AMERICA/CHILE - Espacio Misericordia: young volunteers welcome the homeless

Wednesday, 5 July 2023


Concepciòn (Agenzia Fides) - "How can we find again a space that we can use to care for the homeless?" In response to this question from Gabriela Gutiérrez, Episcopal Delegate for Social Pastoral Care of the Archdiocese of Concepcion, the initiative "Espacio Misericordia" was born, which was strongly desired by Archbishop Fernando Chomalì. Developed in collaboration with the various parishes and vicariates of the region, it "is intended to be a welcoming space in which to offer a meal and to deepen the bond with brothers and sisters in difficult situations, a space to offer them sincere support". The initiative is the continuation of a previous initiative known as “Bus Albergue Móvil La Misericordia”, which was suspended due to the Covid pandemic. Archbishop Chomalì was present at the ceremonial opening of the facility, which is to be made available as a contact point in July, August and September, and inaugurated the premises. The people who help in the "Espacio Misericordia" are volunteers, mainly young people and everyone who offers their voluntary work. "It is one of the many social programs offered by the Church, but this one has the particularity that it mainly involves young volunteers," says Bishop Chomalì. "Young people who have heard the Pope's call to want to do more than talk, and that means a lot of work because you have to be ready to welcome, take care of the food, set the tables, to organize!" "Many have been in difficult situations for years," said the Delegate, "but there are others who are trying to get out of these situations, to get in touch with their families, to get their lives under control again, and that is why the Vicariate for Social Pastoral promotes these projects and makes its collaborators available". "The moment of the first meeting, on July 3, when we inaugurated the initiative, was very moving because we relived the emotions of the Bus Albergue - concluded Archbishop Chomalì - but at the same time it was sad to realize that, after three years after the closure, you find the same people, who have the same problems and that nothing has changed for them". (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 5/7/2023)