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Pope Francis

Pope Francis has promulgated new decrees regarding future saints

April 27, 2016. Pope Francis has recognized the heroic virtues of the Spanish woman, Montse Grases; the martyrdom of 38 priest in Albania, and has also authorized the beatification of the Irish Jesuit, John Sullivan.
Vatican

Pope names new archbishop of Havana. Also new bishops for Mexico and Spain

On April 26 , 2016. Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Juan de la Caridad García, the new archbishop of San Cristobal of Havana after the resignation of Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino for having turned 75. Juan de la Caridad Garcia , 67, was until now archbishop in Camagüey, Cuba. After the resignation of Ulises Macías, the Pope appointed Bishop Ruy Rendon, 62, archbishop of Hermosillo, Mexico on Tuesday. Tuesdays bulletin announced the appointment of Manuel Herrero as bishop of Palencia, Spain; John Alphonsus Ryan as Bishop of Mzuzu, Malawi; and Edward M. Rice, Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau in the US. On the diplomatic section, Francisco Montecillo has been named apostolic nuncio in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
Vatican

The Pope has appointed Archbishop Christophe Pierre as the Vatican nuncio to the U.S.

April 12, 2016. The French-born Archbishop will be replacing Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan

April 9, 2016. The Vatican officially announced Pope Francis new international travels. They will be to Armenia (June 24-26), and to Georgia and Azerbaijan (September 30- October 2).
Pope Francis

The Pope will travel to the Greek island of Lesbos on Saturday, April 16, 2016

April 7, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to the Greek island of Lesbos on Saturday, April 16th. It will be a one day trip to visit the refugees arriving in the Greek coast fleeing war and violence. He will be accompanied the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew and Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, Ieronymos II.

How St. Egidio changed Christmas for the homeless in Rome

2014-01-02

For one special day each year, the majestic Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere becomes a dining hall. It opens its doors to Rome's most vulnerable people to give them an memorable Christmas meal.

"Since 1989, I've come here to St. Egidio, and they really care for me. I am so happy to be with my friends at St. Egidio, because I'm the famous beggar of Piazza Vittorio.”

"This is a beautiful moment for our family, all of us. So we treasure it, and I think we gain more out of it.”

Dozens of volunteers
set up the tables inside the Basilica to welcome their guests from across the Eternal City. The Community of St. Egidio started the tradition 31 years ago with 20 guests. Now, there are hundreds!

"They are our friends. Those we find during the week at the train station sleeping on the street. Those that live abandoned at elderly homes because they don't have any family. Those who are sick. Those who don't have a place to be.”

More than just being marginalized, the people invited to the dinner are the ones the Community helps out year-round, through their programs. Each year, the number keeps growing, but so does the number of volunteers.

ELDERLY VOLUNTEER
"It's a beautiful things. I helped out one  year. My priest had me volunteer. And I haven't missed a luncheon since. You take part just one year and you'll want to come back.”

Several cooks prepare the meal at nearby soup kitchens. Local restaurants in the popular neighborhood also pitch in.

 "It's a place for encounter and solidarity. It's like a big, extended family. Everyone is happy, we share so many things. Each person gets a personalized gift with their very own name.”

After the meal, Babbo Natale, aka Santa Claus, delivers each gift. They range from children's toys, to blankets to keep homeless guests warm at night.

This yearly tradition continues in large part thanks to the Community of St. Egidio, and its many volunteers. And judging by the look of satisfaction and joy on each guest's face, it might hard to tell who is truly doing the giving and receiving.


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