Milan Prelate Seeks Host Families for World Meeting

Organizers Hope to Provide Free Accommodation for All

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MILAN, Italy, DEC. 23, 2011 ( An auxiliary bishop of Milan is calling his people to «heartfelt hospitality» for the World Meeting of Families, to be hosted in his city next spring.

Bishop Erminio De Scalzi voiced an appeal: «We are seeking families that will receive other families. Physical hospitality is needed and heartfelt hospitality.»

The World Meeting of Families is scheduled for May 29 to June 3 in Milan, and Benedict XVI is expected to attend.

The organizers want to offer free accommodation to all, especially those coming from developing countries. 

«Those who offer hospitality will allow themselves to be drawn in by personal and family lifestyles different from our own, in order to discover family virtues such as simplicity and sobriety, which we have lost in Europe,» Bishop De Scalzi suggested. 

He added that «Milan is a city with so many homeless inhabitants and so many empty houses. I would like the World Meeting of Families to be an occasion to open these houses.»

Father Virginio Colmegna, president of the House of Charity Foundation, from where the appeal was made, said the center will make its own contribution by hosting a family.

«It is the culture of hospitality that gives birth to family,» he said. «The category of hospitality is not a social service activity: It is a work of a formative character.»

Milan’s municipal government is also preparing to receive the participants of the 7th World Meeting of Families, according to the deputy mayor, Maria Grazia Guida. «From the first days of the agreement, the administration has placed itself at the service of the 2012 Milan Family Foundation and of the Prefect, who is the commissioner extraordinary for the event, so that the complex organizational machine is ready to receive the greatest number of persons possible,» she said. «Now we appeal to the city so that its residents will be open to the families that will arrive.»

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