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Holy Week
April 18, 2015. Pope Francis will preside the ceremony of the Lord's Passion at 17.00. At 21.15, he will take part in the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum.
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Papal Appointments
April 17, 2014. Pope Francis appointed Fr. José Augusto Traquina Maria as an auxiliary bishop for the Patriarchate of Lisbon (Portugal). He also named Fr. José Trinidad Fernández Angulo as an auxiliary bishop for the archdiocese of Caracas (Venezuela), and Fr. Francisco José Villas-Boas Senra de Faria Coelho as the auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Braga (Portugal).
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Decree for Sainthood Causes
April 16, 2014. After meeting with Card. Angelo Amato, the prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saint, Pope Francis promulgated a decree on several sainthood causes. He recognized the miracles attributed to: Italian friar Ludovico da Casoria; and Italian Tertiery Amato Ronconi. The Pope also recognized the heroic virtues of two Servants of God: French missionary priest Alano Maria Guynot de Boismenu, and Austrian priest Guglielmo Janauschek.
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Pope's Schedule
April 15, 2014. On Tuesday, Pope Francis met with Msgr. Charbel Georges Merhi, from the congreation of the Missionary Lebanese Maronites, and bishop emeritus of San Charbel in Buenos Aires. He also met with Msgr. Marcello Semeraro, bishop of Albano, and secreatry of the Council of Cardinals.
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Papal Appointments
April 15, 2014. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Msgr. Egidio Nkaijanabwo, and appointed Acquirino Francis Kibira as the new bishop of the dioecese of Kasese (Uganda). He also named Msgr. Peter Kayode Odetoyinbo as the bishop of the diocese of Abeokuta (Nigeria).
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Pope send message, prayers to fire victims in Chile
April 14, 2014. Pope Francis sent out a telegram today to the Bishop of Valparaiso Chile, where he expresses his condolences for the victims killed in a wildfire.
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Pope's Schedule
April 14, 2014. Pope Francis will meet today with Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. Afterwards, he will receive Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar General of Rome's diocese. He will also have an audiencie at the Vatican's Clementine Hall with a delegation of the Pontifical College "Leoniano" of Anagni.
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Papal Appointments
April 8, 2014. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Msgr. Nicola De Angelis, and appointed Msgr. William Terrence McGrattan as the new bishop of the Diocese of Peterborough (Canada).
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Pope to make two summer trips within Italy
April 7, 2014. In between his two international trips this year, the Vatican announced Pope Francis will visit two Italian cities during the summer. On June 21, he will travel to the diocese of Cassano all'Jonio in the region of Calabria. Then on July 5, the Pope will visit the diocese of Campobasso and Isernia in the Molise region.
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Pope's Schedule
April 7, 2014. On Monday morning, Pope Francis met with Card. Fernando Filoni, the prefect for the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Then, he welcomed Msgr. Francis Assissi Chullikatt, Permanent Observer to the United Nations and the Organization for American States. At 11AM, the Pope welcomed the remaining group of bishops from Tanzania, on their 'ad limina visit,' and addressed the entire group. Pope Francis met at 12:45 with the organizing committee for World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro. His last event was at 4PM; he welcomed King Abdullah from Jordania at Casa Santa Marta.
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Pope's Schedule
April 4, 2014. Pope Francis met with Msgr. Adolfo Tito Yllana, apostolic nuncio to the Democratic Republic of Congo, followed by Msgr. Erwin Kräutler, bishop of Xingu (Brazil), and the bishops from Tanzania on their 'ad limina' visit to the Vatican.
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Papal Appointments
April 4, 2014. Pope Francis appointed Msgr. Michel Aupetit as the new bishop of the diocese of Nanterre (France). He also named Fr. Pierre-Yves Michel as the bishop of Valence (France), as well as Fr. Stefan Oster as the bishop of Passau (Germany).
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Pope's Schedule
April 3, 2014. On Thursday morning, at 10:30AM Pope Francis met with José Maria Pereira Neves, the prime minister of Cape Verde. Half an hour later, he welcomed Card. Angelo Amato, prefect for the Congregation of the Causes of Saints. At 11:30, the Pope met and addressed with the bishops from Rwanda, on their 'ad limina' visit to Rome. Then on Thursday afternoon, at 3PM, he will meet with Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, at the papal office in Paul VI Hall.
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Papal Appointments
April 2, 2014. Pope Francis named Arch. Franco Coppolo as the apostolic nuncio to Chad. Up until now, Msgr. Coppola was the apostolic nuncio to the Central African Republic.
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Pope's Schedule
March 24, 2014. On Monday, at 10:30AM, Pope Francis will meet with Card. Fernando Filoni, prefect for the Congregation for the Evangelization of Poeples. At 11:15, he will welcome Guinean bishops on their "ad limina apostolorum" visit. Then, at 12:15, the Pope will address the Plenary Assembly for the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers (for Health Pastoral Care).

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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Up:JRB
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