Two heartwarming stories from the Vatican and a papal tweet…
01/12/2017: Young migrants, especially when unaccompanied, are especially defenceless. Let everyone offer them a helping hand.
MCDONALD’S TO GIVE MEALS TO HOMELESS ON MONDAYS
(Vatican Radio) The controversial McDonald’s fast-food restaurant that has just opened only steps away from St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican City State is to provide thousands of free meals to homeless people in the area.
The restaurant was opened at the beginning of the year after months of protest from locals and prelates who deemed it inappropriate for the unique historical setting of the building it is housed in, with a prime view on the Vatican’s Saint Anne Gate.
But a collaboration between the Borgo Pio branch of McDonald’s and a local charity organization called Medicina Sociale has yielded a fruitful agreement that promises to hand out over 1000 McDonald’s meals to homeless persons every Monday at lunchtime starting from January 16th.
The special “McVatican” – as the outlet has immediately been nicknamed – lunch boxes will include a double cheeseburger, fresh apple slices and a bottle of mineral water.
Lucia Ercoli, director of the charity organization, said she was “very satisfied with this agreement with McDonald’s” and pointed out that the fast-food chain responded “promptly” to their request.
‘Medicina Solidale’ has been working with the papal almoner Archbishop Konrad Krajewski over the past year, providing health check-ups and medical care to the local homeless community. Volunteers and workers at the charity will be charged with distributing the McDonald’s meals.
THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WALKING…..IN THE VATICAN
(Vatican Radio) “He made boots for the Pope and was released from prison.” This is the story of Bobby Penny, the first inmate taken under the care of Deacon Thaddeus Horbowy, a retired chaplain for the US Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Deacon Horbowy told Devin Watkins the story of the pair of Texan boots during a recent trip to Rome.
“Bobby Penny was my first inmate. He walked into my office and said, ‘Chaplain, I’ve been sent here by the warden to work as your helper.'”
The encounter took place in Abilene, Texas some 25 years ago at a prison facility which houses 3,000 inmates. Deacon Horbowy said he noticed that Mr. Penny was “somehow different; he didn’t have an attitude”.
Having worked well together for several years, Deacon Horbowy was promoted and moved to another prison in Texas but was allowed to have Bobby Penny transferred with him.
Despite being trained only in boot repair, Deacon Horbowy told Mr. Penny to make him a pair of boots, saying “You’ve got plenty of time. Learn it!” The result was impressive, he said.
After retiring, Deacon Horbowy was invited to come to Rome for Pope Francis’ Jubilee audience for Deacons. Not long before his pilgrimmage, Deacon Horbowy saw Mr. Penny in the Texas prison and asked him to make a pair of boots for the Pope.
Despite resistance from the prison’s warden, Mr. Penny was able to make the boots. Not long after their meeting, in a development which may or may not be related, Deacon Horbowy received a letter from Mr. Penny announcing he had made parole and was released from prison.
During his recent trip to Rome, Deacon Horbowy brought that pair of boots in hopes of presenting them to Pope Francis as a gift.