Dedicated volunteers are the backbone of a project designed to reach out to people made vulnerable by the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing the Church to extend its charitable activity in southeastern Wales.
Archbishop George Stack calls Cardiff a “Diocesan Family”. The Archdiocese recently received much-appreciated funding from the Welsh Government for its ‘Staying Together While Apart’ project.
In an interview with Vatican News, the Archbishop explains why he uses the phrase “Diocesan Family” to describe his diocese, and tells us how the Welsh and Catholic identity are together contributing to extend this family to society at large.
Archbishop Stack says he drew the image of Cardiff as a “Diocesan Family” from “the history and tradition of the Welsh nation because one of the identifying marks of Wales is the strength of local communities.”
“There’s a very strong community dimension to life here,” the Archbishop continues. He says that each village and town has a “very strong identity”. In addition, he says the Welsh people are “very, very friendly and interested in each other and supportive of each other”.
Along with this strength drawn from this Welsh historic identity, the second dimension that makes the Church particularly capable of reaching out is that it is present in “the most isolated places”, says the Archbishop. Yet, parishes go above and beyond in terms of community involvement.
“So, building on the whole notion of the Church as community and communion, and the Body of Christ, this is language which is part and parcel of our identity as Catholics.” Part of the Catholic mentality is “caritas”, and the Church has an existing framework in which Catholics take care of others in their area.
When COVID-19 hit, this led the parishes to “express in public ways what is already going on in local ways in the parishes so as to reach out to the wider community and use our resources”.
With thanks to Vatican News and Sr Bernadette Mary Reis fsp, where this article first appeared.