NZ bishops call for simpler Christmas

New Zealand’s Catholic bishops are asking their congregations and the wider community to remember in their Christmas preparations those people who struggle to put food on their table for their families.
As the Catholic Church’s Caritas Internationalis confederation undertakes a day-long international Wave of Prayer on Tuesday, December 10 to launch a food campaign: One human family – food for all , Archbishop John Dew asked that New Zealanders keep a special place in their hearts and on their Christmas shopping lists for people in need.
“Our preparation for Christmas in the season of Advent is a time of waiting for a child who was born in poverty, in a stable because there was no place that would take in his family,” said Archbishop Dew, President of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference.
“For some New Zealanders, Christmas is becoming a time of over-consumption, while for others it is a time of great stress and anxiety to meet their basic necessities. It would be good if all of us could think about how we can live a bit more simply this Christmas and, wherever possible, reach out to someone who might be struggling even just a bit more than we are ourselves.”
Archbishop Dew said there are many ways that people could assist others, from donating to a food bank or soup kitchen, to giving food as a Christmas gift to neighbours or friends, or inviting someone over for a meal.
New Zealand’s Catholic Bishops produced a statement on “The Hunger in our Midst” for the Catholic Church’s 2012 Social Justice Week focus on food, which recognised the food insecurity of many New Zealand households. The statement said our participation in the Eucharist demands that we address the needs of people in the world who do not have what they need to survive, including in our own country.
In a video produced for the Caritas Internationalis food campaign, Caritas Internationalis president Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maridiaga, who visited New Zealand recently, said there is enough food to feed the planet. A video message from Pope Francis on the right to food will be released on December 10.

Posted in

Michael Otto

Reader Interactions


  1. Leo says

    I urge Archbishop Dew to enhance his credibility by revealing to his audience information about the time when he spent Christmas day alone at the home of a man who otherwise would have been alone, about the time when he brought into his Christmas day household a man who otherwise would have spent Christmas day alone, about the time when he took money out of his Christmas pay packet and put it into the pay packet of a colleague who needed it more.
    Archbishop Dew should realise that there are many in his audience who hear him but don’t listen because, they say, talk is cheap.
    He could help remedy that by being more conspicuous with his sacrifices for the needy in body and spirit.

    • Leo says

      Another insight to the above might come from Bill Warner, Director of the Centre for the Study of Political Islam, who wrote recently:
      “The most persecuted group in the world today is Christians…The reason for the vast majority of all of this violence is that they are Christians among Muslims…but the greatest abuse is at the hands of those who should demand that the violence stop…Christians are enjoined to care for all persecuted people, but in particular, they are to care for their own brothers and sisters. They manage to ignore the persecution by doing good works, such as care for the poor…”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *