Stories of the poor


In our country, we will find many migrants who have journeyed here to earn a living, alone and far away from their loved ones. They often come from impoverished backgrounds and need to send money home to provide their families with food, shelter, education and other necessities.

– Caroline’s story

1. See

Observe the facts, know the reality.

2. Judge

Use social analysis and moral values to make judgement about the facts.

3. Act

Plan a realistic and effective strategy to action.

1st Step:


Growing our faith with the marginalized migrant community

Remembering Christ’s mercy and compassion, we must have a heart for these poor and vulnerable groups of people: “I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.” – Matthew 25:35

My name is Caroline (not my real name). When I joined the Society of St Vincent De Paul in 2002, I gradually learnt about the plight of the poor and the marginalized communities, especially the migrant community here, who are working very hard at difficult and low level jobs, to earn money to support their families back in their homeland. My concern for their welfare became my top priority as I grew closer to them. I knew God guided me to them to serve them in this ministry.

Throughout my journey with the migrant community, I have experienced countless joyous and challenging moments, but what I admire the most about them is their strong faith in God. Despite their many problems, they are faithful and always find a way to come to church. The migrant community is very close and tight-knit, as they come together to support one another, all being so far away from their families.

An experience I will never forget happened during the pandemic, when one of the migrants gave birth in her home, in the middle of the night, with no medical aid. It was terrifying as the baby’s placenta was stuck in the womb for nearly three to four hours, and the mother was bleeding profusely and on the brink of death. The lady’s husband called me at 4.00 a.m., crying and begging me for help to send her to the General Hospital. I drove her there and managed to contact one of our parishioners who was working in the maternity ward to keep an eye on her. The whole migrant community prayed for her non-stop and by the grace of God, she was well, and safely delivered her baby. When the mother and baby were discharged, her husband fetched them from the hospital and paid the hospital bill of eight hundred ringgit, which the whole migrant community had collected and raised among them. The blessed child was born on the Feast of Christ the King, and in honour of God’s tender love and mercy, they named him, “Kristo”. It is so clear how much God favours the poor and needy, especially when we call upon Him in faith, He has proven over and over again that He will always be there to help us in one form or another.

I give glory and praise to God and to the Holy Spirit who is always guiding and protecting my team members and I in this ministry. When we show love and care for the poor and vulnerable in our society, it is akin to showing our love for Jesus. When we see a migrant in church, please do not hesitate to show them warmth and hospitality, and try to extend a helping hand, if they have areas of need.

Continue to love each other like brothers, and remember always to welcome strangers, for by doing this, some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

2nd Step:


3rd Step:



Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

And where there is sadness, joy. 


O Divine Master,

Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

To be understood, as to understand;

For it is in giving that we receive,

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal life.


Make us worthy Lord, to serve those people throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands, this day, their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give them peace and joy.

I heard the call to give up all and follow Christ into the slums to serve Him among the poorest of the poor. It was an order.

When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.

You and I, we are Church, no? We have to share with our people. Suffering today is  because people are hoarding, not giving, not sharing. 

Jesus made it very clear. Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me. Give a glass of water, you give it to me. Receive a little child, you receive me. 

Lord God, You came to give honour to the least, those forgotten, overlooked and misjudged.

You came to give first place to the last, those left behind, misunderstood and undervalued.

You came to give a warm welcome to the lost, those who are orphaned, abandoned and destitute.

Help us to be your ears to listen to their cries. Help us to be your voice speaking out love and acceptance.

Help us to be your feet walking beside those in need.

Help us to be your hands to clothe, feed and shelter them.

You came for the least, the lost and last of this world.

Lord, hear our prayer.


Lord, may justice flow like a river

Reaching barren lands and sun scorched deserts

Where people feel forgotten and hopeless

Let your water of life

Comfort them

Where children lie abandoned or abused

Let your water of life

Protect them

Where communities suffer at the hands of prejudice

Let your water of life Shield them

Lord, we ask for a mighty downpour from Heaven

May your sons and daughters hear your voice

May we live as you lead us to live

Go as you bid us to go

Serve as you inspire us to serve

Give as you teach us to give

Until the earth is covered with the glory of God

As the waters cover the sea


Dear Father of all, Help us to see the world through your eyes, without dividing lines, To see just land and water, mountains, trees and skies. Help us to lay aside our class and skin, our background and race, To know our shared humanity, to see a brother or sister in every face. Help us to wear forgiveness, to lay down our pride and pain, To seek first to understand, Lord may peace and reconciliation reign. Help us to feel your compassion so we can freely forgive. May we weave new threads of grace and cause seeds of hope to live. Help us to play our own small part, with acts of kindness and of care. May we arise as your children and seek out what is just and fair. Cause us to make new bonds of trust with neighbours near and far, And so to fashion a world where peace comes to Earth in this hour.

Merciful God, we pray to you for all the men, women and children who have died after leaving their homelands in search of a better life. Though many of their graves bear no name, to you each one is known, loved and cherished.

May we never forget them, but honour their sacrifice with deeds more than words. We entrust to you all those who have made this journey, enduring fear, uncertainty and humiliation, in order to reach a place of safety and hope.

Just as you never abandoned your Son as he was brought to a safe place by Mary and Joseph, so now be close to these, your sons and daughters, through our tenderness and protection. In caring for them may we seek a world where none are forced to leave their home and where all can live in freedom, dignity and peace.

Merciful God and Father of all, wake us from the slumber of indifference, open our eyes to their suffering, and free us from the insensitivity born of worldly comfort and self-centeredness.
Inspire us, as nations, communities and individuals, to see that those who come to our shores are our brothers and sisters.

May we share with them the blessings we have received from your hand, and recognize that together, as one human family, we are all migrants, journeying in hope to you, our true home, where every tear will be wiped away, where we will be at peace and safe in your embrace.

Give Alms

  1. Many migrant workers don’t come to church often except for holidays like Christmas or Easter due to fear of local authorities. When you can see one in your parish, try to befriend them.
  2. Find out the problems faced by their community and check with your parish priest if there is already a Migrant Ministry to take care of their needs. Consider collaborate with them.
  3. Consider visiting them on Sunday after mass to pray and fellowship with them. Work with your parish priest to help identify their needs.
  4. Some parishes will host migrant masses in the village. If the migrant needs medical care you can talk to Caritas Penang to organise a medical mission for your parish. Youths can consider helping their spirituality needs such as bible sharing and prayer.
  5. Invite your parish priest to give a special homily to talk about the problem. Involve the entire parish community in your project.


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