A homeless woman sits with her belongings outside the Vatican. (CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters)
Pope Opens Homeless Shelter Near Vatican

July 17, 2015 — A shower, a shave and an overnight stay in Vatican City: these are just a few of the services Pope Francis is providing for the thousands of homeless and poor in Rome. In June, the Holy See announced the start of construction of a homeless shelter in Rome, just outside the Vatican walls. It will be able to host 30 people at a time and will be staffed by volunteers. 

This project expands upon the February opening of new shower facilities in St. Peter’s Square. Open every day except Wednesday, when crowds from the pope’s public audiences prevent accessibility, these state-of-the-art facilities are free to all who need them. In addition, every Monday local barbers and students from a nearby hairdressing school offer free haircuts and a shave at the same facility.

“It’s a question of human dignity,” senior Vatican communications advisor Greg Burke told NBC News. And the clients? "I'm very happy with [Pope Francis’] decision," one client told Eurovision before he had his haircut. "Pope Francis found the right solution for us.”

Throughout his papacy, Pope Francis has shown his dedication to helping the poor: distributing 400 sleeping bags to the homeless around Vatican City on his 78th birthday; arranging pilgrimage opportunities for the poor to see the Shroud of Turin; and even inviting 150 homeless men and women to a private viewing of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel before serving them a sit-down meal.

Care for the poor will also be a theme of the Pope’s upcoming visit to the United States, when he is scheduled to meet with the homeless at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. [Sources: Religion News Service, NBC News, Crux Magazine]





Recent News

January 20, 2020 – “Dare to care,” encouraged Fr. Jim Lefebvre in an interview with the Canadian Jesuits magazine. This is also the central theme tying together the latest edition.

January 10, 2020 – “I’m tired of only hearing about Haiti’s problems in the news. We have problems but we aren’t a problem.” That is the plea that the Superior of the Jesuits in Haiti, Jean-Denis Saint-Félix, SJ, makes on the 10th anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck the country in January 2010.

January 10, 2020 – Last November the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat in Rome marked its first fifty years with a Jubilee gathering. Dozens of global delegates came together for a week of celebration, networking and discernment.

Father Gábor Kiss died at 11:30 am on December 23rd at René Goupil House in Pickering, Ontario (Canada). He was in his 96th year, and was in religious life for 74 years. His life of service can best be expressed by his usual reply: “I strive to do the best possible.”

December 13, 2019 – Caring for our common home is one the new Universal Apostolic Preferences. How exactly do we go about doing this? Fr. John McCarthy's job is to encourage all Jesuits and their colleagues in the Province to imagine different ways of working towards this preference.

December 20, 2019 – The Advent season is often filled with beautiful stories of solidarity. This year, one such story takes place at St. Bonaventure’s College in St. John’s Newfoundland, part of the Jesuit Schools Network.

December 13, 2019 – It was in the sanctuary of Loreto, Italy that, last March, Pope Francis dedicated all the vocations to the Virgin Mary and signed the apostolic exhortation written in response to the Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.

view all news

Search news

Publications

CJI Mission News

Canadian Jesuits

Campion's Brag



Ignatian Centre
The Ignatian Centre is a Jesuit ministry run by laity dedicated to bringing the Spiritual E...