Caritas or charity is part of the Catholic faith. Besides coming together to celebrate the sacraments and proclaim the faith, going out to visit those in need is equally important to believers.

The word "caritas" means "love" and comes from a Latin word related to the meaning "costly" and "valuable. As Christians, we believe that to God people are valuable, priceless.

Caritas is a service of charity: concrete help with needs and requirements. Caritas is also about standing up for the rights of oppressed people. Yet Caritas is more than giving stuff or money, or holding protest marches. It's about seeing people in need, hearing their stories.

Many people participate in Caritas, including people who do not call themselves religious or churchgoing. They do so in parishes, in monasteries, in projects and foundations, often also in cooperation with other churches and religions, with the common goal of letting those in need know they belong, to listen to them, to befriend them and to learn by doing what we can do for each other. By walking with them through the jungle of agencies and regulations, seeking solutions to problems that do not seem solvable, remaining faithful in situations that do not change, but which become less burdensome when you are not alone. Caritas as an example is relevant to everyone. When you help others, you become happy yourself. By helping others, you also help yourself.

God loves all people and our response is to see all people as beloved children of God. Caritas thus expresses the spirituality we want to live and the attitude we express in concrete actions.