The Italian newspaper La Stampa‘s site, Vatican Insider, is reporting this morning that work will begin in a few days to renovate the public restrooms below the collonades of Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Shower facilities will be installed for the use of local homeless people.
The source of this information is Bishop Konrad Krajewski, the Papal Almoner (his full-time job is helping the poor on behalf of the Pope!). La Stampa is also reporting that ten Catholic parishes in Rome in the neighborhoods most frequented by the homeless have already, at Krajewski’s invitation, installed similar showers. The full article is here. Here’s a snippet:
So he decides to visit ten parishes in areas of Rome where many homeless people live. He enters parish halls. If they do not already exist, he asks that showers be built, paid by the Pope’s charity. They are not expensive projects, they are not designed to become big community centers. They are rather a diffused service for the people in the neighborhoods of a city where public restrooms are closed and the homeless cannot go into cafés to use the toilet. Monsignor Krajewski explains that «it is not simple, because it is easier to make sandwiches than run a shower service. We need volunteers, towels, underwear». Father Conrad tells the parish priests that «the Holy Father is paying!». And Providence never fails to assist. Andrea Bocelli, through his foundation, makes a substantial donation. A senator from the North requests the intervention of a firm which builds the showers in the parishes that lack them for free.