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Autumn news from Caritas Finland

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

Caritas membership letter in September 2023

In brief:

• Larissa Franz-Koivisto has been at the head of Caritas Finland for ten years

• Take part in the member survey, which helps us improve our services

• Bring your clothes to Caritas' sewing service

Larissa Franz-Koivisto has been at the helm of Caritas for ten years already!

In ten years, Finnish Caritas has grown from a volunteer association to a 5-person work community and a workplace. In 2011, Bishop Emeritus Teemu Sippo SCJ began to attach Caritas Finland as an integral part of the Catholic diocese. The background was Pope Benedict's decision to appoint Caritas as the official aid and development cooperation organization of the Catholic Church.

At the same time, Caritas Finland was facing changes. In a new situation, in 2011, the Caritas board asked Larissa Franz-Koivisto to become the chairman of the Caritas board. Franz-Koivisto, Sippo and the Caritas board at the time renewed the rules of the association in accordance with international Caritas examples. The new rules entered into force in 2015, and at the same time Franz-Koivisto became the general secretary of Caritas Finland.

Caritas Finland ry is part of the international Caritas. We are a member of both Caritas Europa and Caritas Internationalis. Caritas Finland has developed its operations in such a way that it meets Caritas Internationalis governance standards and the hallmarks of international aid and development cooperation. The basis of the organization is a strong Catholic identity. From the principles of the social teaching of the Catholic Church, human dignity, the common good, solidarity and the priority of improving the opportunities of the poor and vulnerable form the pillars of the Caritas organization.

Ecumenism, cooperation between Christian churches, is important to Caritas Finland. We are a partner organization of the Ecumenical Council of Finland. Many Caritas board members belong to one of the divisions of the Ecumenical Council. They organize many kinds of events and influence both social and ecclesiastical issues.

Franz-Koivisto sits as a representative of Caritas Finland on the board of Church Aid as an expert member. Reciprocally, the Executive Director of Church Aid Abroad regularly visits Caritas board meetings. Other cooperating organizations with Caritas are the Blue Ribbon Association, the European Anti-Poverty Network EAPN and SOSTE.

Members have the opportunity to influence

"I thank everyone who believed in our work and was a member of Caritas. I also thank all the donors. In this case, we have been able to help those in need. I am also very grateful for the personal support and encouragement I received. It has been a privilege for me to pilot Caritas forward with wonderful and committed people," says Franz-Koivisto.

Franz-Koivisto hopes that the people of the diocese will perceive the organization more and more strongly as their own aid and development cooperation organization.

"This is what both Pope Fransiscus and Bishop Emeritus Teemu Sippo hope for. We want our activities to be seen more and more in churches around the country. We hope that Caritas members will tell about the organization in their parishes. We want Caritas' charitable work, daily guidance and counseling work, aid work and influence work to become closer to parishioners," says Franz-Koivisto.

The importance of membership will be emphasized in 2024, when members will have several opportunities to influence. In April, Caritas' new board will be elected for the next four-year term. In the same year, the construction of a new strategy also begins.

If you are interested in serving on the board, feel free to contact Larissa Franz-Koivisto at or current board members.

Newsletter continues after the photo

In brief

Answer our member survey

We want to improve our operations and offer our members and other people close to Caritas Finland a better service. This is why we want to learn more about your needs and views.

Respondents participate in the prize draw.

You can find more information about this survey on this page . If you want to take part to the survey, but you don’t understand Finnish, please tell us. We can interview you in English in a phone call.

Welcome to an evening of Development Cooperation

Welcome to an evening of Development Cooperation on September 28th at 6pm! Join us to delve into the impactful initiatives of Caritas Finland in Kenya, Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh and discover opportunities to volunteer and unwind in a relaxed atmosphere. We will provide pizza and good company!

The evening kicks off Caritas Finland’s first ever development cooperation volunteer group. This group will actively participate in project communications, fundraising, admin and members will get to travel to our partner countries.

The event is organised at Caritas office in Kuusitie 6, Helsinki.

We look forward to meeting you!

Caritas' Sewing Service will open again in September

In the Caritas sewing service, you can order repair sewing and custom work. By repairing or fashioning an old garment, you help reduce textile waste. With the proceeds of the service, you support Caritas Finland's operations.

If you are unsure whether a piece of clothing should be repaired or fashioned, come and show it to us. The seamstress tells you what can be done and gives a price estimate for the repair.

Please contact us and arrange a visit in advance:, subject of the message "sewing service".

A discount on monastery products for those who have paid their membership fee

By paying your membership fee, you make our aid activities possible! This year, those who have paid their membership fee will also receive a 10 percent discount on monastery products and sewing services. You can shop in the Caritas store at Kuusitie 6, Helsinki and in our online store For our members under the age of 25, paying the membership fee is voluntary.

Happy early autumn to you - we hope to see you at the office or at events!

Best regards, Larissa Franz-Koivisto and the staff at the Caritas office

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