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Founded in 1946, Secours Catholique – Caritas France is a service of the Catholic Church and a member of the Caritas Internationalis confederation. It unites a network of 62,000 volunteers, “bringing help either direct or indirect, moral or material aid wherever there is a need for it, with the exception of any distinctive national or confessional religious identity, irrespective of the philosophical or religious opinions of the beneficiaries” (extract from the Statutes, art. 1).
Faithful to the spirit of its origins, Secours Catholique roots its action in the Gospel and the social teaching of the Church: respect for the dignity of the human person, justice, solidarity, fraternity, reconciliation, peace, the preferential option for the poor, the integral development of the human person, subsidiarity, the universal destination of goods, and the indivisibility of rights.
The mission of Secours Catholique is to spread Christian charity by creating a solid unity between everyone, in France and throughout the world.
Secours Catholique considers that men, women and children in situations of poverty play a major part in their own development.
It is committed to fighting side by side with them against the causes of poverty and exclusion, and to promoting the development of the human person in all its aspects.
It seeks an active partnership with organisations that share its objectives in order to promote social justice in local, national and international policies.
Bearing witness to the Gospel, it invites everyone to go out and meet the poorest people, listen to them, support them and associate with them so that together we can build a fairer and more fraternal society. Secours Catholique in figures: 81 delegations; 4,000 local teams; 60,000 volunteers; 2,440 reception centres; 3 outreach centres: Cité Saint-Pierre in Lourdes, the Maison d’Abraham in Jerusalem, the Cèdre in Paris; 18 shelters run by Association des Cités of Secours Catholique.
Several partnerships are in place, including with: the French Bishops’ Conference, CCFD -Terre Solidaire (Catholic Committee Against Hunger and for Development), Emmaüs France, Little Brothers of the Poor, the Red Cross, and the Scouts and Guides of France.