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Caritas Diocese of Plymouth

News Update

May 2023

During Laudato Si’ week this year, let’s make a renewed effort to reflect on how we stand in solidarity with the poorest and most disadvantaged people, who experience disproportionately the negative impact of climate change and the exploitation of the earth’s resources.
As missionary disciples, we are invited to be part of the redeeming mission of Christ, and to approach our task with joy and gratitude remembering, “Rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise.” (Laudato Si’ #12). We all know that there are serious environmental, economic and social challenges.  As Pope Francis reminds us, we are not ‘hearing the Cry of the Poor and the Earth’, and we “have grown indifferent to all kinds of wastefulness” (Fratelli Tutti #18). As a community, “we have an obligation to ensure that every person lives with dignity and has sufficient opportunities for his or her integral development” (Fratelli tutti #118). Each of us is called to take concrete steps – from reducing consumption to working for change – to better care for the Creation which God has entrusted to us. As individuals we can all play our part and, collectively, we can do a great deal. We need to recognise that the care of our common home is not only a summons to profound ‘interior conversion’ but also a call to a ‘community conversion’. It is to be a lasting change of heart.

Deborah Fisher OBE (incorporating reflections from Bishop Mark O’Toole)
Manager, Caritas Diocese of Plymouth


“As we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone”
Galatians 6:10

We were deeply saddened at the death of Bishop Christopher who was a great advocate of Catholic Social Teaching and a supporter of Caritas Plymouth. As part of the Bishops’ Conference Department for Social Justice he was a strong advocate for the poor and the marginalised. He will be very much missed. We pray he rests in peace.


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At Caritas Plymouth we work with people to combat poverty, hunger and social exclusion. By donating to Caritas Plymouth you can make a real difference to the lives of individuals across our community.


 ‘”And the Lord took the man and put him in the garden
to tend it and keep it.” Genesis 2:15

Our diocesan environment policy commits us to pray, study the scriptures, reflect on Catholic tradition and educate ourselves about the interconnectedness of all aspects of our common home. We have a wonderful opportunity to deepen our understanding through ‘The Letter’ – a wonderful film released by the Vatican.

During Laudato Si’ week we would encourage people to watch the film (if you haven’t already done so), to pray and reflect on how it calls us to action as individuals and communities

Wednesday 17th May Sclerder Abbey 10.30-15.30

‘The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.’
Psalms 19:1

Why not join us for a day of prayer and reflection and to discuss an environment strategy for the diocese.  This free event will take place at Sclerder Abbey in Looe, Cornwall on Wednesday 17th May from 10.30-15.30. A simple lunch will be included. Please register your interest in attending.

We have now completed the second annual update on progress in implementing the commitments in our environment policy.  Feedback welcome!


“Lord, kindle our lamps that we may always shine in your presence and always receive light from you” St Columban

Columban Missionaries are celebrating Laudato Si’  Week by following in the footsteps of St Columban to reflect on ‘the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor’.  A pilgrim group of ordained and lay Columban missionaries and co-workers, led by their Director,  Fr John Boles, will walk from Padstow to Fowey in Cornwall from 24-27 May 2023. In partnership with St Mary’s parish and primary school in Bodmin and diocesan representatives from CAFOD, Caritas and the Youth Ministry, there will be a live-streamed Mass on Thursday 25th May and all are welcome!

Find out more here


‘Every migrant has a name, a face and a story.’ Pope Francis

Refugee Week’s theme this year is compassion.  We invite parishes and schools to reflect on  ‘Love the Stranger’– a new publication by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales which invites us to really see the person who has left their homeland in search of a better life.  Love the Stranger is a call to action – not only to help those who come here, but also to facilitate and rejoice in their service to our society.

Come along and find out more at an online event on Wednesday 21st June from 6-7pm (register below) or email us on:

We also have resources for people to send to their MPs to raise concerns about the Illegal Migration Bill and its negative impact on human dignity and our responsibility to promote the common good  CSAN Statement on the Illegal Migration Bill – Caritas Social Action Network – CSAN

St. Josephine Bakhita,  pray for us.


“Human beings are so made that they cannot live, develop and find fulfilment except in the sincere gift of self to others” Fratelli Tutti #87

The St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) are planning a big recruitment drive across Devon and Cornwall in early June. Caritas have already been actively engaged with the preparatory work, liaising with the SVP Membership Support Officers, Chantal Kouadio Tiacoh and Joseph Harrison, who are based in the diocese.  You can find out more here .


Vision: “To Live the Gospel by following Christ’s Command to
love our neighbour as He loved us’

Caritas Diocese of Plymouth’s  Annual Strategy Review sets out the work of Caritas across the Diocese in 2022 and our plans for 2023.   Caritas is only as effective as the wonderful people in our schools, parishes and groups who support our goal to be a witness to the Gospel by encouraging and supporting the Ministry of Charity. If you would like to get involved please contact  01364 645421.


To celebrate Stella Maris’ 100 years of service to seafarers and fishers, Russ Fairman, a passionate supporter of the charity, will embark on a 2.5 months long sailing pilgrimage, which starts in Southampton on the 29th April and reaches our Diocese in late June/early July.  You can get involved by attending one of the area gatherings that will be held along the way, with Mass in Plymouth Cathedral on Saturday 1st July.