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Rome Reports

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Meet the parish priest who helped dozens of people during the Costa Concordia tragedy

Fr. Lorenzo PasquottiPastor, Giglio Island (Italy)“It was a tragedy. But 4,200 people were saved. A lot of equipment was used and everyone came together. It was certainly a tragedy, but from the start, the town was ready to help.”Many survivors came to this church to seek help. The parish is Santi Lorenzo and Mamiliano, which is just a few feet away from shore. The pastor of the church personally helped survivors. In fact, after evacuating, many crew members came here, asking for help. Most lost all their belongings out in the water. Fr. Lorenzo PasquottiPastor, Giglio Island (Italy)“The first to arrive were families with children, but they weren?t here too long because rescue teams found a site that was more adequate for them. I quickly headed back home to get more blankets and sweaters for the victims.”It was here in this small church that dozens of people found refuge. The majority were Peruvians who worked on the Costa Concordia. In fact, the pastor remembers one case in particular, where one employee named Ricardo, was suffering from hypothermia after waiting to be rescued for hours out in the sea. Fr. Lorenzo PasquottiPastor, Giglio Island (Italy)"We took him to my house. He didn?t speak. It seemed like he was freezing. We gave him dry clothes, a blanket and hot tea. He sat on the couch and stayed there all night.”It?s just one of several stories, where Italian rescue teams and locals alike, came together to help out those who needed the most. For many of them, it was a matter of life and death. ;BR/KLH FFJM-PR