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Cardinal Mafi: Caritas is the heart of the church.

Port Moresby: We are calling people in the world to listen.Get the ear to listen, and the eyes to see the cry of the poor, those who are struggling, and the little ones in our island state in the Pacific.

Last few days we have listened to one another as a Caritas Oceania family, and I think we have chosen a fitting theme for the Caritas Oceania Annual forum- “Journeying together”. It will continue to be my wish to see that we continue to listen to ourselves and one another. I can see that already in the last few days.

I can see the miracle and wonders when we sacrifice and give that extra time to discipline ourselves to give that space and time to listen attentively. This is the very need of our people.

They may want the material side of things, but essentially and more importantly they need to be valued.

So, they need to be listened to and seen as human beings in the dignity God made them be. We were blessed to have Cardinal Tagle to be in our forum in Papua New Guinea.

He was able to share stories and experiences about Caritas, the church's charity, and its love-in-action. He shared that the vulnerable, those at the peripheries of our society are those who can easily be ignored and not listened to.

People turn to be preoccupied with the drama of life but Pope Francis in his encyclical said something about being the heart of Caritas. Pope Francis has brought the peripheries of those little ones to the center of the world today by means of media attention.

That is the work of Caritas. We are advocates, we carry the voice of the voiceless ones.

Here, we end the journey of where we first listened to one another.

Pope Francis has challenged the church to begin listening within our own household. To start even with the church amongst priests, Bishops, and cardinals.

This is the same message for Caritas. That is the purpose of our journeying together.

There is joy, warmth, and kindness when we come together as the Caritas family, listen to each other, and look them in the eyes. These are missing in the world preoccupied with the absence of our families and church.

That is the hope we have as Caritas as we journey together.

Transcribed Words from a speech by Caritas Oceania President, his eminence Cardinal Soane Paini Mafi's farewell Speech-Closing of Caritas Oceania annual regional forum in Port Moresby- October 3rd- 7th, 2022.

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