Pope visits migrant parish

Visit to mark World Day for Migrants

Pope Francis paid a visit last Sunday to the Sacro Cuore Basilica to mark the World Day for Migrants and Refugees. Located by Romeís Termini station, Sacro Cuore is the site of an outreach service to Romeís homeless and migrant communities. Among the numerous migrants assisted by the Salesians of Don Bosco, the congregation behind the service, are citizens of Somalia, Eritrea, Gambia, Cameroon, Ghana, Congo, Ivory Coast, Afganistan, Iraq, Iran, Kurdistan, Egypt, Syria, Sudan, Pakistan and Turkey. All are helped through a range of initiatives such as Italian language courses, driving lessons, remedial education, computer literacy, job training and work placement.

In a visit lasting four hours, the Pontiff met with parishioners and refugees drawn to Sacro Cuore and came in the wake of his weekly Angelus during which he urged migrants: ìDo not lose hope for a better future!î

Pope Francisí first year has been marked by his clear commitment to migrants, not least in his very public visit to the island of Lampedusa to highlight the plight of refugees and asylum seekers who risk their lives daily to reach the Italian-controlled island.