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Rome Reports

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“Family home” from John XXIII Community visits Pope Francis

Pope Francis wanted to get to know life at the John XXIII Community, so he met with people from a “family home.” Giovanni Ramonda, head of the organization, brought the one he shares with his wife. 

“With some daughters from our family: Simona, Miriam. Daniela, and Renato. Rossana, who is from Milan. Francesca...”

Later, they told him about how they live. They're small “family homes” that take in children with severe disabilities, single mothers, addicts, lonely elders or people who have been in prison. 

They spoke of their founder, Italian priest Oreste Benzi.

“His cloak was always wrinkly because he was in the streets... He only had two cloaks. He used one and washed the other. Later, he exchanged them. He greatly loved the Lord and the Church.”

The Pope John XXIII Community was founded in 1968 by Benzi, who chose to respond to marginalization and poverty by living with the poor and oppressed 24 hours a day.

Today, the community helps 41,000 people worldwide in family homes, soup kitchens, shelters, therapeutic communities and prayer houses. 

For 50 years, it's been working to give a family to those without one.