April 14, 2017 —
The new “Lavanderia
di Papa Francesco” (“Pope Francis Laundry”), which opened in
Rome on April 10, represents the latest gift from the pope to the city’s poor
and homeless people.
The laundromat is a free service “offered to the
poorest people, particularly the homeless, who will be able to wash, dry and
iron their clothes and blankets,” the Papal Almoner’s Office announced.
laundry service, the office said, was inspired by the pope’s call for “concrete
signs of mercy” during the Year of Mercy in 2016.
then, is a concrete sign desired by the Papal Almoner’s Office: a place and
service to give a concrete form of charity and mercy to restore dignity to so
many people who are our brothers and sisters,” the office said.
The laundromat is located in a building already
housing services run by the Rome-based Community of Sant’Egidio, which will
also maintain the facility and add other essential services for the city’s
poor, including showers, a barbershop and a medical clinic.
Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, said
that six brand new washers and dryers were donated by the Whirlpool Corporation
while Procter & Gamble will provide a free supply of laundry detergent and
fabric softener for the new facility. [Sources: CNS, Crux]