The World Day of the Poor (18th November) is a call to action by Pope Francis to reach out to neighbours for mutual dialogue, encounter and practical acts of assistance. This is the second World Day of the Poor and the Wellington Archdiocese is one of 12 Dioceses around the world chosen by Pope Francis to organise events for the day.

The Wellington Archdiocese has been working closely with church and community groups to organise a week of events leading up to the day. This includes encouraging Parishes to sponsor a meal at the Compassion Soup Kitchen.

Cardinal John Dew and the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council are leading by example by sponsoring the day’s meals at the Compassion Soup Kitchen. Cardinal John Dew and the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council will also be coming in to help serve breakfast on Saturday 17 November. This is such a meaningful practical act of assistance to the Compassion Soup Kitchen, which works to enable our whānau to live with dignity in the community through offering breakfast and dinner six days a week.

We would like to acknowledge and thank all the Parishes and individuals that have responded to Pope Francis’ call to action, and the events organised in the Diocese under the umbrella Better off together – He Waka Eke Noa. Special thanks to Otari Parish, Cardinal McKeefry School, the Catholic Institute, Anna and Nigel, Plimmerton St Vincent de Paul and Holy Trinity Parish who collectively sponsored over a week of meals for our whānau in response to Pope Francis’ call to action.

If your Parish is interested in sponsoring a meal under the World Day of the Poor events, please get in contact with Karen Holland at

The Compassion Soup Kitchen was first opened by Suzanne Aubert in 1901 in response to high levels of unemployment, high numbers of individuals with little family support and high  food wastage. It continues to be run by the Sisters of Compassion today, offering breakfast and dinner six days a week, as well as a range of activities including gardening, fishing, sewing and creative writing groups for whānau as a part of the He Rākau Koikoi-Purposeful Activities project.

Other events organised for the World Day of the Poor include:

  • Friday 16 November: St Joseph’s Parish of Upper Hutt:  An opportunity to check benefit entitlements from 12pm-3pm on Friday 16 November. For more information contact Teresa Homan
  • Saturday 17 November: Better off Together/He Waka Eke Noa gathering:Workshops, activities and liturgy on social justice issues led by Challenge 2000 at Bishop Viard College, 10am – 5pm.
  • Sunday 18 November: Mass for the World Day of the Poor:Sunday 18 November, St Michael’s Taita, 10.30am. If possible please bring non-perishable food items for the foodbank.
  • Saturday 17 November: Vinnies Pop-Up Free shops: 10am-4pm. Locations include: Newtown (230 Riddiford Street), Lower Hutt (33 Britannia Street, Petone), Stokes Valley (3 Scott Court), Wainuiomata (2 Stanley Street), Porirua (27a Mungavin Avenue).
  • All parishes and community groups are encouraged to increase food bank donations and find other ways to connect with neighbours during this time.