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     Home > Charity and Solidarity  >  2014-01-20 15:35:02
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Pope visits Rome’s migrants and refugees

January 20, 2014 - Pope Francis demonstrated his solidarity with migrants and refugees Sunday afternoon, visiting them at the Sacred Heart Basilica next to Rome’s main Termini railway station, where the Salesians of Don Bosco run a centre for them. The Pope’s pastoral visit took place in the context of the Catholic Church’s 100th World Day for Migrants and Refugees, Jan 19. The Sacred Heart Basilica, built 126 years ago by Don Bosco himself, operates an outreach programme for the city’s homeless and itinerant people, a trade and training centre for jobs and placement and a facility that cares for more than 400 young refugees and asylum seekers mainly from Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The Pope’s over four-hour visit included encounters with parishioners and children, meetings with refugees and the homeless, an exchange of greetings with families of children baptized over the past year, a Mass in the Basilica, a meeting with the Basilica’s Salesian community, and a moment with young people. The Sacred Heart Basilica parish serves one of those “existential outskirts” that Pope Francis has called on Christians in every state of life – and especially those in religious life – to place at the centre of their work and witness in behalf of the Gospel.


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