By Genevieve Jordan Laskey

Pope Francis has named the thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary time the World Day of the Poor. The inaugural World Day of the Poor will be celebrated November 19, 2017. What should parishes do to mark the World Day of the Poor? Pope Francis shares several ideas in his recent message about the day, including that parishes should spend the week leading up to the day creating moments of “encounter and friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance” with people who are poor:

Courtesy of Catholic Relief Services. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

"It is my wish that, in the week preceding the World Day of the Poor, which falls this year on 19 November, the Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Christian communities will make every effort to create moments of encounter and friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance. They can invite the poor and volunteers to take part together in the Eucharist on this Sunday ... This Sunday, if there are poor people where we live who seek protection and assistance, let us draw close to them: it will be a favorable moment to encounter the God we seek.”  — Pope Francis

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Catholic Relief Services has created a parish packet with prayers, homily helps, general intercessions, and a bulletin insert to help parishes learn about and observe the World Day of the Poor. Additional resources are coming soon!

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Copyright 2017 Genevieve Jordan Laskey for Catholic Relief Services

About the author: Genevieve Jordan Laskey is a Catholic mom and a resource development specialist for Catholic Relief Services, working with their US Operations department to develop tools for prayer, Catholic formation and action with a global perspective, for use by Catholic communities in the United States.