News & Events

Caritas Jerusalem participates in 22nd General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis

16 May, 2023

ROME - From May 11-16, 2023, Caritas Internationalis (CI) held its 22nd general assembly in Rome. Mr. Anton Asfar, Secretary General of Caritas Jerusalem, accompanied by His Excellency Mar Yacoub Ephraim Semaan, CJ Vice President, and Caritas Jerusalem volunteer Ms. Christine Lolas, participated in the assembly, which saw the formation of a new governance of Caritas Internationalis. 

On the first day, the participants in the assembly met with Pope Francis during a private audience. In his address, the Holy Pontiff talked about love,the Eucharist and charity. He pointed out that Christians live charity when “they are willing to help freely, with a smile on their face, without grumbling or getting annoyed. Charity is patient, St. Paul writes, and patience is the ability to endure unexpected trials, daily labors, without losing joy and trust in God. For it is the result of a slow travail of the spirit, in which we learn to master ourselves and acknowledge our limitations."

Mr. Anton Asfar with Pope Francis

His Excellency Mar Yacoub Ephraim Semaan with Pope Francis

Cardinal Michael Czerny, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, also spoke in his homilies about charity, love and the Eucharist. He also reminded the participants of the duties of Caritas Internationalis; “to proclaim the Gospel with good works, to exercise the commitment to charity of their local Church, and to seek unity”.

From R to L: Mr. Issa Kassissieh, Ambassador of Palestine to the Holy See and the Sovereign Order of Malta; Cardinal Michael Czerny, The Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development; His Excellency Mar Yacoub Ephraim Semaan; Mr. Anton Asfar and Ms. Christine Lolas

The 5-day program of the general assembly included many interventions that covered topics like world challenges and role of Caritas, Unity in diversity to fulfill the mission of the Church, Caritas Regionalization and strengthening fraternal cooperation in the Caritas Confederation.

Caritas Jerusalem and Caritas Jordan with Cardinal Tagle

The election of a new president, vice president, secretary general and the members of the Executive Board for Caritas Internationalis also took place during the assembly. On May 13, H. E. Archbishop Tarcisius Kikuchi, Archbishop of Tokyo, was elected as the 13th President of CI for a 4-year term. Two days later, Mr. Alistair Dutton was elected as the Secretary General of the confederation alongside Mrs. Kirsty Robertson as the new Vice President and Mr. Patrick Debucquois as the treasurer.

Mr. Anton with Archbishop Kikuchi the new President of Caritas Internationalis

Mr. Anton with Mr. Alistair Dutton the new Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis

Meeting with H. B. Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III Yonan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and all the East of the Syriacs

Our partners in Caritas Korea Fr. Choo and Ms. Agnes

Maria Ms. Karrabe and Ms. Cecile from Caritas Denmark and the Secretary General of Uganda

With Caritas Poland

With Caritas Poland

With Dr. Oliver Muller, Mr. Steffn Feldmann from Caritas Germany and Ms. Christine Lolas