Pope Francis encourages volunteers from Sardinia

Volunteers from Dardinia meeting the Pope

“The service of fraternal voluntary work is a choice that makes one free and open to the needs of the other; to the demands of justice, to the defence of life, and to the protection of creation, with a tender and special attention to the sick and especially the elderly, who are a treasure of wisdom!”

Those were the words of Pope Francis when he spoke to members of the Service Centre of the Sardegna Solidale Association, celebrating twenty years of activity.

You represent the multitude of Sardinian volunteers, who work to provide a generous and necessary service to the least among you, in a territory rich in natural treasures but also affected by poverty and hardship. I would like to express my appreciation for what you have done and are doing for the benefit of the weakest sections of the Sardinian population.

The Pope said he was aware that the group is also working in some of the poorest countries in the world. This is a sign that the group, despite the great needs of their home, have kept the horizon of your solidarity open. From this perspective, you have been able to welcome and include immigrants those who have arrived in Sardinia from other lands in search of peace and work.

Pope Francis encouraged the volunteers to continue with a spirit of understanding and unity; as in this way, they will be able to spread the culture of solidarity. In order to interpret the authentic needs of the people and find adequate answers to them, it is necessary to maintain an attitude of collaboration with the institutional realities of the territory, including the municipalities and parishes, who are close to the people on a daily basis, sharing their difficulties and hopes.

The culture of solidarity contributes in a concrete way to the construction of a fraternal society, at the center of which is the human person. In Sardenia this culture is based on the Christian roots, that is, the love of God and the love of neighbour.  Jesus, in the Gospel, invites us to love God with our whole heart and our neighbour as ourselves. “It is the love of God that always makes us recognize the neighbour, the brother or sister to love”, said Pope Francis. This requires personal and voluntary commitment, for which public institutions can and must create favorable general conditions. Volunteers do not perform supplementary work in the social network but contribute to giving a human and Christian face to our society.

“The service of fraternal voluntary work is a choice that makes one free and open to the needs of the other; to the demands of justice, to the defence of life, and to the protection of creation, with a tender and special attention to the sick and especially the elderly, who are a treasure of wisdom!”, concluded Pope Francis.