Setting the table with holiness. Food in the preaching of Pope Francis
“Apparecchiare la santità. Il cibo nella predicazione di Papa Francesco” (“Setting the table with holiness. Food in the preaching of Pope Francis”) is the title of a book by the Italian priest, theologian and writer Pierluigi Plata, who through the use of images of contemporary cuisine illustrates the values that Pope Francis emphasises in his homilies, his words at the Angelus prayer, in his encounters with the young, his trips and his apostolic messages, inviting everyone to walk the path of holiness.
The book, whose Preface is signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, and which is published by the Vatican Publishing House, will be presented tomorrow, Thursday 19 September in Rome, at the Convent of Trinità dei Monti. The event will be attended by Bishop Santo Marcianò, military ordinary of Italy; Giuliano Visconti, president of the Association of Food Banks of Lazio, and Alessandro Gisotti, deputy editorial director of the Dicastery for Communication. The meeting will be chaired by Lorena Bianchetti, journalist and television presenter for the RAI.
Talitha Kum: ten years of anti-trafficking efforts, ten success stories
From 21 to 27 September, the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the anti-trafficking network. A total of 86 delegates from 48 countries will meet in Rome to decide on the future of the sisters’ work in combating human trafficking.
Ten years and ten success stories, such as that of Romanian Mihaela, forced into prostitution and now studying law to help those like her who have been trafficked; the Colombian Paola, a FARC guerrilla with a past of forced labour and sexual abuse and who is now a businesswoman; and the Thai Somchai, enslaved on fishing boats but who has regained her freedom and found a job.
In Rome, from 21 to 27 September, 86 delegates from 48 countries will participate in the general assembly of Talitha Kum to present the work that the sisters are carrying out in different countries, on the front line against slavery. A phenomenon that in our time affects at least 40 million people, 70% of whom are women and children (Unodc, 2019). Talitha Kum is present in 92 countries with 44 national networks on 5 continents: 9 in Africa, 11 in Asia, 15 in America, 7 in Europe and 2 in Oceania.
Patricia Murray (executive secretary of the UISG) and Gabriella Bottani (international coordinator of Talitha Kum) will talk about the current state of the efforts of the UISG and Talitha Kum throughout the world. Success stories and ongoing projects will be presented via the direct testimony of nuns and survivors of trafficking, such as Blessing Okoedion, now a writer and cultural mediator. A special prize will be awarded to ten nuns who in recent years have distinguished themselves for their commitment, offering decisive support to the emergence of networks in different countries.
The conference will be attended by numerous international experts, such as Teresa Albano, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, Bahija Jamal, Carlos Andrés Pérez and Sister Angela Reed, who will give an overview of the phenomenon of trafficking and a strong impetus to the preparation of guidelines that will help orientate the work of the networks in the coming years.
On 26 September, the 86 delegates will meet in private audience with Pope Francis, who has always supported and encouraged the nuns of Talitha Kum so that they may continue to accompany survivors of human trafficking and prevent the phenomenon by raising awareness among institutions and citizens.
A detailed programme of the event is available on the website www.talithakum.info