July 22, 2011. (Romereports.com)
This year marks the European Year of Volunteering. And in commemoration, the Pope will also be taking part. On November 10th he will be meeting with a group of Catholic volunteers from around the world.
It's being organized by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Vatican department in charge of the charity.Card. Robert Sarah
President, Pontifical Council Cor Unum“The Pope is very interested in meeting with all volunteers to help guide them in their work, to start always from God and not only from a sense of humanity because it is God that encourages us to help others.”
Also invited to meeting are the presidents of the European Episcopal Conferences, bishops and Catholic organizations active in volunteer work.
Benedict XVI will use this opportunity to personally thank these Catholics for the example they set in devoting their time and showing the “presence of Christians in situations of extreme poverty and need.”Card. Robert Sarah
President, Pontifical Council Cor Unum“The meeting will also serve to review the work done so far. Also, the Pope will thank the volunteers for their generosity and their efforts that many of them made even at times risking their health. It will be a moment to thank all of them.”
The meeting will take place the day the Church commemorates Saint Martin of Tours, a saint which the Pope has called “a living testimony of charity.” On Friday November 11th there will be a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica for the participants and afterward an audience with the Pope.
In Europe there are around 140 million volunteers. Many engage in activities inspired by religion. In Catholic circles, the main organization is Caritas Internationalis, which has some 625,000 volunteers.