Archbishop William Goh celebrating Caritas Singapore’s annual Mass at Agape Village.

It is essential for those involved in social work to be involved actively with their beneficiaries, to truly understand their struggles and limitations, said Archbishop William Goh.

“When we begin to listen to their woes, we begin to understand … When you understand people, you never judge,” he said.

Archbishop Goh made these comments during Caritas Singapore’s annual Mass held on Jan 14 at Agape Village. The Mass was held in thanksgiving for the blessings that Caritas received in 2016 in its social mission

Speaking to 186 people from various fields of social work, Archbishop Goh urged them to look to the example of Jesus as a model of inclusiveness in their social ministry. “Jesus was sitting among the tax collectors. Why? Because, He went there to give hope,” he said.

He expressed gratitude to those involved in social mission work for their commitment and service. “Thank you for bringing hope to humanity, giving life to others and to give them encouragement, because this is what our ministry is all about,” he said in his homily.

“So as you serve, call others to join you. That is what we are called to do,” he told the crowd, which included volunteers, representatives of Caritas’ member organisations and members of other social services.

During the Mass, Caritas chairman Janet Ang shared some of the organisation’s activities and achievements in the past year.

She noted that Caritas was among the first recipients of the inaugural Charity Transparency Awards in 2016.

Caritas Share-A-Pot programme was also conceived last year in collaboration with Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, as part of a community-based outreach programme to provide good nutrition to vulnerable elders.

Ms Ang also welcomed Mount Alvernia Hospital to the Caritas Singapore family, after the hospital joined Caritas as its 25th member organisation last year. The Mount Alvernia outreach medical and dental clinic was recently set up on the second level of Agape Village in Toa Payoh to serve low-income families.

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