Thursday 27 March 2014

East Pokot, Kenya - Faithfully continuing to be close to the ones affected by drought

The communities of Sant’Egidio in Kenya and in the world continue to be faithful to their commitment of solidarity with the Kenyan North East regions affected by drought.
Two boreholes were recently open in East Pokot, in Ndonyosaz, a semi-desertic region inhabited by a semi-nomadic population, a gift that responds to a serious need of the area.

As we read on Sant’Egidio website,, “this water supply is part of a larger program of the Community to fight against famine, struggle which was brought on since almost three years here and in different areas of the country. The boreholes are complete with purification implants to remove the noxious fluorides, characteristic of the local terrains”. 

Tuesday 25 March 2014

March 24th 1980 - March 24th 2014: Remembering msgr. Romero, working for the young generation don't grow up at the school of violence

During his recent visit to Central America Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio, did stop in San Salvador.
It was the occasion for meetings with the realities of Sant'Egidio active in the small Central American country, engaged in a patient and courageous work of peace education against maras and widespread violence, for the future of the younger generation. Like in Chanmico, where years of faithful friendship have enabled a generation of children not to grow up at the school of violence.
But it was also the occasion for a tribute to the tomb of msgr. Oscar Arnulfo Romero, the
archbishop martyr who gave his life to testify, in a time of ideological, polarized between guerrillas and repression, violence his love for the Gospel and for the poor.
Killed on March 24th 1980 while celebrating mass in the chapel of the hospital compound where he lived, his memory has become a source of inspiration and example. It is not a coincidence that March 24th is celebrated as the World Day of Missionary Martyrs. And the bishop's tomb in San Salvador is a place of pilgrimage for many Salvadorans .
His memory is alive also in Rome. The missal from which he read in the evening he was killed is kept in one of the chapels of the Basilica of St. Bartholomew on Tiber Island, the
Roman church that, by the will of John Paul II, has become a memorial of the "new martyrs" of the 20th and 21st century: "The experience of the martyrdom and the witness of faith is not only characteristic of the early Church", so the Pope to the great commemoration of May 7th 2000, at the Coliseum, "but marks every epoch of its history. [...] Their memory must not be lost . [...] It remains alive, in the century and in the millennium just begun [...]. Indeed, it grows! It is transmitted from generation to generation, so that blossom a profound Christian renewal".

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Central America - Visit of Andrea Riccardi to the Sant'Egidio communities in Cuba and Mexico

Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio, had a journey to Central America in order to visit some of the association realities in the region.
First stop in Cuba, in Havana, where Sant'Egidio is active and able to live its commitment with joy, extraversion, effectiveness, despite the difficulties. Many gathered to greet Andrea in the House of Peace, a place of encounter and solidarity that the Community runs in the heart of the
Cuban capital city.
The meeting was attended by all members of the family of Sant'Egidio, teenagers, university students, adults, and older people of the Asylum, a governmental institution for elderly, with whom the Community has started a strong friendship .
After Cuba the journey continued up to Mexico.
A large assembly gathered in Mexico City with lots of Mexican community members, especially those from the huge federal capital city and Puebla.
Both in the speech of Andrea Riccardi, as in the interventions of the various participants in the meeting, it was focused on the challenges that Sant'Egidio lives in urban areas of Latin America, in environments that are not on a human scale, which are often plagued by widespread violence. In particular the violence of the narcotrafico, the treatment of migrants who head to the United States, the great social inequality, are all crucial issues that require the commitment and prayer of believers.
The challenge is educational and social. But there is also a call to a different attitude. There is
need of a maternal glance to the people living in the large cities of Mexico and Latin America, primarily to the poor, but also on the many who seek a way out of a stuck situation, who dream of a more just and more humane perspective. 

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Abuja, Nigeria - A celebration and a hope, “May peace come soon!”

The celebration of the 46th anniversary of the Community of Sant'Egidio, was, even in Nigeria, the opportunity for a family meeting, but also an occasion to be renovate the prayer for peace in a country suffering from the violence against Christians spread by terrorist groups such as
Boko Haram. 
More than two hundred people gathered in the heart of Abuja, the Nigerian capital, at the invitation of the Community, to thank the Lord for a long history, and to pray Him for an end to violence.

Thursday 6 March 2014

Rome and Sotto il Monte, Italy - Celebrating new cardinals, from Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Italy

In the last days the Community of Sant’Egidio in Rome got the opportunity to celebrate with a common prayer and a party archbishop of Abidjan, Jean Pierre Kutwa, and archbishop of
Ouagadougou Philippe Ouedraogo, bound by long friendship with the Community, after their creation as Cardinals by pope Francis.
In his preaching during the prayer - we read in the Community website, - Cardinal Ouedraogo recalled Sant'Egidio closeness to the African churches and societies: “I see you every day in Ouagadougou next to the prisoners, the street children, the elderly living alone: you are for us and for our church a help to live the Gospel. And you witness it with force also here in Rome, every night, with your prayers. In this spirit of service to the universal Church and to the poor, I want to live the cardinalate to which I was called by Pope Francis”.
Also Cardinal Kutwa thanked everyone for the long friendship of these years: “We worked together for peace in the Ivory Coast with the Community of Sant'Egidio. During the long crisis that divided the country, dialogue with the other religions, especially with Islam, was the weapon with which we were able to prevent the conflict from becoming a war of religion. Together our Churches in West Africa can look with hope to a future of peace”.
More or less in the same days Sant’Egidio in the world rejoiced at the news that new Cardinal Loris Capovilla, former secretary of Blessed pope John 23rd, the one who keeps with
faithfulness his memory and spiritual heritage of love for the Church, has been chosen to assume the “titulus” - the heading - of Santa Maria in Trastevere, the basilica where every night the Community gathers in prayer.

Monday 3 March 2014

Yogyakarta, Indonesia - A liturgy and a lunch opening the closed world of the prison

In the prison of Cebongan, Yogyakarta, a light of hope and friendship overcame the barriers that separate the inmates from the environment around. The celebration of a liturgy together with the prisoners and the following lunch with the friends of the Indonesian Community of
Sant'Egidio made all in the prison feel as “of a family”.
Everything was planned for Christmas - the traditional Christmas lunch every community of Sant’Egidio organizes with the poor -, but, due to some difficulties in getting the required permission from the authorities, everything had to be postponed up to the end of February. 
So, a story of fidelity, with the Yogyakarta members of Sant’Egidio kindly insisting for two months. And a story of patience, with the inmates waiting for this beautiful occasion. 
The big day arrived, finally, and the event was welcomed by the prisoners, full of joy and gratitude: “We feel like at Christmas, even if it is February, thank you all for considering us your family!". A day can be enough to change perspectives, to give hope, to switch on a new light in the life of people.