Last Sunday was the third World Day of the Poor. The Archbishop of Dhaka took part in an event organised by Caritas. Minors told stories of abuse and violence. Homes give new hope in life. The children, mostly Muslims, say "God loves us”.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Card Patrick D’Rozario, Archbishop of Dhaka, on the third World Day of the Poor that he hopes the poor will find in Catholics “a next-door saint”. For this reason, he spent the day, last Sunday, which Pope Francis has dedicated to the neediest, among street kids, in order to stress that the poor are not disposable and that their hopes will never be lost.
The event, which was organised by Dhaka Regional Caritas on the campus of the Mirpur Agricultural Workshop and Training School, included songs, dances and food.
At the end of the day, the prelate reminded volunteers and organisers that “God does not forget the cry of the poor. What they need is love, a smile, a listening ear. The spirituality they have expressed is very clear: God loves them, they trust in the Lord, God uses us to love them, they want love more than anything else.”
About 120 children were present, ranging in age from 5 to 18 years, most of them Muslims, from three homes that host minors abandoned by their parents, orphans, or children of divorced parents who cannot take care of them.
The kids, the cardinal said, “earn their living by picking things from the wastage and garbage in the street. They were previously living the whole time in the street.” Thanks to Dream Centres, they can "see new hope".
The archbishop was very impressed by some of their stories. In fact, during the event, a small group of 12 to 15 kids took the microphone and told their story in front of everyone. Even if they had never heard of the message of Pope Francis for the poor, the cardinal explained, God’s mercy emerges for the weakest from their words.
“God loves us,” said one. “He loves us through those who have sheltered us, who take care of us, who have brought us together today, who are listening to us today, who are very close to us showing their love and affection.”
For another, “God the Almighty heard our cries and is protecting us from tortures, beatings, rejections, abuses that we have been receiving in the past while living in the street.”
A grown-up girl wonders though: “What will happen to me when I leave the shelter?”
For Card D’Rozario, the celebration nourished “their hope”. For this reason, he is grateful “to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, for the message of ‘closeness and solidarity’ with the poor who have made us poorer in spirit.”
(Photo credit: Cardinal's Facebook page)