Mind, Heart, and Soul in the Fight against Poverty

By Katherine Marshall; Lucy Keough | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 22
The Community of Sant’Egidio
Its Role in Mediating Peace

The roots of the Community of Sant’Egidio, a Catholic lay association, date back to 1968, when a group of high school students, meeting in Rome to read the gospel, launched reading and writing programs for children of poor immigrants. Committed to serving the poor, the homeless, the sick, and needy foreigners, and to working for peace, Sant’Egidio has become an international movement, present in 70 countries, with a membership of about 40,000. All are volunteers, all unpaid, who share a common commitment to social justice and to working through spirituality to this end. Community activities are financed through voluntary contributions, sometimes supplemented by government funds. The Community works in a wide spectrum of countries, cultures, and religions, though it is clearly grounded in Roman Catholicism. This chapter outlines the Community’s work and approach, with a focus on its peace-building activities. Chapter 10 describes Sant’Egidio’s work on HIV/AIDS in Mozambique.

The Community’s wide-ranging activities reflect today’s complex patterns of poverty. The links between poverty and conflict emerge vividly through its experience, and thus are woven through its approach and work. Sant’Egidio has been noteworthy for its creative and tenacious

This chapter was prepared by Lucy Keough and Katherine Marshall in collabora-
tion with the Community of Sant’Egidio; particular thanks go to Mario Giro,
Community of Sant’Egidio.

-255-

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