A fraternal encounter

2013-03-30 L’Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis had lunch with seven Roman priests on Thursday, 28 March, after celebrating the Chrism Mass in the Vatican Basilica. The simple meeting took place in the apartment of Archbishop Angelo Becciu, Substitute of the Secretariat of State. For several years now, and especially during his mission as Apostolic Nuncio in Angola and in Cuba, Archbishop Becciu usually invited several priests to lunch on Holy Thursday.

When the Pope heard of this encounter he expressed his desire to take part and was therefore able to listen to the experiences of the priests present, almost all of whom work in the suburbs with the poor and under-privileged. The beauty of the Church was underlined during the meeting, something of which the media does not often report.

Among those present was Mons. Enrico Feroci, Director of the Diocesan Caritas, who delivered the Pope a letter from the people of this lodging. “I was deeply struck by the Pope's deep spirituality and his capacity to openly listen”, said Mons. Feroci. The Bishop of Rome quickly reciprocated these greetings to those of Caritas of Rome, both the poor and the volunteers.

Also present at the lunch were Mons. Alfred Xuereb; Mons. Angelo De Donatis, Parish Priest of San Marco al Campidoglio and spiritual director of many priests; Fr Maurizio Verlezza, a Salesian who learned of his vocation as an adult after his conversion from the political far-left; Fr Antonio Petrosino, a Salesian and regional delegate for professional formation of troubled youth; Fr Giuseppe Trappolini, Parish Priest of San Giacomo, who is in a wheel chair due to various orthopaedic surgeries; and Fr Mario Pasquale, formerly a worker priest at the Parish of San Bernardino and who works especially with the Rom.