Close to priests in difficulty
· The Pope visits two Roman facilities for Mercy Friday ·
For both young priests in vocational crisis and elderly priests with serious health problems, Pope Francis' fatherly closeness is the same: we saw this expressed in the two visits Pope Francis made on the afternoon of 17 June, as part of his Friday of Mercy initiative.
Departing from the Vatican shortly before 4 pm, the Pope first visited the Mount Tabor Community, which consists of eight priests from various dioceses who suffer different forms of hardship. The meeting took place in the facility's small chapel on Via Adreatina, where the Pope listened to the priests and prayed with them.
The Pope subsequently went to the “Casa San Gaetano” at 6 pm, to visit a community of elderly diocesan priests from Rome. The ecclesiastical hospice currently accommodates 21 priests, some of whom are seriously ill and are assisted by three sisters and other staff. Fr Antonio Antonelli, the director of the facility, was pastor for many years and is now also ill. With this visit, Pope Francis wanted to show each priest his concrete and cordial affection, to give consolation and once again provide them with a good example of attention and gratitude.
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