On 12 September the General Definitory went to the "Soup Kitchen of the Poor", at the International College of St. Anthony in Rome (in via Matteo Boiardo, 21), a charity service offered with the help of the work carried out by the Antonian Association of the Friars Minor.
The Definitory shared in this service that for over 20 years the Franciscan friars have been giving to the poor, following the example of St. Francis, who always had a slice of bread to share with others.
It was a meeting in which, in addition to serving food, the friars were able to exchange experiences and give some warmth to the cold life of the people who live on the street, each of whom has a history of suffering that has brought them to where they are now.
In this soup kitchen, the Franciscan friars, with the help of a group of lay volunteers, offer food four times a week: Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Br. Antonino Clemenza comments: "I have been here for 20 years and in these 20 years I have seen many changes, even in the poverty of Rome. This is a place very close to Termini station [the largest train station in the city] and as in all cities, stations are the place of refuge for the homeless; So, a plate of food is always available and the doors are always open to everyone."
The facilities of this canteen are welcoming, clean and also rich in art. "A few years ago we invited street artists to create something, and the first things we wanted to create were the frescoes that are inside, which are originals: they were made specifically for this place.
Before the pandemic, a photo contest was held in Rome: we organized an exhibition on the theme of “fracture”, which was attended by several photographers who, at the end of the event, wanted the works to remain here", commented Br. Antonino Clemenza.
For more information on the Mensa del Povero – Associazione Opere Antoniane visit the website www.antoniano.org