Cor Unum’s 3rd Spiritual Exercises: Now Europe

Charity Organization Leaders to Pray About “Deus Caritas Est”

VATICAN CITY, JULY 21, 2010 ( Bishops and directors of the Church’s charity organizations, particularly the various Caritas offices, have an invitation to spend time alone with God in Czestochowa this winter.

The Pontifical Council Cor Unum is hosting its third session of spiritual exercises, this time for Europeans. The retreat will be held Nov. 29 through Dec. 3.

The Cor Unum council oversees the Church’s charity work. In 2008, it began hosting spiritual retreats for those who lead the charity effort on the ground. The goal was to ensure that the Church’s charity organizations offer not only concrete assistance, but also Christ himself.

The first such retreat was held in 2008 for the American continent. Guadalajara, Mexico, hosted the charity directors, and the retreat was preached by Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Pontifical Household. The next, in 2009, focused on Asia. Blessed Mother Teresa’s successor, Missionary of Charity Sister Nirmala Joshi, preached that retreat in Taiwan.

This year’s spiritual exercises, similar to those of the past, will look at Benedict XVI’s first encyclical, “Deus Caritas Est.”

No. 32 of that document focuses on “those who are responsible for carrying out the Church’s charitable activity.”

The Pope speaks of “the duty of charity as a responsibility incumbent upon the whole Church and upon each bishop in his diocese.”

And he notes that the Church must be involved in charitable service: “The “exercise of charity is an action of the Church as such, and that, like the ministry of Word and Sacrament, it too has been an essential part of her mission from the very beginning.”

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