Pope Francis: “The word is a gift. Other persons are a gift.” These other persons are all those in need of our smile, compassion, support and love so that no one remains in need. In His message, Pope Francis depicts the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (cf. Lk 16:19-31) where he states: “Even the poor person at the door of the rich is not a nuisance, but a summons to conversion and to change. The parable first invites us to open the doors of our heart to others because each person is a gift, whether it be our neighbor or an anonymous pauper. We should always open our doors to all those in need and recognize in them the face of Christ. Each of us meets people in need every day. Each life that we encounter is a gift deserving acceptance, respect and love.”
Caritas Lebanon would like to invite all contributors to unlock a lot of the doors that are still closed to see the faces of our brothers and enlighten their hearts with the love that our society is lacking.
Together we can proceed with our journey of serving, which started 45 years ago and counting tirelessly without rest.
Caritas Lebanon will keep knocking on all the doors to enter with peace and serve with dedication.
Caritas (Latin equivalent word for charity) was founded in 1897 in Freiburg, Germany. In 1972, the Jesuit Brother Elie Maamari founded Caritas South Lebanon in cooperation with this region bishops. It became Caritas Lebanon on September 9th, 1976. In 1981, the Assembly of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops of Lebanon approved Caritas Lebanon’s status and designated it as the official socio-pastoral arm of the Church to assist both individuals and communities and to support charitable and social activities. Caritas Lebanon is a member of Caritas Internationalis, one of the largest humanitarian networks in the world, counting 165 Catholic organizations working in 200 different countries.
Caritas Lebanon, the common official socio-pastoral arm of the local Catholic Church in service of the poor and the promotion of love, charity and justice, provides economic development, livelihoods, health and social care, education, migration services, emergency and crisis intervention, human and humanitarian relief and aid, environmental stewardship, as well as advocacy and protection for all individuals and groups of people in need.
We accomplish this, in concert with Catholic Bishops and priests in their respective dioceses and parishes, as well as other key stakeholders in their communities by:
Caritas Lebanon strives for an environmentally sustainable economically inclusive developed world in which all people lead peaceful, just, and dignified lives in harmony and intergenerational solidarity
To achieve our vision we strive for an overall human, social, economic and environmental development, to improve the quality of life or all people in need. We are committed to helping every person in need regardless of race, creed, identity or beliefs.
At the heart of our work is our commitment to God and his body, the Church. As socio-pastoral arm of the Church, we are devoted to one another in God’s love, in loving one another as he has loved us, and allow the peace of Christ to rule our hearts and enlighten us to take care of all people in need in accordance with the Catholic Social Teachings so that we may be called one body, the Church. We are all one in Christ’s Justice and Love [Galatians 3:28].
We advocate, demand and work to guarantee free and full development of every individual and full respect of the personality of each individual regardless of life style, culture, beliefs and personal values. Our love and unconditional commitment to respect every person and all people and treat them with dignity irrespective of their circumstances is our mission towards humanity and human dignity. We are all God’s Children and we all have an equal right to a dignified life [Galatians 3:26].
We believe that a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good [Quadragesimo Anno, 1931]. Our national presence through our dioceses, parishes and 36 sectors privileges us to advocate this and fulfill this principle. We stay close to the people, support and empower them to decide on and solve the problems they are facing, and intervene on their behalf when they are not able to do so themselves. Our work mirrors God’s relationship to humanity, requires restraint and an acceptance of the humble role of a servant leader [Laudato si’, 2016].
It is our firm and persevering determination to commit and carry our work to the good of all and of each individual by combining our collective assets, capabilities and intellects in harmony across all generations. We believe that we are all one body and if one part of the body suffers, the whole body suffers with it [Corinthians 12:26]. We are all brothers and sisters, one human family, and we all depend on one another [One Human Family, 2011].
While we are committed to enabling people to give from their abundance, we are bound by duty to share more broadly in benefits of God’s creation. We therefore strive for justice and work to promote inclusiveness, equity, diversity and prospects for all by committing ourselves at the same time to ensure that all individuals can fulfill their human potentials to the fullest. We consistently work to fight inequalities of wealth and income and promote equal prospects for dignified lives for all. We work on providing short term relief and strive for long term solutions just a Jesus embodied both Justice and Charity [Deus Caritas Est, 2005].
We value the natural resources we have, as scarce and precious. We are committed for prudent use of our resources and durable actions for protecting the environment by meeting today needs without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their needs. We are stewards of God’s creation [If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation, 2005].
We work by partnering at the local, national and international levels for the fulfillment of our Gospel’s commandment on respecting and serving the poor. We live up to this commitment for the Common Good through short and long-term partnerships that are informed by continuous and effective consultations with our communities and all stakeholders, built on trust and mutual respect. The foundation of all our decisions and work is inspired by God’s words and the church’s teachings, which reinforce the spirit of partnership and solidarity. United with our partners, we share knowledge, capabilities and resources to take on local and global challenges while advocating a preferential option for the poor [Deus Caritas Est, 2005].
We are determined to be selfless and humble in the service of our communities in the image of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We aspire to greatness by humbling ourselves and being servants to those in need [Mark 10:43].
We believe in the equality of men and women and value diversity [Catechism of the Catholic Church: Social Justice, 1938]. We welcome all people to join our family as long as they adhere to our values. We firmly advocate and pursue social justice so that all people may have equal access to opportunities and services without any form of discrimination. We love all God’s creations [Matthew 6:25-34].
We understand that serving our communities is a duty and a privilege. As we hold ourselves to high integrity norms, global management standards, and Christian morals, our work is informed by evidence-based planning and delivery, in full transparency and accountability to our people, communities, and partners, by informing them about our work, services and their impact. We understand that true success means achieving dignified lives for vulnerable, marginalized and disadvantaged individuals and groups. We therefore commit to high quality standards in the delivery of services and provision of assistance to meet their needs. We commit our work, heartily, to our Lord and His Glory [Colossians 3:23].
We understand that peace building is founded and inseparable from the principles of justice, development, subsidiarity and solidarity. In our work and partnerships, we strive for the fulfillment of these principles and aim for strategic peace building. We readily intervene at the different stages of the conflicts and at all necessary levels of interactions. Our approach is comprehensive and holistic, where we focus on the root causes of conflicts to solve them, while we educate on, and promote non-violent pursuit of change and justice. We devote ourselves to arrive at reconciled, stable and peaceful communities and societies. We follow in the true footsteps of Christ the non-violent change and pursuit of Justice [Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Africae Munus, 2011].