Pope-inspired Children’s Charity turns One
Motivated by Pope Francis’ visit to Paraguay in 2015, a local parish created a charity in his name that helps feed children from underprivileged families. Recently on 8 August, the charity celebrated their first anniversary.
Located in the rural town of Natalicio Talavera, The Pope Francis Children’s Dining Hall by the Virgin of the Rosary Parish serves children aged one to 15 who suffer from various illnesses such as malnutrition and respiratory illnesses. In addition to serving meals, the charity also provides medical care, catechesis, recreational activities and food assistance for families.
Speaking to Catholic News Agency parish priest Fr. Claudio Figueredo recalls, “Two years ago, we had Pope Francis’ visit which was very moving for many people. Because of his closeness to the people, we wanted to put his name on the dining hall.”
He shared that the charity got off to a rocky start during the early days. With no pots, plates or utensils, they had to borrow everything they needed. Today, they are able to provide lunch and snacks every day for 100 children while also providing care for children whose parents worked.
Even then, the parish still faces difficulties running the charity. “We struggle every day. Our parish is very poor. Every day it’s hard to have what’s needed,” said Fr Figueredo. “But by the grace of God and Providence, we never lack.”