Two thousand envelopes containing telephone calling cards, metro subway tickets and signed Christmas cards from the Pope are being given out among the poor of Rome as a Christmas present from the Pontiff.
Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, and the Missionaries
of Charity are targeting locations around the Italian capital where some
of the poorest and most marginalised of the city can be found.
The envelopes, which will be delivered by Archbishop Krajewski on behalf of the Pope, are franked with Vatican stamps.
This allows those who receive one to use its contents simply by
adding an address. Each envelop contains the Pope’s signed Christmas
greeting card, telephone cards and day tickets for the Metro.
The directorate of ATAC, the Municipal Agency for Transport in Rome,
has offered 4,000 day tickets for the Metro, while Vatican Post has
offered the stamps, and the envelopes were donated by the Vatican
Meanwhile, in Ireland, the annual sit out by the Black Santa at St
Ann’s Church on Dawson Street in Dublin begins on Wednesday (18 December
The Christmas charity appeal will be launched by the Church of
Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson and the
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisín Quinn. The children’s choir of the Kildare
Place School will provide festive songs for the occasion.
annual sit out continues right up until Christmas Eve. The Vicar of St
Ann’s, the Rev David Gillespie, joined by clerical colleagues from
around the diocese, will remain outside the city centre church from 10am
until 6pm each day collecting money for a number of charities.
They will be joined by different choirs each lunchtime including the
choirs of Castleknock National School, St James’s Primary School, Taney
Primary School, Catholic University School, John Scottus School, Loreto
College, the Seafield Singers and the ICA Choir.
Santa sit out is modeled on a similar appeal which has been run by
successive Deans of St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast for many years. It
became known as the Black Santa appeal because of the long heavy black
cloaks worn by the clergy to keep out the cold.
collected this year will be distributed to St Vincent de Paul, the
Salvation Army, the Dublin Simon Community, Protestant Aid, Trust and
the Church of Ireland Overseas Aid (Bishops’ Appeal).
looking forward once again to witnessing the generosity of the people of
Dublin and we urge them to support us this year as generously as they
have done in the past. I want to assure people that every cent that is
donated goes directly to the charities concerned. There is no
administration cost whatsoever,” the Rev David Gillespie said.