The Bishop of Plymouth, Rt Rev Mark O’Toole, welcomed 104 attendees and speakers from across England to the launch of Caritas Plymouth on 18 May 2019.
In the run-up to the launch, Catholic charities, parishes and schools of the diocese have been involved in developing a Strategic Plan for Caritas Plymouth. Among the initial priorities is community sponsorship of refugees. The first Catholic Community Sponsorship Group in the diocese is underway in Sidmouth. Caritas Plymouth will be the official sponsor.
Speaking at the launch event, Phil McCarthy, Chief Executive of CSAN, welcomed Caritas Plymouth to the Caritas ‘family’. Angela Folland, Headteacher of St Nicholas Catholic Primary School, where the event was held, gave examples of the school’s social action and how Caritas Plymouth could support this activity in schools.
The event concluded with Mass celebrated by Bishop O’Toole. Justice and Peace led a procession of local Catholic charities behind a Lampedusa Cross, given by CAFOD to the Cathedral of St Mary and St Boniface to display as a focus for reflection. Bishop O’Toole prayed that Caritas Plymouth would provide fresh impetus to put the new command of the Lord into practice; ‘Love one another as I have loved you’, (John 13:34-35).