Mumbai Marks World Day of Poor on Nov. 19

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India, attends a Vatican news conference in this file photo. CNS

The church in Mumbai has marked the Catholic instituted World Day of the Poor on Nov. 19 by taking up donations.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay, launched the Actively Called to Serve (ACTS) project, which will collect bags of items like grain, rice, sugar, and toiletries donated by the parishioners for the less fortunate.

ACTS will work in association with the St Vincent de Paul Society and the Center for Community Organization.

"Pope Francis has decreed that the 33rd Sunday of every year should be dedicated to the poor. The first World Day of the Poor falls on November 19 this year. I join the Holy Father in urging all of us to celebrate that day in a meaningful way: It is a day to rediscover our call to be a church of the poor, for the poor," Gracias said.

Gracias has served the poor in his archdiocese through various programs, including his 2013 Advent campaign for the urban poor in Asia's largest slum.

"Our Lord gave us the striking example of simplicity and poverty in His own life. He taught His disciples to value poverty," said Gracias.

"The first beatitude is, 'Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.' He strongly urges us to reach out to the poor," he added.

He asked all parishes in his diocese to organize at least one program for the poor.