The “Il Senso del Pane” (The Meaning of Bread) Project
Hosts production workshops in the world
The possibility of rebirth for every human being starts from the spiritual dimension and the dignity of everyone at the center.
In 2016, the Jubilee Year, a laboratory for the production of hosts was launched inside the Opera Prison and with the collaboration of the Cariplo Foundation, which involved some prisoners convicted of serious crimes. The meaning of bread saw already in January 2016 Pope Francis consecrate the hosts prepared at Opera on the occasion of the Jubilee of Migrants. The strength and immediacy of the project, which sees the bread for the Eucharistic celebration produced by those who killed in its past but followed an authentic path of interior conversion and repentance, encouraged the membership of over 350 between Italian and foreign dioceses, religious congregations, parishes, monasteries, Christian and Catholic realities - which have received and continue to receive the hosts free of charge - leading (to date) to the production of over two million hosts.
To request the hosts produced in prison as a gift, just write to firstname.lastname@example.org .
The "The Meaning of Bread" project, through the support of the Casa dello Spirito e delle Arti Foundation, has been created in Italy and abroad, in collaboration with associations and organizations that focus on the dignity of the human being and the union inseparable between Christ and the poor.
The first spiritual and host production laboratory was born in Opera's maximum security prison, just outside Milan.
By praying and asking Jesus how to communicate His real Presence in the Eucharist to many people, the intuition was born to have the hosts produced by the hands of people who in their past had committed crimes and repented, with the intention of donate the hosts they produce to priests to consecrate them.
A paradox, a way to communicate the infinite mercy of divine love to believers and non-believers.
This first laboratory was born in the Opera prison (Milan) and three inmates since 2015 produce artisan hosts. Hosts that are donated every week to dozens of churches throughout Italy and abroad.
The Holy Father blessed the project and consecrated the hosts of the small laboratory on the occasion of the Jubilee of prisoners, at the Holy Mass in San Pietro.
Even dignity has entered prison. The detainees have learned a real job and have a job that even gives them a small salary.
In a second time the project "The sense of bread" has grown: the new idea was that from the first laboratory new "Eucharistic laboratories" could be born, "gemmarate" also abroad.
And so the prisoners became " distance trainers " and thanks to their video lessons , it was possible to start other workshops in other countries.
"School for Life" is the host production laboratory in Sri Lanka
The project Il Senso del Pane "The Meaning of Bread" is also born in Sri Lanka - thanks to the video lessons made by the prisoners who work in the production laboratory of hosts of the Opera prison - within the more School for Life project, promoted by the Diocese of Galle with the support of the Francesco Realmonte Onlus Association.
Created by the episcopal vicar Mons. Charles Hewawasam, it is aimed at promoting resilience in abandoned girls and young widows who can learn a trade in a welcoming, educational and safe place. For them, the alternative would be the road. To counter the many vulnerabilities, dictated above all by poverty and ignorance, workshops have been created for the production of candles, tablecloths which from July 2019 will be joined by the new host production laboratory dedicated to Professor Agostino Fusconi.
This will allow a small economic income and above all the construction of professionalism and the conquest of social dignity. On April 21, 2019, Sri Lanka was shaken by a series of terrorist attacks that hit three churches on Easter Sunday during the liturgy, resulting in the death of 359 people. The host production project is also a bold sign of testimony.
The "Il Senso del Pane" in Mozambique
The Casa della Misericordia is a structure of the Archdiocese of Maputo (Mozambique) whose mission is the reception, accompaniment and help in the socio-family reintegration of ex-prisoners and prisoners with alternative punishment to prison. From January 2019 in the Casa della Misericordia is the project of the production of the hosts, which flourished as a gemmation of the "meaning of bread" thanks to the video lessons made by the prisoners who work in the production laboratory of hosts of the Opera prison.
Five young men of the House of Mercy, detainees and ex-convicts, are giving their strength, their ability and their work, for about 8 hours a day, to prepare bread for the Eucharistic celebration. The hosts are produced because they are sorted, with the help of the Archdiocese of Maputo, to reach the local churches where they gather weekly in thousands of rural and urban communities. The province of Maputo has almost 3 million inhabitants, many of whom are Catholics and before the birth of the laboratory there were great difficulties in satisfying the need for hosts.
Just behind the room where the hosts are prepared, a wood-burning kitchen has sprung up in which meals are prepared for the members of the House of Mercy and where the "bread of life" program was born for about three months, that is, a help process food for 50 families who come every Wednesday to pick up a hot meal packed by a group of mothers helped by the young people of the Casa della Misericordia.
"Crumbs of Life"
SIKU NI SIKU
The path of a love project, day by day
From the preparation of hosts to meals for the poor: "crumbs of life" is a love project.
"Siku ni siku", in the Ronga language of southern Mozambique where the "bread of life" project, supported by the Casa dello Spirito e delle Arti Foundation, is active, means "day by day". These are the right words to express the path of this "project of love" for God and for the needy brothers that started more than a year ago by gemmation from Italy to the Mozambican land.
The host preparation project is developing all its potential by giving growth steps "day by day". There are various young people from the Casa della Misericordia reception center (for ex-convicts and prisoners on probation) who take turns in the manufacture of the unleavened bread that is used for the Eucharistic celebration.
So says Paul, the main person in charge of the project here in Maputo: “when I prepare the hosts I feel happy because it is a service for God. After the blessing of the Father during the mass they turn into the Body of Jesus. I prepare the hosts carefully knowing which will serve the communities of the faithful of the Catholic Church".
How carefully these young people enter the "San Giuseppe Lavoratore" room, the "host laboratory", pray and then dedicate themselves to the various stages of the host production process, in an atmosphere of prayerful silence and fraternity between them. Seeing ex-prisoners who lived in the world of violence treating "holy things so holy" is moving.
Eucharistic bread prolongs its beneficial effects with the "crumbs of life" program
Every week we gather in the House of Mercy about seventy people in need, mainly the elderly and children to receive a complete meal, carefully prepared, by groups of three ladies of the Legion of Mary who take turns weekly. The number of needy grows and requests for help increase, in a Mozambique that is experiencing yet another post-election crisis and the growth of generalized poverty despite the GDP increase ... for the benefit of a handful of rich people and at the expense of a multitude of "Lazzari" who live on crumbs of life on the edge of the globalization of indifference.
Thanks to the help that comes from the Casa dello Spirito e delle Arti Foundation, our dream of increasing the "crumbs" has come true: for 2020 we will have the opportunity to offer a monthly "solidarity expense" to the families we are accompanying in the program.
The crumbs of our poor love placed in the hands of Jesus feed the hungry multitude of bread and of God.
Thank you! Khanimambo!
The "Il Senso del Pane" in Ethiopia
They call them "strays". According to estimates, 100,000 children live on the street in Addis Ababa alone. They almost always come from the countryside surrounding the Ethiopian capital; hungry, before food, love and hope. Often, families are disintegrated, the father is absent, the mother is unable to feed all the children. And they, the street children, arrive in the city, dreaming of a human and social redemption, in order to perhaps contribute to financially helping the family. Instead, they end up on the street. If that's okay, they ask for alms. If it goes wrong, they become little thugs, at risk of being caught by the local police: for the theft of a mirror, you can also have 5 years in prison, crammed with 50 other children in suffocating sheet metal sheds, without windows, without almost toilets .
Don Angelo Regazzo, or Abba Melaku, as they call him in Ethiopia, wakes up every morning at 4. He takes the bus and goes around the outskirts of the city, meeting these boys. He loads them on board and takes them to Bosco Children, the mission that the Salesians founded in 2008 to give children a chance. Here, they have the opportunity to wash, eat and change their lives, if they want. «The choice is personal», explains Don Angelo, «and very demanding. Children, who are used to sniffing glue and carrying out small thefts to endure the hunger and the cold of the night, must detoxify and "go straight". Only then can they become part of our community and change from "stray" to "good brats" ». A hundred children live at Bosco Children: they have the opportunity not only to eat and wash themselves, but also to study and, in the educational spirit of the Salesians of Don Bosco, to learn a trade: leather working, tailoring, cooking ...
"Three years go by," adds Fr Angelo who, together with Abba Johannes, an Ethiopian Salesian, manages the community for volunteers, educators and formators. "Among the most important moments, there is the meeting with the parents. During this period, they learn a job that will allow them, once they leave Bosco Children, to find employment. In the meantime, during their stay, on holidays they have the opportunity to go out, to confront the world from which we have subtracted them. For them it is a real "test", but it is also the opportunity to put the professionalism learned to good use. What they earn can be deposited into an account in their name and we Salesians are committed to doubling the amount ".
At Bosco Children was born a laboratory for the production of hosts, made by street children and those entrusted by the juvenile prison. Don Angelo comments: «This is a wonderful initiative, because children can experience mercy in this way and can learn a trade that saves them from the street. Our desire is to give the hosts: just as we have freely received from the Foundation of the House of the Spirit and the Arts, so too we donate to the other parishes for free, to multiply the good and solidarity ».
The "Il Senso del Pane" finds home in Pompeii
The production of hosts in Pompeii is hosted in the "Maria Madre di Misericordia Family Home", built within the "Center for the child and the family", commissioned by John Paul II and directed by Raffaela and Salvatore Buonocore, of the Community Pope John XXIII, founded by Don Oreste Benzi.
Hosts are produced by people with physical and mental disabilities who live in the family home. The Archbishop of Pompeii Tommaso Caputo, blessing the premises and the people who will work there, highlighted "the strong bond that this initiative establishes between the Eucharist and Charity. Here, where suffering Christ is welcomed every day in the brothers and sisters in difficulties, they themselves will prepare the hosts who will become the Body of Christ ".
The hosts produced will be donated to the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Rosario in Pompeii - founded at the end of the nineteenth century by Blessed Bartolo Longo - and to all the parishes that request it.
Buenos Aires - Father Adrian Bennardis
In the suburbs of Buenos Aires 13.8% of minors go to bed without dinner. One in ten lives in poverty.
Father Adrián Bennardis, responsible for the childhood and adolescence at risk of the archdiocese of Buenos Aires, cares villero, that is, priest in pastoral service in the villas, the poor peripheral neighborhoods of Buenos Aires.
He established the Centros barriales Hogar de Cristo, where he hosts children who have addiction problems. They will be the ones to produce the hosts.
The project will start in March 2020.
The “Il Senso del pane” project in Alcoy – Spain
A unique spiritual place where the hosts being produced will be donated to witness the Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist.
The nuns themselves will produce the hosts to be donated to all the churches that request them, in order to witness the charisma of their monastery, i.e. adore and recognize that in the Blessed Sacrament there is the real Presence of Christ and pray to remedy the offenses committed against the Most Holy Eucharist.
The hosts gifted to priests have great significance since they will be required to witness and communicate to believers their love for the Eucharist.
The community belongs to the "Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara" Institute, belonging to the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word. Its specific purpose is the evangelization of culture, so that the Gospel has its roots in the life and culture of each nation.
For this fact, the inhabitants of the city of Alcoy have promised to erect a temple to commemorate "the theft and the discovery of sacred forms".
This temple preserves the miraculous image of the Child Jesus, who changed his original posture to indicate the place where the thief had hidden the ciborium that contained the Blessed Sacrament. Similarly, the place where it was found is marked by an image of the lying Jesus Christ from which the church and monastery take the name of "Holy Sepulcher".
Following the miracle and to promote Eucharistic devotion, the privilege of being able to celebrate Corpus Domini twice a year was granted.
For two years the community has had the immense joy of obtaining that the chapel of perpetual adoration of the city of Alcoy operates in the church of its monastery, thus perpetuating the homage of reparative love in the presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
For this reason the community is deeply grateful to be able to participate in the important task of making hosts for the Eucharistic worship.
«The House of Bread»
Where Jesus is born, Bread is born
A new host production laboratory will be set up in the coming months in Bethlehem (Palestine), in collaboration with the Hogar Niño Dios, a shelter for children and adults with physical and mental disabilities, abandoned and in serious need.
The “Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara” nuns, belonging to the "Religious Family of the Incarnate Word", will work in the host production workshop, together with the boys and girls with disabilities of the Hogar Niño Dios. The hosts produced will be donated to some Churches of the Holy Land and Jordan.
HOGAR NIÑO DIOS is a charity work born 15 years ago that belongs to the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word, where nuns and priests work tirelessly to offer to the most needy children a family, affection and assistance. Today this house welcomes 36 children and young people with physical and mental disabilities, who would have no other places to go; while they follow children with disabilities through afternoon activities.
Many times, parents do not know how to cope with their children's disabilities due to the lack of a culture of assistance to the weakest and most disadvantaged. In any case, there are many families who do not know how to treat the disabled family member or who, in any case, do not believe that something can be done to improve their condition (specific schools, targeted therapies) and therefore they just feed the family member with disabilities keeping him or her alive.
In the Hogar Niño Dios, priests and religious commit themselves to offer these disabled children and adults a complete care that includes not only health but also a special school and various activities that have as their objective the development of the person, from the smallest to the most great, in their different abilities.
But all this would not be possible without prayer. For this reason, priests celebrate Holy Mass where the Holy Sacrifice of Jesus is renewed and where that Bread of Angels is given as a "gift" and "food", and where the members of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word take the strength to cure Jesus in the most needy, to be an instrument of Divine mercy, to love the same Lord present in those who are his image of suffering in the world "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me ”(Matthew 25: 35-36).
During the time of the pandemic, without neglecting the assistance of children, men and women religious, volunteers and employees carried out Eucharistic adoration alternately, 6 hours a day, concluding with the Eucharistic blessing.
The Holy Mass together with Eucharistic adoration are the center of the day and the Source of all the blessings that this work of Charity receives, in order to be a light in the Land that Jesus chose to be born.
The «Il Senso del Pane» project in Tunis
The host production workshop run by the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matarà of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word is about to start.
The mission in Tunisia began in 2005. The nuns have two communities, one for the pastoral assistance of the Cathedral, where priests work and another one that takes care of a school.
This school is one of the nine schools that the Church has in Tunisia, schools all attended by Muslims.
In the Cathedral the nuns are involved in many activities: in the sacristy, the liturgy, the choir, the visit to the sick and the elderly, to groups of young people, and in all pastoral care. They are also in charge of the Diocesan House in Tunis, which is a halfway house for volunteers, religious and young students, most of them Europeans who attend Arabic courses.
Tunisia is a Muslim country, with a minimal Christian presence, made up almost entirely of foreigners, among them almost all are African boys who come for their university studies.
This being so, the sisters are often in difficulty in finding the necessary elements for the liturgy, above all the hosts. These always come from outside, so we must expect to have the necessary hosts for all the parishes and communities, taking advantage of trips outside. Sometimes it happened to have risked running out, like in this pandemic time where flights have been canceled.
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