June 8, 2023 — If you were going to make a list of the most inspiring things the Catholic Church is doing in the world, the work of Caritas Internationalis would be right there near the top.
Caritas is a global confederation of Catholic charities working to alleviate poverty, promote social justice and advocate for the rights of the marginalized. With members organizations spread across about 200 countries and territories, Caritas is one of the biggest humanitarian networks in the world. Here in the US, the Caritas-affiliated organizations you’ve probably heard of are Catholic Charities, which serves people domestically, and Catholic Relief Services, which works overseas. In Canada, the Caritas organization is called Development and Peace.
Today’s guest is the brand-new secretary general of Caritas, Alistair Dutton. He was just sworn in last week and elected a few weeks before that. Alistair had been serving as the director of Caritas’ agency in Scotland, which is called SCIAF. He will take over leadership of Caritas at a pivotal time. Last year, Pope Francis removed Caritas’ top leaders due at least in part to low staff morale. Host Mike Jordan Laskey asked Alistair what he hopes to do in his first weeks and months as secretary general to help promote healing within the organization.
Alistair also discussed the work of SCIAF and some of the most inspiring humanitarian projects he has seen around the world, plus why Catholics ought to care about challenges those on the margins are facing both at home and abroad. Finally, as Alistair was a Jesuit himself for five years, he talked about how his formation in Ignatian spirituality influenced his life path and inspires him today.
AMDG is a production of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States.