By NZ Catholic staff
Pope Francis called on every parish in Europe to take in one family as he announced Sunday that the Vatican will shelter two families, one for each of its two parishes.
Vatican Radio reported the pope reminded the faithful that next year will be the Jubilee Year of Mercy, saying that offering shelter to the needy is a “concrete act of preparation” for the Holy Year.
The pope aired the appeal during the Sunday angelus as crowds gathered in St Peter’s square.
“May Every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe, take in one family” Pope Francis appealed.
“Before the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees fleeing death in conflict and hunger and are on a journey of hope, the Gospel calls us to be close to the smallest and to those who have been abandoned,” the pope added.
The pope called on the European bishops to support his appeal and said that in the coming days two Vatican parishes will each be taking in a family of refugees.
The Vatican Radio also reported Father Federico Lombardi SJ, Director of the Vatican Press Office, explaining that the Pope really intends his appeal to reach the “whole of Europe” and not just a few isolated realities.
Father Lombardi also explained that the “two parishes” the Pope refers to inside the Vatican are the Parish of Santa Anna and St. Peter’s Basilica. He said each of them will find its own way to respond to the Pope’s call.