World Day of the Poor

In his message for the first World Day of the Poor, celebrated on 19 November 2017, Pope Francis asks all of us, whatever our means or background, to unite in love, in acts of service to one another and in genuine encounter.

Resources have been prepared by Caritas Social Action Network, in collaboration with the Society of St Vincent de Paul (England and Wales), the National Justice and Peace Network, CAFOD, and our member charities, to assist parishes in celebrating the World Day of the Poor 2017 within the Sunday Liturgy, and encouraging an encounter with people living in poverty.

World Day of the Poor 2018 will be on the 18th of November 2018.

“It is my wish that … Christian communities will make
every effort to create moments of encounter and friendship,
solidarity and concrete assistance.”

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 (

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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 (

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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

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Liturgy Resources

This Introduction guide gives an overview and provides some of the key resources in one place:

Prayer cards, posters and postcard

Other versions of these files are provided below

There are other resources to support your preparation for Liturgy


Faith Sharing: Say it with your Life

Six faith-sharing sessions exploring the principles of Catholic social teaching, provided by Caritas Westminster and the Diocese of Westminster Agency for Evangelisation. The resources use the readings for the six Sundays preceding 19 November, and are ideal for groups to use to prepare for the World Day of the Poor. The sessions focus on: the Dignity of the Human Person, the Option for the Poor, Community and Participation, the Dignity of Workers, Solidarity and Peace, Care of Creation.


Other Resources:

Prayer Card


Moments of Encounter Card Files (Commitment to Action)

Files for Professional Print

Send these files to online or local printers:

[NB – these are the files with crop marks!]

  1. Prayer Card Front
  2. Prayer Card – Back
  3. Moments of Encounter – Front
  4. Moments of Encounter – Back
  5. A3 Poster
  6. A6 Poster

World Day of the Poor Logo

Logo with white background