VATICAN CITY (CNS) — For an upcoming Vatican charity concert, Rome’s immigrants, poor, elderly and marginalized will be getting front-row VIP treatment, while benefactors will be seated in the back.
The charity benefit, to be held in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall May 14, will raise money for the papal Almoner’s Office.
Local charitable organizations and parishes will be bringing about 2,000 people to the concert — people without homes, refugees, immigrants and families and youth experiencing difficult situations, organizers said at a Vatican news conference April 30.
Those people will be given “a place of honor” at the front of the audience hall because “in them is Jesus and for him we reserve the front row,” said Msgr. Diego Giovanni Ravelli, head of the Almoner’s Office.
The concert on the feast of the Ascension is also open to benefactors, volunteers and others.
While tickets are free, seats open to the wider public in the back will have an empty envelope placed on them, asking people to make a donation to the papal charity.
Established in 1409, the Almoner’s Office is the oldest existing papal charity and allocates small donations to individuals requesting assistance with expenses like medical or utility bills and rent.
Msgr. Ravelli said his office received more than 8,000 requests for help last year and distributed more than 1.5 million euros ($1.68 million). The office allocates donations and gifts the pope receives as well as monies received from the sale of papal blessings.
The concert will be an opera based on Dante Alighieri’s “The Divine Comedy.” This year is the 750th anniversary of the medieval Italian poet’s birth.
The opera, which features symphonic music, Gregorian chant and hard rock, was composed by Msgr. Marco Frisina, director of the choir of the Diocese of Rome and a well-known composer of religious music.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Being Christian is service, not ‘makeup’ for a pretty soul, pope says
NEXT: Canonization doesn’t mean Blessed Serra was perfect, experts say
Share this story