Pope to Offer a Solidarity Lunch at Milan Event

100 Needy Families Selected by Charity Groups of the Diocese

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MILAN, Italy, MAY 23, 2012 (Zenit.org).- When Benedict XVI visits Milan for the 7th World Meeting of Families at the beginning of June, he will offer a concrete gesture of hospitality and solidarity — a lunch for 100 needy families.

The June 3 event will be held in the Catholic University of Milan, on the last day of the Pope’s visit to the city.

The local Caritas organizations are hosting the event, selecting 100 families — some 300 people — for the meal. They will come from around the world, and include families direly affected by the economic crisis, political refugees, immigrants, elderly couples who are alone and will eat with volunteers, and social workers who live their difficulties day by day.

This is not the only initiative of solidarity that characterizes the 7th World Meeting of Families. In order to offer the opportunity also to families that cannot cover the expense of an intercontinental trip, the Milan Families 2012 Foundation has established a fund.

Over three months, with the small donations of donors, the “hospitality Fund for Families of the World” has been able to collect some 50,000 euros. The funds, managed by the Missionary Office of the diocese of Milan, has been able to help 28 families from Zambia, Belarus, Brazil, Albania and the Congo.

Thanks to the relations between Ambrosian missionaries and their parishes of origin, these families have also been helped by the faithful of the parishes of the Diocese of Milan, who in many cases, in addition to opening their purse have opened the doors of their homes, offering hospitality to the pilgrims during the days of the meeting.

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