Sant’Egidio, the celebration for the 48th anniversary of the community, an expression of popular Christianity

48anniversariosantegidio6At the liturgy of the Community, there were also the Syrian families who have arrived with the humanitarian corridors. Marco Impagliazzo: ” Thank you to all the friends who accompany our work and our dream”

48anniversariosantegidio2The Basilica of St. John was crowded this evening by the members of Sant’Egidio and all of the Community’s friends for the 48th anniversary of the Community. Presiding over the celebration was the archbishop of Bologna, Matteo Zuppi. In his homily – after expressing his delight for the arrival of the first family of Syrian Refugees with humanitarian Corridors, run by Sant’Egidio together with the Italian Evangelical Churches – he recalled the history of many years of service for the poor and for peace: “Today is not the party of an institution, but one step in a journey that began on the afternoon of February 7, 1968, when Andrea Riccardi gathered a small group of high school students around the Gospel, so that they may start living their lives at the service of the poorest, with profound insight that this was the way to change themselves and the world. This ambition to make the world better has not changed. Even more so today we dream and work for the abandonment of war, the emptying of prisons and obtain victory of the infamous death penalty, so that our countries will not be drained of their soul and reduced to a market: so that the world may find the way to unity and dialogue and defeat prejudices. And I think the challenge of peace is in front of all of us and we have to win it, with the network of relations, with the wisdom of the importance of encounters and the insistence of prayer.”

48anniversariosantegidio5The President of Sant’Egidio, Marco Impagliazzo, spoke about dreams and realism at the end of the celebration, saying “All of these years of friendship with the poor has opened our eyes to a realism that comes only from understanding many environments and countries. But the reading of the Gospel has always invited us to dream of changing that same reality, of changing the world, into a community that wants to always be more of a friend of God, of the poor, and of peace; an expression of a popular Christianity.” At the end of the liturgy a greeting and a long applause to the Syrian family who just arrived in Rome and was sitting in the basilica in places of honor.

Read Matteo’s Homily here

Read Marco’s words here