First World Day of the Poor in Pesaro

On the First World Day of the Poor announced by Pope Francis (November 19th) Caritas Pesaro organized a a few initiatives aiming at promoting the practice of sharing and encouraging our care for those most in need.

A conference on ‘The Poor and Social Justice’ was held on Nov. 17th in the former Chiesa di Santa Maria Maddalena by H.E. Piero Coccia (Pesaro Archbishop), Sara Mengucci (Councilor to Solidarity of the Municipality of Pesaro), don Marco di Giorgio e Padre Damiano Angelucci. After the conference, the inauguration of a children’s exhibition took place.

The exhibition is the fruit of several meetings between Caritas volunteers and  fifth-graders of the province of Pesaro and Urbino dealing with he theme of ‘poverty’. Caritas volunteers visited more than 70 classes in the past two years (both primary schools and upper secondary schools). A few of fifth-graders drew such beautiful, joyful and colored drawings at the end of the meetings, with such a powerful expressive energy and depth of thoughts that it would have been a pity to lock them up in a dusty drawer!

The exhibition deals with three themes: ‘my own poverty’, ‘poverty in the others’, ‘the richness of our encounter’. My own poverty (be it lack of material goods or our inner poverty; we all are lacking in something: relations, love, compassion, generosity…) and the poverty of the other are redeemed by the richness of our encounter.

The exhibition is much more than an exhibition. It’s a choral work made up by hundreds of people: the children who drew the drawings (there were many more drawings but it was not possible to display all of them!), the religion teachers who hosted Caritas volunteers at school, the young who took part to Caritas Camp 2017 (who selected the drawings and chose the writings on the boards), Cristina Ortolani (who did the graphic project for free), the staging company that built the beautiful metal structure for free and all the people who went to visit the exhibition (an exhibition without visitors doesn’t make any sense, does it?).

Yesterday, a Sunday lunch was organized inside the church (Il Pranzo della solidarietà -Solidarity Lunch) with over 230 people. A big feast to remind us that -as Amir’s drawing taught us – we all are poor as we are all lacking in something, but at the same time we all are rich because we all have love to give.

One wish and exhortation for us all comes from the exhibition’s last board portraying Sieger Köder’s Washing of the Feet. Jesus and Peter look just like one body. Jesus is kneeling and his head is not visible. They both seem to melt into one single embrace. We can only see Jesus’s face mirrored in the water, as he should be mirrored in each person we meet.

Let us love, not with words but with deeds (1 Jn, 3:18)



    • Ciao Rhonda! We went to primary schools and secondary schools to talk about poverty and asked children/students questions like: ‘what does it mean to be poor?’, ‘where do the poor live?’, ‘are the poor far away or close?’, ‘what kind of poverty is there in the world?’, etc. Children came up with extraordinary answers, so deep and and passionate, and they gave us such beautiful and joyful drawings… The exhibition is on povery seen by children and about the power of sharing… Thank you for having a look at my post. xoxo

      • What an extraordinary project Simona. So Many children in comfortable places don’t think through those questions. Wish we could have been able to see their work/answers… I have a favorite book I used to take to school to show my kids the different ways of living (poor & rich) called “Material World” by Peter Menzel. A group of photographers did photo shoots in 25 different countries (Italy included) of a typical family– and on the last day they took everything they owned and set it in front of their home for a photo.– from a family in Malawi with very little to very prosperous families with opulent homes. There is great text surveying their values. Fascinating and revealing. You are amazing Simona– in all the worthwhile things you do… Take care. xox

        • Ciao Rhonda! I feel ashamed, but this is the first day I turned to my blog after a whole month! Thank you so much for your words and for sharing the information on ‘Material World’ by Peter Menzel. I am going to order it to show it to primary school children this year when I will visit 5th graders with our Caritas project on poverty. I think it will be very useful to me. I cherish your tips. You must have such a great knowledge of people… All the children you taught to, all their parents, your 4 kids and grandchildren, and all of your friends! Grazie so much Rhonda for your always kind words and for the enthusiasm you give me. You have such a way to make people feel positive… I love it and am very thankful for your look on life so positive that it is ‘catchy’ 🙂 A very Merry Christmas to you and to your lovely big family!. Hugs hugs. Simona

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