- What is the Month of Charity and Mercy?
Caritas Kigali provided wheelchairs to people with disability in Rulindo District
The Month of Charity and Mercy is the period in which Catholic Christians and people with loving heart sanctify themselves through charity actions. This period was set up by Catholic Church leaders, and it is respected every year in August. The Catholic Church in Rwanda recommend us to help vulnerable people by providing an aid to them.
It’s also a period within which we futher strenghten Rwandan Caritas which depends to its christians’ resources rather than depending on anyone else.
2.The Background of the Month of Charity and Mercy
After realising that Caritas Rwanda’s image was being tarnished by the culture of begging and depending to the external aid, which was about to affect us after the 1194 Genocide against Tutsi, the General Assembly of Caritas Rwanda requested catholic christians to build their Rwandan Caritas.And this must be done at all levels ;from national level to the Basic Christian Communities.It was done in order to have local capacity to help poor and vulnerable people in their neighbourhood without sending them to the other institutions to ask for help.
This is related to the Commandment of Jesus where he says “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” (Mt 14, 16).
This decesion of introducing the Month of Charity and Mercy started to be implemented since December 1997.Since that time,in August of every year ,the Month of Charity and Mercy is organized in all catholic parishes in Rwanda.
Today ,the results from this charitable activities are positive and obvious.Not only the catholic christians contribute but also other persons with a good heart respond to the call of poor and vulnerable people for help.
It has now become usual to Catholic christian in Rwanda, that in this month, each and everybody sacrifices something to help vulnerable people be it in Rwanda or elsewhere
- What we must do as Christians and beneficent
During this month all of Christians and other people with loving heart are requested to preach Jesus Christ’s Gospel of love by action.
This mission of evangelisation is done in different ways.But the most important is to encourage others not only to have a loving heart aiming at providing a material or financial help to vulnerables, but also to associate themselves with others in charitable activities , including but not limited finding shelter to the homelesses, visit the sick people and prisonners, having the active listening to the distressed people and providing them with some good advice.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you
gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Mt 25, 31-40).
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Lk6,36
“It is more blessed to give than to receive”( Acts 20:35)
This month is a good moment to live our faith concretely through the actions of charity.
- The usage of aid collected during the Month of Charity and Mercy
After collecting the aid from the community, the Caritas in each Parish retain a quarter of the collected aid for its poor and vulnerable people , and the remaing three quaters are shared equitably between Caritas Kigali and and Caritas Rwanda, in order to help other vulnerable people from elsewhere in the Diocese and countriwide ,even outside the country.
Thanks to this collected support, the poor and vulnerable students could study, people hit by disasters are saved, homeless people are sheltered , people without food are nourished and those who can not afford means to pay for medical insurence are helped to get “Mutuelle de santé”.
Apart from money collected, household appliances and hygienic product and other material goods could be collected; manual labour be performed in the favour of poor people people.
While providing aid to poor and vulnerable people we should not be subjective, everybody in need of assistance should get it in case there is one, regardless his religion, language , the color of their skin ,and so on.
Despite our proper needs , the one with a loving heart always hear the call of Jesus to help the most needy persons.. Remeber that poor widow in the Holly Scriptures ,she has been pushed by this loving heart and accept to share her insufficient food with the Lord’s Prophet; do not forget also tha one in the Holly Gospel who offer to God the only two coins worth everything she had, and appreciated by Jesus more than those with many things offered.So, we do not need to have many things to give to the vulnerable people ,but to have a loving heart.
Let’s help each other starting to our neighbours, without ignoring strangers or sojourners, and we will be Blessed by the Lord our God.
Those who are willing to help us in assisting the poor and vulnerable people can make a deposit on our bank account No 00040-00691286-97 BK (Caritas Kigali/OSC. It is also possible to use MTN Mobile Money on 0781460747 or pass through Caritas of parishes and Basic Christian Communities (Imiryango remezo).Those living in the Kigali City could also offer their contribution at Centre Saint Paul at Reception Office.