San Salvador: inauguration of the Sant'Egidio family home for the elderly, dedicated to San Óscar RomeroELDERLY World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly
San Óscar Romero family home for the elderly was inaugurated at the Colegio Cristóbal Colón in San Salvador, the ceremony ended with a blessing of the structure and prayers by Mgr José Luis Escobar y Alas, Metropolitan Archbishop of San Salvador, and Mgr Miguel Ángel Morán Aquino, Bishop of Santa Ana.
On the eve of the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, celebrated on 25 July, and in the Year of the Family, the home's opening is significant. Poverty is on the rise, and more and more elderly people are living on the streets or in makeshift shelters, at a time made more difficult by the pandemic.
In San Salvador, in response to this dramatic situation, the Community has opened a first "family home", a new experience for the local community. It is similar to the co-housings set up by Sant'Egidio in Italy and other countries around the world. It is an alternative to hospices (asilos) where many people live a solitary existence, deprived of visits from relatives and friends.
"The idea is a family that expands with the lives of the elderly," explained Carlos Vega of the Community of Sant'Egidio. "The elderly suffer the 'culture of discarding', but they are part of the Gospel promise, they are called to a full life in service to others," added Bernardo Magaña, an elderly man who will be hosted in the house.
The presence of so many young people and children at the inauguration made the Pope's words for the elderly in his message "I am with you always" feel closer, inviting everyone to be that angel who reminds us how precious life is even as we grow older.
The archbishop of San Salvador personally handed out a copy of the pope's message to the young and the elderly, before entering the house with the bishop of Santa Ana for a blessing and ribbon cutting ceremony.
A new family was born, in a house open to visits and encounters between generations, between the elderly, the young and the children of the School of Peace, in the name of San Óscar Romero, the Salvadoran bishop and martyr, friend of the poor and of justice, after whom the house is named.