By Junno Arocho Esteves
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The office charged with coordinating Pope Francis’ acts of charity announced the opening of a laundromat for the poor and homeless of Rome.
The “Lavanderia di Papa Francesco” (“Pope Francis Laundry”) is a free service “offered to the poorest people, particularly the homeless, who will be able to wash, dry and iron their clothes and blankets,” the Papal Almoner’s Office announced April 10.
The laundry service, the office said, was inspired by the pope’s call for “concrete signs of mercy” during the Year of Mercy in 2016.
“Here, then, is a concrete sign desired by the Papal Almoner’s Office: a place and service to give a concrete form of charity and mercy to restore dignity to so many people who are our brothers and sisters,” the office said.
The laundromat is located in a building already housing services run by the Rome-based Community of Sant’Egidio, which will also maintain the facility and add other essential services for the city’s poor, including showers, a barbershop and a medical clinic.
Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, said that six brand new washers and dryers were donated by the Whirlpool Corporation while Procter & Gamble will provide a free supply of laundry detergent and fabric softener for the new facility.