Monday 23 May 2011
The “Caritas Express” departed the Vatican State Railway Station at 10am Saturday morning with Jack de Groot, CEO of Caritas Australia and Archbishop Adrian Doyle, Chair of Caritas Australia on board. They were alongside the Australian Ambassador to the Holy See, His Excellency Tim Fischer and representatives of the Caritas confederation across the world.
The “Caritas Express” is making the journey from the Vatican City Station to Orvieto in Umbria, a journey of 100 kilometers, to mark the 60th Anniversary of Caritas Internationalis.
Mr de Groot said ‘Great train journeys are a sepia-tinged reminder of the past when travel was as much about the journey as the destination.
The ‘Caritas Express’ just like the Trans Siberian, the Ghan and the Bullet Train has a story to tell. In the past Caritas trains just like this one carried emergency relief supplies for delivery to flood victims in northern Italy and elsewhere.
Today the MacKillop carriage I sit in and the train itself, is a symbol of the life giving work carried out across the world for 60 years, in the name of ‘Caritas’.
It is a symbol of the food aid given to Pakistani flood victims, the education given to women in the Congo and the health service provided to the highlanders of PNG.
The “Caritas Express’ is more than a train journey, it is a symbol of the Church in the world.