Pope Francis has opened a new laundry facility to allow the poor & homeless to wash and iron their clothes for free. This new project comes after past initiatives by the Pope to help the city’s homeless.
The new "Pope Francis Laundry,” opened its doors yesterday and is the newest gift from the Pope to Rome's poor and homeless. The laundry room is located at the old hospital of San Gallicano and is run by volunteers. In the coming months, showers, a barber, and medical services will be added to the facility.
A statement from the Office of Papal Charities said the initiative came from the Pope’s invitation to show concrete acts of mercy, in response to the Jubilee of Mercy, which ended last year.
Also in Rome yesterday, the Pope made a visit to Rome’s Bambino Gesù children’s hospital and met with a group of young patients, and staff. The children were taking part in a tv program on Italian television, that explores the experiences of young patients and their families at that Catholic hospital. This hospital is the largest pediatric research facility in Europe and helps over a million and a half patients each year.
In his greeting, the Pope spoke of the importance of providing a welcoming family environment. Each patient, he said, has a name and a story, which is more important that the sickness that he or she has come to cure. The hospital, the Pope said, must always be first and foremost, a family which takes care of the needs of each of its members. At the end of the visit, the Pope thanked all the staff for being a “witness of humanity”, in the way they treat children in their care. You are a family, he said, and nothing is more important than that.
Catholics in the Congo are facing a new wave of violence forcing in some places, their church leaders to flee to the forest.
This is a result of a failed church-mediation plan that the bishops abandoned in an attempt to help facilitate a government & opposition power-sharing settlement. A statement posted on the bishops conference website says that "militias are continuing their gruesome operations. Each day sees new killings and burnings of religious buildings. The worst affected area is the Diocese of Luebo, where the bishop's house, library, convent and vehicles have been burned. The priests have fled, with the people, into the forest. The situation is harsh and unbearable." Bishop Sebastien Mulombe of Uvira said the situation has worsened with the arrival of 15,000 refugees from neighboring Burundi."We are in a state of permanent insecurity, of car-hijacking, pillaging and killing” the bishop told local media.
Let’s go to Medjugorje now where Archbishop Henryk Hoser said the biggest miracle there, are the hundreds of confessions taking place every day.
In a press conference last week, the Pope’s envoy to Medjugorje said there is a special spiritual climate in the town. But, when asked to discuss the authenticity of the alleged Marian apparitions, he said he had no authority or expertise to do so."It is not my task to discuss whether these phenomena are true or not, because the church has not yet defined them. The ultimate decision of the commission and of Pope Francis would be published soon, he told reporters. However, evangelization obviously is occurring in Medjugorje, the archbishop said, and that is clear from the packed celebrations of the Mass, eucharistic adoration, conversion stories and the reports of hundreds of Catholics who cite an experience in Medjugorje as key in their following a vocation to the priesthood or religious life.
Divine Mercy Sunday is around the corner and it’s one of the fastest growing devotions in the Church, especially among young Catholics. While there are many resources which speak to the message of Divine Mercy, the Knights of Columbus has a video series that shines a light on those lives that have been transformed by their devotion to the Divine Mercy.
Since the video series was launched in 2016, it has reached more than 1 million people on Facebook alone. You can watch the entire series on the Knights of Columbus page at here on youtube
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