(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis is making a pastoral visit to Rome’s Sacro Cuore Basilica on Sunday afternoon, in the context of the Church’s 100th annual World Day for Migrants and Refugees. The parish of the Basilica dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is run by the Salesians of Don Bosco, and operates an outreach to the city’s homeless and itinerant populations, as well as a centre of welcome and hospitality for more than 400 young refugees and asylum seekers.
Located in the heart of the city, in the vicinity of Rome’s central Termini railway station, the Basilica parish serves one of those “existential outskirts” that Pope Francis has called on Christians in every state of life – and especially those in religious life – to place at the centre of their work and witness in behalf of the Gospel. Sacro Cuore offers a range of services to the people it assists, from Italian language courses to driving lessons, remedial education for middle school equivalency, computer literacy, job training and placement.
The schedule of the Pope’s projected four-hour-plus visit includes encounters with children and the faithful of the parish in the courtyard of the basilica, a meeting with refugees, another with homeless persons, an exchange of greetings with families that have had children baptised over the course of the past year, Mass in the Basilica, a visit with the Basilica’s Salesian community, and a moment with young people.
Text from Vatican Radio website