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CHARIS's spiritual director, Fr. Colin Tan SJ shares his reflections on the Year of Mercy and invites us to go beyond our comfort zones to become bearers of God's love and mercy.

Article by: Fr. Colin Tan SJ

Photo by: Jesuit Refugee Services, Singapore

Dear Friends of CHARIS,

The world of abundance is also a world of excesses. And unfortunately, the world of scarcity and poverty is also in abundance! There are still many children and families who wake up each morning with an empty stomach and remains empty throughout the day. Yes, hunger, thirst and a longing for food, security, love, and a better life is a reality.

Yet, there are many who have more than what we need to survive. How can we as Christians be moved by compassion, mercy, charity and desire to share what we have and have freely received from God, with others?

Fr Colin photo

Fr. Colin, during his visit to a refugee camp in Nepal.

Some years back, Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) had a road show in St Anthony’s Church, to inform the Catholic commnunity about the plight of refugees. An elderly woman, came up to our booth and said, “I do not have any money with me, but take this gold chain and use it to help the poor refugees.” Fr A. Amal SJ, who was there was moved to tears by her kind gestures.

Having been journeying with CHARIS since 2010, the organisation continues its good work in coordinating the Archdiocesan response to disaster and humanitarian needs overseas. The CHARIS Humanitarian Aid Fund (HAF) was set up to provide assistance for victims of disasters and humanitarian emergencies such as wars, civil strife and systemic poverty.

Since its inception and by your support, the HAF has distributed over $7 million in support of overseas humanitarian work through our affiliates and Caritas Partners in Asia, The Middle East and The Americas. More than 80% of the funds we receive from the Catholic community goes directly to providing help and hope to our brothers and sisters. The remaining amount goes to our operations and fundraising.

Thus, I invite each one of you to come forward to share God’s love, mercy and kindness to us with those who need our love--our resources of talents, time and blessings with our brothers and sisters most in need. No gift is too small. Be one with CHARIS in multiplying the five loaves and two fish so that the Mercy Received is the Mercy Shared.  

Donate: To find out how you can support CHARIS and our work in the region, click here.

Volunteer: Want to go beyond giving and put your faith to action? Click here.

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