The Holy Father and
European Catholic Volunteers
Vatican City, 10-11 November 2011
Pope Benedict XVI, in light of the “European Year of Volunteering”
declared by the European Union, has welcomed warmly the proposal to use
this propitious occasion to thank all those engaged in the numerous
Catholic organizations of volunteering throughout the Continent of
Europe and encourage their testimony. In fact, this phenomenon is
particularly widespread and represents for many people a concrete means
to offer a Christian presence, even in those places of extreme poverty
The Pontifical Council Cor Unum, as the Dicastery of the Holy See
responsible for the Church’s charitable activity, has been entrusted
with organizing this event.
It will commence on Thursday, 10 November 2011 at 3 PM in the Auditorium
of the Palazzo San Pio X, via della Conciliazione 5. The Private
Audience of the Holy Father will take place on Friday, 11 November 2011
after a Holy Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Invited to this event and meeting with the Holy Father are the
Presidents of the European Episcopal Conferences and the Bishops
responsible for Catholic charitable organizations which count upon the
work of volunteers and those responsible for the national and
international volunteer organizations of the Church.
The meeting with the Holy Father will be held on the day upon which the
Church celebrates the Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, whom Pope
Benedict describes in
Deus Caritas est as “like an icon, illustrating the
irreplaceable value of the individual testimony of charity” (n. 40). May
he inspire all of us to “an unselfish love” through “willingness to lose
itself for others”!
Vatican City, May 3, 2011