Sunday, June 11, 2017

Papal Almoner puts his apartment at migrants' disposal

Vatican Radio (English translation by Rebel Girl; em português)
June 6, 2017

Vatican City (VR) - The Papal Almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, is the man entrusted by Pope Francis to express his charity towards the neediest.

Food distribution, the installation of a dormitory, showers, a barbershop and laundry near the Vatican are just some of the initiatives of this Polish man who was born in Lodz on November 25, 1963.

What few people know is that the prelate -- who has been serving in the Holy See for years -- has put his apartment at the disposal of migrants fleeing war areas. So for months he has been sleeping in his own office in the Vatican.

A gesture that's "natural and spontaneous, but there's nothing heroic in this," says Msgr. Krajewski, when surprise is shown at his choice. "The Gospel teaches us to help those in need, and the first need is housing," he reminds us.

The decision responds to Pope Francis' strong appeal during the September 6, 2015 Angelus that every parish, monastery and religious house would welcome at least one refugee from Syria or North Africa fleeing from war and hunger.

On returning from the Greek island of Lesbos, where he went to meet the refugees, Bergoglio brought three families, who were until just recently housed in Santa Ana Parish in the Vatican, and later in the Sant'Egidio Community.

The Archbishop welcomes groups of immigrants in his apartment -- inside the leonine walls, offering them hospitality until they can become independent and find a more permanent home.

"A few weeks ago," says Msgr. Krajewski, "other families arrived, and the lovely thing is that for the first time in my house, a beautiful little girl was born. And I confess, I feel a bit like a grandfather, an uncle. It is life that is continuing, a gift of God."(JE)

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