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Inauguration of the Giovanni Paolo II Soup Kitchen and the Don Luigi Di Liegro Hostel

On Thursday, December 10th, the Diocesan Caritas held the inauguration of two large spaces in Rome’s Termini station, in Via Marsala 102.

The event was presided by Cardinal Vicar Agostino Vallini, accompanied by Bishop Nunzio Galantino, Secretary General of the Italian Bishops’ Conference and by the Director of the Diocesan Caritas, Monsignor Enrico Feroci.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Renato Mazzoncini, CEO of the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (Italian Rail Network), Andrea Valcalda, Enel Cuore’s Managing Director and Luigi Abete, President of the Italian bank Banca Nazionale del Lavoro SpA (BNL), representing the companies that have made significant donations for the renovation of the premises.

The Holy Door of Charity of Saint Peter’s Basilica was opened during the event. The unveiling of the door, which is the work of Father Marko Ivan Rupnik, is particularly significant since Pope Francis is set to walk through it on December 18.

“Since 1987 – explains Rome’s Caritas – more than 11 thousand homeless have found temporary shelter at the hostel: as many as 188 every night. They have been welcomed with a bed, a shower, a meal, a change of clothes, guidance and support, and someone ready to lend an ear or a helping hand, and when possible, find them an accommodation that is more than temporary. Over the years, those who were struggling through difficult times came to know the hostel, returning whenever they were in need of a friendly environment, or even just for a chat or a warm welcome.”

Next door to the Hostel is a soup kitchen, which is open at night and serves 500 meals every evening to people in need who have arrived from parish centres or municipal services.