Caritas Asia, one of the seven regional offices of the church’s social development agency Caritas Internationalis, reelected Bangladeshi Dr. Benedict Alo D’Rozario as its president.
The election occurred on May 10 during the Caritas Regional Assembly in Rome, a day before the 22nd General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis.
As many as 23 countries from Asia participated in the voting. Caritas Asia has 21 voting members.
D’Rozario’s second term begins in June.
"I am very thankful to God and very grateful to the members of Caritas Asia for reelecting me. I will try my level best to honor their trust in me and take this opportunity to serve Asian peoples of different countries with humility and following Catholic social and moral teaching," he told RVA News.
His vision for the next four years is to strengthen Caritas Asia's capacity to meet the evolving needs of vulnerable communities in this region.
According to him, Caritas Asia's challenges include conflicts, climate change, economic poverty, and inequalities.
Caritas Asia has been contextual and consistent in addressing these challenges through local and national efforts and with global support.
"Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 and conflicts, we were able to navigate through them with flying colors," D’Rozario said. "We worked tirelessly to ensure that the needs of our vulnerable brothers and sisters were met through innovative strategies such as virtual consultations, remote training, and online fundraising."
Caritas Asia’s resilience and commitment to serving the vulnerable communities in Asia will remain steadfast. Over the last four years, the members of Caritas Asia have been able to fulfill the previous strategic plan and develop a new one.
"Following the new strategic plan, we will continue to prioritize the formation of staff, humanitarian services, climate change adaptation, food security and livelihood development, education, health and nutrition, interfaith dialogue, and peacebuilding," he added.
"We will also work towards enhancing our monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning processes to ensure that we are delivering quality programs that meet the needs of our brothers and sisters in need," D’Rozario said.
He was first chosen for the position in 2019, succeeding Tokyo Archbishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi and becoming the first layperson to hold the position.
Caritas Internationalis oversees more than 160 Catholic development agencies in over 200 nations and territories and includes 24 regional offices, including 24 in Asia.
D'Rozario, 66, spent 29 years working with Caritas Bangladesh. After 11 years as the organization's executive director, he retired in 2016.
More than 400 representatives from Caritas organizations worldwide are meeting in Rome to elect a new leadership.
The president, general secretary, and treasurer are among the posts that need to be filled.
Pope Francis temporarily took over control of Caritas Internationalis' management last year to purportedly reform its operating procedures.
About six months ago, Francis appointed Dr. Pier Francesco Pineli as Caritas Internationalis' provisional administrator.
Dr. Maria Amparo Alonso Escobar and Jesuit Fr. Manuel Morujã were also named in the decree. As an assistant for Pinelli, Morujão was tasked with "the employees' personal and spiritual accompaniment."
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, president emeritus of Caritas Internationalis, who oversaw contacts with the local churches and the Caritas network, helped them during the period. – Santosh Digal
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.