|You cant tell, but it's pouring down rain|
With all this in mind, Jill and I sat down with the new St. Paul's intern, Areeta, and two of the Artisans, Maiga and Syed, to discuss housing last week. If you are from the Diocese of Western North Carolina, then you might be familiar with a program called Room-In-The-Inn (RITI). RITI is a traveling emergency shelter for women in the WNC area. Each week a different church/business/school hosts the shelter. The host facility provides the space needed for the shelter, food for the guests, and volunteers to help out. RITI provides the infrastructure needed to make the shelter happen (beds, bedding, transportation, etc.). Jill had the idea to try and adapt the RITI approach to work with the refugee community in Rome. There are countless church spaces in Rome that are literally sitting unused, and there are countless more that are used but should be willing to host a group like this. It's going to take a lot of sitting down and working with different churches and figuring it all out, but I think this idea has a good chance of working. Will it solve the refugee housing issues in Rome? No. (But you have to start somewhere)
During this conversation, Jill mentioned that we should write the Pope. This struck me as funny because 1) I've never been in a situation where writing the Pope in hopes of getting something done was not just a shot in the dark/crazy idea, and 2) I've never been in a place where if I wrote a letter to the Pope about business, not only is there a good chance that the Pope would read it, but also respond to it. In Italy, it's all about who you know. If you know the right people, things get done.
"We are all journeying together, fraternally, on the road towards unity, bringing about unity even as we walk; that unity comes from the Holy Spirit and brings us something unique which only the Holy Spirit can do, that is, reconciling our differences. The Lord waits for us all, accompanies us all, and is with us all on this path of unity."
|The group of us waiting to get into St. Paul's|
|St. Paul's is HUGE|