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Pope will consider to remind bishops to respond directly to sex abuse victims

February 8, 2016 The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors asked the Pope to remind all bishops and authorities in the Church of the importance of responding directly to victims and survivors who approach them; and the finalization of a Universal Day of Prayer. On Saturday, the commission asked one of its members, Peter Saunders of Great Britain, who was abused by a priest when he was young, to temporarily suspend his collaboration "to reflect on how he can best contribute to the work of the Commission.” Read more...
Pope Francis

Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow will meet

February 5, 2016.Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will meet on February 12 next. Their meeting will take place in Cuba, where the Pope will make a stop on his way to Mexico, and where the Patriarch will be on an official visit. It will include a personal conversation at Havana’s José Martí International Airport, and will conclude with the signing of a joint declaration.This meeting of the Primates of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church will be the first in history.
World

Christian missionary kidnapped by al Qaeda appears in video

January 27, 2016. BeatriceStockly, a Christian missionary from Switzerland, has surfaced in avideo published by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. She was kidnappedin Mali earlier this month, after having already been kidnapped in2012.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Lund, Sweden, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation

January 25, 2016. Pope Francis intends to participate in a joint ceremony of the Catholic Church and the World Lutheran Federation to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, scheduled to take place in Lund, Sweden on Monday October 31, 2016.
Vatican

New decrees from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints

January 22, 2016. On January 21, Pope Francis authored the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to publish the following decrees: - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Polish Blessed Stanislaus of Jesus Mary. (1631 - 1701) - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Argentine Blessed Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero. (1840 - 1914) - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Mexican Blessed layman and martyr José Sánchez del Río. (1913 - 1928) - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Italian Servant of God Francesco Maria Greco. (1857 - 1931) - The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Italian Servant of God Elisabetta Sanna. (1788 - 1857) - The martyrdom of the German Servant of God Engelmar Unzeitig. (1911 - 1945) - The martyrdom of the Spanish Servant of God Fr. Genaro Fueyo Castañón and three lay partners in 1936. - The martyrdom of the Japanese Servant of God Justo Takayama Ukon. (1552-1553) - The heroic virtues of the Italian Servant of God Arsenio da Trigolo. (1849 - 1909) - The heroic virtues of the Italian Servant of God Maria Luisa Blessed Sacrament. (1826-1886)
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will visit the Mosque of Rome on January 27

January 19, 2016. The Imam, Izzedin Elzir, announced that the Pope will visit the Grand Mosque of Rome on the 27th of January.

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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