The Sant’Egidio community in El Salvador joins in solidarity with COAR & peace

In the late fall of 2014, the Community Sant’Egidio in El Salvador reached out to COAR for the first time. They came to COAR to be in solidarity with our children and to share their message of Peace in a society that is being ripped apart by youth violence. There is probably no place on the planet where this message of peace is more needed than El Salvador. While at COAR, there was a special mass for all attendees. Afterwards, there was a program, activities and the Community hosted a wonderful luncheon for the COAR children and employees. Our current Administration has been making efforts to bring relevant and interesting programs to COAR that can promote values-based lessons.

The Community of Sant Egidio was founded in Rome in 1968 by a group of high school students. The Catholic Church recognizes it as a Church Public Lay Association. There are more than 50,000 members in over 70 countries whose mission is to focus on prayer, spreading the Gospel, bringing the message of peace, being in solidarity with the poor, and ecumenism and dialog with other faith groups.

On June 15th, 2014, Pope Francis visited their Headquarters in Rome where he was greeted by 10,000 people. Sant’Egidio was admired by both John Paul II and Benedict XVI for its service to the poor and its clear and present spirituality. But, clearly, this particular organization has a special place in Pope Francis’ heart. At that meeting, Pope Francis said “Some people have tried to take the word Solidarity out of our vocabulary…but, solidarity is a Christian word”. This organization is not new to Pope Francis since back in Argentina, he had encouraged them to work in the poorest neighborhoods.