficulty.

The prelate noted that «the ‘More for Less’ collection is not the solution for poverty,» but rather «is a good means to come closer to decreasing the distance between the reality and this historical challenge, made concrete, effective and accessible to all.» 

Holy childhood

Another charitable initiative promoted by the Church in Argentina, which also received papal support, was the national day of the Pontifical Mission Society of the Holy Childhood Association, which took place Aug. 22 in all parishes nationwide. 

The day was part of a missionary month celebrated by the Church in Argentina. It was geared to sensitizing young people and children to attitudes of solidarity in encounters with their more unfortunate peers. 

The theme chosen for the month was «Missionaries Every Day for Asia and the Whole World.»

Benedict XVI sent a message for the occasion, expressing the hope «that the day of prayer and reflection may contribute effectively to the renewal of the faith and of Christian life.»

In this way, he said, «missionary zeal, especially in young people and children, will flourish in the ambit of the dioceses and reawaken in the heart of every member of the local Churches the desire to share the everlasting mission, which Christ entrusted to the Church, of proclaiming the Gospel to all peoples.»

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