Rome’s “birthday” is considered to be April 21st and today the Eternal City marked 2,769 years! Buon compleanno, Roma!
CARITAS MISSION: LOVE FOR EVERY PERSON, PREFERENTIAL OPTION FOR THE POOR
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis told members of Italy’s Diocesan Caritas chapters their mission is to express “concrete love for every human person, with a preferential option for the poor.”
The Caritas network of Italy is holding its national convention in Rome. The local chapters are part of the Caritas Internationalis family, which helps the poor, vulnerable, and excluded across the world.
“Given the challenges and contradictions of our time, Caritas has the difficult – but fundamental – task of making sure charitable service become everyone’s task; that is, the whole Christian community becomes the subject of charity,” said Pope Francis.
“This is the main object of your existence and your actions: to be a stimulus and a soul so that the whole community grows in charity, and knows how to discover new ways to be close to the poorest, to be able to read and confront the situations that oppress millions of our brothers and sisters – in Italy, in Europe, and in the world,” continued the Holy Father.
Pope Francis then noted the importance of properly recruiting and training Caritas volunteers for their various roles, and acknowledged the “time, resources, and abilities” each volunteer invests.
“Faced with the global challenges that sow fear, guilt, financial speculation – even on food, environmental degradation, and war,” – the Holy Father said – “it is necessary, along with the daily work on the ground, to continue efforts to educate on the respectful and fraternal encounter between cultures and civilizations; and the care of creation, for an ‘integral ecology’.”
The Pope said this includes advocating to civil institutions and promoting “appropriate legislation” in favor of the common good.
“I encourage you not to tire of promoting, with tenacity and patient perseverance, communities who possess a passion for dialogue, to experience conflicts in an evangelical way, without denying them but making them opportunities for growth and reconciliation,” Pope Francis said.
“May you always speak proudly of your desire to go to the causes of poverty, and try to remove them; of your efforts to prevent exclusion; to affect the mechanisms that generate injustice; to work against any structure of sin,” he said. “This begins in the parishes: It is the precious work and capillaries of the parochial Caritas chapters, which must continually spread and multiply through the territory.”
Pope Francis also encouraged the local Caritas chapters to continue to help immigrants, both with solidarity and to help them integrate into the community.
PAPAL TELEGRAM TO ROME JEWISH COMMUNITY FOR PASSOVER
Pope Francis has sent a telegram to the chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni, to convey to his good wishes to the Jewish community of Rome for Pesach, the Jewish feast of Passover, which takes place this year from April 22 to 30.
“In remembering with renewed gratitude our meeting on January 17, when I was cordially welcomed by you and by the Jewish Community of the city in the Great Synagogue, I wish to express my most heartfelt wishes for the feast of Passover. It points out that the Almighty has released His beloved people from slavery and brought them to the Promised Land. May God also accompany you today with the abundance of His Blessings, protect your community and, in His mercy, bestow peace upon everyone. I ask you to pray for me, as I assure you of my prayers for you: may the Almighty allow us to be able to grow more and more in friendship.”