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By Ferruccio Ferrante, communications officer with Caritas Italy “Wherever you go, you’ll find Caritas” was the name of Caritas Italy’s conference which looked at issues surrounding migrants, young people, families, people facing life alone and those suffering from addictions. Over 600 people from 161 diocesan Caritas brought with them their own experiences of working with Caritas in Italy and went away having shared and gained greater knowledge and hope. In this time of difficulty when the crisis increases its grip, Caritas is by people’s side all over Italy. In the first six months of 2012, requests for help from Caritas increased by 44.5% compared to the previous year. Caritas finds itself with a great responsibility: how to continue to accompany people in their difficulties. It’s a responsibility that can’t be passed over to someone else because each of us must be a champion of change for the common good. But how can we [...]
Caritas Rome provides accommodation through its shelters to poor and vulnerable individuals needing a place to sleep. Some people staying at the shelters have written the below letter to Pope Francis following Lenten reflections. The letter was presented to the Holy Father by the director of Caritas Rome, Msgr Enrico Feroci. Your Holiness, We are guests at Caritas shelters in Rome. Even though you have been Bishop of Rome for very little time, we feel a sense of respect and solidarity which makes us feel very close to you and gives us the impression that we’ve always known you. The choice of your name and what you say in your speeches which we have reflected on during Lent show us daily the essence of the Christian faith: that God is love. Our difficult situation allows us to know firsthand how important a gesture of solidarity can be and the comfort a hug or [...]
Read the original in Italian. It’s nearly four years since an earthquake rocked the Italian region of Abruzzo, reducing the historical town of L’Aquila to rubble. And it’s almost a year since another earthquake struck the north-east of Italy. Caritas Italy has been working side by side with the affected communities since both disasters. The Abruzzo earthquake left almost 300 people dead and tens of thousands homeless when it struck in the middle of the night on 6th April 2009 The diocesan Caritas pitched in immediately to provide the people of Aquila with food, clothes and other essentials in the wake of the earthquake. Beyond catering to the material needs, Caritas Italy also brought spiritual comfort to the shattered communities.
November 15, 2012
By Michelle Hough, Caritas Internationalis communications officer What with a police helicopter hovering over the Caritas offices for hours yesterday afternoon, I kept thinking about the film Apocalypse Now rather than writing a blog on Caritas Italiana’s book “Markets of War”*… and it was driving me a bit crazy.
June 18, 2012
The Catholic Church in Italy will hold a national fundraising collection in parishes Sunday 10 June following the earthquake and aftershocks that have affected the Emilia Romagna region. The Italian bishops have already allocated €3 million to help survivors of the quake that struck 20 May in the area of Modena and Ferrara and the large aftershocks which still continue. The funds collected 10 June will be used by Caritas Italy (known locally as Caritas Italiana) to help in the aftermath of the disaster. Caritas Italy has already pledged €100,000. See the poster: poster_terremotonorditalia_A3 Up to now 150,000 people have been forced from their homes with 15,000 living in tents Caritas Italy says that with aftershocks continuing, fear is increasing among those evacuated from their homes. Its staff are working with local diocesan Caritas Emilia Romagna workers to coordinate the emergency response through a coordination centre has been set up in the [...]
May 24, 2012
Caritas Italy continues to respond to families left homeless by the magnitude-6.0 earthquake that shook northern Italy last weekend. The quake was the worst to hit the country since the L’Aquila tremor killed nearly 300 people in central Italy in 2009. Don Francis Soddu, director of Caritas Italiana, has been visiting the affected area, the dioceses are most affected are Modena, Bologna and Ferrara. Soddu stresses that Caritas’ existing network of relationships helped it get involved immediately through the local dioceses. “People have confidence in solidarity here. The network of charity in Italy has always mobilized and been a source of generosity and good will.” In the area of Emilia-Romagna, Caritas is setting up a center to match people’s needs with what has been given. Volunteers are talking to the affected people and finding out what is most urgently needed. Caritas Italy reports that there is still much fear about aftershocks. [...]
An earthquake in northern Italy has killed at least seven people, caused serious damage to buildings in several towns and left about 3000 people homeless. The magnitude-6.0 quake struck in the middle of Saturday night, about 35km north of the city of Bologna. Caritas Italy’s Director Don Francesco Soddu immediately traveled to the affected area. He said, “We’re close to the people in prayer and to particular the families of the victims. We will support the local church in providing aid.” Pope Benedict XVI said that he was “spiritually close to those affected by this calamity" during his regular Sunday Angelus greeting in St. Peter’s Square. Don Soddu discussed the response with local Caritas staff, inculding the directors of Caritas Emilia-Romagna, Modena and Bologna and Arcbishop Paolo Rabitti of Ferrara-Comacchio. Local Caritas staff members are ready to provide shelter and first aid. The quake was the worst to hit the country since the L'Aquila [...]