“Jesus came to Nazareth and was obedient to them”. (Lk. 2:51)
It was in the family at Nazareth that Jesus grew in wisdom and age and grace, for the family is indeed the cradle of life. The home is the natural and nurturing environment in which children grow to adulthood and learn to assume communal responsibilities. Families, however, have in recent times been beset by profound changes in society and by the worldwide economic recession and so face an increasing number of crises. It is, then, necessary to foster mutual support and understanding among family members, which will in turn help to build a harmonious society.
Family life is an initiation into life in society. “The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honour God and make good use of freedom” (Catholic Catechism No. 2207). The process of human development in all its aspects is the result of a synergy between the family and society. Therefore, for this Year’s Fund Raising Campaign, Caritas-Hong Kong has chosen “Family – The Cradle of Life” as its theme and “Support the Family, Protect Children” as its slogan. The rights of children and the rights of the family must be articulated together.
I am pleased to say that Caritas-Hong Kong, established on 1 July 1953, celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2003. This anniversary truly highlights the tremendous work which Caritas has done in assisting the underprivileged and in supporting the community at large. Throughout these fifty years of partnership in love and service, Caritas has been successful, not only in providing holistic quality services to meet the changing needs of society but also in contributing to nurturing a caring community.
The Caritas Annual Fund Raising Campaigns enable Caritas to continue its services in social work, education and health-care. The running of these annual events would not be possible without the generosity and support of a very large number of kind-hearted people in our community, both lay and religious, who give unstintingly of their time, energy, talents and material goods.
“The family is the original cell of social life… Authority, stability and a life of a relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security and fraternity within society.” (Catholic Catechism No. 2207)
Dear brothers and sisters, despite all the challenges and uncertainties ahead, Caritas will continue to serve people in need. Once again I appeal for your full support this year. With gratitude for your generosity, I pray that Jesus Christ, who came so that we may have life and have it to the full (Jn. 10:10), will reward you abundantly.
+ John Baptist Cardinal Wu The Bishop of Hong Kong Solemnity of the Assumption 2002