50th anniversary of Populorum Progressio celebrated with launch of Jubilee video series

“We must travel this road together, united in minds and hearts. Hence, we feel it necessary to remind everyone of the seriousness of this issue in all its dimensions, and to impress upon them the need for action.”

Populorum Progressio

Development and Peace – Caritas Canada is proud to launch the first in a series of videos that chronicles our organization’s 50-year journey on the anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s influential encyclical.

Learn about the foundation of Development and Peace as recounted by some of our dedicated members.

Often also referred to as our founding document, Populorum Progressio, played a quintessential role in the creation of Development and Peace.

Prior to its publication, Canadian bishops had attended the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965 where deliberations on the Church’s role in the world led them to focus on the intensifying economic challenges in the Global South, especially in the newly independent countries emerging from centuries of colonialism.

Inspired by Vatican II and the growing social activism of the sixties, the Canadian Catholic Church of Canada became intent on taking action. As their planning took shape, the Pope’s third encyclical and his famous declaration that “development is the new name for peace” fortified their efforts.

By October 20, 1967, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP), now Development and Peace—Caritas Canada was established with the goal of giving the poor of the Global South ‘the means to take their future into their own hands,” Archbishop Joseph-Aurèle Plourde, Vice-President Canadian Bishops’ Conference.

The organisation’s goals were multifold. First Development and Peace recognized the fundamental importance of helping Canadians to better understand the issues facing developing countries and committed to creating educational programs and carrying out advocacy work. It also committed to financing community development projects (the first Share Lent was launched in 1968) and to providing emergency aid to those in crisis.


Fifty years later the legacy of Populorum Progressio endures.

To date, Development and Peace has invested more than $650 million in over 150 countries, supporting our partners on projects as broad ranging as civic education, women’s rights, social justice, environmental justice and land rights. It continues to provide educational programming and to issue calls for action to protect the rights of the most vulnerable, and it has assuaged the immediate dire suffering of tens of thousands of people through multiple humanitarian aid projects.

Development and Peace will be launching nine more videos highlighting the organization’s milestones and paying homage to the many people who have been driving forces in our movement for equality.

We invite you to enjoy, comment and share!