By Vatican News
Pope Francis celebrated the Fifth Sunday of Lent on a pastoral visit to the Parish of San Giulio in Monteverde, in the western sector of the Diocese of Rome. The visit comes at the conclusion of three years of renovation work following the collapse of the roof.
Dedication of the new Altar
During his visit, the Holy Father will take the occasion to dedicate the church’s new altar, in which the relics of St John Bosco, St Margaret Mary Alocoque, and St Maria Goretti will be placed. Pope Francis was welcomed by Bishop Paolo Selvadagi, the auxiliary with care of the western sector of the Diocese; the Pastor, Fr Dario Frattini; and Fr Rinaldo Guarisco, the Superior General of the Canons Regular of the Immaculate Conception, to whom the pastoral care of the parish is entrusted.
Before the Sunday Mass, Pope Francis met with several sick people in a room on the ground floor. Moving to the upper level, in the rectory, the Pope met with a group that set up a living Nativity scene to raise funds for the work of rebuilding. He also spoke with newlyweds, as well as couples preparing for marriage; before greeting volunteers of Caritas and those whom they assist by their charitable work.
During his visit, the Pope also spoke with those responsible for planning and for carrying out the work of reconstruction work in the parish.
Sacraments in the Parish
In the temporary structure used during the work of renovation, Pope Francis received children and young people who are preparing for the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation; along with families of children who have received, or will soon receive, the Sacrament of Baptism.
Immediately before the celebration of the Mass, Pope Francis heard the Confessions of several of the parishioners.
Papal visits in Rome
The visit to the Parish of San Giulio is the nineteenth formal visit Pope Francis has made to Roman Parishes. For various occasions, he has also gone to other Roman churches, including the Basilica of Santa Sofia, the home of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic community in Rome. In addition, during his pontificate, Pope Francis has also visited the Evangelical Lutheran community, the Anglican church of All Saints, and the Jewish Synagogue, all in Rome.