Sunday, November 19, 2017

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In declaring this the first World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis has given us a great gift. The approach of Advent – a season known for giving, but also for rampant consumerism – makes this an opportune time to reflect on the kind of society we want to live in. Click here to read the rest of Archbishop Miller’s letter.


1. Join our 4-day email prayer campaign
Guided by the 7 Corporal Works of Mercy, sign up below to get email reminders with prayer intentions for those struggling with poverty, in our own home and living on the streets. There will also be practical suggestions to concretely help or give to the poor from November 13 – 19, 2017.

Day 1: Feed the Hungry (November 13, 2017)

Day 2: Visit the Sick (November 15, 2017)

Day 3: Visit the Sick (November 17, 2017)

Day 4: Visit the Sick (November 19, 2017)

2. Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, and Shelter the Homeless

As Mother Teresa said, “Do small things with great love”. Here are some practical things you could do when you pass by someone who is homeless:

  • Introduce yourself to strangers on the street, have a conversation and offer to pray with and for them
  • Offer to buy them a coffee or small snack and make their day by remembering them and calling them by name
  • Find out how you can volunteer with our local Catholic organizations that help the poor everyday:
    • Agape Street Ministry: help women who work in prostitution
    • Catholic Street Missionaries: provide spiritual support to the homeless
    • Good Shepherd Ministry: pray every night and walk with those in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside
    • Luke 15 House: help men transitioning from addiction, crime and homelessness
    • Men’s Hostel: donate clothing or help our local Catholic homeless shelter
    • The Door is Open: donate or volunteer to serve daily lunches or help with art & crafts
3. Visit the Sick, Visit the Prisoners and Bury the Dead
  • Pay a visit to your elderly relatives, friends and those who are sick with a group or with your family, like Columbus Homes or Youville Residence. There are a list of hospitals and homes with contact information for Roman Catholic Chaplains or general pastoral care here.
  • Volunteer to visit offenders inside the prison and support to released offenders through community support groups: CCJS Prison Ministry
  • Write a card for someone who experienced a loss. You can find out more about how to help someone who is grieving at Catholic Cemeteries / Gardens of Gethsemani
4. Give Alms to the Poor
  • Make caring for the poor part of your routine. For example, support low-income works by buying things from companies that pay a fair wage – look for a fair trade label to ensure labourers were paid fairly and work in safe conditions.
  • Make a small sacrifice, like giving up buying a $5 cup of coffee each day for one week, and donate the money you would have spent to a charity
  • Support thrift stores for your next clothing or gift purchase at St. Vincent de Paul


In his message announcing the first World Day of the Poor on November 19, 2017, Pope Francis reminds us that “poverty is above all a call to follow Jesus in his own poverty”. Click here to read his entire message to all of us.


Lord God of justice, mercy and compassion,
pour out your Spirit upon us
that we may hear the cry of the poor
and see the wounded face of Jesus Christ
in those who are outcast, rejected and marginalized.

May we imitate your Son,
who became man to free us from the poverty of sin,
and may we be united in His mission
of helping our brothers and sisters
bear the burden of hunger, homelessness, addiction and abuse.

As the Body of Christ,
strengthen us to become worthy servants of the poor,
and seek ways to provide for
their material, emotional and spiritual needs.

Knowing that whatever we do to the least among us
we do to your Son, O Lord,
graciously hear our prayer.

Download the 3-slide PowerPoint (.ppt)

Download the letter-size bulletin insert (.pdf)

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