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     Home > Charity and Solidarity  >  2013-09-09 16:40:44
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Pope visiting Rome’s refugees

September 09, 2013 - In yet another demonstration of Christ’s preferential love for the have-nots and marginalized of society, Pope Francis Tuesday afternoon will visit the Astalli Centre for refugees run by his fellow Jesuits in Rome. The Pope will visit the soup kitchen where daily some 400 asylum seekers and refugees can have free showers and a hot meal. The centre also helps refugees and asylum seekers find jobs and a place to live and also apply for and become Italian citizens. Among those welcoming the Pope will be refugees who live in four centres of Rome, the service and healthcare staff and other volunteers. Rome’s Astalli Centre was begun in 1981, born of the solicitude of Jesuits for refugees, spearheaded by the then Superior General Fr. Pedro Arrupe, who a year earlier had launched the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). The Astalli Centre is attached to the Church of the Jesu, the Jesuits’ mother Church, which the Pope will also visit. On July 8, Pope Francis made history, dedicating his first visit outside Rome to the Italy’s Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, the landing point in Europe for thousands of refugees who risk their lives setting out in unsafe boats from the North African coast.


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