World Day of the Poor

Update – 22 August 2019: We intend to update the resources on this page by the end of September 2019. The next World Day of the Poor is on 17 November 2019.

In his message for the second World Day of the Poor, celebrated on 18 November 2018, Pope Francis asks all of us, whatever our means or background, to rediscover and celebrate in a spirit of joy our capacity for togetherness, for example by sharing a meal after Sunday Mass.

‘On this day, may all of us feel that we are in debt to the poor, because,
in hands outstretched to one another, a salvific encounter can take place to strengthen our faith,
inspire our charity and enable our hope to advance securely on our path
towards the Lord who is to come.’

Pope Francis

Testimonies: Hear the Cry of the Poor

Louise’s story

I have been in and out of the care system since I was very young, I fell in with some dangerous people and got hooked into prostitution as a way to make money. I got more into drugs and alcohol, committing various crimes to help support my habit. I was absolutely destitute, dirty and down. I felt lost and trapped in this life style. In and out of hostels and prisons, and sometimes sleeping on the streets.

One day someone told me about a women’s centre called women@thewell and how I could get help. I got assigned a named worker there who helped me address problems and helped me to get into accommodation. Now I feel like I have managed to get my act together. I have a studio flat and am starting to build bridges with my family. I want to do some courses so I can maybe get employment.”

Louise – supported by women@thewell (

Read More

John’s story

“I thought I had no life. I thought this was the end. Because I was walking the streets. Since 2010 I have been evicted from three different places and been in trouble with the police through anti-social behaviour. I was bored. There was nothing else to do. Cornerstone has been a big help. If it wasn’t for them I could have been found in a doorway, either dead or … I don’t know. I come to Cornerstone everyday. They helped me get the place I have now. It’s the best thing since sliced bread. If you’re on the streets and you need help, come here and you’ll get sorted.”

John – Cornerstone Client (

Read More

Food Bank Clients

“I had to give up work due to ill health and while I was waiting for benefit to be sorted I was struggling with bills and food. I had to keep a roof over mine and my daughter’s head. I was told about the food bank – not only did they supply a few days’ worth of food but they were very caring people, very supportive always lending an ear. In the six weeks holiday it’s hard to keep kids amused when you don’t always have the money, so I go to the food bank lunches, which myself and my daughter enjoy. There’s activities for them to do and you get a lunch then able to take a bag of shopping home.” – Debbie

“During 2016 myself and family was having a difficult time. I was given a food bank voucher and, feeling a bit embarrassed, I went to the Borehamwood food bank to be welcomed with open arms. I used the food bank on a couple other occasions. I was told about the family lunches that they provide during the school holidays to help those in need. I went along with my three children who all enjoy their time. I asked if they would like any help for there next one and I have now been helping with the last few family lunches.” Anonymous

Clients of food bank at St Teresa’s Parish in Borehamwood

Read More


Ideas for action in dioceses – developed by Fratello (pdf, 0.1mb)

Ideas for action in parishes (Microsoft Word document, 0.4mb)

Prayer Card (pdf, 0.1mb)

Poster (pdf, 0.2mb)

Moments of Encounter card (pdf, 16kb)

Catholic social teaching resource – from the diocese of Middlesbrough, exploring the history and content of CST (Microsoft Word document, 0.2mb)

World Day of the Poor logo with white background