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VATICAN CITY, MAY 16, 2007 (VIS) - The 16th "Feast of Peoples" will be held in the square of St. John Lateran in Rome on Sunday, May 20. The initiative has been organized by the Scalabrinian Missionary Fathers in collaboration with Caritas and with the Vicariate of Rome's office for immigrants.
With the theme chosen for this year's event - "a home far from home" - the organizers wish to explore the level of acceptance and integration of immigrants in the city community, at the same time recalling the image of the Church as an open and welcoming home beyond all limits and frontiers. The initiative also has the support of the Rome city and provincial authorities.
According to a communique published by the Vicariate of Rome, the day will begin at 9 a.m. with the opening of stalls run by various communities and a series of shows for children. At 10 a.m. a roundtable meeting will be held on the theme "the participation of foreigners in the economic, political, social and cultural life of the city."
At midday in the basilica of St. John Lateran Msgr. Mauro Parmeggiani, secretary general of the Vicariate, will celebrate a Mass during which 30 of the ethnic communities present in Rome will animate the liturgy. At 1.30 p.m. there will be a tasting of 23 typical dishes and, beginning at 3 p.m., folkloric demonstrations including 20 dance shows.
"Ethnic communities and groups from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America," says the communique, "will be the active participants in a day of encounter and celebration." The day came into being "at the initiative of the Scalabrinian Fathers on May 3, 1992, with the aim of creating a space for dialogue between the cultures and traditions of different peoples, and sensitizing institutions, ecclesial bodies and all citizens to the issue of immigration." .../FEAST OF PEOPLES/VICARIATE:ROME VIS 20070516 (320)