For the Global Thinker

Monday, August 12, 2013

Argentina's Slum Priests Focus on Helping rather than Converting

Truly inspiring...


He has scuffed work boots and dirty nails and hears confession from dealers and hit men. When residents spot his trashed 4x4 bumping down dirt roads, they call out his nickname: "Charly!"
He spends most of his time addressing practical rather than spiritual problems. That means navigating governmental bureaucracy, helping immigrants obtain state identification cards and finding beds to get addicts off the street.

"If we don't get people a home, it's insane to think about other kinds of lives for them," Olivero said.
So far this day he had talked to the directors of two state hospitals, attended a brainstorming session with other slum priests and handed out fliers about a religious festival for the neighborhood's large community of Paraguayan immigrants.

As he left to prepare for that evening's wake for the addict, he suddenly remembered something.
"Oh," he said, bringing his hands to his head. "I have a wedding tonight!"


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