In 1961, the bishops of Belgium took the initiative to launch a “Share Lent” campaign and invited Catholics to share their resources in favor of the Congo, which had become independent. They founded your association for this purpose and called it Entraide et Fraternité . You have been preparing and organizing Share Lent in Belgium for sixty years; since then you have extended your field of action to countries all over the world. In 1971, the bishops launched the Action Vivre ensemble , to organize the Advent campaign and come to the aid of associations which fight against poverty in Belgium itself. Your associations have as a priority field of action the support of the social activity of partners both from the South of the world and from Belgium.
I congratulate your two organizations for their fidelity in the accomplishment of their mission and I thank from the bottom of my heart all those who commit themselves as volunteers, as professionals or as benefactors.
The challenges that lie ahead are compounded by the COVID-19 crisis that is affecting the whole world but more terribly the poorest and most left behind. It is therefore, more than ever, a question of continuing the action undertaken and of developing it. I therefore wholeheartedly encourage your teams of Mutual Aid and Fraternity and of the Living Together Action , as well as the many volunteers who support your action in parishes and within civil society; I encourage your partners who fight day by day against unacceptable poverty, as well as the donors who support you through financial sharing. We all have the same goal: to build a fairer and more fraternal world.
I cordially send you the Apostolic Blessing and my encouragement to tirelessly pursue your commitment on the path of social friendship and fraternity, with the grace of Christ, the Good Samaritan par excellence! And don't forget to pray for me and for the Church all over the world.
From the Vatican, January 8, 2021
Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation from French