The Pope will visit a homeless centre in Dublin’s north inner city in a move mirroring many of his other foreign trips it was announced today.
After indications from the Archbishop of Dublin last month it was confirmed that the Pontiff is planning to visit the Capuchin Day Centre, which has provided services for homeless people for decades.
Founder of the centre Bro. Kevin Crowley disclosed the news on Newstalk Breakfast this morning, saying he was “delighted” and that it is “fantastic”.
He said: “I think that this is a huge, huge honour for the people in need and for the homeless people.
“It is going to be really exciting for them and that is why I am so delighted that these people are being recognised by the Pope.”
The visit to the homeless centre on Bow Street will take place shortly after Francis arrives on Saturday, August 25. Members of his security team have already inspected the premises.
“It is fabulous that he (Pope) is giving such precious time to the homeless people and, of course, I am not surprised by that because everywhere he went he made a special effort to be involved with the poor,” Bro. Kevin said.
“He is the man for the poor and a man of great concern for the under-privileged.”
In 2015 the Capuchin Day Centre served 272,000 meals on-site and delivered 108,500 food parcels. That year 8,000 children attended meals. Although food provision is the main charity of the centre, they also provide clothes, social and medical services to people affected by homelessness. The professionals who deliver these resources give their time for free.
On their website, above the list of the services the centre provides, it says: “In keeping with the spirit of St Francis (known as the Father of the Poor) there is no charge for any of the below services.”
Pope Francis confirmed itinerary includes attending the ‘Festival of Families’ later that day. This ‘concert-type’ event will have music and dance performances and is part of the World Meeting of Families.
The Pontiff will celebrate a final Mass in the Phoenix Park the following day, almost 40 years after St John Paul II did the same.