Asian Church charities reflect on Christian outreach in wake of typhoon

.- The official papal charity Cor Unum has just concluded a retreat for the heads of Church charities throughout Asia. The retreat was focused on the theme "You did it to me" from Mt. 25:40 and was held at the Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei, Taiwan.

The retreat gathered the heads and presidents of the numerous charities from September 6-11 and was attended by 450 participants from 29 nations, including five cardinals and over 60 bishops.

"Participants," says a press release, "prayed in a special way for those struck recently by Typhoon Morakot in Taiwan." On September 6 Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, President of Cor Unum, traveled to the worst hit area of Kaohsiung "in order to visit personally and bring the Lord's consolation to those affected by the tragedy."

The retreatants were also greeted by a message from Pope Benedict who offered his "warm appreciation and gratitude for all those who commit themselves to the 'diakonia' of charity, an essential activity of the life of the Church and a responsibility for the entire ecclesial community." The Pope also expressed the hope that the spiritual exercises will strengthen in participants "the virtue of heartfelt compassion for all who suffer."

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