Parishes Need a Home, Says Pontiff

Encourages Generosity in Building Churches

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 14, 2008 ( Benedict XVI is inviting the faithful to be generous in helping parish communities that do not have a church in which to celebrate the liturgy.

The Pope made this appeal today following the praying of the midday Angelus in St. Peter’s Square. The Diocese of Rome was marking a day in celebration of the new church buildings that have been built or are in construction.

«Today in the Diocese of Rome we celebrate the day for the building of new churches,» the Holy Father said. «There have been some new parish complexes built in recent years but there are still communities who gather in provisional and inadequate buildings.»

After having thanked those who supported this undertaking, the Pontiff addressed an invitation to those present in St. Peter’s Square: «Let us help the parishes of Rome build their church.»

The main event of this diocesan day, in which a collection is taken up for building churches, was the dedication of a rebuilt parish that was destroyed by a fire last year.

Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the Pope’s vicar for Rome, who since the beginning of Advent has renewed the call for solidarity with parishes who still lack a place of worship, presided at the dedication Mass.

«In the last decades,» Cardinal Vallini wrote in a recent letter, «Rome has grown and continues to grow. Despite the diocese’s efforts, many communities are still without a parish church and have had to get by with provisional and insufficient structures. I make bold to ask for a contribution from everyone, taking to heart the hope of many communities.»

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