One of the main ways that we witness to the authenticity of the Gospel message is through works of charity. We read in St James’ letter: “Take the case, my brothers, of someone who has never done a single good act but claims that he has faith. Will that faith save him? If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on, and one of you says to them, ‘I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty’, without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that? Faith is like that: if good works do not go with it, it is quite dead.” James 2:14-17

Faith must be given expression through actions. We are called to put into practice the things that we profess, not least the greatest commandment (Mt 22: 36 - 40) which is to love God and our neighbour as ourselves.

In England and Wales the Catholic community witnesses to charity through a wide variety of activities. A large number are done on a personal and at a local level by individuals, families and parishes that have seen a need and felt inspired to reach out to people, especially the lonely, marginalised and excluded. Many charitable works are also done by members of Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN), amongst others. Pope Benedict reminds us that it is through the faces of those in need that “the reflection of Christ’s own face is seen.”  Porta Fidei 14

During the Year of Faith the whole Church is invited to re-commit to love and service of others. It may be that you are already supporting local charitable projects.

It might be that you’ve been thinking about joining a parish group committed to serving local people, but have just never got round to going along. There are also many ways to help those in need who live across the other side of the world in some of the poorest countries.

The Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis will be resourcing a week of service during the Year called Little Way Week, 6-12 October 2012 . This year the focus is particularly on schools, but any individual, family or parish can get involved. We can all do little things to make a loving difference to people’s lives.

Event Information

Roadshow - CSAN, with the dioceses, will be offering roadshows celebrating charitable works and exploring ideas for enriching our social engagement. The first of these will be in October 2012 in the
Salford Diocese.


Motu Proprio: Porta Fidei 412.08 kB

Department of Evangelisation and Catechesis

Caritas Social Action Network


Official Year of Faith website of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization


Year of Faith Programme

YOF-programme.pdf 2.59 MB

A programme on the Year of Faith in the Catholic Church containing information, resources and projects to celebrate the year.